Your Guide To Bar Harbor & Acadia: The Northeast’s “Maine” Attractions

The age-old battle of coastal supremacy has long divided easterners from their Pacific counterparts, but when it comes to Maine, the question of greatness simply answers itself. The northeasternmost U.S. state is a vast 320-mile-long postcard, both pristine in nature and eclectic in culture.

Downtown Bar Harbor
Downtown Bar Harbor. PHOTO Kate Waskowitz

Situated on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Maine serves as a gateway to Acadia National Park, the crown jewel of the Northeast. Not only is it a hub of outdoor recreation with access to some of the country’s best hiking and biking trails and endless views of polka dot sailboats cresting the horizon, but it’s also a hotspot for shopping and fine dining.

Maine is the largest lobster producing state in the U.S., and for one of the best lobster rolls in the area, look no further than the Bar Harbor Lobster Company. Located among some of the town’s best bars, cafes, and shops, the Bar Harbor Lobster Company offers refreshing cocktails, fresh seafood, and indoor/outdoor seating for balmy summer meals.

Drinks at Project Social
Drinks at Project Social. PHOTO: Layne Deakins

Just down the street, Project Social Kitchen & Bar is a cozy, fun, and flavorful spot for inventive cocktails with a menu designed for snacking and sharing. Not only does Project Social offer a must-try lobster roll, but for a twist on the traditional Maine favorite, the indoor/outdoor bar also makes a savory lobster crepe.

Bar Harbor is laced with intertwining bike paths and walking trails leading to its rocky shoreline, where the Shore Path, a century-old 1.5 mile stroll, overlooks Balance Rock and the surrounding bay. But for those who want more recreation and more expansive views, the real showstopper of southeastern Maine is a few miles inland.

Maine architecture
Maine architecture. PHOTO: Layne Deakins

Just a 15 minute drive from downtown Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park towers above the sleepy coastal hamlets scattered along Frenchman Bay. At 1,530 feet up, Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place to view the sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6.

Vehicle reservations are required to drive up Cadillac Mountain between late May and mid-October. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the National Park Service website.

The 27-mile Park Loop Road connects all of Acadia’s lakes, mountains, and shoreline and provides access to trailheads and other sightseeing destinations throughout the park. The Beehive Loop Trail is one of the park’s most popular hikes, a short 1.5 mile trek that scales the rock face and ends with sweeping views of Sand Beach, Great Head, and Frenchman Bay.

Hiking in Acadia
Hiking in Acadia. PHOTO: Layne Deakins

Whether lazing the day away on Acadia’s pebbly shores or braving its cliffside hikes, the park is a must-see gem for all nature lovers. The best of the East Coast makes itself at home in Maine, and the very best of Maine can be found in Acadia.

Layne Deakins

Content Editor Associate

Layne is a Pennsylvania native who enjoys adventuring in nature, traveling, writing, eating, and spending precious time with her cat. Fluent in Italian, Layne jumps at every opportunity to explore the world around her, and she’s always planning for her next trip back to Italy.

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