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Best things to do in Bar Harbor

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Where in the world: USA  /  Maine  /  DownEast and Acadia Maine  /  Mount Desert Island  /  Bar Harbor

Top 15 things to do in Bar Harbor

1. Ocean Path

Set within a national park, Ocean Path winds along the rugged coast and offers scenic views of the ocean. An easy, accessible gravel path takes you through a sweet-smelling spruce forest; along the way, a few small trails and rocky steps can bring you closer to the water. Explore the rocky ledges and hidden coves, but beware of the waves, which can get quite large at times. Early mornings and late afternoons see fewer crowds on this much-frequented path.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Shore Path

Stroll the 1.6 km (1 mi) scenic Shore Path, with views of the harbor and Porcupine Islands at Acadia National Park. The trail cuts between lavish mansions and lush private gardens on one side and rugged, rocky shoreline on the other. Ocean views bring sightings of boats and ships, from tiny kayaks to large cruiseliners. Since the spot is away from the usual hotel and tourism zones, you'll have the chance to take photographs of the landscape, including tide pools. Soak up the local history via outdoor signs that mark the path and explain the significance of landmarks along the way.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Land Bridge to Bar Island

Take a walk across Land Bridge to Bar Island, exposed only during low tide. The uninhabited tidal island, part of a national park, becomes accessible to walkers and bikers for about three hours each day when the gravel harbor seafloor is exposed. The "bar" connects the island to the town on the mainland during this short period. Once on the island, you can explore a network of trails and several scenic overlooks providing views of the town across the water. To avoid being unable to cross back to the mainland once the water rises, be sure to time your hike with low tide. Check online for a chart providing exact low tide times for this area.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Frenchman Bay

Frenchman Bay is a bay in Hancock County, Maine, named for Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who visited the area in 1604.

Frenchman Bay may have been the location of the Jesuit St. Sauveur mission, established in 1613.
In a 1960 book titled, "The Story of Mount Desert Island", Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, "Frenchmans Bay was so called because it became a staging point for French warships preparing to fight the English."

The bay is bounded on the east by the Schoodic Peninsula, and on the west by Mount Desert Island; parts of both are in Acadia National Park. It contains numerous islands, the largest of which is Ironbound Island. The highest elevation of the islands in the bay is found on Jordan Island. The largest town on the bay is Bar Harbor, on Mount Desert Island.

The bay extends for roughly 15 miles (24 km) and spans 7 miles (11 km) at its widest.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Pedego Bar Harbor

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Spas

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Bar Harbor Town Pier

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Mystery Cove Book Shop

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf

Pit your golfing skills against family and friends at Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf. This 36-hole course transports you into the world of 18th-century pirates, boasting a full-scale pirate ship, waterfalls, and caves. The attraction is designed to suit a variety of ages and skill levels; practice your putting on the original 18-hole course, try your hand at the advanced course, or do both for a special price.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Located within a national park, Sand Beach is tucked between two walls of granite, which protect this stretch of the coastline and create an intimate feeling for visitors. Only 265 m (870 ft) long and surrounded by a lavish forest, the beach offers some spectacular views and plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy a day by the water. You will find restrooms, as well as changing rooms next to the parking.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Schoodic Peninsula

The Schoodic Peninsula is a peninsula in Down East Maine. It is located four miles (6 km) east of Bar Harbor, Maine, as the crow flies. The Schoodic Peninsula contains 2,266 acres (9 km2), or approximately 5% of Acadia National Park. It includes the towns of Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. The peninsula has a rocky granite shoreline containing many volcanic dikes. The peninsula is home to the former United States Navy base, NSGA Winter Harbor, which has been converted into a National Park Service training center. A 3,300-acre (13 km2) resort development was proposed for land abutting Schoodic Peninsula's national park holdings to the north. An anonymous donor eventually bought the entire 3,200-acre tract and built the Schoodic Woods Campground and miles of gravel bike paths before donating all of it to Acadia National Park. Opening in 2015, Schoodic Woods is the newest campground in Acadia National Park, and the first built in the park since the original campgrounds were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression beginning in 1936. In the summer, the Schoodic peninsula is currently served by two separate ferry services from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor that run daily.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Abbe Museum

Learn about Maine's Native American history at Abbe Museum, featuring more than 50,000 artifacts. Dating from the Paleoindian period to present times, these objects include everything from stone-based materials like knives, axes, and fishing weights to bone objects like combs, needles, and harpoons. Check out ancient pottery and jewelry, and don't miss the original canoe or the 3,000-year-old flute made from a swan bone. Consider choosing a souvenir from the Native American arts and crafts and educational books at the gift shop before leaving.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Abbe Museum: