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Things to do in
Bar Harbor

Our most recommended things to do in Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour

1. Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 22+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Acadia National Park in 2-3 hours. Take this self-guided driving tour, immersing yourself in the stunning fall colors and rich history of Maine, beginning at downtown Bar Harbor. Discover La Rochelle, a Gilded Age mansion, and learn about the raging fire that gave rise to today’s vibrant autumn foliage. Enter Acadia National Park at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and begin the drive around Park Loop Road. Along the way, discover the Great Meadow, Sieur de Mons, and Bar Harbor’s history. Pause at Beaver Lake and Jackson Labs to learn about Acadia’s wildlife before continuing on to Egg Rock Overlook and the Precipice Trail. Take a detour at Schooner Head, pausing at the Ocean Path Trailhead if you want to explore the path on foot. Continue along to Sand Beach, Old Soaker, Thunder Hole, Monument Cove, Otter Cliffs, and Hunters Beach. Pause at Jordan Pond for delicious popovers and jam or simply to enjoy the view. Continue past Bubble Pond and Eagle Lake, and finally begin driving up to the top of Acadia’s most famous peak: Cadillac Mountain. Your tour ends there, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beautiful vistas atop the mountain.

Acadia NP & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving and Walking Tour

2. Acadia NP & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving and Walking Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Once you’ve downloaded your tours, your journey begins in either Bar Harbor or by Sand Beach. Start your Bar Harbor adventure on the John B. Ells Pier. From there, you’ll head into this historic town and hear about its Gilded Age high points. You’ll then have a detour opportunity to visit the untouched Bar Island. After that, you’ll stroll through the Historic District, packed with majestic homes dating back over a century! Here, you’ll find landmarks like La Rochelle, an extravagant Gilded Age mansion. As you walk, you’ll also hear about a devastating fire which changed the town forever. The Abbe Museum, next, houses a collection of Wabanaki artifacts unlike any other. Then you’ll see the Village Green, planned by the same designer behind the White House Rose Garden! Next stop? Main Street! Stop at any of the many shops, restaurants, and cafes for whatever your heart desires. Afterward, you’ll walk along the waterfront and learn how to spot some of Acadia’s most striking wildflowers. Your tour concludes just beyond the Bar Harbor Inn, which dates back to 1887! Your tour of the Ocean Path starts near the Ocean Path Trailhead right next to Sand Beach, one of the best swimming spots in Acadia. As you walk along this oceanside path, you’ll learn about marine wildlife like harbor porpoises and harbor seals, and you might be lucky enough to see some of them in person! You’ll also hear the true story of the dramatic Sand Beach shipwreck, which took place right on this shore. Then you’ll stop at Thunder Hole, where the ocean’s waves produce a thunderous rumble that has to be heard to be believed! After that, keep your eyes open for tide pools and their many marine denizens. Next is Monument Cove, where you can stand atop rocky bluffs for an unparalleled view of Maine’s jagged coastline (which, of course, makes for a fantastic photo op). Clamber down to the shore at Boulder Beach, or continue on to the famous Otter Cliff, which boasts some surprising World War I history! This tour concludes at the breathtaking Otter Point Overlook.

Bar Harbor, Maine: Culinary Walking Tour with Tastings

3. Bar Harbor, Maine: Culinary Walking Tour with Tastings

Immerse yourself in Bar Harbor's culinary scene during this 3-hour guided walking tour. Savor an array of local flavors at various stops along the tour, while learning about the local history from your local guide. As you sample the fare at the various stops, the establishment owners will reveal the history behind their industry and what goes into making their specialties. This tour is a fairly short walk around the Village Green and the beautiful harbor, with plenty of food stops for lunch.

Bar Harbor: Historic Self-Guided Audio Guide Tour

4. Bar Harbor: Historic Self-Guided Audio Guide Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. NOTE: This 1+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Bar Harbor in 1-2 hours. Explore Bar Harbor with your app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Enjoy animated videos that allow you to see snapshots from different centuries and interior rooms that you otherwise would not be able to see. Begin your tour at Bar Harbor Pier and hear about Bar Harbor’s early days as a fishing town and its transformation during the Gilded Age. Cross a bridge to the untouched Bar Island. Enter the West Street Historic District, with its Gilded Age homes. At the Abbe Museum, find a collection dedicated to the Native Wabanaki of the region. Stroll down Main Street, loaded with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Head to the waterfront Shore Path and encounter a strange landmark left in Bar Harbor during the Ice Age. See the personal tennis court-turned-public park which serves as an example of how Bar Harbor has transformed since the Gilded Age. See the Bar Harbor Inn, established in 1887. Your tour concludes just beyond the inn, right where you began.

Tour of LaRochelle Mansion & Historical Guided Walking Tour

5. Tour of LaRochelle Mansion & Historical Guided Walking Tour

Begin this 2-hour walking tour at LaRochelle Mansion where your guide will lead you through the History of Bar Harbor and the Gilded Age.  Set off on your walk of this fascinating, historic town. Your local, experienced guide will share stories of rum running, and tales of the town folk who influenced the development of Bar Harbor. Stroll along West Street, where the birth of tourism began in this beautiful coastal town and walk through the cemetery before visiting the civil war monument. You will hear tales of John D. Rockefeller, the Great Fire of 1947, and so much more. This tour will end in beautiful Agamont Park overlooking the ocean.

Acadia National Park Carriage Roads: Guided Ebike Tour

6. Acadia National Park Carriage Roads: Guided Ebike Tour

Your guided ebike adventure will start at 10am at the Hull's Cove Visitor Center, located within Acadia National Park. We kindly ask you to arrive 15 minutes earlier so we can go over the operation of the e-bikes. Since this is a group event, the start time is precise. Once everyone feels comfortable riding their ebikes, your tour guide will lead you to the entrance of the Acadia Carriage Roads. The first half-mile involves the steepest climb of the day up to Paradise Hill. Upon cresting Paradise Hill, you will have some great views of Frenchman's Bay and Bar Harbor. Then your ride will continue winding past the East side of Witch Hole Pond and onto Duck Brook Bridge. The tour's first stop at about 3 miles will be at a beaver bog where you can observe if the beavers are working on their lodge or dam. After a short break, you will continue your Acadia ebike rental ride down through the forested west side of Eagle Lake and onward to Jordan Pond. You will cross Deer Brook Bridge and the steep pass between Jordan Pond and Gorham Mountain. The tour then continues on the Acadia bike trail with a loop around many of the historic bridges in the park, including the Amphitheater Bridge, Little Harbor Brook Bridge, Cliffside Bridge, West Branch Jordan Stream Bridge, Jordan Pond Dam Bridge, and Cobblestone Bridge. You'll then head to Jordan Pond House. At this point, we are halfway through the tour, and it's time for another short break. You can use the restrooms, get lunch, buy souvenirs at the gift shop, or check out the view of the Bubble Mountains and Jordan Pond. After leaving Jordan Pond House with your Acadia bike rentals, you'll pass by the Jordan Pond Gatehouse and wind your way up through the majestic trail to Bubble Pond for your next break. You can soak in the scenery of the pond and the base of Cadillac Mountain. There's also a restroom available at this location. The next leg of your Acadia bike tour journey will take you up the East side of Eagle Lake to soak in some afternoon sun before passing Breakneck Pond and the West side of Witch Hole Pond. After Witch Hole Pond, you'll start the steep descent back to the Hull's Cove Visitor Center, where it all began, to finish the trip.

3 Hour Private Tour: Insiders tour of Acadia National Park

7. 3 Hour Private Tour: Insiders tour of Acadia National Park

All of our tours begin and end by driving through the historic corridors of Bar Harbor. We can pick you up from where you are staying or we can meet you at the main entrance to Acadia, the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. We provide everything that you will need; including all the Acadia National Park Passes, the reservation for the Summit of Cadillac Mountain; iced water and packaged snacks. We begin by driving the 27 mile Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park. This was a touring road built by David Rockefeller. We will travel to the Summit of Cadillac Mountain and see the stunning unobstructed 360 degree views of Bar Harbor. We continue on the Loop to Sand Beach. Stand on vistas overlooking stunning Sand Beach and the granite outcropping of Great Head. Afterwards you can choose to walk or drive the 1/2 mile to Thunder Hole along Ocean Trail. Walk along the famous pink granite coastline of Acadia National Park. See Thunder Hole and Monument Cove. We will continue by walking or driving to Otter Cliffs. Look for the soaring falcons or Bald eagles. We continue on to the glacially formed Jordan Pond. Get out and walk the nature path or just relax and take pictures of historic Jordan Pond House. See Bubble Rock, the glacial erratic looking as it it will come tumbling down mountain. We can customize the tour to your interests, whether you want to walk a lot or not at all. We can even have half the party get out and explore while some stay in the van. We will provide a tour that only a local guide can give. It is not scripted but is very informative about history, geology and the local wildlife. We want you to ask a lot of questions and stop wherever you would like in addition to our suggestions. Our guides have grown up here or have raised their own families here. We know the island very well and can provide tips for how to best enjoy the area while on your own.

Acadia National Park Small Group Guided Tour

8. Acadia National Park Small Group Guided Tour

Take a tour that lets you immerse yourself in Acadia National Park. Our guides are master naturalists, botanists, geologists, historians, and – most importantly – relentlessly curious! This is not just a sightseeing tour, it’s a day all about learning and connection. Join your guide for a full day exploring the land and sea of Acadia National Park. Each day is planned based on tides and your group to make the most of your day. Your tour will include stops at iconic destinations such as the Ocean Path, Thunder Hole, Bubble Rock, and Jordan Pond, while also leaving time to hike on the trails and away from crowds. Along the way, your naturalist guide will share stories of Acadia’s history, explain its natural features, and share information about its flora and fauna. Groups are capped at 8 adventurers so you can get a truly immersive and personal experience.

6 Hour Private Tour: Ultimate Acadia Tour with Lobster Lunch

9. 6 Hour Private Tour: Ultimate Acadia Tour with Lobster Lunch

We will pick you up and we’ll drive along the 27-mile long Park Loop Road up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the eastern seaboard. From Cadillac you can see spectacular 360 degree views of Bar Harbor and the the surrounding islands. Visit all of the famous sites, including Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Precipice Cliffs, Sieur de Monts Springs and gardens. We can stop and stay as long as you would like at each location. As you wind through the park you will see hand-cut stone bridges, rocky coves and pink granite coastline, glacier cut lakes and dense forests. We exit Acadia National Park to visit the communities of Seal and Northeast Harbor. You may stroll through the Asticou Garden and view the outsides of the mansions of the “Summer People”. We will see the oldest community on the island, Somesville and have a chance to take a picture on the famous bridge. We will then visit the Southwest Harbor side of the island and stop at a working Lobster Pound to see how the lobster industry operates. Watch the boats offload their catch to be weighed and priced. Eat a wonderful lobster lunch. (full menu on your own) Afterwards we will show you the western side of Acadia and its famous Seawall the stunning natural rock formation. Option to walk around Ships Harbor Trail, Summit Loop, Ocean path and stroll through Asticou Gardens.

Ocean Path: Acadia Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour

10. Ocean Path: Acadia Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Note: This 1.2-mile-long tour covers the essentials of Acadia's Ocean Path in 1-2 hours. Dive into a transformative experience by downloading the Action Tour Guide app – your all-in-one personal narrator, audio guide, and interactive map for your journey through the enchanting Ocean Path in Acadia National Park. Initiate your adventure at the trail's genesis, introducing you to the breathtaking beauty of Maine's iconic coastline. As you progress, you'll be ushered into the intriguing tale of the Sand Beach Shipwreck, revealing stories of sailors, storms, and survival. The trail then leads you to Thunder Hole, nature's own orchestral performance. Here, the Atlantic's powerful waves collide with unique rock formations, producing thunderous roars that have echoed through time. Journeying forth, the whispers of Peregrine Falcons become apparent as you learn about their recovery, behaviors, and significance to Acadia. This leads you to the majestic Otter Cliff, an imposing granite formation that offers unparalleled views of the vast ocean and its timeless horizon. Continuing along the path, you'll uncover the Warbler enigma, discovering how these tiny birds have made Acadia their seasonal home. Each chirp and song has a story to tell about their migration and challenges. The path meanders further to Boulder Beach, where countless rounded stones create a unique shoreline, shaped by millennia of tides and time. Here, uncover the history of the region, the great fires that once raged, and the resilience of nature in its recovery. You're then introduced to the legends of Glooscap and the Whale, native tales interweaving nature, gods, and man. As you soak in these ancient stories, the surrounding trees whisper their own tales – of Hemlock Adelgids and the persistent battle of ecosystems. Soon, the Temple of the Ocean's Tides – Tide Pool in Acadia – emerges. This natural wonder reveals the delicate balance of marine life, showcasing starfish, crabs, and more, thriving in transient pools that ebb and flow with the moon's pull. Monument Cove beckons next with its photogenic rock formations, leading to tales of the Alewives' migration and the vital ecological role they play in the park. Consider, too, the challenges of the Gorham Mountain Trail and the legacy of trailblazer Waldron Bates. Concluding your tour, reflect upon the Atlantic Flyway's importance for migratory birds, the haunting past of The Year Maine Burned, and the tranquil sounds of Nesting Loons, which epitomize the serenity and magic of Acadia. This comprehensive guide ensures you miss none of the marvels, mysteries, and memories that Ocean Path in Acadia has to offer. Embark, explore, and let the essence of Maine's coastline etch into your soul.

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Frequently asked questions about Bar Harbor

What are the best day trips and excursions from Bar Harbor?

The best day trips and excursions from Bar Harbor are:

Acadia National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Bar Harbor

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What people are saying about Bar Harbor

Overall rating

4.2
(60 reviews)

Absolutely brilliant--this is what smart technology is for! I would highly recommend this very informative guide! And I will consider it for future trips. Caveat: definitely listen to the instructions, in particular, the tip about making sure it's downloaded ahead of time. Also, it's best to go in the order indicated. I did the walking one backwards and a few stories got cut off because there wasn't enough time for that story to play (when walking in the other direction) before getting to the next target. But, you can always listen to the stories outside of the story to catch what you missed.

we loved the tour and our guide Lora. she was so knowledgeable and it was just us on the walking tour after the mansion. got to see the church among other things, including the library and we really learned a lot. it was great having her as our guide.

Lora was amazing! It’s near the end of the season so my husband and I were the only ones on the tour. It was very personalized. We’d do another tour with Lora again!

This audio tour was great! It pointed out the key things to look at as well as gave some interesting information

Brilliant. Will definitely look at activities for other locations in the future.