When creating our New England Pinterest pinboards, I came across one photo that I keep coming back to: a colorful picture of downtown Bar Harbor, Maine. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Bar Harbor is the lively commercial center of the Acadia National Park area. Just minutes from Acadia where the ocean meets the mountains, Bar Harbor has an enviable and impossibly beautiful harbor location with enough shops and restaurants to keep the most insatiable shopper and diner happy throughout the vacation. Tree-lined in many parts and with a relaxing town common, Bar Harbor might be too hectic from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend for those in touch with the spectacular natural, pristine setting of Acadia National Park, but let's remember, too, that it's not exactly one of those tacky, souvenir-laden tourist traps. Sure, you'll get elements of that here, but, all in all, Bar Harbor has an attractive, often beautiful walkable downtown with almost all of the shops and restaurants running on a pride of ownership platform. The town also has some amazing historic inns that add a touch of class like the Primrose Inn and Bar Harbor Manor. Bar Harbor is really the perfect companion and foundation for your Acadia National Park vacation.
My favorite downtown things to do? Visiting the West End Drug Store (105 Main St.) for the old-fashioned soda fountain, Island Artisans (99 Main St.) for hundreds of locally-made handmade crafts, Roslie's (46 Cottage St.) for delicious hand-tossed pizza and tunes on the Wurlitzer jukebox, and Testa's (53 Main St.) for delicious lobster, seafood and pasta.
That's just a fraction, however, of what's in Bar Harbor. You could spend several hours here, but in the name of fair and balanced, I would first get out to see Acadia National Park and then leave enough time to enjoy downtown Bar Harbor. That way, you get the best of both vacation worlds!
Log onto the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce web site for more information on Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and the surrounding region.
Related articles and resources:
Visiting Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park
Relaxing at Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park
Book a hotel room in Bar Harbor