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Key Info

26 Mt Desert Street

Price & Hours

$5-$10
Hours vary by season

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

History lovers will enjoy a trip to the Abbe Museum, the only Smithsonian-affiliated organization in Maine. The Abbe Museum earns this distinction for its focus on the Wabanaki Nations, Maine's indigenous population. The museum was a direct result of Dr. Robert Abbe, a seasonal resident who the museum is named after. Over the course of his summer visits to Bar Harbor, Abbe amassed a collection of Wabanaki artifacts that he found around the bay.He encouraged others with similar collections to come together to create a museum about Maine's Native Americans to help educate the public. Over time, more artifacts were excavated. The museum eventually grew to include ethnographic materials from the 17th to 20th centuries, contemporary works from the Wabanaki people and the country's largest Maine Indian basketry collection.

The museum has one core exhibit, as well as temporary exhibits, some of which have showcased native artists. The core exhibit, "People of the First Light," takes visitors through 12,000 years of history of the Wabanaki people, introducing visitors to their language, traditions, cultural garb, personal stories and much more. Although the museum provides extensive knowledge on these native peoples, some recent visitors were disappointed with the content or the age of the artifacts shown (some reviewers found the items on display to be too modern). Other visitors were pleased with the information presented and said they learned a lot while touring the museum.

The Abbe Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from November to April. The museum is closed in January. Admission costs $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children ages 11 to 17 and is free for children 10 and younger. You can find the Abbe Museum in the heart of Bar Harbor, just a block west of Main Street. For more information on the Abbe Museum, visit its website.

 
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#1 Acadia National Park

Just a stone's throw from Bar Harbor lies Acadia National Park. A big reason visitors come to Bar Harbor in the first place is that the town is the gateway to this national park. Acadia encompasses more than 47,000 acres of land, including beautiful coastline, enchanting forests and the tallest mountain on the North Atlantic seaboard, Cadillac Mountain. If you ascend to the top of the mountain from October to early March, you'll be the first in the country to see the sun rise. This is just one of the many sights that make Acadia truly magical. Other mesmerizing must-visit spots include Schoodic Point, best known for its crashing surf, Sand Beach, one of the few beaches in the greater Bar Harbor region, and the Wild Gardens of Acadia, to name a few. 

Recent visitors were in awe of Acadia National Park. Many were happy with the varied scenery and many hiking trails available, with a handful of travelers recommending a visit to Cadillac Mountain during sunrise or sunset. Biking on the park's Carriage Roads was also considered a must-do activity as well as the serene Jordan Pond. However, past travelers did share one common complaint: Parking can be a challenge, so keep that in mind and plan your visit for off-peak times to avoid the heaviest crowds. 

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