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Beaches, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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. 

Acadia National Park is located a little more than a mile southwest of the center of town. The park is open 24/7 daily. Note that there are winter closures from November to April. Entrance passes, which are valid for seven days, cost $30 for vehicles, $25 for motorcycles and $15 for pedestrians and cyclists. For more information, check out our Acadia National Park travel guide.

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More Best Things To Do in Bar Harbor

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#2 Shore Path

The best introduction to Bar Harbor and its beautiful scenery is the town's 1 1/2-mile Shore Path. The Shore Path isn't necessarily a hiking trail, but more a leisurely pathway that wraps along Frenchman Bay. Start your journey at the beautiful Agamont Park, located right next to the town pier, where whale watching tours typically depart. Meander down and you'll bump into the Town Beach, a small shoreline perfect for those who want to quickly dip their toes in Maine's rich blue waters. Continue farther along and you'll be treated to beautiful views of Bar Island, Sheep Porcupine Island and Bald Porcupine Island, as well as the craggy coastline and forested landscapes that make up the region. Walk just one block up and you'll hit the town's Main Street.

Recent travelers loved the Shore Path and highly recommended everyone who visits Bar Harbor enjoy it, even more than once. A couple visitors went in the morning with the purpose of avoiding crowds, while others said that the waters are so calm you can hop over the path, onto the rocks and enjoy the view of the bay from there. Post up at one of the many benches, ogle at the waterfront resorts and estates, read the scattered signs that educate visitors on the history of the path (it's more than a century old) and simply enjoy the incredible scenery. 

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