George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History

#8 in Best Things To Do in Bar Harbor
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Courtesy of George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History

Key Info

105 Eden Street

Price & Hours

Free
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Details

Museums, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

If you're interested in learning more about Maine wildlife, pencil in a visit to the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History. Run by the College of the Atlantic, this little museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the creatures above and below Maine's waters. The museum is filled with dioramas that depict taxidermized local wildlife in their natural habitats. You'll see Atlantic puffins, North American beavers constructing their environment, as well as foxes and great horned owls eyeing prey. The museum also houses touch tanks where visitors can get up close and personal with marine life, such as sea stars, snails and hermit crabs, to name a few. For a more in-depth lesson, consider participating in one of the museum's education programs, which offer hands-on learning, including viewing the skeleton of a minke whale.

Recent visitors said this is an excellent place to take the kids. Those with little ones in tow said children were fascinated with the exhibits and loved interacting with the critters in the touch tanks. Adults were also impressed with the offerings, especially since it is a student-led museum. Travelers do remark that the museum is pretty small, so you don't need to reserve more than an hour or two to tour it.

The George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History is located a little more than a mile northwest of the center of Bar Harbor. It welcomes visitors daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it is free to enter, though donations are appreciated. In the summer, the free Island Explorer Bus stops in front of the museum. For more information, visit the museum's 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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