Bar Harbor Regency's Guide to
All Things Summer In Bar Harbor, ME
Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island hold something for everyone. There's a reason that it was recently voted as the #4 in the Top 10 Islands in the Continental U.S. in Travel + Leisure 2018 World’s Best Awards. Whether you're out to summit Precipice trail, or spreading homemade jam on a fresh Popover at Jordan Pond House, you're bound to have a great time with a day in the park. And the best spot to take it all in? Cadillac Mountain! Located along the park loop, is this windy, two lane road, that brings you to the top of famed Cadillac Mountain. THE spot to catch a sunrise - mimosa optional! Cadillac Mountain is no small feat, but easily accessible on two wheels or four. On any given day in the summer, you'll find cyclists and cars meshed together making the trek up this windy road.
Local tips: Cadillac is great and well worth the trek, but if you're looking for something off the beaten path check out the options below!
Cars: Take the drive to less visited Schooner Head Overlook, avoid the crowds and pack a lunch as this spot is perfect for a picnic!
Bikes: The National Parks Service has put together a map of the many Carriage Roads that weave through wooded paths of the park. Check it out here
Lobster, the Maine course! And whether it's a hot and buttered roll, or a cold tossed salad style, the debate over "Maine's Best" is never-ending. Luckily we're not out in search for who does it best, we're here to highlight who does it different. We've unearthed some crazy crustacean creations that you absolutely MUST seek out during your Maine vacation!
Rise and dine with this creative twist on Eggs Benedict at La Bella Vita. Fresh Lobster claw meat served on an english muffin with two poached eggs, leafy spinach, and homemade hollandaise sauce... This is one breakfast we're definitely setting an alarm for!
Break for lunch at Side Street Cafe, where along with their delicious craft cocktails, they're serving up a Surf & Turf Burger! Munch on 1/2 pound of Angus beef topped with lobster claw meat, for a highly recommended and informal take on surf & turf.
Swing into Testa's on Cottage Street and taste the ultimate New England combo - Lobster Poutine! Local Maine potatoes are hand cut and fried to perfection, then topped with fresh lobster meat and mornay sauce.
Pull up to Paddy's Irish Pub, located inside the West Street Hotel and order the Coastal Maine Lobster Salad which features fresh lobster, loaded with smoked bacon, Maine potatoes, avocado, backyard tomatoes, vidalia onions, and crumbled goat cheese on top of fresh field greens. A salad with potatoes and bacon?? - YUM!
Plan your Maine course at Stewman's Lobster Pound, where you can enjoy waterfront views and something called "The Downeast Lobster Experience". Get out the bib and elastic waist bands, because this is one meal worth saving room for. The Downeast Lobster Experience starts with a cup of New England clam chowder, continues on to a pound and a quarter of fresh lobster, local mussels, buttered sweet corn, and of course potatoes. Guest top this true Maine "supper" off with homemade blueberry pie, for a Maine lobster experience that is sure to satisfy. Is your mouth watering yet??!!
& Finally, treat yourself to the most daring crustacean creation on the island, with none other than Ben and Bills lobster ice cream! A butter pecan base with buttery lobster meat mixed in! It's a crustacean creation for only the boldest of lobster lovers.
We know, you're in it for the views and the brews, so what if we told you Bar Harbor, Maine has the best of both? Take notes on the sights and order a flight, 'cause Bar Harbor is serving up some great New England photo ops!
The Views: Set Sail for this whale watching excursion
Climb aboard one of the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company's many tours and scan the seas for the great Humpback Whale. With over 25 years in the industry, the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. has taken over 1 million guests from all over the world on whale watching excursions in Bar Harbor, Maine. This sea vessel voyages out to sea for a 3.5 - 4 hour excursion where guests can spot various sea creatures from porpoises to puffins, and enjoy indoor seating along with galley and bar accommodations (double points for having views + brews on board). Bar Harbor Regency loves the Whale Watch Co. so much, we've partnered with them and created a whale watch package specifically for our guests.
The Brews: Local breweries that are really Hoppin'
There's still a possibility you've made it through the Whale Watch without hitting the galley bar, and for that we applaud you. But hey, you're on vacation, and it's time to grab a drink! First stop is famed Jack Russell's Steakhouse & Brewery, where along with great dining options, you can find one of the area's best happy hours. With four different taps to choose from, and a laundry list of cocktail options, Jack Russell's is one hopping brewery. Next we have Atlantic Brewing Company, a famed name in Bar Harbor since 1990. This brewery holds daily tours at their Town Hill location, where guests can learn more about the process and experience (a.k.a Sample) their full line of craft beers! If you're looking to head into town, Atlantic also offers a midtown location on Cottage Street, where guests can enjoy craft burgers and brews.
Pro Tip: Check out the Island Explorer Bus for transportation to and from different parts of the island.
The Ultimate Combo: Sunset Happy Hour & Nature Cruise
That's right, looking to view and brew at the same time? Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. has partnered with none other than Atlantic Brewing Company to set sail on a 2 hour sunset excursion. Filled with breathtaking sights from the sea, fun music, good times and plenty of drinks to go around, this sunset cruise has our vote for best way to soak up the great views and brews of Bar Harbor. Check out the Sunset Happy Hour and Nature Cruise to soak up more than sights during your next Bar Harbor, Maine vacation.
Hiking shoes, check!
Fido the golden retriever…CHECK!
Don’t forget to pack the pup, Bar Harbor, Maine has recently been ranked as one of the most dog-friendly destinations in the U.S! Many local shops and restaurants encourage pups getting out and about and enjoying their vacation too. It’s almost imPAWsible to explore town without seeing a doggy water station or a friendly pooch living their best life. We know, no summer vacation is complete without the whole family. On top of being a pet-friendly hotel in Bar Harbor, we’ve compiled a list of a few activities for you and your four-legged companion to enjoy during your time on the island.
Pups in the Park: Bark-adia (or Acadia as most know it) welcomes well-mannered pooches as long as they remain leashed and with their owners at all times. Acadia National Park boasts over 100 miles of pet-friendly trails and carriage roads. Your dog can even become an honorary B.A.R.K Ranger with easy steps listed by the National Parks Service.
Top Trails: The following trails in and around Acadia come highly recommended from the local pups themselves!
Bar Island Trail - Accessible only during low tide, this ocean walk across the sand bar is definitely something for pups to wag about!
Champlain North Ridge Trail - Located on Acadia’s most eastern peak, Champlain Mountain offers pawsitively perfect views.
Little Long Pond - Let the dogs take a dip as this trail leads you to a dog-friendly pond perfect for cooling off on a warm summer day
Always remember to research trails to make sure they are right for you and your dog. Help keep these areas accessible to dog owners and their “Good Boys/Girls” by obeying all leash laws as well as clean-up, and carry in/carry out policies.
Pet-Friendly Places: After a walk in the park, it’s time to take on the town!
Fuel up at Coffee Hound, a dog-friendly café that will happily post a picture of your pup with every purchase.
Then head to Stewman’s Lobster Pound, and enjoy coastal fare and the oceanside deck with your pup.
After you’ve had a delicious dessert for yourself, let your pooch pick out something scrumptious from Bark Harbor’s fresh Ba(r)kery!