A resort town since the 19th century, Bar Harbor is the artistic, culinary, and social center of Mount Desert Island. It also serves visitors to Acadia National Park with inns, motels, and restaurants. Around the turn of the last century the island was known as the summer haven of the very rich because of its cool breezes. The wealthy built lavish mansions throughout the island, many of which were destroyed in a great fire that devastated the island in 1947, but many of those that survived have been converted into businesses. Shops are clustered along Main, Mount Desert, and Cottage streets. Take a stroll down West Street, a National Historic District, where you can see some fine old houses.
The island and the surrounding Gulf of Maine are home to a great variety of wildlife: whales, seals, eagles, falcons, ospreys, puffins (very unusual-looking birds), and forest dwellers such as moose, deer, foxes, coyotes, and black bears.
Bar Harbor at a Glance
Elsewhere in Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Book the Wonder View Inn & Suites 3 Nts in May Fr $134+/Nt Expedia
- $75.95 & up : Full Size rentals in Bar Harbor Hotwire
- $66.95 & up : Midsize rentals in Bar Harbor — $67 Hotwire