The main town on Maine’s Mount Desert Island started life as an exclusive resort—the summer home to the Vanderbilts and the Astors. For such a compact spot, it's seen a lot of change since then. The middle class followed in the coming decades, and then the great fire of 1947 destroyed most of the island’s vacation cottages. Downtown survived, and has flourished ever since; today, the town deftly walks the line between quaint hideaway and fun, tourist kitsch. When you visit Bar Harbor, you’ll find lovely B&Bs, great outdoor activities in neighboring Acadia National Park, and plenty of delicious lobster. Read this Bar Harbor travel guide to help start your own getaway there:
Things Not to Miss in Bar Harbor
• Hike, bike or even drive in Acadia National Park
• Take a whale-watching tour
• Shop along Main and Cottage Streets
• See the Abbe Museum
When To Go to Bar Harbor
Thanks to the warm temperatures and loads of lobster, summer offers the height of Bar Harbor travel. Summer is when crowds and prices hit their peak, too—so planning your travel to Bar Harbor for spring or fall will reap you lower prices. Spring and fall also offer a lot of appeal, too—such as whale watching, from late through early fall, and fabulous leaf peeping in autumn. Winter can be risky: not only do temperatures dip down to zero, but some restaurants and attractions close for the season.