For as much as I've traveled in my life, I had never been to Bar Harbor, Maine until this summer. Before I went, I had heard people rave about it and was excited to get to see the natural wonders that of Mount Desert Island. If you ever get the chance to go and visit for yourself, here are just five of the many possibilities to experience.
1. Acadia National Park
For those of you who might not know, Acadia is a rather popular (and the most beautiful, in my opinion) national park in the United States. Whether you're a hiker or not, it's hard to resist the incredible views that the highest points in the park have to offer. Cadillac Mountain, just one part of the tremendous park, is the highest mountain within 25 miles of the coast in the eastern United States. Once you get to the top and see for yourself, it's hard to take your eyes away.
2. Going into town.
If you're into tourist-y shops and unique beachy finds, then you should probably take a stroll town in Bar Harbor. The streets are lined with stores, coffee shops, restaurants and more to explore. If you walk down to the green in front of the piers, there's often musicians who play for tips who will play the perfect songs for taking a break and soaking in the sun.
3. Eco tours.
One of my favorite experiences in the short week that I stayed on Mount Desert Island was getting the opportunity to go on a boat tour of the island. In the two hours before sunset, my tour saw dozens of seals swimming, lounging and napping on rock formations in the water. If you're lucky enough, you might be able to see sharks and/or whales!
4. Exploring the land bridge.
Taking the extra time to walk a few blocks away from the main area in town and going down to the natural land bridge is well worth it. At low tide, you're allowed to hike up the small mountain that the land bridge connects to the island. You can easily find starfish, sea snails, barnacles, and other oceanic finds right on the beach.
5. Lobster pounds.
Prior to this trip, I was anti-lobster (and seafood in general, tbh). After visiting "lobster pounds" per my family's request, however, I discovered a new love for lobster, mussels, and more. Bar Harbor definitely has the freshest seafood around, and they sure know what to do with it. If you aren't huge on seafood, no worries (I didn't actually try any seafood until my last day there, to be honest). There are plenty of other options to enjoy at most restaurants that won't leave you hanging.
There's a lot more to do in Bar Harbor, like fishing excursions, visiting research islands and more. These were just a few of my favorite finds while I was there, and I hope that they enticed you enough to want to visit. If you've already been, I'm sure that, by the end of this post, you can't wait to go back (it's okay -- neither can I).