Places to Visit
From the lively town of Bar Harbor to the quieter streets of Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor, you’ll find plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, hunt for regional antiques, and browse the work of the area’s finest artists and craftspeople.
For a clearer understanding of the area’s cultural history the Abbe Museum, located in the Park at Sieur de Monts Spring, is an invaluable resource. Founded in 1927 by Dr. Robert Abbe, its collection is a living history of the past 10,000 years, with carefully preserved artifacts that speak volumes about the lives of the area’s early inhabitants.
The Park’s main visitor center, located at the beginning of the Park Loop Road off Route 3 near Hull’s Cove offers a much broader perspective on the area’s many attractions. Browse the available literature, enjoy a brief audiovisual overview, or sign up for one of the many available ranger-led activities. Or, if you’d prefer to chart a more independent course, ask the Visitor Center staff for their recommendations – and chart your course from there.
When you’re ready to sample some of the area’s breathtaking natural attractions, be sure to make time for one or more of these favorites:
- Park Loop Road – This 27 mile road offers spectacular viewing – and plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy nature at its best.
- Cadillac Mountain – On clear mornings, early risers gather at the top of the mountain to see the sun rise on the United States – before anyone else in the nation.
- Sand Beach – With its icy-cold waters and breathtaking location, this is a terrific place for brave souls to get their feet wet. For others, it’s a great place to lay back and enjoy some of the finest beachfront nature has to offer.
- Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds – These National Park campgrounds offer an amazing opportunity to experience the Park’s forests and shoreline up close and personal.
- Thunder Hole – Catch this natural spectacle at the right point in the tide, and you’ll quickly appreciate its name. Check with park information for best viewing times – and be sure to observe barriers and warnings.
- Bass Harbor Lighthouse – Built in 1858, this scenic lighthouse sits fifty-eight feet above high water. A photographer’s favorite.
- Otter Cliffs – Rising 110 feet above the ocean, this is a must-see attraction, with spectacular views of the Atlantic and the waves below.
- Jordan Pond – This inland pond is best viewed from the famous Jordan Pond House. Known as much for its popovers as for its spectacular views, it’s a favorite stop for carriage trail hikers and bikers, and for park loop road travelers.
- Pretty Marsh – A moss-covered marsh, punctuated by towering firs, this quiet sanctuary is the ideal spot for a stroll and a picnic. Tables are available for visitor convenience.