Acadia National Park Travel Update
Acadia National Park has reopened. The Park Loop Road and Cadillac Mountain are now fully open. The Jordan Pond House will reopen Friday, October 18 with a limited menu from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Hulls Cove Visitor Center is open, but the Sieur de Monts Visitor Center and Thunder Hole Gift Shop are closed for the season.
In addition to the park, Bar Harbor and the surrounding areas boast many enticing options all within an easy drive from your Maine home-away-from-home. In Maine, there are no non-scenic routes, and the majesty of Autumn's fiery foliage beckons at every turn. Come explore with us.
The Village of Bar Harbor
- Slip on your L.L. Bean boat shoes and hop aboard a Bar Harbor Whale Watch cruise. Sightings regularly include finback, minke and humpback whales as well as harbor porpoise and seals. Keep one eye on the sky for sea bird sightings.
- Set sail from Bar Harbor aboard the legendary 151-foot Schooner Margaret Todd for a spectacular cruise among the islands of Frenchman's Bay. Choose your departure time of morning, afternoon or a romantic sunset cruise.
- Want a little kitsch to go with your marine life? Kids and the young at heart love Diver Ed's of Diver Ed's Drive-In Theater approach to exploring the bottom of Frenchman Bay via live underwater footage. Starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and whatever else he can haul up in his catchbag become a living interactive exhibit of the ocean floor.
- Want to understand the life of the crustacean behind your favorite Maine dinner? Learn about lobstering and the noble life and work of the Maine lobstermen aboard Lulu's Lobster Boat. Lulu's Lobster Boat tour is the only lobster tour in Bar Harbor where you get to experience a traditional Downeast-style boat. Captain John educates his passengers on traditional lobstering methods, traps and the vivid folklore of the sea. Bonus: catch a glimpse of area seals sunning themselves on the salt-kissed rocks.
- Acadian Nature Cruises offers a 2-hour nature cruise that will take groups by Thunder Hole.
- Explore the history and culture of Maine's Native peoples at the Abbe Museum. The museum is a destination for those interested in archeological artifacts and the artisan craft of basketry. Guided tours and in-depth learning opportunities can be arranged.
- Enjoy a culinary walking tour of Bar Harbor with Maine Foodie Tours.
Mount Desert Island
(For the following, distances vary but any location on island is less than 30 minutes)
- Head to the Mount Desert Oceanarium for a hands-on exploration of life in the tidal zone. Touch tanks, salt marsh tours, and a lobster hatchery where you can learn about the life cycle of Maine's favorite crustacean is perfect for families.
- Sample wine in the tasting room at Mount Desert Island's only winemaker, Bar Harbor Cellars. Housed in a historic Civil War-era barn on the site of an organic farm, winemaker in residence Bryce concocts a wide range of wines sure to please any palate.
- Whittle while you work at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor. Founded to preserve, exhibit and interpret the woodcarvings, tools, and other art works and ephemera of its namesake, a pioneer in the field of decorative woodcarving. The museum offers guided tours and a variety of programs including the opportunity to meet the Museum Carver-in-Residence and to try your hand at learning the basics of carving.
- At the Seal Cove Auto Museum you will find a wide variety of antique autos, from an 1899 DeDion Bouton to a 1924 Mercer, with a special emphasis on examples from the "Brass Era" (1895-1917). Many of these automobiles and motorcycles have been restored to world-class condition, while others are displayed as true artifacts of their era. Antique car enthusiasts as well as those who simply enjoy vintage ephemera will delight in the beauty, mystery and romance of this unique collection.
TRENTON (12 miles, 25 minutes)
- A change of perspective is enlightening. Take an aerial view of Maine's breathtaking natural splendor through Scenic Flights of Acadia or Acadia Air Tours. Both tour services are based out of the Bar Harbor-Hancock County Airport and offer a variety of flight experiences sure to thrill.
LAMOINE (19 miles, 35 minutes)
- Sample artisan chevre – handcrafted in the traditional French method of cheese making – participate in a meet and greet with the resident goats whose milk sustains the farm and tour the milking and cheese production facilities at Seal Cove Farm, just minutes from Mount Desert Island. A hand-built pizza oven fires up lunch for your group using only locally sourced ingredients and your visit concludes with an opportunity to order goat-milk favorites to be shipped directly home.
SULLIVAN (28 miles, 50 minutes)
- Have you ever tried salmon bacon? Here's your chance to sample that and other smoked salmon delicacies at Sullivan Harbor Farms and Smokehouse. Get your daily dose of omega 3 while touring the smoked salmon production facilities and learning about the farm's use of locally sourced Atlantic salmon. Special orders can be placed and shipped home.
- Necessity is the mother of invention at the studios of Lunaform. Their sculptural garden works can withstand Maine's harshest winters with aplomb. Celebrating their twentieth birthday in 2013, this innovative artist collective creates pots, urns and other "all-weather" vessels out of steel-reinforced concrete. Their functional art graces the lobbies and courtyards of the finest homes, botanical gardens and hotels/resorts worldwide. Built into a hillside that was once a quarry, the studios can accommodate small group tours.
- There's nothing quite like Fall camping. A campfire's smoky scent, the starry night sky, and a slight chill in the air beckons. Most Maine State Parks and Historic Sites are open to visitors. For information please visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
- No filters are necessary when photographing the changing leaves on Maine's many scenic byways, which offer beautiful foliage viewing opportunities. Click here.