There are many things to do in and around Bar Harbor, Maine including Acadia National Park and other places around Mount Desert Island. Acadia is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi being formed in 1916. It has about 3 million visitors each year. These are my top experiences from my trip to Bar Harbor in no particular order.
1. Jordan Pond
Jordan Pond is located inside Acadia National Park and is one of the main attractions. There are mountains at the northeast end (pictured) known as “The Bubbles.” There is a walking trail that surrounds the perimeter of the pond. A popular restaurant, The Jordan Pond House, overlooks the pond.
2. Whale Watching
Whale watching was a great experience that I definitely recommend. We went with the Bar Harbor Whale Watching Co. who offer a guarantee to see a whale or you get voucher for another trip in the next three years. The trip takes 3 to 3.5 hours on a catamaran out into the middle of the Gulf of Maine. On our voyage we were able to see a couple finback and minke whales along with many dolphins, but the best part was when we saw the humpback whales. We were lucky enough to see a mother breach and a baby swim up to the boat. Along with seeing the whales and other sea animals the scenery was also beautiful.
3. Sunset/Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain on the East Coast that boarders the Atlantic Ocean. Cadillac Mountain is known for its sunrises because it is one of the first places the sun reaches in America every morning. The sunrises attract large crowds so that is something to think about when deciding to watch either the sunset or sunrise from Cadillac Mountain.
4. Lobster Fishing
We went Lobster fishing with the same company that we went whale watching with, Bar Harbor Whale Watching Co. The tour is about an hour and 45 minutes long and has two parts. First the boat will go around to all the different lobster traps and a fisherman will haul in all the lobsters and other marine animals. Anything that comes up will be passed around and an onboard naturalist will explain everything you want to know about the animals, which include the lobsters, crabs, starfish, and sea cucumbers. After they will put the traps back and head to a nearby island where the Egg Rock Lighthouse. On and around the island there are seals basking in the sun or swimming in the water. The most common species are the grey and harbor seal. After the trip there is an opportunity to have a Lobster Bake at a nearby restaurant.
5. Precipice Trail
Precipice Trail is a treacherous trail up the cliffs of Champlain Mountain. This trail involves metal rungs sticking out of the stone to hang on to with drop offs that go down thousands of feet. On clear days the views of the surrounding area are beautiful and cloudy days the climb is still worth the challenge. There have been many injuries and even deaths on this trail so do not attempt if you are not physically fit or have the proper attire/footwear on.
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