The quaint little village of Bar Harbor, should not be considered only as a ferry port and fishing town, but a lively entertaining arts and craft town, deserving as a destination on it’s own.
Main street is lined with fine boutiques were they sell a variety of local artisanery, haute couture, outdoor sports apparel, mixed in with the typical tourist fare.
As you arrive in town, you are compelled to park the car and stroll on foot down Main street. There is so much to see and explore. Everything is centrally located, ideal for pedestrians. It’s strongly recommended you do so, especially during the high season since traffic can become a slow nightmare. Window shopping can also be a treat.
Early morning, down by the bay, you can see the local fisherman lobster boats arrive with their daily catch of the day. This can be something the children might like to see. Maine is known for it’s lobsters.
Be sure to take time during low tide to visit Bar Harbor’s sand bar, linking Bar Harbor to Bar Island, but make sure you keep an eye on time since it’s roughly 1hr1/2 before the tide comes back in. Great place to look for sea creatures. It’s in fact this sand bar that gave Bar Harbor it’s name.
When looking at options for dining there is many restaurants to choose from and can become a puzzling feat. Many bistros and cafes line Main street, easily accessible menus are displayed near each entrance, giving a array of choice depending on the appetite. If you are like me, looking for that particulary out of the ordinary, not so visible restaurant, offering fine organic cuisine that can be sometimes difficult to find…
Here are my suggestions…
To start your day on the right foot, looking for exceptionally fresh, crisp local produce, organic ingredients, original dishes, look no further then 2 Cats restaurant on 130 Cottage street. Not only it is ecclecticaly eye pleasing, the staff is wonderful, it is family-friendly oriented, reasonably priced plates ranging between 6.00$ to 12.00$ and the food……. the food is impeccable! Click on image at left for full review.
You’ve spent the whole day with the children in the sun at Acadia National Park, and luckily for you, Grand-ma has tagged along on the trip, why not have a special dinner out with only the spouse. I know the perfect place, called the Town Hill Bistro, it’s a little out of Bar Harbor, approximately 15 minutes, but worth the trip. I mentionned don’t bring the children since it’s a small restaurant with intimate setting. The menu does not offer a kid’s selection and plates start at around 18$. Although a splurge, you cannot get any finer food then this. I ordered the caramelized scallops on a bed of green beans. The scallops melted in my mouth, I had never tasted anything so divine. Reservation is a must since it offers very little seating, it’s popular with returning clients because it’s one of those restaurants you want to go again and again.
Across the street to the Town Hill Bistro is a beautiful playground to spend an afternoon at. After strolling the boutiques of Bar Harbor, the children will be anxious to stretch their legs and burn off some of that excessive stored energy. This park offers picnic tables and a water fountain. By stopping at A&B Naturals, 101 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME, an organic grocers beforehand, you can select a variety of healthy items to snack on, apples, bananas, breads, yogourts, granola bars, sandwiches and baked goods. Giving your children’s tummies a break from the usual restaurant fares. The playground is located in Townhill, highway 102.
For an afternoon snack try out Blues Cafe. This little organic bakery offers a variety of fresh bagels, croissants and pastries, coupled with aromatic eco-certified fresh coffee, teas and tisanes. You can be lucky and catch the opportunity to listen to a live band from Maine. Be sure to check out the back of this cafe, on display is a selection of local artisans fine work, priced to sell if you like what you see.
And last but not least, looking for a family friendly outing, why not try out the Oceanarium on Route 3. Geared to children under 12, this place offers a touch tank, live specimens, play boats. You can take a hike on the ‘Thomas Bay Marsh’ to explore the flora and fauna of a real salt marsh. Priced as follows Lobster museum, hatchery and discovery pool: children 4-12 yrs.8.50$, 13 yrs.and up 13.50 $, under 4 free.
Thomas Bay Marsh Walk with naturalist guide, Maine Lobster Museum, Hatchery and discovery pool: children 4-12yrs.10.00$, 13 yrs. and up 16.00$, under 4 free.
Please check Acadia National Park sub-menu for additional information.
**note** Acadia’s weather is unpredictable, drizzle is common, it could change drastically over one hour, consider dressing in layers and don’t forget a waterproof light rain jacket for every member of your family.
Wishing you a wonderful stay in Bar Harbor,
Stephanie, Dave, Tristan, Evan and Owen