Summertime has been Bar Harbor’s claim to fame since the mid-1800s. Shortly thereafter cottages [read: incredibly large mansions] constructed by many of nation’s wealthiest began to populate the shoreline of Frenchman Bar, and they were soon accompanied by large hotels to accommodate the growing influx of tourists. It is not difficult to contemplate why people from all over have been flocking to Bar Harbor in the summertime for more than a century—the climate is fabulous, warm but typically not uncomfortably so, generally beneath blue skies. Some of Bar Harbor’s most popular summertime activities include Whale Watching, Lighthouse Tours, Sailing, Paddle Boarding, and my personal favorite: simply strolling along the Shore Path with an ice cream cone. Mornings and evenings are warm enough to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, though you may want to bring a jacket if you’re going to be on the water or atop a mountain.
At low tide, walk across the natural sand bar to Bar Island and look back at the Harbor. Most shops, galleries, theatres, and restaurants are open until at least 9 PM, with many open several hours later. Delightful breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in some of the most gorgeous settings imaginable are minutes from your doorstep. The free Island Explorer Shuttle runs regularly all summer if you don’t feel like driving—it can take you just about anywhere, most anytime! Bar Harbor’s 4th of July celebration has been voted best in the Country by the Today Show, and there’s no magic quite like that of watching fireworks light up the night sky over Frenchman bar. For those fond of the arts, July also features the Bar Harbor Music Festival and there are art walks on several occasions each summer. In short, you can’t beat Bar Harbor in the summertime so you may as well join it!