Many visitors to Maine are familiar with Bar Harbor’s cool summer breezes and rugged coastline. During July and August, Bar Harbor is busy with activity from whale watch tours to upscale shopping to cycling the miles and miles of gracious bike paths at Acadia National Park. Acadia National Park draws in travelers even during the winter months. — Photo courtesy of Mark Pechenik
In the off season, however, Bar Harbor becomes one of the Pine Tree State’s best kept secret winter getaways. The pace is slower, more genteel and relaxing.
With summer crowds long gone, winter enables Bar Harbor visitors to casually stroll and enjoy such quaint stores as the Acadia Shop, Christmas Spirit Shop and Eden Rising – all specializing in Maine-crafted goods and foods. Bar Harbor’s reputation for fresh gourmet cuisine remains intact during the winter months. A sampling of the town’s top eateries include Havana Maine featuring American dining with a Latin flair, the fresh blueberry delights of Jordan’s Restaurant, and the fine craft ales to be enjoyed at McKay’s Public House.
Eagle Lake is a popular Nordic skiing destination within Acadia National Park.Bar Harbor also offers its own refreshing take on winter recreation. With volunteers grooming many of its snow-covered biking paths, Acadia National Park offers exceptional cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. The scenery surrounding winter outdoor enthusiasts is truly dazzling with towering hillsides and snow dusted pine trees creating a classic Currier and Ives feel. Meanwhile, the Abbe Museum in town offers a fascinating retrospective on the area’s rich Native American history.
With so much to do and see, you may want to consider an overnight – or more – stay. There are several bed and breakfasts that cater to winter travelers. Among the best are Aysgarth Station and the Saltair Inn offer rooms with king sized beds, private baths, and views overlooking nearby Frenchmen’s Bay. So, next time you’re looking for that winter getaway, be sure to place Bar Harbor among your best picks.