Bar Harbor is a gorgeous coastal city located on Mount Desert Island, on Frenchman Bay in the state of Maine. This city is known for two major things: Acadia National Park and the charming coastal city community. The landscape in and around Bar Harbor ranges from mountains and cliffs to forest and beach, providing postcard-perfect views almost everywhere you go.
Your group will love this spot because it is abundant in group travel opportunities, with plenty of outdoor adventure, shopping and dining, and sightseeing options available throughout.
So get ready to enjoy some of the Atlantic coasts best seafood, adventure attractions, and natural landmarks with your group!
- Acadia National Park - Undoubtedly the number one attraction in and/or near Bar Harbor is Acadia National Park, otherwise known as the 'crown jewel of the Northern Atlantic Coast'. This park contains 47,000 acres mostly on Mount Desert Island, with landscapes including woodland, rocky beaches, and granite peaks. In fact, the highest peak on the US East Coast can be found here on the summit of Cadillac Mountain. 3.5 million visitors a year come here to see the wildlife (moose, bear, whales, seabirds, etc), the hiking trails (158 miles), the iconic Head Light Lighthouse, and the unbelievable scenery in general. Be sure to take a ranger-led hike, take part in an educational program, or enjoy a fun sightseeing cruise while here!
Why So Great for Groups? Acadia National Park, as with any other national park, is perfect for groups because there is no limit to the number of people that can visit and no cap when it comes to the activities available inside.
- Diver Ed's Dive-In Theater - Welcome to Bar Harbor's most unique attraction, Diver Ed's Dive-In Theater. This fun marine education attraction allows your group to explore underwater without ever leaving the comfort of your boat! Follow Diver Ed under the boat as he dives and you watch live on the on-board movie screen. He will collect sea creatures an bring them back up for a hands-on show and tell session too. Onboard, Nori will narrate what you will see on the 2-hour adventure, with common sightings including silvery fish, porpoise, seals, toad crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and maybe even sponges, sea peaches, anemones, crabs, and barnacles! Talk about an educational adventure!
Why So Great for Groups? With the Dive-In Theater, you will be able to take your whole group on the same learning experience at the same time, that is, as long as your group is under 69 people, which is the Starfish Enterprises maximum capacity.
- The Travelin Lobster, LLC - For some of the best seafood on the East Coast your group will need to make a stop at The Travelin Lobster, LLC. This juicy lobster pot hot spot is lobsterman owned and operated, a family business that has seen several generations of lobstering here on Mount Desert Island. The restaurant receives a fresh catch daily (except for Sundays when they are closed) by owner Phil, who catches lobsters from 1 1/4th pound to over 2 pounds. Try the Best Catch Lobster Dinner with lobster, corn, mussels, and melted butter or try any of the other great dishes offered here such as the clams, lobster rolls, or lobster bisque. After your groups visit it will be clear why this spot is called the 'home of the Downeast feast!'
Why So Great for Groups? While The Travelin Lobster can only hold a fairly small amount guests inside, you must also factor in their outdoor patio seating and nearby outdoor picnic areas. Yes, we get it, this one isn't really meant for large groups, but we can't let you guys miss this lobster!
- Cadillac Mountain - Cadillac Mountain is arguably the most popular site in all of Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park/Mount Desert Island. At 1,532 feet, this mountain's summit is considered to be the highest point along the North Atlantic Seaboard. This mountain provides a hiking trail with informative plaques and expansive views, in fact, the views here are somewhat iconic seeing how this is the first place you can view the sunrise in the United States from October 7th until March 6th. Take Scenic Summit Road for a nice drive while visiting and see Schoodic Peninsula to the east and Eagle Lake to the west. Be sure to visit Cadillac Summit Center, which provides a gift shop, snack shop, and information center.
Why So Great for Groups? Your group can spend as much or as little time as you wish here, this outdoor recreation option allowing you all to find something you like. Some may wish to hike, others sightsee, and others yet may want to spend a majority of their time in the information center.
- Jordan Pond - This Acadia National Park pond is technically considered to be an oligotrophic tarn, which in layman's terms means it is a small mountain lake rich in oxygen but lacking in other nutrients. The body of water was formed by the Wisconsin Ice Sheet long ago and covers 187 acres. it reaches a maximum depth of 150 feet and contains 3.6 miles of shoreline giving way to crystal clear waters. Though the waters may look inviting swimming is not allowed, though canoeing and kayaking are allowed. Take The Shore Trail or Carriage Road for excellent hiking, scenery, and photography options, then take your group to the Jordan Pond House, the only full-service restaurant with Acadia National Park. This eatery is good for groups as it has both indoor seating and lawn seating, plus a 2-story gift shop close by.
Why So Great for Groups? While the hiking trail around the pond may get a bit crowded, your group can break up and some may hike, others may head to the Jordan Pond House for dinner, and others still may choose to spend time souvenir shopping in the gift shop.
- Sand Beach - Acadia National Park's Sand Beach is always a guest favorite, perfect for groups of any size and interest...everybody loves a day at the beach! The beach itself is 290 yards long and is nestled nicely between the mountains and shores on the east side of Mount Desert Island. This beach is largely comprised of the sand of shell fragments and the waterline varies greatly between high and low tide. The water here is a bit colder than you may be used to, reaching a temperature that is no higher than 55 degrees. There are several surrounding trails leading to excellent vista points, such as the Great Head Hiking Trail, which leads to iconic views of 'the beehive', and Ocean Path, stretching 1.5 miles in totality.
Why So Great for Groups? Groups of all sizes and interests will enjoy a day at the beach, and there will be plenty of room for everyone!
- Wild Gardens of Acadia - We firmly believe that nature centers, hiking trails, and national parks are the best outdoor recreation options for groups to visit, and the Wild Gardens of Acadia have all of that plus some! At this Bar Harbor Botanical Garden, your group will see native trees, wildflowers, and ferns throughout the various streams and paths of the park, with over 300 native species labeled throughout 9 separate display areas. All species seen within the gardens will serve as a typical habitat representation of Mount Desert Island and Maine's coast in general. Note that this attraction is also very close to the Abbe Museum and Nature Center, allowing the option of splitting your group up and visiting both attractions at once.
Why So Great for Groups? As mentioned before, all these outdoor recreation options are perfect for groups of any sizes. You don't have to worry about if there is enough room for your entire group, if everyone in your group will be occupied, or if varied ages in the group will deter from attraction interest.
- Land Bridge to Bar Island - When low tide hits, your group needs to hit the land bridge to Bar Island! During low tide the water lowers just enough to show the natural bridge created to Bar Island, making it accessible by foot or all-terrain vehicle. Over on the island, you will have great views of Mount Desert Island with Bar Harbor in the foreground. After crossing the bridge you will climb over some rocks and follow a small path to a wooded area. Once you come to a fork in the path you can go left and travel to a higher observation point, or right and see the former home of author Jack Perkins. Be sure to check low tide times and allow yourself 1.5 hours before and after low tide, so as you do not get stuck on the island.
Why So Great for Groups? As with all outdoor attractions on this list, groups mustn't worry about space for everyone in the group, budget issues, or lack of interest with varied ages of group members.
- The Great Maine Lumberjack Show - Timber Tina's Great Maine Lumberjack Show is enjoying its 24th season this year, this extremely exciting Bar Harbor attraction making many tourists 'Must Visit' list while in the area. This summer seasonal show features 12 exciting lumberjack events within the 1 hr 15-minute show, some events including log rolling, ax throwing, underhand chopping, power hot sawing, crosscut sawing, and more. The founder, 'Timber' Tina Scheer, has been competing since she was 7 years old and has been a part of such major hit shows like Survivor and Survival Alaska.
Why So Great for Groups? This is a great option for groups of all kinds because it is an outdoor event with ample seating for large groups within the stands, and standing room as well! This show tends to interest all ages of guests, as well, another positive point for group tours.
- Wild Acadia Fun Park - Welcome to Wild Acadia's Aerial Adventure Park, the perfect place for your group to get active, get immersed into local nature, and get close to each other with various teambuilding opportunities. Children ages 4 and up can participate here, the park holding 30 different challenges, 2 zip lines, and a giant swing, all 45 feet up in the air. The aerial adventure park can hold 100+ group members, and there are also additional recreation options onsite such as go-karting, mini-golf, an arcade, a rock-climbing wall, and a fun sling-shot trampoline.
Why So Great for Groups? Wild Acadia Fun Park boasts the motto of being 'fun that won't bust your budget', and that is a major draw for big, or small, groups when traveling. The fact that they have such a high person capacity onsite as well as multiple team building activity options certainly doesn't hurt, either!