Bar Harbor: Day Three
From dawn ’til dusk—and beyond—here's the ultimate way to experience this beloved Maine destination.
ONCE A SUMMER HOT SPOT FOR SOCIETY’S UPPER CRUST, Bar Harbor still sizzles, but it’s not at all crusty. An endearing mix of gritty seaside, New England charm, hip sophisticate and tourist kitsch, Bar Harbor’s grid of streets and alleys fairly brims with a dizzying array of restaurants, shops, inns and galleries running back from Frenchman Bay. Of course, with Acadia—the northeast’s gem of a national park where the mountains rise up from the sea—for a backdrop, they’ve got competition. For you, that means options, lots of them. Never fear; we’ve got your planning done. All that’s left for you to do is sample the broad range of delicious local fare, rack up some amazing adventures and soak up the knockout scenery. We think you’re up for the challenge.
Whether you’re up with the gulls or decide to catch a few extra z’s, breakfast will be ready at Jordan’s Restaurant (80 Cottage St., 207-288-3586). There’s nothing fancy about the booths and paper place mats, but locals love the fare (all kinds of eggs and, of course, Maine blueberry pancakes and muffins).
You can’t leave town without seeing Maine’s rugged beauty from the water, and when it comes to boating, a kayak is about as up close and personal as it gets. Book an ecological tour with National Park Sea Kayak (39 Cottage St., 800-347-0940, acadiakayak.com), where experienced guides know the remote spots away from the commercial boat lanes. Your ride in the shuttle van might be a tad longer, but you’re also more likely to enjoy the best conditions as well as mingle with harbor seals, ospreys and the occasional harbor porpoise or bald eagle.
Back on land, have dinner at Havana (318 Main St., 207-288-2822, havanamaine.com), a hot spot where dining is like an island getaway in itself. There’s a different homemade cornbread (such as Seal Cove goat cheese and sun-dried cherry corn bread with a lemon brown-sugar butter) each night, and the mojitos rock. The menu changes monthly, but some past hits include manchego-crusted halibut in a traditional Island “run down” sauce of coconut milk, green peppers, onions and spices, over Cuban black beans and rice, and Argentinean hanger steak with sardo and root vegetable mash, and topped with spicy chili sauce and a roasted sweet corn and Vidalia onion salsa.