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Embrace Nature and Nostalgia this Summer with a Throwback-Themed Getaway in Bar Harbor, ME 

A bit of nostalgia is the perfect addition to a relaxing summer vacation. That’s a concept Bar Harbor Motel Owner David Witham is an expert on—when you step inside his newly renovated, impossibly charming getaway spot in Bar Harbor, you’ll feel as though you were thrown back to the “bygone era,” Witham says, of “the golden age of travel-by-car in Maine.” And when you step outside, you’ll be within just minutes of the must-see Acadia and Bar Harbor adventures.

For Bostonians who yearn for a coastal getaway, a mountain escape, and the uncomplicated relief of simpler times, Bar Harbor Motel (BHM) is a midcentury dreamscape. Here’s what aspiring time travelers need to know.

Retro By Nature

When you visit BHM, you’ll first see ‘Retro by Nature,’ displayed on the building in a lime-green, throwback font. It’s the motel’s tagline, one that Witham says reflects the back-to-our-roots theme they implemented during their recent renovation—and the importance of remaining connected to nature. “When the time came to breathe new life into our property, we wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to rebrand by paying homage to its midcentury origin,” he says.

BHM is now an immersive time traveling experience with bespoke decor elements around every corner. “From the vibrant orange rotary phones to the retro-style microwaves and carefully curated midcentury furnishings and lighting, every detail transports our guests back in time while still delivering the modern comforts they expect,” Witham says.

The theme remains cohesive throughout the space, with one wall of the lobby and breakfast room adorned with a drive-in movie mural by local artist Paige Speight, making the room perfect for throwback movie nights.

In terms of accommodations, couples often stay in the bright and airy king room; small families and groups will be comfortable in the queen room, and families will love the two-bedroom suite. Every room is equipped with parking in front of your building, Wifi, heating and air conditioning, rotary phone, coffee maker and small refrigerator, bathroom amenities, and continental breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every morning.

And worry not: The rotary phone in your room is fully functional—and comes with instructions.

Unplugging and Engaging

“The theme is not just for show, but offers guests the opportunity to be engaged,” Witham says. “Equally crucial is aligning our thematic narrative with the desires and expectations of our guests for their Maine experience.” The property encourages guests to immerse themselves in times when being outdoors was our entertainment and road-tripping around New England was the apex getaway experience.

BHM offers countless outdoor things to do in order to encourage guests to unplug; on-site, kids love to play on the playground and families are impressed time and time again by Acadia National Park trail access right on BHM’s grounds. “The BHM is the perfect location for those seeking that feeling of being settled in the Maine woods, without sacrificing the comforts of a beautiful guest room,” Witham says.

Guests are encouraged to continue their outdoor immersion with free everyday outdoor offerings like bocce, badminton, corn hole, frisbee, wiffle ball, pong bucket, hula hooping, a property scavenger hunt, and an island-wide scavenger hunt. They also offer free weekly trivia, s’mores, movie and game nights, make-your-own granola, and Saturday afternoon ice cream.

Staying at BHM also places you just a 20-minute walk from Downtown Bar Harbor on the multiuse path or a free, five-minute Island Explorer shuttle ride. And, for history-seekers and adventure-seekers alike, the motel offers direct access to Acadia National Park’s Carriage Road system, a series of 16 broken-stone roads engineered at the turn of the 20th century to provide easier travel from place to place in Maine’s wet climate. Now, people enjoy bringing their bikes and exploring those roads.

The Full Bar Harbor Experience

Having such close proximity to the must-see Bar Harbor destinations is one of the best parts about staying at Bar Harbor Motel. “You can be in the middle of the park completely surrounded by nature’s beauty, and then downtown eating an ice cream watching lobster boats return with their catch on the same day,” Witham says. Here are some of his top recommendations.

Acadian Boat Tour: “You’ll witness the majesty of local wildlife and stunning coastal landscape,” says Witham. Plus, Bar Harbor Motel sells boat tickets at the front desk, and tours leave from just across the street.

Diver Ed: An interactive underwater adventure that Witham says “offers a unique perspective on the vibrant ecosystem beneath the waves.” The whole family will love climbing aboard the Starfish Enterprise to discover and explore the Frenchman Bay.

Classic Cuisine: “No visit to Bar Harbor would be complete without indulging in the quintessential Maine delights of fresh lobster and decadent blueberry pie,” Witham says.

Bar Island Trail: For 1.5 hours before and after low tide, the sandbar connecting Bar Harbor and Bar Island is exposed, revealing what Witham calls “hidden treasures and unforgettable vistas”

Bar Harbor offers one of the most well-rounded vacation experiences you can get in New England. Whether you’re a foodie, nature buff, or adrenaline seeker, there’s always a new way for you to fall in love with Bar Harbor. “What’s not to love about breathing in fresh salt air, smelling the spruce groves in a National Park, absorbing the sound of the crashing surf, and ending your day with a plethora of great dining experiences,” Witham says.

Plus, when you return to Bar Harbor Motel each day, you’ll be welcomed back into its nostalgic arms by its team of dedicated staff members and Maine lovers. Witham says it best: “At Bar Harbor Motel, we don’t just provide accommodations. We offer a heartfelt commitment to creating cherished memories and unforgettable experiences for every guest who walks through our doors.”

To book your stay at Bar Harbor Motel, visit reservations.barharbormotel.com.