Have you ever visited a place that just felt magical? That just speaks to you and is good for the soul?  That’s how I would describe Bar Harbor, Maine. I have always had a short list of “my five favorite places on this planet” and Bar Harbor is on that list (I won’t name the other four – maybe that’s for a future feature story!) despite having been plenty of places around the globe.  It always makes the cut and has since I visited there the first time several decades ago. Its beauty is unparalleled, and I always leave there a different – and better – person than when I came.

 

My recent trip to Bar Harbor over Labor Day weekend was with my dear aunt, just the two of us.  We went to get away and for me, to let the mind relax after finishing four long years of study in my graduate program.  Bar Harbor is a small, resort town of approximately 5,089 located in Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine.  It’s popular with tourists during the summer and fall, with those visiting in the fall known by the locals as “leaf peepers” as they come from near and far to view the spectacular fall foliage.

 

I have visited Bar Harbor in the fall several times, though this was my first summer visit. It did not disappoint!  Many of our readers know of my love for all things floral.  Our resort, as well as other parts of Bar Harbor did not disappoint.  Daily, I walked out to a sea of hydrangeas and other beautiful blooms and foliage. It was bliss!    Acadia National Park, where a third of the land was donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., son of John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil Company, according to our tour guide, is spectacular with incredible views of nature and all its splendor from its summit on Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Atlantic seaboard.  An interesting fact about Cadillac Mountain is that From October 7 to March 6, Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the country one can see the sun rise.

 

The beautiful views in Acadia National Park were abundant as we took a carriage tour throughout the park on some of the many trails in the park for hiking, biking, and touring.  These trails and the many bridges throughout the park were built and funded by the Rockefeller family.  We heard tales from our tour guide of other prominent families who lived in Bar Harbor including J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Astor family, the CEO of Burt’s Bees, Roxanne Quimby, and others.  We stopped at Jordan Pond House and indulged in the famous New England popovers, an American variation on Yorkshire pudding.  Made with flour, salt, eggs, milk, and butter, these fluffy pastries are delicious and one of my favorite parts of visiting Maine.  I will say from experience, they are NOT easy to replicate at home, so I always enjoy this treat when visiting Maine. Again, just magical!

 

We took city tours (including a ghost tour, hearing about all the spooky Bar Harbor history), visited local shops and restaurants, sat by the shore path in our Adirondack chairs with books, music, and flip-flopped feet, and just enjoyed this magical place.  I could write a book about Bar Harbor, but this is a magazine, so I’ll have to share resources for more information instead.   The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start if you would like to learn more.

 

I hope this article has inspired interest in this beautiful place and that some of our readers take their own journey to beautiful Maine to discover their own brand of magic and “good for the soul” experiences in Bar Harbor.

 

 

Sources:

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. https://www.visitbarharbor.com/ .

U.S. Census, 2020. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/barharbortownhancockcountymaine

U.S. National Park Service. Cadillac Mountain – Acadia National Park. https://www.nps.gov/places/cadillac-mountain.htm