Things-to-Do

Things-to-Do

Interior photo of the Abbe Museum
Abbe Museum

Native Americans have lived in Maine for more than 12,000 years. See their traditions in songs, stories, fine basketry and wood carving at the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor. Learn about the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Micmac, and Maliseet tribes, all of which still live in Maine today. The Abbe houses more than 50,000 objects spanning 10,000 years, including tools and potter excavated during the Abbe’s archaeological field research.

Photo of a single bald eagle soaring against blue sky
Acadia Birding Festival

On the first weekend in June, Acadia’s birding community invites you and your family to celebrate the ecological wonders of the birds of the Gulf of Maine at the annual Acadia Birding Festival. Explore Mount Desert Island and its birds through numerous events and venues. Greet our warblers on early morning birding walks, visit with puffins and pelagic birds at sea, and observe Peregrine Falcons at an active breeding site in Acadia National Park. Our combination of lectures, walks, and adventures will connect you to DownEast Maine’s many bird species, diverse habitats and local birding experts.

Acadia Night Sky Festival Logo
Acadia Night Sky Festival

Join us for one of the premier night sky events on the eastern seaboard in September at the Acadia Night Sky Festival. With workshops, internationally recognized speakers and hands-on experiences, there truly is something for everyone from families to the serious amateur astronomer.

photo of the Acadian Boat Tours in Bar Harbor Maine
Acadian Nature Cruise

Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of coastal Maine with a fully narrated cruise of Frenchman Bay and the Bar Harbor shoreline. Our Acadian Nature Cruises leave daily from the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel in search of eagles, porpoises, seals, and other interesting marine mammals and birds. You’ll also see historic mansions and the Egg Rock lighthouse. The Acadian has a snack bar, restrooms, and a heated cabin, but be sure to bring a warm jacket so you don’t miss any of the sights.

Photo of Bar Harbor Art in the Park
Art in the Park

Join us in June for the longest running art show in Bar Harbor! For almost 70 years, artists have shown and sold their work on the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor. Come see how the beauty of Bar Harbor has inspired a lively arts community since the mid 1800’s, when the area was first captured on canvas by noted American painters. You might just find a piece of Bar Harbor to keep in your home year-round.

Historic Photo of downtown Bar Harbor Maine
Bar Harbor Historical Society

Time travel to Old Bar Harbor at the Bar Harbor Historical Society, where the history of the town and surrounding area are captured in memorabilia, maps, antique clothing, pictures, and displays.

Bar Harbor Music Festival Logo
Bar Harbor Music Festival

Acclaimed by Phi Beta Baton as “…one of the nation’s proving grounds for gifted young artists,” the July Bar Harbor Music Festival has gained national recognition for its important work. It remains one of the few music festivals in the United States whose guiding mission is to provide essential performance opportunities for outstanding up-and-coming talent. During the past 50 years, the Festival has advanced the careers of over 1,800 aspiring instrumentalists, singers, and composers, presenting a glorious summer of music ranging from opera to jazz.

Bar Harbor’s Independence Day Celebration
Bar Harbor’s Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate the 4th of July in Bar Harbor with festivities including a pancake breakfast, Independence Day parade, lobster races, music, seafood festival and fireworks over Frenchman Bay..

Photo of Diver Ed Monet holding a giant lobster infront of his face.
Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theatre

Join Diver Ed on the Starfish Enterprise for a real-time exploration of the ocean floor. At the Dive-In Theater, you sit comfortably on deck while Diver Ed and his sidekick, Mini-Ed, dive down under, equipped with video and sound equipment to show you what goes on under the sea in real time. At the end of the dive, the intrepid Ed’s will return to the boat with amazing creatures that you can observe and touch before being safely returned to sea. You will be amazed by the colors, textures and variety of animal life beneath the waves. One of the most unique Bar Harbor activities available by far!

Photo of a fox exhibit att the Dorr Museum, Bar Harbor Maine
Dorr Museum of Natural History

The George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History investigates, interprets and displays the natural world of Maine, with exhibits designed and produced by students at College of the Atlantic. The Museum is housed in the original headquarters of Acadia National Park, renovated and expanded to provide a unique site for exhibits, programs, and activities including a touch tank. The gift shop offers a wonderful selection of books, gifts, toys and jewelry for children and adults related to the natural sciences.

Photo of the Maragaret Todd, part of the fleet from Downeast Windjammer Cruises
Downeast Windjammer Cruises

Take a Downeast Windjammer Cruise for a sail among the islands of Frenchman’s Bay aboard one of their historic schooner vessels. The harbor cruise is approximately 2 hours long, and meanders around the Porcupine Islands, providing beautiful scenery and incomparable views of Mount Desert Island from the water.

Photo of the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride Bar Harbor Maine
Lulu Lobster Boat Ride

Experience the life and work of the Maine lobsterman on a Lulu Lobster Boat Ride. Learn the life cycle of the Maine lobster and how they find their way into a lobster trap to the bait inside. Enjoy Captain John’s entertaining and informative style as he explains the industry behind Maine’s favorite crustacean. Did you know that lobsters smell with their leg hairs? Have you heard of lobster boxing? Take a tour on Lulu to find out more.  

Photo of runners racing int the MDI YMCA Acadia Half Marathon & 10K
MDI YMCA Acadia Half Marathon & 10K

Featuring breathtaking views of Acadia National Park and Maine’s rocky coastline, the Mount Desert Island YMCA Acadia Half Marathon and 10K runs a spectacular course for a great cause every June. The MDI YMCA is the cornerstone of youth development and recreational activities on the island, and this race is their second largest fundraiser of the year. For runners and spectators alike, this race is a fantastic way to support and experience the local community.

photo of runners in a marathon
MDI YMCA Fall Half Marathon & 5K

The Mount Desert Island YMCA Fall Half Marathon is the only half marathon that runs through a national park. This September, follow a challenging loop course along Acadia National Park’s historic carriage roads, an excellent running surface far away from cars. For over 40 years, this half marathon has supported the MDI YMCA as their biggest fundraiser of the year. Support local recreation programs and youth development while running a spectacular course through Acadia.

Photo of runners competing in the MDI Marathon running through Seal Harbor
Mount Desert Island Marathon

Presenting the award-winning Mount Desert Island Marathon, voted ‘most scenic’ and runner-up ‘best overall’ marathon by Runner’s World Magazine. Race day is held annually on the Sunday following Columbus Day. Hosted by Crow Athletics.