Top Romantic Things to Do in Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is full of charming attractions to make any couple’s vacation special. This quaint Maine village is a popular summer destination, but its many restaurants and bars, the town pier and rocky coastline offer plenty to do even in the colder seasons. Get ready for your next getaway to this Mount Desert Island town, and make your romantic excursion something to remember with these engaging activities:

Eat Breakfast at Cafe This Way

what to do bar harbor

Start the morning off right with a meal at Cafe This Way. This locally favored eatery is a little off the beaten path on the inconspicuous Mount Desert Street behind the town square, but it has a unique small-town charm. The walls are lined with shelves of books filled with poetry and classic novels, so you feel like you’re eating in a chic coffeehouse. But the cuisine is simple and satisfying American - try the French toast drizzled in real maple syrup or the heaping helping of corned beef hash and eggs.

Take a Cruise on the Margaret Todd

Get familiar with the Frenchman Bay early on during your Bar Harbor vacation. The Margaret Todd, a four-masted schooner, offers two-hour morning, afternoon and sunset cruises around the bay and through the Porcupine Islands. Musicians are often on board for added romance, while a tour guide is on hand to point out the landmarks and tell stories of the area’s history. Keep your eye open for Ironbound Island, which is owned by the family of renowned painter Dwight Blaney. Pack a picnic and don’t forget the wine - this tour is BYOB.

Reserve a Table for Two at Michelle's Fine Dining

Michelle's Fine Dining is where the local couples go to make fond memories over candlelit dinners. It has a relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere with antique dinnerware and table settings and European-style decor. The menu offers fine French cuisine inspired by the local offerings - especially the popular Maine lobster and crab. You can even pick your own lobster from the live tank.

Get a Drink at Geddy's

When you’re feeling thirsty for libations, head to Geddy’s. This local hotspot has a quirky pub appeal - the walls are lined with discarded signs from around the neighborhood and old photos. Grab a seat near the window for a spectacular view of the harbor and the greenery of Agamont Park across the street. The bar is best known for its Sea Dog blueberry beer - a naturally flavored draft with added blueberries that bounce around your glass.

Explore Acadia National Park

Take a short trip from Bar Harbor’s downtown to visit Acadia National Park. Bike or drive around Park Loop Road, which spans 27 miles and surrounds the park, leading you up to the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard - the top of Cadillac Mountain. Or let someone else escort you around the park on a bus or trolley tour. Afterward, lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy an afternoon meal while looking out at the shimmering lake and the Cadillac mountains.

Shop the Local Boutiques

There’s no lack of specialty shops and chic boutiques lining the streets of Bar Harbor. Book-lovers can stop by Sherman’s Book and Stationery Store to browse the aisles and learn what the locals read. Guys (and a number of gals) won’t want to miss The Man Store, where you’ll find hand-rolled cigars, microbrews, sports gear and other items geared toward the man of the house. If you’re looking to buy a diamond ring or simply a bracelet made from local beach stones, head to Willis’ Rock Shop, then browse through the colorful tops and summer totes available at Romantic Room.

Relax at the Spa

As a popular lovers’ retreat, Bar Harbor is home to many day spas perfect for romantic afternoons of relaxation. The Tree of Life Day Spa, for instance, offers a range of services, from the Chocolate Decadence package to the stone massage and mud bath package. Couples may want to try the Tandem River Stone Facial and Coconut-Lime Foot Bath, a tropical aromatherapy experience for two.

Take in an Improv Show

For an evening of entertainment, make your way to ImprovAcadia, a quaint theater in Bar Harbor’s downtown. The ImprovAcadia cast members, some of which hail from the famed Chicago comedy scene, have performed more than 1,500 original sketches and toured around the world. At the show, you’ll experience spontaneous performances according to the suggestions of audience members. Be sure to make reservations in advance, as the show often sells out.

Go Whale Watching

Head out on the Atlantic waters for a day of whale watching with your special someone. Several local companies, like the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co., offer extensive tours that introduce you to the oft-seen whales and other wildlife that live in the ocean. You may also come across puffin, seals and lobster, and your guide will introduce you to the lighthouses along the way to Baker Island and back.

Walk the Asticou Azalea Garden

Before you head home from your Bar Harbor getaway, be sure to stop by the Asticou Azalea Garden and take in the colorful landscape. You’ll find blossoming cherry trees and azaleas in spring, rosebay and Japanese iris in summer and water lilies in late summer and fall. Stop by the weeping hemlock tree while you're here - it’s the oldest specimens on the ground.