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Bar Harbor Vacations Are a Microcosm of Maine   by Jeffrey smith


Set on majestic Mount Desert Island in Maine, Bar Harbor is a beautiful and accommodating tourist destination that has something for everyone.

Bar Harbor's history as a tourist destination goes back to the 19th century when city slickers' response to paintings of the area by members of the Hudson Valley School was enthusiastic, to say the least. Wanting to see such beauty for themselves, people started traveling up to Mount Desert Island and the first hotel in Bar Harbor was built in 1855 to accommodate them. After a couple decades of booming hotel development, rich people began building cottages, mansions really, a few of which remain today. Many of these cottages now operate as inns, B & Bs, and vacation rental homes.

On three sides of Bar Harbor rise the forested mountains of Acadia National Park. Acadia is a little bit of outdoor paradise that will please adventure lovers and low-key observers of nature alike. Acadia has dozens of miles of roads that allow biking, cross-country skiing and walking, while there are more than 100 miles of trails solely for hiking. In addition to the Atlantic Ocean, there are lakes and rivers that will keep sailors, kayakers and canoeists happy. Depending on the time of year your chances are good for seeing certain kinds of wildlife, such as whales, dolphins, puffins, hawks and, of course, moose and deer.

For those who seek cultural activities in town, there are live music venues, art galleries, theater, museums and churches. The town also hosts several music festivals, seasonal festivals and other celebrations.

Summer is an ideal time with temperatures that hover around 80 degrees and seabreezes to keep you comfortable. Possibly the most beautiful time to visit the area is during the fall foliage season. During fall, the leaves change color, often brilliantly at their peak, and drop slowly at first from their branches, accelerating as winter approaches. The air becomes crisp and clear, making you appreciate the warmth of a heavy sweater or a wood-burning stove. The smell of transition is in the air and before you know it, the leaves will be piling on lawns or blowing across streets. The few weeks a year when the trees explode into leaves of gold, red and orange are not to be missed.

There are many ways to enjoy Bar Harbor and the surrounding Acadia National Park. You can camp in the park, or stay at a hotel in downtown Bar Harbor. There are quaint inns and B&Bs, as mentioned above. But probably the best way to ensure that you have a unique getaway in Bar Harbor is to rent a vacation home.

If you're planning a family reunion or a group of couples will be joining you, you can rent a 5-bedroom Victorian in one of the key old neighborhoods of Bar Harbor. This is often the most affordable choice and it gives you much more space than if each family or couple rents a room. Stay together and save money. You can benefit from shared activities, like having a game night or preparing dinner together, while at the same time retaining space for quiet time or naps.

Or maybe you were thinking of a more romantic getaway for two, in which case cozy cabin in the woods might be more appropriate. Wake up to the sounds of the quiet forest and watch deer trot through the yard while you sip your morning coffee. If relaxation was your goal, you've found it here.

There are dozens of variations of vacation rentals in Bar Harbor that can suit your needs and it's now easier than ever to find them online, see pictures and speak directly to the property owners to book them. There are many other vacation homes on Mount Desert Island, outside of Bar Harbor yet close enough to enjoy the town's best features.

About the Author

Jeffrey Smith visited Bar Harbor once long ago. He would like to return and when he does he will rent a vacation home in Bar Harbor.






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