Bar Harbor is the biggest community on Maine's Mount Desert Island. Next door to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor offers a wide range of activities that families enjoy. There is a family nature camp, a lumberjack show, a zoo, and an oceanarium in Bar Harbor. Outdoor lovers can climb rocks, sail, tour breweries, play golf, and take boat excursions from Bar Harbor.
Bar Harbor is in the humid continental climate zone where there are significant differences in seasonal temperatures. Summers are warm and can be hot. Winters can be severely cold. Snowfall is expected each year, and can be heavy and deep. Summer rains are usually associated with thunderstorms or tropical storms. Temperatures in Bar Harbor range from an average high of °C (80°F) in July and August to an average low of °C (20°F) in January. Precipitation is lowest in August, when Bar Harbor gets an average of about three inches of rain. November is the heaviest precipitation month, with over six inches falling. Snowfall may be as much as 20 inches in January, although snow lasts from late November through the end of April or early May.
Bar Harbor's new Abbe Museum tells the story of Maine's earliest inhabitants. Once a quaint trailside museum in Acadia National Park, the Abbe is now a modern facility in downtown Bar Harbor. Changing exhibits address the cultures and history of Maine's indigenous people, the Wabanaki. The museum also sponsors special events, archaeology field schools, teacher workshops, and craft workshops. During the vacation season from spring to fall, the original historic trailside Abbe Museum still takes visitors back in time to through presentations of archaeology Maine's first people.
Until December 2012, the Abbe offers Indians and Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s. The exhibit explores the role that Mount Desert Island played in the Wabanakis' economic and cultural survival and the interactions between the Wabanakis and the summer residents who came to the island from the urban areas of the Northeast. The ongoing exhibit called Layers of Time: Archaeology at the Abbe Museum examines the archaeological research conducted by the museum since the late 1920s. Available on-line as well as at the museum, the exhibit includes artifacts, images, and narratives that tell us how people lived in the past.
Acadia National Park is the first national part located east of the Mississippi River. Not only is it Bar Harbor's next door neighbor, it is home to the highest mountain on the United States' Atlantic Coast, Cadillac Mountain. Visitors to Bar Harbor come to the park to enjoy the glorious scenery, hike granite peaks, or bicycle on the island's historic carriage roads. Over two million people visit Acadia National Park every year between mid-April and October (many facilities and roads are closed in the winter).
Visitors to Acadia National Park can drive the 32 kilometer (20-mile) Park Loop Road and enjoy wonderful views of the forests, mountains, and ocean. There is also a 5.6-kilometer (3.5-mile) road that climbs Cadillac Mountain and takes you to a half-kilometer (.3-mile) loop trail for hikers at the top of the mountain.
Arcadia National Park has a 72-kilometer (45-mile) network of carriage roads that visitors can explore by bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. It also contains more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) of historic hiking trails. Ranger-narrated boat cruises are available at the park where visitors learn about island history, local sea life, and much more. Rangers also lead walks, hikes, and amphitheater programs.