Author Archives: Nancy Leary

The Foliage Is Coming! The Foliage Is Coming!

The Foliage Is Coming! The Foliage Is Coming!

Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert IslandVisitors from all over the world come to Maine to experience the spectacular colors of autumn foliage. While many areas of the US experience changes of leaves from green to various shades of yellow, the fiery oranges and reds of New England Maple trees are a treasure mostly limited to the northeast — perhaps payback for our long and chilly winters!

Passionate leaf peepers track the advent of peak foliage to time their visit for the ultimate display of color. But any time from Labor Day through Halloween, Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island will offer glimpses of fiery orange, scarlet red and vivid yellow upon a background of green. As peak season nears, there’s more red and orange and less green.

Bar Harbor foliageHere in Bar Harbor, Yankee Magazine’s live foliage map claims we’re seeing “moderate” color, but see for yourself — it’s pretty spectacular.

Foliage map bar Harbor area


Whether the foliage is at peak color or not, October is lovely in Bar Harbor: the days are bright and clear and the crisp evenings are an invitation to enjoy a leisurely meal and a hearty Irish coffee in front of a fireplace, then snuggle in under a heavy quilt for a restful sleep.

There’s plenty to do indoors and out — once you’ve satisfied your leaf peeping quest, see our post from last fall with suggestions for autumn activities, or try one of these local events which offer a treat for your other senses:

Jazz concert October 10: The Color of Sound

Heirloom apple day October 11: A rite of autumn: all about apples

Wine tasting October 17: The flavors of Tuscany

We close for the season on October 25, so call now to reserve your room (207.288.3443). And shhh … our quiet season rates go in effect starting October 14. We hope we’ll see you before the season ends, but if you can’t make it, consider purchasing a gift certificate to use next season.


Twinkle, Twinkle … A Breathtaking Spectacle

Twinkle, Twinkle … A Breathtaking Spectacle

Acadia Night Sky FestivalDoes the beauty of the night sky take your breath away? If so, we have a spectacular event to add to your autumn calendar. The Acadia Night Sky Festival takes place this year on September 25-29, 2014.

A community celebration, the Acadia Night Sky Festival promotes the protection and enjoyment of Downeast & Acadia’s stellar night sky as a valuable natural resource through education, science and the arts. Continue reading

One If By Land … Adventure in Bar Harbor

One If By Land … Adventure in Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park

Photo credit:


While the area may be best known for the pristine beauty of its infamous national park, Bar Harbor offers a grand variety of opportunities for adventure. As promised in last month’s post about water-based activities, this month we’ll be sharing recommendations for activities that keep your feet (or your wheels) on terra firma.

Calling All Adventurers!

If you’ve never visited our national treasure, Acadia National Park, this is the time to do it. Acadia is the first eastern park in the national park system and boasts gorgeous views. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

Are you an experienced rock climber, or looking to try the sport? Rock climbing in Bar Harbor allows you to take in the natural beauty while you conquer the cliff. (Not to mention having some cool stories to share with co-workers back at work.)

Bicycling through lovely Bar Harbor will get you around quickly while you familiarize yourself with the nooks and crannies of town that other visitors may miss. Rentals are available.

If you’re looking to move your body, but not go overboard, hit the trailhead and try one of the easier hikes. Or if you’ve had enough exercise, hop aboard the free Island Explorer bus which travels from in-town through the park’s hiking trails, carriage roads and island beaches.

Whatever way you may reach the summit, don’t leave Bar Harbor without seeing sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. Its location makes it the first place to see sunrise in the US – and it’s pretty spectacular. It’s only 20 minutes from Inn to the peak by car. Sunrise is “rush hour” and met with applause at first peek.

“Got Cultcha?”

Small town feel notwithstanding, arts and culture abound in Bar Harbor and the surrounding area. Learn about the natural history of Bar Harbor at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, or experience Old Bar Harbor at the Bar Harbor Historical Society.  Don’t miss the chance to learn about Native American life in Bar Harbor at our beloved Abbe Museum.

The Acadia Repertory Theatre is very popular with summer guests and their performances are always outstanding. For a new take on a movie theatre, we love Reel Pizza; they serve food, beer and wine and when your food is ready they’ll let you know via a bingo board. Learn about Maine’s ocean life with a hands-on experience at the Mount Desert Island Oceanarium.

Just a Little Peace and Quiet?

Take a walk through our charming little town to find some treasures and absorb the fresh air and beauty. Take an easy hike around Jordan Pond; a boardwalk borders the east side of the pond and leads to the Jordan House Restaurant & Gift Shop. Settle down in one of the Adirondack chairs and enjoy a bite to eat in a lovely setting.

Most importantly remember Maples Inn is “Classic Tranquility.” Feel at home to knit, read, engage in easy conversation with other guests, or simply relax on the front porch rockers with afternoon refreshments. On cooler days, cozy up by the living room fireplace. Give us a call today to schedule your next trip to beautiful Bar Harbor. We look forward to seeing you soon.

On The Water For A Bar Harbor Adventure

On The Water For A Bar Harbor Adventure


“How was your vacation?”   ~   “Did you enjoy your time off?”   ~   “Did you do anything fun?”

Most people cite some relaxation and downtime as their key goals for vacation. But after returning to the office or the regular routine, there can be a bit of wistfulness that you didn’t make the most of your time away. Maybe between the delicious lobster dinner and the town concert on the green and the stroll through the shops, you should have made time for a little adventure?

Fortunately, Bar Harbor is a treasure trove of opportunity when it comes to adventure. Continue reading

Take Home The Flavors of Maine

Take Home The Flavors of Maine

PopoversCalling all food lovers! Join us at Maples Inn and enjoy a cooking class focused on Maine cooking while you’re here! We’ve partnered up with Chef Sharon Joyce, a Le Cordon Bleu (Paris) trained chef to offer you a choice of these classes on the flavors of Maine:

Maine Regional Desserts: Four desserts in an hour! Learn about historic and new desserts using seasonal foods when possible. Afraid of pie crusts? Not anymore. You will learn to make a Blueberry Crumble Pie from scratch with little effort, a historic Maine cookie, a sorbet and a simple cooling dessert with a historic past. Come ready to learn and eat. One hour

Regional Cooking of Maine: Learn history, food facts, techniques and traditional recipes while preparing and tasting such local favorites as lobster, blueberry muffins and more. A flavor fest! 2 ½ hours

Chowder and Popovers, please! The meal that Mainers ask for and savor. Learn the Maine historical tradition of chowders and the technique to be successful at making a varieties of perfect popovers. After tasting the  chowder and popovers made during the class, you’ll be eager to duplicate these recipes at home. 2 ½ hours

Book a two night stay and we’ll arrange for your cooking class located just down the street. Cooking class reservations pending availability. Please call 207 288 3443 to reserve (one week’s notice required; additional charge applies). We look forward to seeing you!

Bar Harbor’s Festivals – from Flavors to Feathers

Bar Harbor’s Festivals – from Flavors to Feathers 

Bar Harbor’s festival season has begun! With the trees greening up and more flowers in bloom each day, the town is a feast for the eyes. Two early season celebrations offer feasts of bounty for nature lovers and foodies alike. Continue reading

Enjoy Special Early Season Values

Enjoy Special Early Season Values

We’ve extended our 4th night half promotion off through July 31! 

Mark with flowersIs it possible that the endless winter has finally ended, and that May has arrived? We’re happy to report that here in Bar Harbor, there is a hustle and bustle that says indeed the season has begun! A great variety of bird songs can be heard, especially in the morning and evening. Acadia’s Carriage Roads are open to foot traffic during the spring thaw. And each day more shops and restaurants are opening. We welcomed our first guests just yesterday.

We’ve been quite busy these past few weeks around the Inn, sprucing up and repairing the effects of winter. The Inn is well provisioned and ready for a great season.

We’re offering great values for guests who visit us in May and June. Please join us for Mother’s Day weekend (May 9-11), Taste of Bar Harbor (May 15-18) or a June getaway and save. We’ve added a new online reservation system (but we are always happy to speak with you if you prefer! 207 288 3443)

  • Spring Special rates: Only $95/night apply through May 17, 2014 for all rooms.
  • Quiet Season rates are in effect from May 18 through June 21, 2014.
  • 4th Night 50% Off: From May 18, 2014 through July 31, 2014, if you stay 3 nights, you’ll get a 4th night at 50% off (Memorial Day and July 4 weekends excluded).

Not sure the early season is for you? There’s plenty going on! Check out the Chamber’s events listings and then select your room. We look forward to seeing you!

Reflecting On The Season: Bar Harbor 2013

Reflecting On The Season: Bar Harbor 2013

Innkeeper taking down the flag

This time of year brings an odd mix of melancholy and anticipation for me. At the end of October, I close Maples Inn for the season and embark on myriad activities to wind down the season before retreating to my winter life in Chicago. Each year is a bit different here in Bar Harbor, based the weather, the economic climate, new businesses in town, and of course, our mix of guests. As innkeeper, my role is to be sure that my guests have all their needs taken care of in order to enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating stay. The B&B experience is very different from a hotel, and our guests appreciate the personal touches. In fact, this season we had more repeat visitors than ever — some returning for their 10th or 11th time!

Food is love, it’s said, and we do love our guests, so we feed them well. We introduced a new different breakfast this year, a 3 Cheese Soufflé, that’s become a crowd favorite. It’s topped with fresh local tomatoes and basil and accompanied by an English muffin and sausage to provide plenty of energy for the day’s activities. Repeat guests always ask for our famous Blueberry French Toast, so we serve it every week — at least once.

The weather: While overall the season was slightly cooler than average, we had superb weather to enjoy the outdoors once the season got going … after a rainy May and early June, July and August had lower-than-average rainfall. While some visitors needed an umbrella to enjoy the Carriage Roads in September (>6″ compared with 4.45″ average), a stunningly bright and very dry October required only sunglasses and energy to make the most of the spectacular weather.

The guests: We enjoyed both new and returning guests this season, from across the US as well as Canada, the U.K, Switzerland and Germany. We celebrated two candlelit weddings in our living room and another is planned for our front porch next week. Honeymooners and returning brides and grooms also allowed us to share their joy this season; many couples returned to the Inn to celebrate anniversaries, often booking the Red Oak Room with its private balcony.

The town: While it’s rare to have a guest not ask about the best places for lobster, after several days I’m often asked for restaurant suggestions featuring specialties that don’t come from the sea. I’m happy to recommend Opa, a new Greek/Mediterranean restaurant that opened this season and offers fabulous food in an intimate space on Cottage Street. The menu offers some traditional Greek dishes (including my favorites, the spanakopita and the moussaka, recipes from the owner’s mother) and a provides a Mediterranean spin on other dishes (including the delectable marinated New Zealand lamb chops accompanied by locally sourced roasted vegetables and potatoes). The decor is charming, with paintings and signage designed by the owner’s mother and comfortable tables and banquettes hand crafted by the owner himself.

We’re booked solid through the weekend but do have a few vacancies before we batten down the hatches and take down the flag on October 27. Call us to reserve your room for next week or next season … our reservation book is set up for 2014. And hint, hint — a gift certificate for a future stay is a great holiday gift. We’d love to see you next season.

Warm regards,

Savor Bar Harbor’s Autumn Riches: 10 Ideas To Keep You Happily Occupied

Savor Bar Harbor’s Autumn Riches: 10 Ideas To Keep You Happily Occupied

Acadia in AutumnOnce the initial bustle of Labor Day wanes, we’re often left with a sense of loss; summer is past, the days are getting shorter, and we’re focused on commitments and task lists rather than carefree summer jaunts.

But autumn in Bar Harbor is a treasure, with sunny days, smaller crowds, and plenty of activities to keep you happily occupied.

Find a few of our suggestions below. Continue reading

Celebrate the Night Sky at Acadia

Celebrate the Night Sky at Acadia

Acadia Night Sky Festival

Whether you favor astronomy or prefer the glow of the city, a star-filled sky is an awe-inspiring sight. Far from city lights, the Milky Way, comets, satellites and a myriad of stars become visible. Bar Harbor is committed to preserving this precious natural resource and even passed an ordinance several years ago to avoid the light pollution which would encroach on the spectacular view of the night sky. Continue reading