Author Archives: Nancy Leary

Bar Harbor By Sea

Bar Harbor By Sea

Here in Bar Harbor we have breathtaking ocean views all around us, but it’s a little chilly to dive right in to the water … the average water temperature in July is only 60 degrees! We don’t let the cold water get in our way though: there are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the Bar Harbor coastal experience while staying warm and dry. Find the boating trip or nature tour that suits your interests!

Margaret Todd SchoonerCreate a lasting summer memory on a two hour harbor tour aboard the magnificent schooner, Margaret Todd. This 151’ four-master schooner sails several times daily, taking in the beautiful coastal sights and sounds of Bar Harbor. Keep a look out for a seals, porpoise, or bald eagles! Hear the wind in the sails as you help hoist them or just relax with the sun on your back. On the afternoon trip, a park ranger will teach you about the geography of the area, and on the sunset cruise enjoy local live folk, guitar, fiddle, or banjo music to accompany the incredible evening sky.

Looking for a different style of boating? Check out Islander Puffin Lighthouse and Fishing Trips. They offer several types of ocean excursions on Maine-built boats. Spend the morning fishing on Frenchman Bay while experienced deckhands give you tips and provide all bait and tackle for you. As an added bonus, they’ll even help you reel in your catch and fillet it for you to enjoy later. For a more leisurely  afternoon, take a cruise around nearby harbors and bays on a lighthouse lobster boat tour. Look out for off-shore seabirds, whales, and other marine wildlife. You can even get an up close view of puffins as the captain anchors the boat at a puffin nesting area. Don’t forget your camera!

If boating isn’t your thing, try out the latest exercise craze and learn how to paddleboard! Acadia Stand Up Paddleboarding offers small group lessons and provides all equipment for a safe and enjoyable paddleboard lesson on your choice of lake or ocean. Don’t worry about that 60 degree water if you fall in; they’ll provide a wetsuit to keep you dry and warm.  Be sure to also check out Coastal Kayaking Tours on either the east or west side of Mount Desert Island. Get individualized attention in groups of six or fewer along with experienced advice from the oldest sea kayak company in New England as you paddle most often among the ruggedly beautiful Porcupine Islands of Frenchman Bay.

View from Gorham MountainIf you prefer to experience the ocean views with your feet on dry land, there are several nature paths and tours in Acadia National Park that will whet your ocean appetite without wetting your feet. Check out the Ocean Path walking trail, a four mile round-trip path that brings you to Otter Cliff, Sand Beach, and the famous Thunder Hole. Listen to the crashing waves and smell the wild roses for a relaxing afternoon in the park. For a more challenging hike, the Gorham Mountain Hiking Trail offering incredible panoramic views of the Acadia coast from the peak. Most people don’t even know about this trail!

Summer is fleeting here in Down East Maine. Book your stay now to create lasting memories.


Relax and Stay A While: 4th Night Half Off

Relax and Stay A While: 4th Night Half Off

Downeast Maine is a special place, and Bar Harbor is a treasure not to be rushed.

The town of Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island, surrounded by miles of rocky shoreline and the mountains of Acadia National Park. Offering an innumerable variety of outdoor activities as well as fine food, history, shopping and arts, the opportunities for recreation are nearly limitless, yet many visitors plan for only a couple of days. Hoping to entice you to stay a while, we’re offering a special value this season, a 4th night at half off, with the purchase of a three night stay.

How’s this sound for a potential itinerary? (Of course, you can also just curl up with a good book, indulge yourself in a week’s worth of the freshest seafood around, or take a nap in the ocean breeze …)

  • Day 1: Guided sea kayaking tour, carriage ride on Acadia’s trails, lobster dinner
  • Day 2: Sunrise hike up Cadillac Mountain, afternoon wine tasting or brewery tour
  • Day 3: Early morning birdwatching, hike on Acadia’s Ocean Path, sunset schooner cruise
  • Day 4: Shopping by foot or trolley, afternoon lighthouse boat cruise, evening improv
  • Day 5: Rock climbing adventure, spa treatment, evening picnic and band concert

Don’t forget that you’ll be starting each day with a Maple’s Inn hearty New England breakfast – and if you’re not too busy, afternoon tea featuring delicious homemade sweets!

To take advantage of our special 4th night half off deal, you simply must reserve in July for your choice of days this season (Labor Day weekend excluded). We’re happy to help you plan your itinerary once you’re here, or you can learn more about Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park before you come. We look forward to seeing you at Maples Inn!

Coastline, Lobster and Art in the Park – Bar Harbor’s Many Riches

Coastline, Lobster and Art in the Park – Bar Harbor’s Many Riches

Art in the parkBar Harbor, Maine offers an outstanding mix of recreational activities to satisfy a variety of individual passions.

Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island
For the outdoor enthusiast, Acadia National Park offers boundless opportunities for exploration by both land and sea. Comprised of nearly 50,000 acres of rocky coastline on Mount Desert Island and offshore islands, Acadia is the most visited national park in the country, offering spectacular scenery, wildlife, and options for recreation. The athletically inclined can hike or bike the rugged trails or join a guide for rock and mountain climbing. Water activities abound, including kayaking, sailing, and stand-up paddle boarding. Outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to experience the coast in a less physical ways can enjoy boat cruises of various types (including deep sea fishing, schooner sails, lobster boat rides) to view the variety of whales, puffins, and lighthouses that dot the rocky coastline.

Culture & History
For the culture or history buff, Bar Harbor offers a variety of museums where visitors can learn about the history of the area through exhibits, collections and programs. Those interested in a closer look at the marine life and the geology of the area may participate in guided tours of a salt marsh or learn about the area’s flora and fauna through exhibits at the nature center in Acadia National Park. A variety of nature boat cruises and bus tours are also available.

Lobster Fans & Foodies Welcome
While of course local lobster and seafood are popular menu items in this coastal area, Bar Harbor features eateries offering a wide variety of cuisines, including Latin, Asian, Cuban ad Italian food. Whether you want a high end dining experience, a Downeast lobster bake at a picnic table in the salt air, or a café offering vegan and organic choices, you’ll find it here.

A Bustling Arts Scene
Whether you have an artistic passion or simply appreciate good music, theatre and visual arts, Bar Harbor offers a variety of choices. The Bar Harbor Music Festival takes place June 30 through July 28; enjoy weekly band concerts on the village green on several evenings each week, or take in the Bar Harbor Jazz Festival. Theatre, movies and improv are also available.

Art In The Park: June 22-23, 2013
Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of the area, more than 35 fine painters and photographers will display their works on the Bar Harbor Village Green on the weekend of June 22 and 23, 2013. This juried art show and sale in its 63rd year runs from 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday and 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday, allowing you ample time to enjoy other area attractions as well. For more information, call the Chamber at 207 288 5103.

If you haven’t reserved yet, be sure to contact us soon to reserve your room; some weeks are nearly booked. We look forward to seeing you and welcoming you to Bar Harbor.

Early Season Birdwatching in Acadia

Acadia Birding FestivalEarly Season Birdwatching in Acadia

The Acadia Birding Festival is an event for birdwatchers like no other. In fact, it’s an event like no other even for non-birdwatchers. Truly like stepping into another realm, this Mount Desert Island event celebrates sights and sounds rare in today’s hectic, plugged-in world. This year, the festival takes place May 30 through June 2, 2013.

The map at left highlights “hot spots” for seeing the immense varieties of birds in the area, to explore on your own, with a guide, by water or on foot.

Day trips

Tours of various sorts offer field trips by land and sea, including hikes, van and boat trips within the park. The array of wildlife is astounding, including falcons, puffins, warblers, razorbills, gannets and fulmars. Some of these trips are already filling up, so if you want a guided experience, register now!

Talks and workshops

If you are interested in increasing your knowledge of the aviary bounty, daily talks and workshops are available. Budding photographers or videographers may wish to consider Point and Shoot for Wildlife. Birding aficionados who appreciate the astonishing variety of sounds these birds produce may be interested in Birding by Ear. Seabird ID workshop offers everyone a chance to increase their ability to recognize various species of birds in the wild.

Rest and rejuvenate

To continue the peaceful spirit of your visit, join us at Maples Inn where we pride ourselves on classic tranquility. Relax on our front porch. Sample our delicious baked good at afternoon tea. And enjoy any of our beautifully decorated rooms, each of which include a queen size bed with a fluffy down comforter and a private shower bath. We look forward to seeing you.

p.s. The weather forecast is finally looking more like the date on the calendar — so join us for a beautiful summer weekend. Book now!

3rd Annual Taste of Bar Harbor: May 16-19, 2013

3rd Annual Taste of Bar Harbor: May 16-19, 2013

Yes, Bar Harbor is a go-to destination for hiking, bicycling, birding and boating, but this weekend, it’s all about the food! The Taste of Bar Harbor is a four-day foodie festival, with delightful and delicious offerings from local restaurants and culinary artisans. Bring your appetite and celebrate Bar Harbor’s authentic and creative local cuisine.

Taste of Bar Harbor 2013For those ready to begin the weekend early (or who follow the mantra “eat dessert first!), the festivities begin on Thursday evening May 16, at 6pm. Participating restaurants will be offering their signature desserts. Vote for your top choice and make a note to return to the restaurants featuring your other favorites again later in the season! (If you’re not able to get here for Thursday night’s event, rest assured that Maples Inn offers our guests our own version of dessert for breakfast — our infamous blueberry stuffed french toast.)

Friday evening May 17 brings the Bar Harbor pub tour. Armed with a beer glass and wrist band, stroll the streets of downtown and sample featured brews (and wines) from participating restaurants. A great way to celebrate the start of summer.

Following a good night’s rest at Maples Inn, we suspect you’ll be geared up for Saturday’s events for food lovers. The Bar Harbor Merchants Association sponsors the sidewalk stroll, where you can explore the local merchants’ offerings of sweets, treats, culinary gifts and made-in-Maine products. Many stores offer early season promotions. Saturday evening May 18 is the exclusive Chef’s Table event. The space-limited event includes a reception, a five-course dinner with wine pairings, chef cooking demonstrations and tours. You will be assigned to one of four exclusive restaurants to enjoy this culinary adventure. Advanced registration is required.

If you aren’t already stuffed, participating restaurants are featuring a royal brunch on Sunday May 19 in celebration of Victoria’s Day, the Canadian celebration of the start of summer honoring Queen Victoria.

Additional details and registration for the Taste of Bar Harbor event are available on the Chamber website.

Blissful Biking in Acadia National Park – No Cars!

Blissful Biking in Acadia National Park – No Cars!

Bike In Acadia MonthWith magnificent vistas of mountains and sea along the 27-mile Park Loop Road and more than 55 miles of packed-gravel carriage trails, Acadia National Park offers visitors a goldmine of natural splendor. Located in Bar Harbor, Maine on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is one of the top ten most visited national parks in the country and is world-renown for bicycle enthusiasts of every skill level. For the experienced cyclist, magnificent 360 degree ocean views may be seen from the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Eastern seaboard. Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain is the first in the US.

Acadia National Park draws visitors from across the US and the world, making it one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the country in-season. Early season visitors can benefit by exploring Acadia without the crowds of July and August, and better yet, during Bike In Acadia Month, without cars or other motor vehicles.

For the period from April 15 through May 17, the National Park Service has waived entry fees to Acadia Park loop road, enabling bicyclists to ride with no motor vehicles. According to The Ellsworth American, the ability to bike the Loop Road and Cadillac Summit Road this late in the spring without car or other vehicle traffic is unprecedented. Carriage trails offer cyclists the pleasure of traversing through forest, ponds, meadows, streams, waterfalls and woods without the need to be concerned about vehicular traffic.

To encourage visitors to visit, Maples Inn is offering early season room rates of only $95/night.