Soaring granite cliffs, windjammers dotting the ocean and nautical history welcome groups to Bar Harbor, Maine.
Acadia National Park surrounds the seaside city on majestic Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor offers a host of outdoor adventure with over 50 miles of mountains, lakes, hiking, biking and dramatic coastline.
Fresh seafood caught right on the pier, an old-fashioned clambake and sailing ships are just the beginning of an authentic New England experience for visitors.
“Bar Harbor is a great place for groups because of all the outdoor activities available,” said Alf Anderson, director of membership sales and marketing for the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “If you love to be out on the water, you’ll find countless opportunities. My favorite way to enjoy Acadia National Park is on a boat, taking in the beautiful, rugged coast. I’d also recommend one of our sightseeing activities on land, including bus tours in Acadia, bike tours through town and historical walking tours. For those who dare, there’s Red Cloak Haunted History Tours, complete with lit lanterns through historic sites and ghostly haunts.”
Anderson noted whale watching, foodie tours, nature hikes and lobster boat tours create memorable Maine experiences.
In the evening, the Moscow Magic & Comedy Show offers amazing family-friendly entertainment.
Atlantic Brewing Company
Located on a 19th-century farmstead, Atlantic Brewing Company’s brewer’s tasting room offers samples of their classic beers. Brews from their Small Batch Series, like Blueberry Ale, are available throughout the day. In the summer, tours are available multiple times daily.
“Each tour is followed by a guided tasting,” said Molly Krueger, marketing and events planner at the company. “Tours are capped at 25 people and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.”
Ambrosia Cooking School
Come hungry and get a taste of Maine’s favorite regional dishes at Ambrosia Cooking School. A Le Cordon Bleu-trained instructor will teach groups about the area’s culinary history and food facts. Learn how to prepare chowders, cook lobster and make blueberry pies. Customized classes can be arranged for groups.
Acadia National Park
One of the most visited national parks in the United States, Acadia National Park offers a world of outdoor recreation.
“From rafting and kayaking to island boat tours and aerial flights, groups will find excitement both on and off the water,” Anderson said.
Downeast Windjammer Cruises are an adventurous way to explore the park. Or, take the group on a guided tour to discover the area’s plentiful moose and wildlife.
An easy way to get around is with The Island Explorer, a free, propane-powered bus that travels through Acadia National Park and island villages. As part of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, more than 300 Acadia Centennial Partners are working together for a yearlong, community-based, world-welcoming celebration. One partner is the Harborside Shakespeare Company, which is producing a summer Shakespeare festival.
Opened in 1928 in Acadia National Park, the Abbe Museum is devoted to preserving the Native American history and culture of Maine’s Wabanaki Tribes.
As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Abbe Museum educates visitors through exhibits and hands-on displays.
“Group tours are dialogue driven, enabling us to move guests through important concepts and ideas that may be completely new to them,” said Abbe Museum president and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “The Abbe staff is comprised of experienced facilitators who make each tour participatory in a natural, delightful way.”
Groups of 10 or more receive discounted admission. Guided tours are available. Both require advance reservations.
Bar Harbor boasts over 3,000 hotel rooms with more than 50 restaurants.
Arrange an event at the waterfront Bar Harbor Club, which can hold up to 300. Or go to the Bar Harbor Regency, which can accommodate 10 to 500 guests. Several companies offer traditional seafood bakes to create a most delicious “lobsta” event.
Article by Mira Temkin