The best water views in town are from the foot of Main Street at grassy Agamont Park, which overlooks the town pier and Frenchman Bay. From here, stroll past The Bar Harbor Inn on the Shore Path, a wide, winding trail that follows the shoreline for half a mile along a public right of way. The pathway also passes in front of many elegant summer homes (some converted into inns), offering a superb vantage point from which to view the area’s architecture.
Don’t forget to spend an hour or two in the central Village Green, either. Bar Harbor’s central park—it’s at the junction of Main Street and Mount Desert Street—is a wonderful place to while away an hour or two. You might see anything from protests to marriage proposals to acoustic songwriters to kids goofing off after school, plus summer tourists snapping photos and licking ice cream cones. There’s sometimes music in the bandstand, and this is the pickup point for the free Island Explorer buses that crisscross the entire island.
One of downtown’s less obvious attractions is the Criterion Theatre, 35 Cottage Street (www.criteriontheatre.org; tel. 207/288-3441), a movie house built in 1932 in a classic Art Deco style; so far it has avoided the degradation of multiplexification. The 900-seat theater shows first-run movies in summer and is worth the price of admission for the fantastic, if somewhat faded, interiors. As once was the case at most movie palaces, it still costs extra to sit in the more exclusive loges upstairs. Check the website or the marquee for occasional live concerts, theater, and dance events, too.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.