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Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

Newton, MA
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Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

Hi,

We're planning a week in Bar Harbor the last week in June with our 2 children. I just have a few questions:

- Can anyone recommend some good activities to do with the kids? They like tidal pools...where can we find some of these? If it rains, is there a good place to go with the kids?

- Which hikes are short/easy enough for children?

- Is there any area on MDI that is better to stay with kids (easy access to groceries, etc,)? Somesville? Southwest Harbor? BH?

- We are currently interested in a cottage on Highbrook Rd. Is that a convenient area? What is the traffic like at the end of June?

- What are some good family-friendly restaurants?

- Can anyone recommend a good guidebook for visiting Acadia with children? The book that I have for Maine doesn't have much info about travelling with children.

Thank you so much for your help!

Newton, MA
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1. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

Sorry, one more question, do I need to be worried about blackflies or other insects?

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

Blackflies may be a issue still in late June, mainly only when you will hiking in the woods. As long as you have insect repellent on, you should be fine.

You can find tidal pools all over the coastline of MDI. If you go for a walk along the shore path in downtown Bar Harbor, your kids can just jump off the trail down onto the rocky shore to tidall pools. Another place to check would be Compass Harbor. The head of the trail is just on the out skirts to downtown (go out on route 3 towards the Jackson Lab). There is a parking lot at the head of the trail and it is roughly a 1/2 mile walk down a wide path to get to the shore. As for other activities, you might want to check out the Abbe Musuem, as well as any Ranger lead programs through Acadia National Park.

The Great Head trail would be a great hike to take your children on (it is right beside Sand Beach in Acadia) as well as the Bubble Mountains. If you are looking for more of a flat hike, there is a trail around Jordan Pond (about 3 miles in total)...then after you are done hiking, you can just go right in to the Jordan Pond House and enjoy Popovers!

Highbrook road is right on the out skirts of the downtown area. It is a nice residential area that is quite, but still convenient to all Bar Harbor has to offer.

Rosalie's is a great family friendly restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor...they serve pizza, subs, pasta, salads, etc. Another restaurant of interest would be Geddy's...they have gotten mixed reviews in the past, but I always seem to have a pleasant experience...a plus for the kids, their meal is served on a frisbee.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

On a rainy day, it's fun to take the kids to the Bar Harbor Oceanarium. It's a hands-on sort of thing where the kids can touch a lobster and all that.

I don't know if it will be running yet, but the Lulu Lobster Boat is also fun for children. A lobsterman (and comedian!) takes you out in his boat and points out wildlife, luxury homes, birds, and pulls up a lobster trap. People seem to love it.

I would make my first stop the Acadia National Park Visitor Center, shortly before you get into the village of Bar Harbor. The rangers can tell you about what programs are available while you are visiting. They even have one program that is all about tidal pools. Many of the programs are geared toward children. There is even one where you lay on your back on Sand Beach after dark and the ranger explains the night sky.

I think the Great Head hike would be a little tough for the two-year-old. But one of you could stay with that child and splash around on Sand Beach while the other climbs the trail with the five-year-old. Again, it would be worth stopping at the Visitor Center where they have a relief map of the Park so that you can get your bearings.

The really easy hike that is recommended for little kids is Wonderland, which is on the opposite side of the island from Bar Harbor. It's a flat, out and back, hike through some wet lands to the ocean where there is a very rocky beach. If the black flies are bothersome, that might not be such a good hike.

The black flies are only in marshy areas or if you try to garden. In the village and along the coast, they won't be apparent.

I think you could stay anywhere on the island and have access to groceries, etc. Bar Harbor has the most ice cream stores, though. ;-)

Other family-friendly restaurants: West Street Cafe, Poor Boys Gourmet, Geddy's, Chart Room, Jordan's, Jordan Pond House.

Newton, MA
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4. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

Thank you so much for your helpful information! This is a great forum. We can't wait to go.

Here's another quick question, is Hancock Lane a good place to stay? Good meaning quiet yet close to the restaurants, groceries and ice cream.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

Hancock lane is a quiet residential area right in downtown Bar Harbor. It is near the MDI Hospital, but that is rarely ever a noisy area. It would only take you a few minutes to be in the center of downtown from Hancock Lane.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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6. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

I think Hancock Lane would be a wonderful place to stay. We adopted a Maine Coon cat from a home on Hancock Lane and she's quite a cutie. We looked at a house to buy on Hancock Lane. One of the entrances to the Shore Path is on Hancock Lane. You can walk it into the business district of town. You can hear the ocean winds through the pines on Hancock Street.

7. Re: Bar Harbor visit with children (ages 5 & 2)

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