“There’s a quality of life in Maine which is this singular and unique. I think. It’s absolutely a world onto itself.” ~ Jamie Wyeth
Bar Harbor in the Autumn
Hello friends! Here is part two! Bar Harbor in the summer is dreamy, but in the Fall, it is an oasis! I don’t think there is anything prettier! As I mentioned in my last post while Bar Harbor has a season, thanks to the pandemic they have still been pretty busy in the off season and more places have been staying open. Not all, but you can find many places staying open later and later. Personally I think the fall might be my favorite time to visit even with the more brisk temperatures, because the foliage makes it truly majestic. And you can not beat the fact that there aren’t the crowds so you’ll have no problem getting into places!
Many of the restaurants and hotels stayed open until the middle of November and even the beginning of December, which means it can be a nice little get away before the holiday season really gets going! and a bonus is that many of the hotels are half priced, and you can get around much more easily, because there is less traffic. You’ll see me mention some of the same places I wrote about in the summer post, but not only will they have an autumn twist, but they truly are amazing year round!
Bar Harbor Inn
While they do close their Reading Room and Terrace restaurants as well as the pool the second weekend in October, the inn and spa stay open until right before Thanksgiving. Rooms are much cheaper, so here is your chance to stay in an upscale and historical resort at a fraction of the cost. Plus you are in a prime location to see the sunrise and to have a chill vacay or maybe you want a lil staycay to gaze at the views on your balcony and get a little writing done. They do still serve breakfast and it is the perfect time to give yourself some TLC with a spa treatment. I also loved that they give you a list of all the restaurants that are still open at check-in and are willing to give them a call to double check if you wish them too. While the staff is always helpful, in the off season I feel like I have my own personal concierge if I so choose. It really is a relaxing experience. While their decor is always stunning, they go all out in the autumn.
As I mentioned, many restaurants shut down, including my favorite coffee shop, The Independent, BUT it actually worked out to my advantage, because Choco-Latte stays open year round and it is as yummy as it sounds! It is your one stop shop for breakfast, lunch, coffee and something sweet like oh say chocolate! It is located right on Main Street and easily walkable from the Bar Harbor Inn and the Shore Path.
Get a jumpstart on Christmas shopping
Many of the shops are still open, and they are much quieter which makes it a nice reprieve when you are shopping. All of them get decked out for the holidays which I love. And even the stores that aren’t open still dress up their window displays. I had mentioned Sherman’s in my last post, but they really are a one stop shop, and the perfect place to buy small and local, and they change their products seasonally which is nice.
Massage Bar Harbor
Friends, I had the best massage here! Truly, it was incredible! The best massage I have had in about two years which was when I last saw my Eastern Medicine Doctor in New York City right before the germ! I saw Whitney who was incredibly knowledgable. I don’t like frivolous massages, I want my muscles worked and she worked them. It was still incredibly relaxing and by the end I was so blissed out, I couldn’t even remember if my sunglasses were on my head or not!
I had actually never been to Galyn’s. It is located right on Main Street in Bar Harbor and in the summer the line is out the door. I now know why. It stays open until December and then shuts down for a few months, before reopening in March. It is fine dining, with attentive staff, but a casual flare. The food is excellent, and incredibly varied with a New England flare. Plus if you sit in the front you get gorgeous views of the Harbor and Agamont Park.
The Shore Path
Honestly I don’t think this will ever get old for me, It really is one of my favorite spots on the island, and in the off season it is absolutely magical, because you mostly have it to yourself. There is no jostling of people or having to walk slowly because it is crowded in the summer. Nope, you have it to yourself especially in the early mornings to get your exercise in or peruse it as you take (okay I take) a gazillion pictures.
Testa’s Bar and Kitchen
Since Paddy’s no longer serves breakfast, Testa’s is my go to breakfast spot and thankfully it stays open late into autumn so you can enjoy yummy avocado toast or lobster eggs benedict. It is located in the cutest alley giving me all the city vibes, and it has two levels with patio dining complete with heated lamps so you can enjoy the ocean air, the stunning views of Bar Harbor all while keeping warm in the brisk fall weather. It is the perfect place to relax while enjoying delicious food.
When is your favorite time to visit a place? In the off season or the busy season?