Twinkle, Twinkle … A Breathtaking Spectacle 9 Sep 2014, 10:37 am
Twinkle, Twinkle … A Breathtaking Spectacle
Does the beauty of the night sky take your breath away? If so, we have a spectacular event to add to your autumn calendar. The Acadia Night Sky Festival takes place this year on September 25-29, 2014.
A community celebration, the Acadia Night Sky Festival promotes the protection and enjoyment of Downeast & Acadia’s stellar night sky as a valuable natural resource through education, science and the arts. The festival is unique, offering a great mix of events for adults and families. Some of the most popular events are sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, crafts, night paddles, keynote speakers and photography workshops.
The Darkest Sky
Here in Acadia, the Milky Way shines bright in the naturally dark sky – in fact, the largest expanse of naturally dark sky east of the Mississippi. As the rapid loss of dark skies to light pollution receives national recognition, Maine is increasingly referred to as the place “that still has stars.” Thanks to the stellar (no pun intended) efforts of many local residents, scientists and naturalists who spearheaded the preservation of the night skies over Mount Desert Island and its surrounding communities, our skies are, in fact, the darkest skies on the Eastern seaboard. The efforts of the promoter produced a local ordinance requiring “night sky friendly” outdoor lighting on all new construction in the town of Bar Harbor, and resulted in the beloved Acadia Night Sky Festival. This year marks the 6th annual Festival and we hope it will continue for decades.
The 2014 event features talks, films, outings, workshops, and three star parties in Acadia National Park: a fantastic array of events for night-sky enthusiasts of all ages! For full event descriptions, fees (where applicable), and locations, visit the Acadia Night Sky Festival website.
Treasure and tranquility
A festival in its own category, the Acadia Night Sky Festival is a unique and treasured event here on Mount Desert Island. We look forward to hosting you and sharing our advice on don’t-miss events during the festival. It is one of our favorite weekends and a truly a magical time to be in Bar Harbor. Please call 207 288-3443 to reserve or book your room online.
One If By Land … Adventure in Bar Harbor 15 Aug 2014, 10:27 am
One If By Land … Adventure in Bar Harbor
While the area may be best known for the pristine beauty of its infamous national park, Bar Harbor offers a grand variety of opportunities for adventure. As promised in last month’s post about water-based activities, this month we’ll be sharing recommendations for activities that keep your feet (or your wheels) on terra firma.
Calling All Adventurers!
If you’ve never visited our national treasure, Acadia National Park, this is the time to do it. Acadia is the first eastern park in the national park system and boasts gorgeous views. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
Are you an experienced rock climber, or looking to try the sport? Rock climbing in Bar Harbor allows you to take in the natural beauty while you conquer the cliff. (Not to mention having some cool stories to share with co-workers back at work.)
Bicycling through lovely Bar Harbor will get you around quickly while you familiarize yourself with the nooks and crannies of town that other visitors may miss. Rentals are available.
If you’re looking to move your body, but not go overboard, hit the trailhead and try one of the easier hikes. Or if you’ve had enough exercise, hop aboard the free Island Explorer bus which travels from in-town through the park’s hiking trails, carriage roads and island beaches.
Whatever way you may reach the summit, don’t leave Bar Harbor without seeing sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. Its location makes it the first place to see sunrise in the US – and it’s pretty spectacular. It’s only 20 minutes from Inn to the peak by car. Sunrise is “rush hour” and met with applause at first peek.
Small town feel notwithstanding, arts and culture abound in Bar Harbor and the surrounding area. Learn about the natural history of Bar Harbor at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, or experience Old Bar Harbor at the Bar Harbor Historical Society. Don’t miss the chance to learn about Native American life in Bar Harbor at our beloved Abbe Museum.
The Acadia Repertory Theatre is very popular with summer guests and their performances are always outstanding. For a new take on a movie theatre, we love Reel Pizza; they serve food, beer and wine and when your food is ready they’ll let you know via a bingo board. Learn about Maine’s ocean life with a hands-on experience at the Mount Desert Island Oceanarium.
Just a Little Peace and Quiet?
Take a walk through our charming little town to find some treasures and absorb the fresh air and beauty. Take an easy hike around Jordan Pond; a boardwalk borders the east side of the pond and leads to the Jordan House Restaurant & Gift Shop. Settle down in one of the Adirondack chairs and enjoy a bite to eat in a lovely setting.
Most importantly remember Maples Inn is “Classic Tranquility.” Feel at home to knit, read, engage in easy conversation with other guests, or simply relax on the front porch rockers with afternoon refreshments. On cooler days, cozy up by the living room fireplace. Give us a call today to schedule your next trip to beautiful Bar Harbor. We look forward to seeing you soon.
On The Water For A Bar Harbor Adventure 18 Jul 2014, 8:41 am
On The Water For A Bar Harbor Adventure
“How was your vacation?” ~ “Did you enjoy your time off?” ~ “Did you do anything fun?”
Most people cite some relaxation and downtime as their key goals for vacation. But after returning to the office or the regular routine, there can be a bit of wistfulness that you didn’t make the most of your time away. Maybe between the delicious lobster dinner and the town concert on the green and the stroll through the shops, you should have made time for a little adventure?
Fortunately, Bar Harbor is a treasure trove of opportunity when it comes to adventure. Over the coming months, we’ll share a variety of ideas to help make your Mount Desert Island area vacation one that you’ll talk about for years. We’ll start with some great activities to appreciate the incredible coastline from the water.
Appreciate Bar Harbor By Sea
Boats of all kinds abound in the waters around Bar Harbor. If you prefer to operate under your own power and are open to a physical workout, consider renting a kayak or a paddleboard. With your quiet approach you’ll be less likely to startle wildlife and you may be rewarded by views of porpoises, seals, puffins and even eagles. A variety of group tours are available, which include equipment, instruction and guided tours by locals who offer information and access to the area’s highlights.
If you’re looking for a less physical way to be on the water, there are innumerable options, each with its own appeal.
A variety of whale watching tours are available, including specialized cruises to see lighthouses, puffins, seabirds, and the magnificent sunsets. Whale sightings are guaranteed, so you’re entitled to a free return cruise if the great sea creatures are hiding on your trip. If you’re interested in learning about the area, the guides offer narration and are well informed.
Bar Harbor also offers a mix of fishing experiences. Gear is provided; in some cases, lunch and beverages are as well. Deckhands will help land your catch and even filet and bag it up for you on open ocean cruises. Cruises of local ponds, streams and coastal saltwater feature Maine registered guides and fly fishing instruction.
If a serene sail appeals, Bar Harbor is blessed with a lovely four-masted windjammer cruise. There is acoustic accompaniment but little or no narration (although the captain and crew will happily answer questions). Guests can help raise the sails if they want.
Many options are available for sightseeing and nature cruises, from the type and size of vessel to the duration of the trip. A lobster boat cruise offers a unique opportunity to learn about lobstering and the hauling of traps.
If you’re looking for a close-up and personal view of the coastline and wildlife, consider a cruise on one of many smaller boats captained by local residents. Generally these trips are private charters, so they can be more costly, but they offer a more personalized excursion.
Landlubber? No need to fret!
If you prefer to keep your feet on land, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Despite the fact that it is only 16 miles wide and 13 miles long, Mount Desert Island boasts 120 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads, thanks to Acadia National Park. Take a long hike, rent a bicycle or get more adventurous. We’ll offer more about land-based activities in our next post. Stay tuned!
Don’t miss out on your summer adventure in Bar Harbor. Book your room now. We’re happy to help you find the activities to make your visit a memorable one.
Take Home The Flavors of Maine 9 Jun 2014, 11:15 am
Take Home The Flavors of Maine
Calling all food lovers! Join us at Maples Inn and enjoy a cooking class focused on Maine cooking while you’re here! We’ve partnered up with Chef Sharon Joyce, a Le Cordon Bleu (Paris) trained chef to offer you a choice of these classes on the flavors of Maine:
Maine Regional Desserts: Four desserts in an hour! Learn about historic and new desserts using seasonal foods when possible. Afraid of pie crusts? Not anymore. You will learn to make a Blueberry Crumble Pie from scratch with little effort, a historic Maine cookie, a sorbet and a simple cooling dessert with a historic past. Come ready to learn and eat. One hour
Regional Cooking of Maine: Learn history, food facts, techniques and traditional recipes while preparing and tasting such local favorites as lobster, blueberry muffins and more. A flavor fest! 2 ½ hours
Chowder and Popovers, please! The meal that Mainers ask for and savor. Learn the Maine historical tradition of chowders and the technique to be successful at making a varieties of perfect popovers. After tasting the chowder and popovers made during the class, you’ll be eager to duplicate these recipes at home. 2 ½ hours
Book a two night stay and we’ll arrange for your cooking class located just down the street. Cooking class reservations pending availability. Please call 207 288 3443 to reserve (one week’s notice required; additional charge applies). We look forward to seeing you!
Bar Harbor’s Festivals – from Flavors to Feathers 13 May 2014, 8:39 am
Bar Harbor’s Festivals – from Flavors to Feathers
Bar Harbor’s festival season has begun! With the trees greening up and more flowers in bloom each day, the town is a feast for the eyes. Two early season celebrations offer feasts of bounty for nature lovers and foodies alike.
The 4th Annual Taste of Bar Harbor is a four day foodie extravaganza showcasing Bar Harbor’s fabulous chefs and eateries. In addition to the grand events below, participating restaurants will be offering a special $20.14 price fixe menu all festival long.
“Eat dessert first! The festival kicks off on Thursday, May 15th with Dessert Night (6 pm – 9 pm). Savor the unique flavors from participating restaurants’ signature desserts and vote for your favorite.
TGIF! On Friday, May 16, celebrate the weekend with the Pub Tour beginning at 5 pm. Armed with your special event beer glass, wrist band and tickets, enjoy the flavors of the featured beer or wine at participating restaurants.
Dine like royalty. Enjoy an exceptional culinary flavor fest! The popular Chef’s Table event features a five-course dinner with wine pairings. Available at only four exclusive restaurants on Saturday, May 17. Your experience will also include chef-sponsored tours, demonstrations and recipes.
Bring home a taste of Bar Harbor from the Sidewalk Stroll which takes place on Saturday, May 17. Local merchants offer spring sales, culinary and locally-made products and nibbles.
Farm to table. New this year, Eden’s Farmer’s Market joins the festival on Sunday, May 18. Amble among vendors and peruse offerings from local food growers, producers and artisans.
The jam-packed schedule includes a grand mix of guided excursions via boat, walking trail and bus, as well as lectures, workshops and talks. Most trips are limited to 12 or fewer participants and all feature guides who offer knowledge based on years of birding experience. For more information and registration for trips, see the Acadia Birding Festival website.
P.S. Maples Inn early season special values are still in effect. Beat the crowds and save! Learn more.
Enjoy Special Early Season Values 2 May 2014, 9:35 am
Enjoy Special Early Season Values
We’ve extended our 4th night half promotion off through July 31!
Is it possible that the endless winter has finally ended, and that May has arrived? We’re happy to report that here in Bar Harbor, there is a hustle and bustle that says indeed the season has begun! A great variety of bird songs can be heard, especially in the morning and evening. Acadia’s Carriage Roads are open to foot traffic during the spring thaw. And each day more shops and restaurants are opening. We welcomed our first guests just yesterday.
We’ve been quite busy these past few weeks around the Inn, sprucing up and repairing the effects of winter. The Inn is well provisioned and ready for a great season.
We’re offering great values for guests who visit us in May and June. Please join us for Mother’s Day weekend (May 9-11), Taste of Bar Harbor (May 15-18) or a June getaway and save. We’ve added a new online reservation system (but we are always happy to speak with you if you prefer! 207 288 3443)
- Spring Special rates: Only $95/night apply through May 17, 2014 for all rooms.
- Quiet Season rates are in effect from May 18 through June 21, 2014.
- 4th Night 50% Off: From May 18, 2014 through July 31, 2014, if you stay 3 nights, you’ll get a 4th night at 50% off (Memorial Day and July 4 weekends excluded).
Reflecting On The Season: Bar Harbor 2013 16 Oct 2013, 1:20 pm
Reflecting On The Season: Bar Harbor 2013
This time of year brings an odd mix of melancholy and anticipation for me. At the end of October, I close Maples Inn for the season and embark on myriad activities to wind down the season before retreating to my winter life in Chicago. Each year is a bit different here in Bar Harbor, based the weather, the economic climate, new businesses in town, and of course, our mix of guests. As innkeeper, my role is to be sure that my guests have all their needs taken care of in order to enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating stay. The B&B experience is very different from a hotel, and our guests appreciate the personal touches. In fact, this season we had more repeat visitors than ever — some returning for their 10th or 11th time!
Food is love, it’s said, and we do love our guests, so we feed them well. We introduced a new different breakfast this year, a 3 Cheese Soufflé, that’s become a crowd favorite. It’s topped with fresh local tomatoes and basil and accompanied by an English muffin and sausage to provide plenty of energy for the day’s activities. Repeat guests always ask for our famous Blueberry French Toast, so we serve it every week — at least once.
The weather: While overall the season was slightly cooler than average, we had superb weather to enjoy the outdoors once the season got going … after a rainy May and early June, July and August had lower-than-average rainfall. While some visitors needed an umbrella to enjoy the Carriage Roads in September (>6″ compared with 4.45″ average), a stunningly bright and very dry October required only sunglasses and energy to make the most of the spectacular weather.
The guests: We enjoyed both new and returning guests this season, from across the US as well as Canada, the U.K, Switzerland and Germany. We celebrated two candlelit weddings in our living room and another is planned for our front porch next week. Honeymooners and returning brides and grooms also allowed us to share their joy this season; many couples returned to the Inn to celebrate anniversaries, often booking the Red Oak Room with its private balcony.
The town: While it’s rare to have a guest not ask about the best places for lobster, after several days I’m often asked for restaurant suggestions featuring specialties that don’t come from the sea. I’m happy to recommend Opa, a new Greek/Mediterranean restaurant that opened this season and offers fabulous food in an intimate space on Cottage Street. The menu offers some traditional Greek dishes (including my favorites, the spanakopita and the moussaka, recipes from the owner’s mother) and a provides a Mediterranean spin on other dishes (including the delectable marinated New Zealand lamb chops accompanied by locally sourced roasted vegetables and potatoes). The decor is charming, with paintings and signage designed by the owner’s mother and comfortable tables and banquettes hand crafted by the owner himself.
We’re booked solid through the weekend but do have a few vacancies before we batten down the hatches and take down the flag on October 27. Call us to reserve your room for next week or next season … our reservation book is set up for 2014. And hint, hint — a gift certificate for a future stay is a great holiday gift. We’d love to see you next season.
Savor Bar Harbor’s Autumn Riches: 10 Ideas To Keep You Happily Occupied 27 Sep 2013, 10:38 am
Savor Bar Harbor’s Autumn Riches: 10 Ideas To Keep You Happily Occupied
Once the initial bustle of Labor Day wanes, we’re often left with a sense of loss; summer is past, the days are getting shorter, and we’re focused on commitments and task lists rather than carefree summer jaunts.
But autumn in Bar Harbor is a treasure, with sunny days, smaller crowds, and plenty of activities to keep you happily occupied.
Find a few of our suggestions below.
1. Enjoy the crisp air and explore Acadia’s hiking trails during the warm part of the day, amidst magnificent foliage. While peak colors are generally seen in mid-October, the leaves are already boasting brilliant hues and the views of the water and surrounding mountains are food for the soul. Climb the old fire tower at the top of Beach Mountain for a breathtaking view of Northeast and Southwest Harbors and the Cranberry Islands in the distance.
2. When in Maine, as they say, do as the Mainers do. We don’t limit our ice cream intake to the sizzling days of summer. So toss on a sweatshirt or fleece, pause for a few moments and watch the world pass by while indulging in a locally-made creamy treat.
3. As the days grow shorter and temperatures cooler, birding enthusiasts can expect to see spectacular displays of birds in their migration to their winter homes. Two of our favorite areas to see the hawk migration are Beach Mountain and Cadillac Mountain. Bring along your binoculars to Witch Hole Pond, Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond for beautiful songbird migrations. Acadia National Park also offers ranger-led bird walks through late fall.
4. Savor the later sunrise and take time to enjoy a bit more conversation over a hearty gourmet breakfast at the Inn. Food is love, after all, and we take great pride in preparing freshly made epicurean spreads for our guests. Tasting is believing; just ask our guests!
5. In your eagerness to take in the expansive magnificent Acadia National Park, you may need to hustle a bit. The free Island Explorer bus runs through Columbus Day and loops from various park locations to the village of Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor. You can even bring your bike aboard!
6. Between your outdoor forays, amble through the local Bar Harbor shops. Great values can be found as merchants seek to reduce inventory before closing for the season, and most shops are open through the end of October.
7. Perhaps your muscles are a bit tired from your Cadillac climb or bike ride on the carriage roads. The warm sunny days of summer beg for outside time, but a late afternoon spa treatment in October is an autumn pleasure. Specialty treatments and packages are available and there is nothing more relaxing than a massage!
8. You may be surprised that Maine’s landscape is hospitable for growing grapes, but our local wineries don’t limit their wine making forays to a single fruit. As cocktail hour approaches, consider visiting a winery for a tasting of wines crafted from apples, blueberries, pears or raspberries. For those who prefer an ale or lager, local breweries also offer tastings and microbrewery tours.
9. There’s something about cooler weather that enhances the appetite, and the local restaurants are ready to meet your needs with farm to table offerings including local vegetables and seafood. Enjoy a leisurely meal by a roaring fire or dig in to a lobster feast while the prices are a bargain. End the evening with an Irish coffee or a cup of steaming cider made from local apples.
10. Round out your visit by taking in some of the local culture of the region. The Abbe Museum offers ongoing exhibits and events on a variety of topics including the local Wabanaki and other Native Americans of the area. If you prefer visual arts, check out the First Friday art walk on October 4 to explore the creative works of local artisans.
Ready to visit? We have limited availability over the next several weeks, but please give us a call if you’d like to book a night or two. Our quiet season rates start October 13 and we’d love to have you finish out the season with us; we have several rooms available the week of October 20. Call us to reserve: 207-288-3443.
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Celebrate the Night Sky at Acadia 4 Sep 2013, 6:33 am
Celebrate the Night Sky at Acadia
Whether you favor astronomy or prefer the glow of the city, a star-filled sky is an awe-inspiring sight. Far from city lights, the Milky Way, comets, satellites and a myriad of stars become visible. Bar Harbor is committed to preserving this precious natural resource and even passed an ordinance several years ago to avoid the light pollution which would encroach on the spectacular view of the night sky.
Acadia National Park offers ranger-led programs to help visitors learn more about the incredible celestial spectacle. Celebrate Acadia’s magnificent star-filled night sky at the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, taking place September 26-30, 2013 in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, and Schoodic Peninsula. The weekend includes a variety of events including a star party where rangers, volunteers, and local astronomers will point out constellations and other night sky features visible with the naked eye, binoculars, and through telescopes. Also offered are photography workshops, an “Under the Stars” boat cruise, and many educational and family-focused activities.
Late September in Downeast Maine offers crisp sun-filled days to enjoy the colorful foliage, and most shops and restaurants are still open. Join us for a few days to celebrate the beauty of our region (4th night half off with a three night stay).
Bar Harbor, Maine – A Foodie Paradise? 1 Aug 2013, 5:37 am
Maine: Lobster. Of course there’s a natural connection, and we highly recommend taking in your share of lobster when you visit these parts. This time of year, the lobster is sweet and the shells are not quite as hard, making it a bit easier for lobster rookies to find their way to the good stuff. And as lobsters are prevalent, prices are down.
Bar Harbor restaurants offer lobster in as many ways as you can think of: tossed with pasta, on your pizza, in a frittata or a lobster pie. It can be baked stuffed, grilled, swimming in butter (lazy style) or in a toasted bun with a touch of mayo or melted butter. Or, for the purist, it can be steamed ’til tender and sweet and served with a bib and perhaps an ear of corn, cup of chowder, steamers and a bib: shore dinner style. You’ll find lobster specials for twin or even triple lobsters at many restaurants in town. We especially recommend Thurston’s Lobster Pound near the light house in Bass Harbor and Poor Boy’s Gourmet – pick one of their dozen or more preparations — but you can’t go wrong at any of the pounds who’ll cook and crack your crustacean for you.