Not ready for summer to end? Neither are we. Summer doesn’t have to come to an end as we transition into fall. As the nights start cooling off the days remain warm, which is perfect for spending time outside. There is still time to enjoy the fading summer sun whether on the water or in the woods.
Get out on the water
The end of summer does not mark the end of water adventures. Although the warm sun may not be enticing you to jump right into the water, most water recreation opportunities are still available through Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day. This is the perfect time to go sailing, whale watching or kayaking.
- National Park Canoe & Kayak Rentals: Go kayaking on Great Long Pond in Acadia National Park. Be on the lookout for wildlife like deer, loons, and frogs.
- Acadia Outfitters: Take a few kayaks out on your own. Acadia Outfitters provides route information and helps load the boats onto your vehicle for the most enjoyable experience. They also offer guided sea kayaking tours.
- National Park Sea Kayak Tours: Follow a registered Maine guide on a trip chosen specifically for you based on conditions, visibility, and the tide. Here, you will have the chance to kayak all around the island.
Prepare for a fall hike
The cool mornings at the end of summer are even better for a hike than when summer heat is in full swing. Start your hike early to balance the crisp morning with the warmth of exercise. This way you won’t be dripping with sweat when you reach the top! Here are some hiking spots to check out that are perfect for this transitional time of year:
- Beehive Trail: One of the more challenging trails, the view from the top overlooking Sand Beach is worth it (see image at right for proof).
- Jordan Pond Path: This path brings you right by the iconic Jordan Pond and surrounding mountains.
- Cadillac Mountain Loop: The highest peak on the mountain and one of the first locations to see the sun in the United States each morning, Cadillac Mountain is an Acadia must-see. Take this loop trail around the summit to see views of the island every way you look.
- Gorham Mountain Trail: Hike to the top of Gorham Mountain on this moderate trail that provides scenic outlooks of some of Acadia’s most recognized destinations.
Stop for some seasonal flavors
As the temperatures change, so do the menus at many Bar Harbor restaurants. Bring summer into fall with different takes on classic summer dishes like lobster. Time to try your favorite summer treat with a whole new twist. Try out these restaurants for meals that match the season, but don’t leave summer behind:
- Side Street Café: This restaurant switches up their cocktails with the season. Enjoy some of their summer flavors before they shake up their menu for fall. The fall flavors are not to be missed either, great for a fall day that is pretending to be summer.
- Salt & Steel: Designed to highlight the seasonal flavors Maine has to offer, this restaurant’s fresh ingredients will remind you of summer’s harvest while introducing more foods from fall.
- Milk and Honey: Another spot for the garden’s ripe offerings, this restaurant is constantly changing their menu to match the season. From sweets to sandwiches, you will have no trouble finding something that reminds you of summer.
Tour around the island
While visiting Bar Harbor in late summer and early fall, take a tour of the entire island. Mount Desert Island is beautiful for a drive. Stop along the way at other MDI towns for summer sights and exploration. In Southwest Harbor, learn about the islands maritime history and see the only fjard on the east coast, Somes Sound. The elegant gardens of Northeast Harbor are worth the stop, as well, with cared-for plants that will remind you of summer. Don’t forget Bass Harbor where you can find the Bass Harbor Head Light and idyllic scenes of coastal Maine.
Bar Harbor and MDI are not just for summer lovers. The sights and adventures do not leave as summer does, but continue on into autumn, although that doesn’t mean you have to leave the summer feel behind.
Photo courtesy of Jake Willis