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Things to Do in Mount Desert Island

Things to Do in Mount Desert Island

Located on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, Bar Harbor was one of 19th century New England’s most popular summer resorts and remains a much-loved tourist destination today. The beautiful Acadia National Park is on Bar Harbor’s doorstep offering over 50 square miles of mountains, lakes and coastline perfect for hiking, biking and camping and plenty of boats offer fishing trips and nature-spotting tours out of the town harbor, while after a hard day exploring the rugged island community, visitors can relax at the lively bars and seafood restaurants that populate Bar Harbor’s bustling downtown.
There are many fun things to do in Mount Desert Island; however, the following activities and restaurants are some of our most favorite nearby things to do!

(Click on the picture to visit the web page for more information)

Package 1) Lighthouse-Harbor Cruise

Rates

Boat departs from our main dock.

Call Paul 669-0096 or 244-0024 for reservations.

Lighthouse / Harbor Cruise is designed for a more intimate experience with the coast of Mount Desert Island. You will see Bass Harbor Head & Bear Island light, as well as Somes Sound, Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, numerous islands and wildlife. Snacks and refreshments provided on a comfortable seaworthy 23 foot boat with a US Coast guard certified Captain. We can cruise at a comfortable speed covering ground quickly to see the sights, or slowly to enjoy the moment. Boat is equipped with back rests, bathroom, Radar, GPS and all safety equipment.

  • Bass Harbor Head Light
  • Bear Island Light
  • Egg Rock Light
  • Baker Island Light
  • Somesville
  • Southwest Harbor
  • Northeast Harbor
  • Seal Harbor
  • Bar Harbor

Duration: 1 – 6 Hours (will be customized to your preference).

Package 2) Dinner Cruise

Islesford Dock Restaurant

Round Trip up to 4 people: $160 Total

(Islesford dock is open June 26 to Sept 5)

Boat departs from our main dock.

Call Paul 669-0096 or 244-0024 for details and reservations.

This excursion is at the discretion of the captain due to weather conditions.

The Dinner Cruise is a rare opportunity to dine at restaurants which are only accessible by boat.

The Islesford Dock on Cranberry Island is the epitome of causal island ambiance with amazing views of Mount Desert Island. Above average food quality with a non pretentious atmosphere (Duration 30 minutes 1 way, sunset cruise back)

Thurstons Lobster Pound is a great restaurant tucked away in Bernard. Although you can access it by car, the opportunity to cruise past Seawall, & Bass Harbor Head Light and not worry about parking is worth the trip! (Weather permitting). (Duration 45 minutes 1 way)

We will arrange reservations and provide Cheese, wine/ champagne for the voyage to either restaurant. Be sure to bring your camera and warm clothing!

Package 3) Custom Excursion

Islesford Dock Restaurant

Rates

Boat departs from our main dock.

Call Paul 669-0096 or 244-0024 for details & reservations

Our Custom excursion is designed to let you pick from the endless options of things to see. From a cruise of Somes Sound (1 hr), to a complete circumnavigation of MDI (4 hrs), cruise to Bar Harbor for lunch, or a nature / photography cruise of our local wild life / picturesque coast line. This cruise will include light snacks and refreshments, and rates go by the hour.

  • Somesville Harbor
  • Somes Sound
  • Southwest Harbor
  • Northeast Harbor
  • Seal Harbor
  • Cranberry Island
  • Bass Harbor / Light house
  • Bar Harbor
  • Ocean Drive / Thunder Hole
  • Eagle / Osprey sightings
  • Sunset Cruise
  • And many more!

Our boat is comfortable, seaworthy, and our captain is intimately familiar with our coastal waters and most opportune times to see the best sights!

Our Boat

The Boat

Boat departs from our main dock.

Call Paul 669-0096 or 244-0024 for details & reservations

Our 2013, 23′ Tidewater with 250 horsepower engine was designed for offshore fishing. With a large beam, high sides, bow flare, and 105 gallon fuel capacity we can cruise all day in the most seaworthy, smooth and comfortable dry riding boat. Overstuffed cushions with back rests are found in the wrap around bow seating (for 6) with a hors d’oeuvres table in the middle for complimentary snacks & drinks, or your own picnic lunch.

The boats navigation includes a Global Positioning System, chart plotter, and Radar with compass and VHF radio. All US Coast Guard safety equipment is on board as well.

A private porta-potty is located on board accessed through a door on the port side console. The Captain’s ultimate goal is to show you the sights from a perspective few people have seen, in the safest manner possible.

McKays Public House

McKays Public House

McKays Public House

Restaurant

Excellent upscale food, atmosphere & reasonable prices

Stewmans Lobster Pound

Stewmans Lobster Pound

Stewmans Lobster Pound

Restaurant

Our favorite seafood restaurant in Bar Harbor! Dine over the water and watch boats come and go. Located beside the Whale Watch dock on the waterfront.

Thurstons Lobster Pound

Thurstons Lobster Pound

Thurston’s Lobster Pound

Restaurant

You can arrive by boat or car. Thurstons offers a great variety of seafood as well as the best blueberry pie around. Here you also dine over the water and watch lobster boats come and go in busy Bass Harbor. Recently renovated – this restaurant is a must see while on MDI.

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

Leaving from the Town Dock in Southwest Harbor. Typical fish caught: Cod, halibut, mackerel, etc. Fun experience for all ages. Be sure to bring warm clothes.

Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Showing in Trenton located just before you get to the Island. Aimed primarily towards the kids, however fun for all ages, and very educational.

Kebo Valley Golf Course

Kebo Valley Golf Course

Kebo Valley Golf Course

Located in Bar Harbor. Kebo is the 8th oldest club in the country! Great mountain views, and a nice course just on the outskirts of town.

Lobster Boat Tours

Lobster Boat Tours

Lobster Boat Tours

Sea Kayak Tours

Sea Kayak Tours

Sea Kayak Tours
Whale Watching

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

Leaves from bar Harbor.

One of the most amazing experiences you could have while on Mount Desert Island. They have a ‘guarantee’d whale sighting’ policy.

Wild Acadia Fun Park

Wild Acadia Fun Park

Wild Acadia Fun Park

Water slides, go carts, mini golf and a rope obstacle course.

Things to Do in Mount Desert Island

Bass Harbor Light House

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond

Acadia National Park

One of the most beautiful and most visited parks in the United States. Many hiking trails, beaches (salt & fresh),

Mountains, Harbors and scenic drives.

Our private Harbor tour will give you a perspective of Acadia National Park which few have seen.

Acadia Air Tours

Acadia Air Tours

Acadia Air Tours Biplane rides

Star Gallery in Northeast Harbor, Maine

Star Gallery in Northeast Harbor, Maine

STAR GALLERY

Art Gallery

Located in Northeast Harbor, this is our favorite art gallery to visit. No trip to MDI is complete without stopping to see contemporary-traditional art sourced locally here in Maine.

Google Reviews

Liz Averill
Liz Averill
21:01 08 Sep 17
What a fabulous place to spend a week! Quiet, beautiful water views, and a clean and well-equipped cottage. Very happy to discover this place on my first trip to Acadia.read more
Lucy Wilson
Lucy Wilson
20:44 30 Aug 17
I almost hesitate to reveal how wonderful these cottages are since they are heavily booked by those lucky enough to have stayed there. The Grindles are responsive and helpful. Topside was comfortable and well-equipped, and we wish we could have extended our week there to a month. Beautiful view from the wide deck across Somes Sound to the mountains fronting Cadillac, 5 minutes to Acadia Mountain trails, 10 minutes to SW Harbor, but quiet, private and peaceful woodsy setting. Can't wait to return next summer.read more
Paul Simonsen
Paul Simonsen
12:41 20 Aug 17
Just a perfect place to vacation. Close to all that Acadia has to offer but on the quiet side of the island. Views of somes sound spectacular from the cottage and the cottage was so well stocked with everything and anything you might need. Hosts were extremely responsive to any questions. And having access to 3 docks right on the sound made our stay extra specialread more
Melissa Clemson
Melissa Clemson
14:05 07 Aug 17
We had a wonderful time staying at Top Side July 2017. The cottage is very clean and comfortable. Paul & Ashlee are pleasant and professional. Our kids loved going on a boat ride with Paul who gives a fun and educational tour of Somes Sound. My favorite part of Top Side is the breathtaking view from the patio! You have a slightly elevated, unobstructed view of Somes Sound while the rest of the cottage is surrounded by trees. This gives you complete privacy away from the other cottages. The patio has very comfortable furniture to sit and enjoy your peaceful sanctuary.read more
Dale Richardson
Dale Richardson
12:06 31 Jul 17
We rented the Sea Breeze cottage and were very pleased with this. Every thing was clean, the location as excellent (Ok, in Acadia, nothing seems very far away). Cottage owners were wonderful and friendly and even went out of their way to get us fresh lobsters on Thursday. View from the dock was wonderful. I would highly recommend this and would stay there again in a minute.read more
Sara Brenner
Sara Brenner
01:56 28 Jun 17
Nice water view; very clean and well-maintained; spacious for a family of 4; all the amenities you need. Plus the bonus of being on MDI close to Acadia!read more
Carolyn Wilson
Carolyn Wilson
21:15 27 Jun 17
We just returned from an amazing week at Sounderosa Cottage. Paul and Ashlee are fantastic hosts. We have been staying at the Chambers Oceanfront Cottages for over 30 years and always appreciate how well equipped and clean they are, not to mention how well stocked they are with wood for the fireplace. Over the past few years, there have been several attractive updates to the cottage, including the new flooring in the living area. Most of all we always enjoy the gorgeous view and the peacefulness and privacy of the location. This year, Paul took us on a cruise of Somes Sound in his boat and filled us in on some of the history as well as answering all of the questions which our family posed. It was our first time to cruise the Sound and was a special treat - Paul even provided snacks and drinks. Our grandchildren challenged the adults to a rowboat race down at the dock and enjoyed hunting for mussels and shells. It is so convenient to be able to walk down the hill to the dock and purchase lobsters for dinner. We always enjoy our lobster dinners at the picnic table on the cottage deck. The list of things we love about the cottages goes on and on. We cannot imagine staying any other place on Mt. Desert.read more
David Mueller
David Mueller
13:44 15 Jun 17
We just returned from a week at the Sea Breeze cottage, and it was a wonderful experience. The cottage was clean, comfortable, well decorated, and had everything we needed right down to linens, towels and a well equipped kitchen (including all supplies needed to cook our own lobsters). Paul and Ashley were incredibly welcoming and attentive (don't miss the chance to by some lobsters right from Paul's dock) and bent over backwards to make sure that we had a great trip. We had some special requests to help us stay with a young toddler, and they went well above and beyond to accommodate. The views of the sound are breathtaking, and the location is convenient to Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor. Highly recommended and we will be back!read more
Brenda Duplantis
Brenda Duplantis
10:22 04 Jun 17
Amazing views from Topside Cottage! This is our first time in Maine. Pleasantly surprised by the rental. Cottage is spacious, clean, and well equipped. It has a home away from home feel. There are three docks on property to fish, swim, or launch from. Very quiet and serene. Nearby markets and lobster roll stands. Wildlife abounds.read more
A G
A G
15:01 06 Nov 16
What a wounderful cottage!! My wife and I spent our 25th wedding anniversary at Crow's Nest. The cottage was beautiful, well equipped and the views of Some's Sound and Sargent Mountain were exceptional. The hosts were gracious and easily accessable if needed. Fresh lobster off the boat was caught hours before and delicious! We are already planning our trip for next year and another delightful stay at Chamber's Oceanfront Cottages!read more
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Karen Fisher Dresser
Karen Fisher Dresser
2017-08-18T15:35:57+0000
We're having a wonderful week here at Sounderosa! The house is great! As good or better than expected. Clean, comfortable, and the view beautiful. Very convenient location to the whole island, but quiet and private for relaxing. So glad we made this choice!read more
Andy Boucher
Andy Boucher
2017-07-05T20:49:53+0000
The views, the ammenadies are very clean, and just great people. We spent a long weekend here and my wife and I absolutely will be coming back. You have your own privet "cottage" it really is a house, that overlooks the water and you get to see boats going by and can go down to the dock and fish. If the fish arnt biting Paul will sell you lobsters that he caught himself. That is an awesome meal. We also took a boat ride on the ocean and looked at light houses and big homes. It felt like I had a privet boat and caption on my vacation. I give this place 5 stars it is close to everything but it is like you have your own house on the island. Thank you Paul and Ashley for being so accommodating.read more
Sara Brenner
Sara Brenner
2017-06-28T02:08:30+0000
Excellent views of Somes Sound; very clean and well-maintained; serene and quite location off-the-beaten-path; convenient access to all MDI has to offer; we also shopped around quite a bit in the area, and these prices were very competitive for location/size/quality of cottage.read more
Beth Bevill Hebert
Beth Bevill Hebert
2016-10-22T13:34:40+0000
We had a wonderful week staying in Topside cottage. The cottage was clean and well stocked with anything we needed. The location was great...about 20 minutes from Bar Harbor. The view of the Sound from the deck is one of a kind! Enjoyed watching boats, osprey and the sunset from our back porch. Thank you Grindles for going out of your way to help with anything we needed! Next time we are going to make it down for a fresh lobster! You run a wonderful place and we will be back!read more
Diane Morrison Dunn
Diane Morrison Dunn
2016-09-15T22:25:47+0000
We have been coming here for over 10 years. You can't ask for anything else. A great house equipped with everything you need. Dishes, pots, dishwasher, washer and dryer, etc. Lobsters at the dock are excellent. Very nice and quiet. Paul and Ashlee are the nicest hosts and their son Camden is adorable. Love it here!read more
Liz Perros Micka
Liz Perros Micka
2016-08-28T17:49:21+0000
We take a family vacation to Mount Desert Island every year and rent a house. We have two small children so we're pretty picky about the kind of place where we stay. The Crowe's Nest was large, inviting, immaculate, and homey with one of the most beautiful ocean-front views we've seen. They have everything you need to feel comfortable-I even brought several items other properties were lacking on past trips and didn't need them here. We bought lobster down on the dock three times. It was so convenient and fun to just walk down the road to get our dinner! They were a great deal too. We also took a boat ride with Paul, who was more than accommodating and pointed out some of the little-known spots on the waterfront in Somes Sound. It was the perfect night for a cruise and a private ride was the perfect way to enjoy it. We highly recommend this property for a getaway to Acadia and the surrounding area. We'll be back!read more
Fred Brown
Fred Brown
2016-06-03T21:49:00+0000
We had a great week at Rock Point Cottage! Paul & Ashlee were wonderful hosts. The views of Somes Sound from the cottage were incredible. Short drive to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. Also, they have fresh lobster for sale on the dock with the best price on the island! We will definitely be back!read more
Amy Holland
Amy Holland
2016-05-20T02:34:14+0000
Chambers Cottages is my favorite place in the whole world. Been staying there every year since the early 90's. I've stayed in several of the cottages but mainly Rockpoint. It's like a second home. From Don and Marilyn to Paul and Ashley ..... They are the best. I've enjoyed sharing this wonderful place with many family members and friends. Everyone leaves in love with this heavenly and magical place.read more
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