Bar Harbor in Maine is more than a picturesque town

Bar Harbor, Maine is definitely a popular destination when driving up the New England coast.

Visitors climb the hills and cliffs of Acadia National Park for a view of the sea

Visitors climb the hills and cliffs of Acadia National Park for a view of the sea

It’s fun to meander this hilly picturesque village of Victorian inns and clever boutiques.

And the high hills and forested roads of its internationally known neighbor, Acadia National Park, are great to explore.

However, there are two places not on everyone’s radar that add something special when visiting the area.

One is in town and the other is out – way out.

St. Savior's Episcopal Church is worth the trek up a hilly downtown Bar Harbor street

St. Savior's Episcopal Church is worth the trek up a hilly downtown Bar Harbor street

Ask half a dozen visitors ambling through town if they walked up Kennebec Street to St. Saviour’s Espiscopal Church on Mt. Desert Street and they will shake their heads and give a what-are-you-talking-about shrug.

They typically browse the bookstores, toy shops and clothing boutiques on Main or Cottage Streets. There is nothing wrong with any of that but they are missing a Bar Harbor treasure.

Constructed in 1877 and on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Saviour’s has 42 wonderful stained-glass windows including 10 that are Tiffany.

The church has 42 stained glass windows including some that are Tiffany

The church has 42 stained glass windows including some that are Tiffany

Photography is OK and admission is free but the church needs donations to repair and restore many of the windows so try to leave something in the box.

Next to the church is a cemetery that has centuries old tombstones and a memorial to local soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

Then, take a coffee break where the locals go. Pop into the Opera House Internet Café on Cottage Street and sit a spell. A covered tray of goodies is on a table where people help themselves on the honor system.

Now you are ready to go out – that is out to sea.

Cruise around the islands of Frenchman's Bay off Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

Cruise around the islands of Frenchman's Bay off Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

No question that Acadia has hills to climb and drive that afford grand views of the harbor and islands.

But to properly  appreciate its famed bluffs and inlets and get close up views of the islands and their lighthouses, go out on the water.

Acadian Sightseeing and Nature Cruises takes visitors from West Street near the Town Pier, out into Frenchman’s Bay, around the islands and past the Egg Rock Light. On the way you are likely to see eagles and porpoises.

You will have terrific photos to post on Facebook or put into your online album.

Egg Rock Light and birds including that eagle flying around are some of the sights on a cruise out of Bar Harbor

Egg Rock Light and birds including that eagle flying around are some of the sights on a cruise out of Bar Harbor

Photos by Jodie Jacobs

 

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