Mount Desert Island in the fall is something many people travel to see. Most cruise ship visitors come to Bar Harbor in September and October which is part of the reason why even many seasonal businesses stay open through Columbus Day weekend.
- Go hiking. If you are looking for spots off the beaten path, we recommend ‘A Walk In The Park’ by local Tom St. Germain which many locals simply call ‘the book’. You can pick up a copy at Sherman’s, one of the oldest book stores in the country and right in downtown Bar Harbor.
- Take a tour. Tours like Olly’s Trolley and Acadia National Park Tours allow you to take in the sights and let someone else do the driving. These narrated tours are a great way to see the major sights with some historic and local knowledge.
- Go kayaking. Local companies offer kayak tours in the ‘shoulder seasons’ which means these tend to be less crowded and you are likely to see different kinds of wildlife/sights then if you toured in the middle of summer.
- See a movie at Reel Pizza. Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor is open year round. They not only show big budget films but also host small festivals, artistic movies, and foreign films.
- Attend a ‘First Friday’ art walk. Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor typically open their galleries in the evenings the first Friday of every month. Check out local art and enjoy the festive environment with other enthusiasts.
- Attend a craft fair. The Island Arts Association and other groups typically hold craft shows regularly in the summer and fall. Local talent ranges from knitwear to blown glass.
- Attend a festival. The MDI Garlic Festival, the MDI Marathon, Acadia Night Sky Festival, and Oktoberfest all take place in the fall.
- Run a 5K. Don’t feel like you are ready to run a marathon? There are plenty of local 5K and shorter distance races this time of year you can join. There’s usually even a cool t-shirt involved.
- Attend a ranger-led program. Acadia National Park has a variety of ranger led nature programs you can attend free. Visit their website for a full list of offerings.
- Shop at a local business. Many of our local businesses are open in the fall. Visit a cafe, browse for books and antiques, find something new to wear, and more. (Most local chambers keep a list of businesses on their websites with their most up to date hours.)
As you can see, inside or out, there is plenty to do on MDI in the fall. The foliage is legendary but there is plenty more to enjoy besides the trees!