Whether you live on MDI or just visit us a lot, it can be sometimes nice to have an adventure in the form of a day trip. Day trips mean you can keep your home base and maybe see a little something you weren’t planning on.

We are going to feature regular day trip destinations here (and maybe collect them into a book eventually) but for this first trip, we head to Winter Harbor (about one hour by road from Bar Harbor, a much shorter distance if you take the ferry or your own boat!)

Destination: Winter Harbor
Approximate Distance From MDI: 1 hour drive, shorter boat ride
Rated for: Rainy day friendly, kid friendly

On The Way

Grab some breakfast or a snack at someplace like Chester Pikes (a sit down restaurant with breakfast and lunch classics that is known for their pies) or YU Takeout (a Korean/American food roadside stand in Hancock).  

If you want a quicker stop or just don’t need a whole meal, Tideway Market in Hancock and get some road trip snacks.
If taking the ferry from Bar Harbor, just enjoy the beautiful ocean and wear extra layers!

To Do

Here are three things you can do in Winter Harbor:

  • Bop around the galleries and stores of downtown Winter Harbor (the Five and Dime is a favorite for many). You can also see one of the granite sculptures from the Schoodic Sculpture Symposium (say that three times fast) right downtown.
  • You can also drive or bike the Schoodic Loop. At about 13 miles and being relatively flat, it’s a lot more doable than the Park Loop Road on bike. There are tons of pretty vistas of taking pictures and enjoying snacks. Get the bike rental sorted ahead of time; there are bike rental places in both Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor but call ahead to make sure they have what you need when you’ll need it. There are additional bike paths for the over achieving cyclists amongst you!
  • If you plan your trip a bit ahead, check out local events that maybe happening:
    Schoodic Arts For All’s calendar of events.
    They often has live performances (mostly in the evenings) and does a few weeks of arts programming in the summer with their summer arts festival: www.schoodicartsforall.org 
    Schoodic Institute’s calendar of events.  They offer seminars,  presentations, movies, brown bag lunches, public and community programs (usually with a connection to the natural world) year round: www.schoodicinstitute.org/events


For sit down options (which you’ll probably need before your drive back), there is Salt Box (as a swankier option), Chase’s Restaurant, and Fisherman’s Galley. 

Cool Stuff To Know

The Winter Harbor area is known for having lots of artists. A few years ago, an organization called Schoodic Creates created a sort of ‘tour’ of all the independent artists and galleries for a drive. They didn’t renew their domain name but thanks to the internet archive, we still have access to the info:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130115071516/http://schoodiccreates.com/the-tour/ (Web list)

Here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed this first day trip! Subscribe to our Gift MDI blog to get posts like this sent right to your inbox.

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