10 Best Swimming Holes at (and around) Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina
The swimming season in Maine is short and sweet, but you still have plenty of time and opportunity to enjoy all the area’s ways to take a dip. Whether you crave natural outcroppings, resort pools or the ocean, you’re sure to find the perfect way to cool off in the summer sunshine.
Staying at the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina? We’ve got you covered with a list of the best places to frolic in a swimming pool, play on the beach, or simply lounge around – ideally, with a cocktail in hand.
RESORT-STYLE SWIMMING POOLS
Harborside Hotel, Spa and Marina
You’ll find plenty of options on-property at the Harborside Hotel, Spa and Marina, including its free-form pool surrounded by plush loungers and a hot tub for those chilly Maine nights, all with 180-degree views of Bar Harbor. You won’t even have to leave the deck for food or drinks – sandwiches, salads, apps, and perfect poolside beverages are just steps away at the Splash Pool Bar.
West Street Hotel
If you’re staying at the nearby West Street Hotel, treat yourself to a dip in Maine’s only rooftop swimming pool, or relax in one of the surrounding loungers or cabanas. Either way, the views are panoramic and can’t be beat!
The Bar Harbor Club
To channel your inner Rockefeller, head over to the exclusive Bar Harbor Club, available only to guests of the Harborside Hotel and West Street Hotel. It’s home to an oceanfront pool with staggering views of Frenchman Bay, a two-story pool house and an award-winning menu of poolside snacks. When you’re finished swimming, unwind your day with a stop at the spa.
The Long Pond Cliffs
Just a short trek away, Mount Desert Island offers several ways to experience the natural waters of Maine, either by dipping a toe or diving head-first. The Long Pond Cliffs are popular with the area’s locals and tourists alike, with up to 20-foot ledges that serve as vertical entries into the waters below. Test your athletic prowess, or do the “shy pencil” while holding your nose from one of the area’s lower cliffs (no judgment either way!) To get there, take Long Pond Road for a little over a mile out of Southwest Harbor, then turn right onto an unmarked dirt road with a park sign.
Lake Wood Pond
For a more laid-back experience, the Lake Wood Pond is a beach-entry swimming hole located north of Bar Harbor in Acadia National Forest. At only 11 feet deep, Lake Wood is the perfect spot to hop on a floatie and relax the day away. To get there, take Crooked road about a mile inland from Maine Route 3 and look for the access road on your left.
Sargent Mountain Pond
If you want to take a well-earned swim, find Sargent Mountain Pond at – you guessed it – the top of Sargent Mountain. Believed to be the state’s oldest lake, you can reach it from any of three trails, all of which are challenging and may even include boulder climbing, but the spring-fed waters and panoramic views are worth the effort.
On the same island as Maine’s oldest lake is Somes Pond, a picturesque little pond with large flat rocks for sunbathing and the perfect temperament for both kayaks and pool noodles. The water is part of a wildlife sanctuary, but public access is provided off Oak Hill road in Somesville.
Perhaps the most well-known beach in Acadia National Park is Sand Beach. You’ll find it on the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island, with views that stretch from Otter Cliff all the way to Thunder Hole. The beach itself is wide, and framed with granite walls on each side and water that remains a bone-chilling 55 degrees all year long. To get there, purchase a park entrance pass and follow Park Loop Road. And if you want to experience the area by land, check out one of three hiking trails that begin nearby: The Beehive, Great Head Trail and Ocean Path.
Echo Lake Beach
On the “quiet side” of Acadia National Park, you’ll find Echo Lake Beach nestled at the bottom of the nearly 900-foot-high cliffs of Beech Mountain. Although this beach is smaller and more secluded, Echo Lake is preferred by many locals for its warmer water (up to 73 degrees in August!) smaller crowds and truly spectacular scenery. There’s a separate, roped-off area for swimming, and you may even spot triathletes training in its waters. To get there, travel Route 102 between Southwest Harbor and Somesville.
Hull’s Cove Beach
Finally, we’ll let you in on a little secret – Hull’s Cove Beach. It’s only two miles from Bar Harbor, and a great place to take in stunning views of Frenchman Bay while you hunt for sea glass. Although it’s surrounded by a small village, including a post office and general store, it’s never typically crowded. And as a bonus, the delicious Chart Room seafood restaurant is within walking distance.