The Mount Desert Oceanarium in Bar Harbor, ME, is an interactive learning center that will introduce you to ocean life in Maine. About an hour and twenty minutes away from Pilgrim’s Inn, the Mount Desert Oceanarium is worth the drive because of its unique exhibits and the learning experience it offers to visitors. Once home to the Acadia Lobster Museum, the oceanarium now holds the Maine Lobster Fishing Program. The Maine Lobster Hatchery and Thomas Bay Salt Marsh Tour are two favorite features of the Oceanarium. The Discovery Pool Touch Tank offers a great hands-on experience for learning more about ocean inhabitants.
Visiting the Mount Desert Oceanarium
The Mount Desert Oceanarium offers a variety of spaces to learn about ocean life and the surrounding coastal ecosystems. The entrance and gift shop is the first building you will come across, while the Lobster Hatchery and extensive picnic area expand behind a forest and field display. The tower and gazebo are favorite spots to visit, while the Salt Pond offers the chance to explore outdoors. The Marsh Tour and Lobster Hatchery are open from 9am to 5pm daily except Sunday,from mid-May to late October. The oceanarium is the ideal place to talk to local lobstermen, learn about the saltwater marsh, and handle some of your favorite sea creatures. All areas in the Mount Desert Oceanarium are shown by a guided tour
Exhibits at the Mount Desert Oceanarium
Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine, and as part of Acadia National Park, it has plenty of space for wildlife to thrive. The Mount Desert Oceanarium seeks to educate the public and to preserve the fragile ecosystems found in the Park. The Lobster Hatchery is a great example, serving as both a breeding ground for this famous Maine crustacean and a learning center for visitors. The young lobsters are then released back into the Atlantic, bolstering the local population. This exhibit serves as one of the few remaining lobster hatcheries in the entire world.
The quarter-mile Marsh Walk is an ideal place to learn about the local ecology while on an oceanarium eco-tour. The Discovery Pool Touch Tank, attended by knowledgeable staff, is another great place to learn about local marine life. Sea creatures in the touch tank include sea cucumbers, horseshoe crabs, and urchins. There are also phones for listening to whale songs — a fun feature for kids of all ages!
Stay at Pilgrim’s Inn
After you learn more about Maine wildlife at the Mount Desert Oceanarium, come back to beautiful Deer Isle and soak it all in. You’ll have a new appreciation for your lobster plates, as well as the lobstermen who rely on this local ecosystem for their livelihood. At Pilgrim’s Inn you will find charming local accommodations, and amenities that also support the local ecosystem, such as Bee Kind bath products made with natural ingredients. A portion of the product sales supports honey bee research. There are also relaxing Adirondack chairs outside by the pond to soak in your natural surroundings during your stay. For more ways to appreciate nature on Deer Isle, download our free vacation guide!