45 mins - 1 hour from Bangor, Maine, depending on traffic. Take I-395 and Route 1A to Ellsworth. From Ellsworth continue on Route 3 to Bar Harbor.
3.5 hours from Portland, Maine. Take I-95 to exit 182, I-395 and follow the directions from Bangor. Alternatively, take I-95 to Route 3, exit 113, just north of Augusta, and follow Route 3 east to Belfast, and then to Ellsworth and Bar Harbor.
7 hours from Burlington, Vermont. Take I-89 South to Montpelier, get on Route 2 West and follow until Newport, Maine. Get on I-95 North and take exit 185 to the "Acadia Region". Follow the signs along Route 1 to Bar Harbor.
There is a small Vermont Transit Bus Line terminal on Main Street, with service from Boston. Bus service to and from Boston is available only in the summer. During the remainder of the year there is bus service to Bangor, 74km/46 miles from Bar Harbor.
The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport is somewhat of a misnomer, actually located in Trenton on the outskirts of Ellsworth, on the mainland adjacent to Mount Desert Island. There is scheduled air service to Boston. During the summer there is free bus service between the airport and Bar Harbor, which takes about 45 minutes,depending on the amount of traffic. Taxi service and rental cars are also available.
Depending on the time of year you find yourself in town, and your intended goals, your visit may necessitate different modes of transportation. With many of the nearly 3 million annual visitors arriving in the summer months, getting around town by motor vehicle is a bad idea. Bar Harbor is much, much quieter between October and April.
Driving a large truck or SUV is ill-advised, as parking in Bar Harbor is not suited to such vehicles. On the bright side, bringing less stuff requires befriending of locals, improvisation, and overall a more fun Maine experience.
The central area of Bar Harbor is quite small and easily explored by foot. This includes the shopping and eating establishments on Main St. and Cottage St., as well as the activities at the town pier.
Bicycles can be rented in town and may be put on the front of the buses.
Bar Harbor Historical Society, 33 Ledgelawn Ave, Phone: +1 207 288-3807 or +1 207 288-0000, . Open M-Sa 1-4PM, June-October, open by appointment in the winter. Closed Sundays and holidays. Free admission.
Abbe Museum, 26 Mount Desert St, +1 207 288-3519, . Open to school groups and programs by appointment in the winter, shop and galleries open for the public May 25.
Village Green. Right in the heart of town, the well-groomed park is a great place to take a break from walking, shopping, etc. Toss a frisbee, enjoy your ice cream, read a book, or just take a nap. The gazebo hosts the town band every Monday and Thursday night.
Asticou Azalea Gardens, Northeast Harbor, Maine. It provides visitors with a stunning backdrop of trees and flowering plants that reflect its designer’s love of Japanese gardens and local plant life. Though only open part of the year, it is a peaceful and tranquil place where local wildlife add to the ambiance that make this garden a must see local on the Maine coastline.edit
Those seeking real adventure on a budget in Bar Harbor may find the bar and restaurant prices cost-prohibitive, but the Hannaford Supermarket on Cottage Street offers no end of inexpensive food and drink including liquor. In general, Bar Harbor is more interesting from 9PM-5AM during the summertime, when the crowds are thinner and the air cooler, although be advised that the Police Department never sleeps.
Kebo Valley Golf Course, State Highway 233 ("Eagle Lake Road"). Pro Shop: 207-288-3000 firstname.lastname@example.org, Club House: Phone: +1 207 288-5000, email: email@example.com, Superintendent: 207-288-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org. Challenge yourself at the 8th oldest golf course in America. 6,131 yards, par 70.
Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf Route 3, Phone: +1 207 288-2133,  Open mid-April through October, 11AM-9PM every day. Two 18-hole courses, Original and Blackbeard's Challenge. Both courses $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for children. 36-hole adventure: $12/adults, $11/children. Ice cream window right across the street to celebrate.
Criterion Theater, 35 Cottage St., Phone: +1 207 288-3441, email: email@example.com, . Enjoy a film or live performance at this beautiful, historic Art-Deco theater. 88 balcony seats, 781 downstairs.
Reel Pizza Cinerama 3 Kennebec Place, Phone: +1 207 288-3811. email:firstname.lastname@example.org, . Take your pick of comfy seating and gourmet pizzas, beer and wine, in front of one of two screens. Tickets $6 for adults and children. Disability accommodations.
Schooner Margaret Todd, Office located at 27 Main St., Tickets: Phone: +1 207 288-4585 or Phone: +1 207 288-2373  Sail through Frenchman's Bay on this beautiful, 151-foot, four-masted schooner and see the sun set over the harbor. Follow the shore path to the right of the town pier to the dock directly in front of the Bar Harbor Inn. (You'll see the boat before you get that close). Sails at 10AM (morning sail), 2PM (afternoon sail), and 6:30PM (sunset sail). Tickets are Adult: $37.50, Seniors 65+: $35.00, Children 6-11: $27.50, Todders 2-5: $5.00, Infants under 2: free Tickets also available on-line.
Acadia Sailing Company, Reservations & Rates: Phone: +1 207 669-5900  Enjoy an intimate 2 or 3 hour sail with a native captain on a 25-foot Crosby Catboat built in 1915. 6 passenger maximum & nice dogs sail free. Trips depart from the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center dock (119 Eden St) daily.
The following is a list of walks and hikes around the village of Bar Harbor. For a complete list of mountains on the island, please see the list on the Mount Desert Island page.
Cadillac Mtn. 1,530 ft.
North Ridge Trail
South Ridge Trail
Dorr Mtn. 1,270 ft.
Champlain Mtn. 1,058 ft.
Bear Brook Trail
The Precipice Trail - One of the most difficult hikes on the island, iron rungs and ladders help you make the steep ascent. This trail is closed at times due to nesting peregrine falcons, which can be viewed from the parking area.
The Beehive 540 ft. - A short but steep hike up this mountain rewards you with some great views of Sand Beach, Great Head, Frenchman's Bay, and Champlain Mtn.
Iron rungs and ladders
Gorham Mtn. 525 ft.
The Shorepath - A relaxing stroll along the oceanfront, beginning at the town pier.
Ocean Trail - An easy walk along the dramatic, rocky coastline Maine is known for. See Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs.
Bar Island - This trail is accessible only at low tide.
Carraige Roads - Accessible by Eagle Lake
Great Head Trail
Tips for hiking in Bar Harbor
Avoid driving and use the free Island Explorer buses. These stop at most trail heads, and afford an ideal means of taking hikes from one point to another without spotting cars.
Bring and drink at least one liter of water per person and use sun protection. The nearby mountains and shoreline afford little protection from the sun.
Dress in layers. Even on the hottest summer days the mountains and shoreline can be windy and cool.
Stay on the 160 km/100 miles of trails and 80km/50 miles of carriage roads.
National Park Sea Kayak Tours, 39 Cottage St., Toll free: +1 800-347-0950, email: email@example.com, . Reservations are suggested for these ecological tours, which cruise the quieter western side of Mount Desert Island.
Ardea EcoExpeditions Tours, 34 Hackmatack Rd. Gouldsboro, ME 04607, +1 207.460.9731, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, . World class learning adventures and outdoor instruction led by Master Maine Guides who are trained naturalists with extensive experience as environmental educators. We use curriculum based instruction so participants connect more fully with the natural world and develop lifelong outdoor skills.
Aquaterra Adventures, 1 West Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-0007 . They offer several types of tours and instruction led by the best licensed Maine guides. They provide you with all of the equipment that you will need on the trip and have their own dock located right behind the shop so there is no need to shuttle anywhere or lug equipment.
Acadia Park Kayak Tours, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: (207) 266-1689 . Offering sunrise, day, sunset, night, and private tours. They offer ecological tours of the coastal islands of Frenchman's bay the body of water off the shores of Bar Harbor. They limit their group sizes to the maximum of six people per group which is half or less than half the maximum group size set by any other outfitters on Mount Desert Island and most other outfitters in the state. They place a special emphasis on using eco-friendly business practices.
Lulu Lobster Boat Ride, 55 West Street Bar Harbor, ME, +1 207-963-2341, email: email@example.com, . The only lobster boat and seal watch tour in Bar Harbor hosted on a traditional Downeast-style lobster boat. After fourteen successful seasons delighting passengers in the Hancock area and Bar Harbor, Lulu sails out of downtown Bar Harbor. The Harborside Hotel & Marina is Lulu’s base of operations. Lulu takes you on a two hour tour offering the most exclusive, personal and unique cruise in Bar Harbor.
Sea Princess Scenic Nature Cruises, +1 (207) 276-5352, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, . A Maine Coast tradition since 1968. Take a scenic nature cruise from Northeast Harbor (20 minute drive from Bar Harbor). View Bear Island Lighthouse, Osprey, Eagles, Harbor Porpoise, Harbor Seals, visit the Cranberry Islands and the Islesford Historical Museum, and cruise into majestic Somes Sound Fjord.
Cool as a Moose, 118 Main St., Phone: +1 207 288-3904, .
Geddy's Down Under, 19 Main St., . Entrance to the right of the restaurant entrance, by the license plates.
Village Emporium 14 Cottage St., Phone: +1 207 288-9584.
Eden Rising, 39 Cottage St., Phone: +1 207 288-1124, .
Celtic Rainbow Gifts, 56 West Street (down by the waterfront, near the Harborside Hotel), ☎ 207-288-3860, . Offers jewelry, clothing, music, and other gifts from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.edit
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Mache Bistro, 135 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ☎ 207 288-0447, . French food with a local flair from acclaimed chef Kyle Yarborough, formerly of Havana. An intimate setting and perfect portions make this a must-do on any Bar Harbor trip. Open year round.edit
Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes, Phone: +1 207 288-5031, .
Cafe This Way, 14 1/2 Mt. Desert St., Phone: +1 207 288-4483. Known locally for a great place for a Sunday hangover brunch.  .
EPI's Pizza, 8 Cottage St., Phone: +1 207 801-2516 (http://epispizza.com). Pizza, subs, calzones, soups sandwiches and salads. Two arcade games and a pinball machine in the back. A busy place in the summer, but the wait in line is worth it.
Galyn's Restaurant and Galley Lounge, 17 Main St., Phone: +1 207 288-9706. Open daily, March to November. lunch served 11:30-2:30, dinner 4-10PM. Head to the Galley Lounge for happy hour between 4-6 each afternoon. Reservations are accepted.
Geddy's, 19 Main St., Phone: +1 207 288-5077, . Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, all year-round. Burgers, steaks, grilled chicken, seafood, and gourmet pizza all provided by cisco systems. Have fun pointing out all of the fake Mount Desert Island memorabilia on the walls while you enjoy the great food and service.
Havana, 318 Main St., Phone: +1 207 288-2822, . "American fine dining with a latin flair".
Morning Glory Bakery, 39 Rodick Street, Phone: +1 207 288-3041, . Open year round. Free wireless internet. Coffee, Pastries, Quiches, Sandwiches and Soups. Eat in or take out.
Trailhead Cafe, 37 Cottage St., Phone: +1 207 288-9592. Not only the best coffee but the best place to enjoy a coffee in Bar Harbor.
Opera House Internet Cafe, 27 Cottage St., Phone: +1 207 288-3509, . Open May-October. Offering Fee based Internet Access (wired and wireless), Coffee & Pastry, Come in and Go Online or simply hang out and play Scrabble, Chess, Checkers or many other games.
The Acadia Hotel, 20 Mount Desert Street, Phone: +1 207 288-5721 or 1-888-876-2463, email: email@example.com, . Open April 6 thru October 28. $59 early May-$149 August.
Acadia Inn, 98 Eden Street (Rt. 3), Phone: +1 207 288-3500 or 800-638-3636, fax: 207-288-8424, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, . Open April 7 thru November 11. $69 early May-$179 August.
Atlantic Eyrie Lodge, 6 Norman Road, Phone: +1 207 288-9786 or 800-HABA-VUE, email: email@example.com, . Open May 19 thru October 15. $62 mid-May to mid-June; $202 July and August. Cheapest rooms are on 1st and 2nd floors, more expensive for corner rooms (two big windows), rooms on upper floors, and those with kitchens.
Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center, Phone: +1 207 288-5801 or 800-336-2463, fax: 207-288-8402, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, . Open year-round. $92 Jan.-mid May; $203 July - Labor Day. All rooms ocean view. Room categories from least expensive: Oceanview, kitchenette, deluxe, superior.
Bar Harbor Grand Hotel, 269 Main St., Phone: +1 207 288-5226 or 888-766-2529, fax: 207-288-8548, email: email@example.com, . Open Apr 14 - Nov 11. $75 mid-April - mid-May; $195 July and August.
Bar Harbor Inn, Newport Drive, ☎ +1 207-288-3351 (toll free: +1-800-248-3351, firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open Mar 24 - Nov 26. There are two restaurants at the Inn, the Reading Room Restaurant and the Terrace Grille.$79 Apr - Jun; $369 Jul and Aug. edit
Bar Harbor Motel, 100 Eden St., Phone: +1 207 288-3453 or 800-388-3453, fax: 207-288-3598, email: email@example.com, . Open May 11 - Oct 21. $60 May; $128 July and August.
Bar Harbor Regency, 123 Eden Street, Phone: +1 207 288-9723, Toll free: +1 800-23-HOTEL, .
Bayview Hotel, 111 Eden Street, Toll free: +1 800-356-3585, .
Edgewater Motel and Cottages, Box 566 Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 (200 yards off of route 3), ☎ +1-888-310-9920, . Nestled on the shore of Salisbury Cove, The Edgewater offers cozy cottages, suites and motel rooms all overlooking the ocean. Located just 2.5 miles from the entrance to Acadia National Park, and 5 miles from downtown Bar Harbor, these quiet, private accommodations are the perfect spot for your Maine vacation. edit
Harborside Hotel and Marina, 55 West Street, Phone: +1 207 288-5033, Toll-Free: +1 800-328-5033, .
Robbins Motel, 396 State Highway 3, Phone: +1 207 288-4659, Toll free: +1 800-858-0769, . All rooms one low price for one or two people. May-June $32, July-August $58, September-October $42.
The Town Motel, 12 Atlantic Avenue, Toll free: +1 800-458-8644 or Phone: 288-5548, . Family-owned for 35+ years, in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor and on a quiet street; Spring $68-120, Summer $120-185, Fall $92-150.
Bar Harbor Hostel, 321 Main St, ☎ +1 207 288-5587 (BarHarborHostel@emdiha.org), . Open June thru October. Lively, fun and clean hostel with excellent in-town location.$25 per person per night for dorm beds, $10 per person per night for camping platforms. edit
Acacia House Inn, 6 High Street, ☎ 207-288-8122 (toll free: +1-800-551-5399, firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkout: 11AM. Charming home with nine guestrooms run by the former owners of the Morning Glory Bakery. Breakfast is included in the price and is made from locally sourced ingredients and prepared to order. Open year round.edit
Balance Rock Inn Bed and Breakfast, 21 Albert Meadow, ☎ +1-207-288-2610. edit
Inn at Bay Ledge Bed & Breakfast, 50 Sand Point Road (turn left on Sand Point Road (you will see the Bay Ledge sign) and continue 3 miles), ☎ +1-207-288-4204, . Atop an 80 foot cliff, amidst towering pines and overlooking Frenchman Bay, sits the Inn at Bay Ledge. The Inn at Bay Ledge has twelve units: eight rooms in the main lodge; three hillside cottages; and a private summer cottage on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The Inn at Bay Ledge is locally referred to as the Eden of New England.$165-$475. edit
Crime is essentially non-existent in Bar Harbor. Most locals don't lock their front doors overnight and many even leave their car keys in the ignition. Even during the height of the tourist season, one shouldn't have to worry about any sort of theft, though you should always take common sense precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
The only real danger in Bar Harbor and on Mount Desert Island is from the environment. While not common, It isn't unheard of for kayakers to become stranded or even drown in coastal waters, especially given the cold ocean temperature year-round and dense fogs that can roll in without much warning. Anyone wishing to go out on their own should do so with proper equipment (PFDs, compasses) and the knowledge and experience to safely navigate in ocean waters. There are also many companies which offer guided kayak and sailing tours of the surrounding islands.
Several people have suffered severe injuries in recent years while out hiking, particularly on the technical and physically demanding Beehive and Precipice trails, some requiring emergency evacuation by helicopter. While the majority of hiking trails on Mount Desert Island are comparatively easy, it's always important to come prepared.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!