Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a village on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County in the Down East area of Maine. It is a useful base for those visiting Acadia National Park.

Get in

View of Bar Harbor from Cadilac Mountain.

By car

By plane

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.

Get around

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.

Use the Island Explorer buses to get around the island. They are sponsored by L.L. Bean and an eco-friendly option.

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.



Frenchman's Bay lighthouse.

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.

Boat tours



There are numerous trails around Bar Harbor, and even more in the surrounding areas of Mount Desert Island. When planning a hike, 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.

The following is a list of walks and hikes around the village of Bar Harbor.

Other activities




Other shops


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.

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $10
Mid-range $10 - $20
Splurge Over $20








Room rates in Bar Harbor vary drastically with time of year and also with category of accommodation.


Bed & breakfasts/Guest houses


Stay safe

Go next

Routes through Bar Harbor

Ellsworth Trenton  W  E  END
END  N  S  Southwest Harbor Tremont
END  N  S  Northeast Harbor END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, November 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.