• Summer in Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park: Latest News, Visiting Tips and More

    Summer in Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park: Latest News, Visiting Tips and More

    As one of the top ten most-visited parks in the U.S., Acadia National Park is a favorite for outdoor recreation, on land and sea alike! As the gateway to the park, Bar Harbor hums with activity in the summer. Our restaurants, ice cream shops, lodging and stores serve many people during these busy months. Staff members at area businesses do their very best to accommodate visitors’ needs – we want you to have lasting and happy memories for years to come.
    Just as our community works hard to prepare for this fun and busy time, we wanted to keep you in the know and prepared for this summer: we’re sharing the latest news, visiting tips and a packing checklist.
    Latest News

    • The Island Explorer shuttle is back as of June 23 to pre-pandemic service levels. Avoid the hassle of parking or go car free!
    • From May 25 through October 22, 2022, The National Park Service is requiring advanced vehicle reservations to access Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Summit Road.
    • We’re excited to have launched a new mobile app that assists you with planning your trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Download it on the Apple Store or Google Play.

    Visiting Tips
    This summer, navigate Bar Harbor and Acadia with these handy tips in your back pocket.
    • Navigating Popular Spots
      • Cadillac Mountain: At sunrise and sunset, Cadillac Mountain Summit can be a busy place.
        • Utilize public transportation options (or hike up!) for a reservation-free experience. Get to Cadillac’s peak on one of these fun and informative local providers: 
        • Sunrise/Sunset Alternatives: Check out these recommendations for alternative places to witness the spectacle.
      • Sand Beach
        • Be early or be late. Plan to arrive early to stake your place on the beach or hit the sand later in the afternoon when many others have already called it a day. 
        • Swap the Sun for Stars: Surprisingly, after sunset is an especially good time to visit Sand Beach—to stargaze!
    • Dining Tips
      • Switch up your hours. Sleep in and grab brunch like it’s the weekend even if it’s not, or be an early bird and enjoy lunch before noon and dinner before 5 p.m. (Upside: That sets you up perfectly for an evening snack of ice cream or blueberry pie!)
      • Reserve, reserve: Wherever possible, make reservations for your meals. Then you can show up on time and avoid having to wait in any potential lines.
      • Takeout: Enjoy your meal from a park bench or beach. (Just make sure to dispose of any litter or take it with you).
    • Shopping like a Pro
      • Connect: Call the shops you want to visit ahead of time and ask for tips on when the best time would be to shop.
      • Order Online: If you’re not able to visit during off hours, see if the shop offers online ordering for you to browse at your leisure. Plus: more room in your suitcase.
      • Beat the Heat: As you navigate downtown in the summer, make sure you are prepared: wear comfortable clothes, a good pair of walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses. Keep a water bottle on hand, and maybe a snack or two so you can take breaks at your own pace. 

    What to Pack
    Trails, water, downtown shopping and the sandy beach all await in Bar Harbor and Acadia. Preparing for it all can seem daunting, so we’ve pulled together some packing tips!
    • Comfortable, light-colored clothing: In addition to being heat-resistant, lighter-colored clothing helps you to spot any potential pests while hiking.
    • Layers: Temperatures change quickly – and so can the weather! A rain jacket is also a good idea.
    • Swimsuit: Water activities abound here. Tip: be sure to wear your suit under other clothes, both for sun and wind protection.
    • Water bottle: Sounds obvious, but often forgotten. Bring it, no matter if you’re strolling downtown or on the mountain top.
    • Map: Reception can be spotty. Keep one handy.
    • First aid kit: Scrapes happen. Be ready.
    • Walking shoes: A good, supportive pair of shoes for your lighter explorations.
    • Hiking shoes: Quality traction is key on more serious hikes.
    • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen: Prevent sunburn.
    • Backpack: Have a hands-free way to carry all your essentials.