• Summer in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park: Our Top Tips for Summer 2024

    Summer in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park: Our Top Tips for Summer 2024

    Stepping into Acadia National Park, you quickly can see why it remains one of the top ten most-visited parks in the U.S. As the gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is thrilled to welcome visitors from all over the world each summer. Our goal is for you to leave with memories that will last a lifetime and have you planning your next trip back with us.


    With all there is to do, taking some time to plan helps to make sure you get the most out of your visit. Get your planning started with the VisitBarHarbor app (available on the Apple Store or Google Play), which helps you craft the perfect Bar Harbor and Acadia itinerary, share it with friends, and much more.


    Whether you’re a seasoned visitor or new to Bar Harbor, we have you covered with the latest tips and resources.


    Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park Summer Weather & What To Pack 

    The summer tends to bring warm days, cool nights, and plenty of sunshine (historical average highs are around 78°F/25.5°C and lows near 55°F/12.8°C). As you navigate downtown Bar Harbor in the summer, make sure you are prepared: wear comfortable clothes, a good pair of walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to pack some layers for the nights to enjoy the cool ocean breeze. Forget something? Worry not – our many local shops are likely to have exactly what you need. 


    Parking in Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park

    This summer, Main Street is receiving an upgrade, meaning that traffic detours will be in effect on parts of Main Street throughout the summer. Keep an eye out for signage and don’t be afraid to stop by at our Downtown Visitor Center and ask for directions. Bar Harbor also utilizes kiosks for a paid parking program from May to October. Check out our tips for parking in Bar Harbor to make sure you are all set before you arrive. 


    When parking in Acadia, always park legally and safely. When parking in designated areas, make certain that all wheels remain on the pavement. Oversized vehicles, such as recreational vehicles (or vehicles pulling trailers) cannot be accommodated in certain areas. It’s a good idea to have a plan B in the event a parking lot is full. Acadia National Park has a great parking page dedicated to information about particularly popular spots, and when they are most busy to help you plan.


    Thinking about exploring the island car-free? The Island Explorer bus offers free transportation from June 23 to October 14 between hotels, inns, campgrounds, and destinations in Acadia National Park and neighboring village centers (like downtown Bar Harbor). Note: Everyone entering Acadia National Park requires an entrance pass, whether you come by bus, car, bike, or on foot.


    How To Buy Acadia National Park Entrance Passes & Cadillac Vehicle Reservations

    • Entrance passes: Think of this like your golden ticket to get into Acadia National Park, however you get there. We recommend you buy it ahead of time (you can purchase all passes here or the standard seven-day passes at our Visitor Center in Downtown Bar Harbor) and print your pass before driving to the park. That way, you can simply leave the printed pass on your dashboard once you’ve parked at a trailhead.
    • Cadillac Summit Road Vehicle Reservations: Planning on stopping at Cadillac Mountain during your visit? It remains one of Acadia National Park’s most popular attractions! To help ensure everyone has a chance to enjoy it, visitors traveling between May and October planning on visiting Cadillac Mountain with their vehicle also need to purchase a vehicle reservation (in addition to the entrance pass). Looking for how and when to buy Cadillac Summit Road vehicle reservations? Check out this page
    If you missed out on booking a reservation or are looking for a reservation-free experience, you can get to Cadillac’s peak on one of these fun and informative local providers: Oli’s Trolley, Acadia National Park Tours, At Your Service Taxi and Tours, or Cadillac Mountain Summit Shuttle.

    Summer Travel Tips for Navigating Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

    • Eating out in Bar Harbor? First of all, yum. Bar Harbor is known for its wide selection of food that will have something for everyone. Skip the wait lines by making a reservation when possible. If reservations are not accepted, consider being an early bird or night owl to avoid peak hours. Another option: take-out! Savor it on the Village Green or in Agamont Park (just remember to help preserve the natural beauty of Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, and Mount Desert Island by disposing of any litter).
    • Enjoy the sunset or sunrise somewhere other than Cadillac Mountain. While there’s no denying Cadillac is a spectacular spot worth visiting, there are also many other options to take in the dazzling rays that don’t require a reservation. Check out these many options throughout the park and downtown.
    • Stay aware and prepared: Before you head out, keep up to date on park conditions and any applicable trail closures. Ensure you stick to established trails and roads. 
    • Time your hike: Plan around the middle of the day to avoid congestion on trails. Parking lot full? Have a plan B ahead of time so you know where to go.
    • Take care of the land: What you bring into the park, make sure you take with you! Litter, apple cores, you name it. 
    • Take care of yourself: Know your personal limits and pack the essentials (food, plenty of water, sun protection, a first aid kit, and a physical, waterproof map). More tips can be found here.
    • Plan some extra time: Summer is a popular time to visit Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park and can create waits for traveling, activities, or dining. Make sure you allow some cushion room between your plans to ensure a fun day.
    It all starts with a visit: Whether this is your first time visiting us or you are one of the many who return year after year, Bar Harbor is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. Share your favorite Bar Harbor stories and photos of your trip with us by tagging @VisitBarHarbor on Facebook, Instagram, or Threads. We love hearing about your trip and sharing your stories with others planning their visit.