• Tips for Visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park This Summer

    Tips for Visiting Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park This Summer


    Hello, almost-summer 2021! We’re so excited and grateful to safely welcome back visitors after a unique season last year, to say the least. As you plan your Bar Harbor and Acadia getaway, we wanted to share tips for planning a successful, fun vacation with us. 
    Did you know: Acadia National Park is one of the top ten most-visited parks in the United States? People seek out the many activities on land and sea! 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 offer you some tips to prepare for your visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia this summer.
    Summer in Bar Harbor

    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. Or request a time before or after their usual hours. It can’t hurt to ask!
    • 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.
    A Little Patience and Kindness Go a Long Way!
    During this busy time, our employees greatly appreciate your patience and kindness. Just as we prioritize our guests’ satisfaction and happiness, our employees’ wellbeing is important to us. Every smile, ‘thank you’ and tip in the jar do not go unnoticed and brighten their busy day. We thank you for being a supportive guest of the Bar Harbor community.

    Summer in Acadia National Park

    Tips for Navigating Popular Spots
    • Cadillac Mountain: At sunrise and sunset, Cadillac Mountain Summit can be a busy place. For the summer season, visitors to Acadia National Park will need a vehicle reservation to drive up the Cadillac Summit Road during sunrise and daylight hours. Learn more about the reservations system at our Acadia National Park Vehicle Reservations page.
      • 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! You’ll feel so close to the Milky Way, you’ll want to reach out and grab the stars.
    Stay Aware and Prepared
    • Before you head out, keep up to date on park conditions and any applicable trail closures.
    • Stick to established trails and roads.
    • Avoid peak hours: 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.