Winter in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park: Weather, Things to Do and See
Yes, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are open in the winter! For an experience like no other, visit this winter. The quiet beauty makes it the perfect getaway for outdoor adventures like hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing (for the extra adventurous – ever tried ice climbing?). Later, grab a frosty pint in downtown Bar Harbor, and peruse our charming shops.
Winter Weather in Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park
Discover the thrill of the chill. With an average daily high temperature below 39°F, there’s no denying it’s a chilly time of year. But, you’ll be surprised just how quickly you warm up – whether through the myriad of outdoor wintertime activities available or that cup of hot cocoa downtown.
A few tips for visiting in the winter:
- Check the latest weather forecast! Snow squalls and icy rain are possibilities during this time of year.
- Be sure to review Acadia’s Operating Hours and Seasons to see what park roads and facilities are open in winter.
- Check Acadia’s Current Conditions for emergency alerts and closure updates.
- Darkness falls early: Before you head out on your hike (key word: before, as cell service isn’t always reliable!) know when sunset is and be sure to head out with plenty of time to return well before it occurs.
- Layer up: While on your winter adventure, bundle up in layers to ensure you can shed clothing once you warm up.
Cabin fever will be a distant memory with these winter-wonderland adventures.
- Guided Tour with Acadia Mountain Guides: Want to try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ice climbing? You don’t need to worry about bringing along or purchasing pricey gear – Acadia Mountain Guides offers everything you need for your outdoor adventure, from expert guides that assist a range of levels, to the technical equipment required.
- Stroll Sand Beach: This summer favorite is just as stunning in the winter (though we certainly recommend bundling up this time of year). A refreshing beach walk can sometimes be the perfect respite to slow down and reflect.
- Explore 45 miles of carriage roads: These historic paths are just as stunning during the winter. Their generous width, crushed stone surfaces and volunteer-groomed paths make them ideal for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Before you go, check trail conditions on the Friends of Acadia website, an organization that volunteers to keep carriage roads primed for skiers.
- Hike Jordan Pond Loop Trail: A favorite any time of year, this 3.4-mile loop is serenely quiet in the winter as opposed to the bustling summers. Often the shoreline, rocks and lake sparkle with ice for the perfect winter hike photo.
- Walk Shore Path: This leisurely loop is located downtown for easy access. With stunning views of Frenchman Bay, there are plenty of benches to pause and take in the view (Tip: Start your day with a steaming cup of coffee and breakfast to-go from nearby Choco-Latte and enjoy it on the walk!)
This holiday season, ditch the indoor hustle and bustle of shopping malls and big-box retailers for the festive and historic town of Bar Harbor. The downtown scene will charm and delight with merry lights, décor, and gifts, while the sweeping seaside views provide a shopping break should you need it. Be sure to check out what’s open and call ahead.
Breweries, Taverns and Bars
After a winter day out and about, retreat to one of Bar Harbor’s craft breweries, taverns or bars – ready to serve you a refreshing beverage and warming pub fare in a snug, welcoming environment. Bar Harbor was recently awarded the category for best small town beer scene, so trying these favorites is a must.
- Dog and Pony Tavern: The cold will be a distant memory in the year-round tavern, serving local brews and hearty meals (everything from poutine and lobster rolls to burgers and steaks). Catch the game on the TVs available throughout the tavern.
- Fogtown Brewing: With live music and trivia on Fridays and Saturdays, you’ll get the added benefit of entertainment with your beverage of choice, including craft brews, hard seltzers, ciders and wine.
- Leary’s Landing: This classic Irish pub will provide a welcome environment insulated from the cold, and their warming food and drink and friendly service will encourage you to stay awhile. Be sure to go on Thursdays for trivia nights.
- Atlantic Brewing Midtown: Currently open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, enjoy the perfect pairing on a cold winter day: beer and ping pong. Flights, large pours and growlers are available.
- McKays Public House Bar: Enjoy a pint of this establishment’s carefully selected ales at their inviting copper bar accented by stained glass windows, or head upstairs to an intimate wine bar made of coastal granite on the second floor.
- Thirsty Whale Tavern: Warm up with generous portions and enjoy the drink options available from fourteen draught lines featuring local and regional draft beers.