• Sunrise & Sunset

  • Sunrise & Sunset Alternatives to Cadillac Mountain and Bass Harbor Head Light

  • Many know Cadillac Mountain as the place in Acadia to enjoy the sunrise or sunset, but did you know that there are numerous other spots to catch those golden rays? Similarly, Bass Harbor Head Light is one of the most popular sunset destinations on the western side of Mount Desert Island and has extremely limited parking. With Acadia National Park’s new vehicle reservation system for Cadillac Mountain beginning May 26, 2021 through October 19, 2021, and Bass Harbor Head Light's limited parking, we’re sharing alternative locations to take in the glorious beauty of sunrises and sunsets on Mount Desert Island.

  • Sunrise

    Within Acadia National Park, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are on the “correct side of the island.” Locations along the eastern half of Mount Desert Island offer fantastic vistas perfect for viewing the sunrise. 

    • Enjoy the sunrise from your car: Parking alongside Ocean Drive or at Schooner Head Overlook is a sure bet for some amazing views of the sunrise! Bring coffee and breakfast to-go for an extra enjoyable experience. 

    • Hike! For the adventurous, consider a morning hike to the summit of your favorite mountain where you can take in the first glimpse of sunshine.

    • Relax downtown: If you’re feeling like a more leisurely start to your day, downtown Bar Harbor offers spectacular sunrise opportunities! 

      • Shore Path: Grab your morning coffee or breakfast to-go and take a stroll along the coast-hugging trail, which faces due east and makes for the perfect sunrise location. 

      • Grant Park: There are park benches and plenty of manicured lawn space that make for an ideal sunrise picnic location. 

      • The Town Pier: Go for a dazzling sunrise display over the water.

  • Sunset

    To catch an unforgettable sunset on Mount Desert Island, choose one of several westward-facing locations in Bar Harbor or a place on the western side of the island. 

    • The Town Pier and Agamont Park: Both offer beautiful views of the sunset and make for a convenient location—a perfect place to relax before or after dinner (if after, ideally enjoyed with an ice cream!)

    • The Bar Harbor Sand Bar: If you’re up for a stroll and the sunset coincides with low tide, walk out on the Sand Bar for a stunning sunset from the heart of downtown Bar Harbor.  

    • Book a sunset cruise: Feeling inspired to get out on the water? Find a boat tour and book your ticket to golden hour! 

    • If you're unable to get a parking spot at Bass Harbor Head Light, consider dinner or dessert on the patio at one of Bass Harbor's or Bernard’s restaurants (both located in the town of Tremont) where you can enjoy your meal with a stunning sunset view.

  • For a printer-friendly version of this information, click here.

  • For other tips on finding the perfect location for your sunrise and sunset experiences, stop by the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce visitor center at 2 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, or call us at (207) 288-5103.

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    Photos courtesy of @heatherandmaine and Barry Gutradt