• 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 vehicle reservation system for Cadillac Mountain happening May 22, 2024 through October 27, 2024, 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

    There are plenty of locations that offer fantastic vistas perfect for viewing the sunrise. Within Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are are at one of several eastward-facing locations or a place on the eastern side of the island.

    • 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! 

      • Grant Park: There are park benches and plenty of manicured lawn space that make for an ideal sunrise picnic location. Grab your morning coffee or breakfast to-go to enjoy during the sunrise.

      • 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 the seaside restaurants where you can enjoy your meal with a stunning sunset view.

  • Leave No Trace

  • No matter where you choose to take in the sunrise or sunset, please be considerate of our delicate ecosystem here on Mount Desert Island. Please dispose of all trash in designated receptacles. If none are readily available, please take your trash with you and dispose of it properly. Thanks for helping to keep our island beautiful!

  • 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.


    Photos courtesy of @heatherandmaine and Barry Gutradt