Bar Harbor 3 Day Getaway Travel Itinerary & Restaurant Guide
Our Bar Harbor 3 Day Itinerary will help you discover a vibrant seaside community full of lobstermen, artists, merchants, and ship builders. Many people first visit Bar Harbor while touring Acadia National Park. After only a short time in town they realize that Bar Harbor, Maine is a great stand-alone destination.
Bar Harbor is blessed with the stunning scenery of Frenchman Bay. The walkable downtown combines a staid New England exterior with a fun, modern vibe. Sea shanties, shingled cape houses, and gilded-age mansions of a by-gone era exist in harmony. There is much to see and do.
Our Bar Harbor itinerary includes all of our favorite things to do in Bar Harbor. We have also included a Bar Harbor Restaurant Guide that lists our favorite places to eat.
For more information on traveling to the Maine coast area read our articles on:
BAR HARBOR TRAVEL GUIDE & TRAVEL TIPS
Lodgings: Parking is sparse in Bar Harbor so book a room close to the village. Book early for affordable price options. Outside of Bar Harbor prices drop (a bit). If you do book outside of the village, there is metered parking in the town pier lot and on some streets.
Transportation: Most people arrive in Bar Harbor by car. If you arrive by bus or cruise ship there is a fare-free Island Explorer bus service running between lodgings and popular park sights. Oli's Trolley's also does a Bar Harbor, Cadillac Mountain, and Acadia National Park tour. There are a number of bike rental shops in town. (See our post Acadia National Park Bike & Hike for more information on biking).
Weather/Clothing: Expect changeable weather. In all seasons be prepared for balmy and cool, wet weather. Visitors will likely experience sun, fog, and precipitation - all in the same day. Dress for you activity. In more upscale establishments dress in golf-club chic.
Acadia National Park Entrance Pass & Reservations: Acadia National Park requires an entrance pass that can be purchased online or at park visitor centers. In addition, vehicle registration is required for the Cadillac Summit Road (end of May through mid-October). Go to nps.gov for park general information and alerts, and recreation.gov to purchase entrance passes or make a vehicle registration. See our post visiting Acadia National Park and Biking in Acadia National Park for more information on longer trips.
Bar Harbor Restaurant Guide:
There are many places to eat and drink in Bar Harbor. These are a few of our favorite restaurants and pubs. Many have outdoor seating. Also, many of the pubs will have nightly entertainment in season.
Dog & Pony Tavern: American. Lunch & Dinner. Roddick Place
Geddy's: American, Seafood. Lunch & Dinner. Main St.
Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast: American. Breakfast. Cottage St.
Jordan's Restaurant: American. Breakfast and Lunch. Cottage St.
La Bella Vita: Italian. Lunch & Dinner. West St.
Leary's Landing Irish Pub: Irish. Lunch & Dinner. Main St.
McKay's Public House: American. Lunch & Dinner. Newton Way
Paddy's Irish Pub & Restaurant: Irish. American. Lunch & Dinner. West St.
Stewman's Lobster Pound: Seafood. Lunch & Dinner. West St.
West Street Cafe: New England, American. Lunch & Dinner. West St.
Day 1: Walkabout Piers/Bar Harbor Shore Path/Village, Sunset trip to Cadillac Mt., & Bar Harbor Pub Crawl
After check-in head to the Bar Harbor town piers. Wander about taking in the water craft, islands, and amazing vistas. When you get to the wharf by Agamont Park, you have arrived at the Bar Harbor Shore Path. Treading past the Bar Harbor Inn, round the point and enjoy the path for another .5 miles past cottages, inns, and the dramatic eastern shore. At the end, retrace your steps to the Bar Harbor Inn.
From the Inn, head into downtown Bar Harbor. While exploring the village of Bar Harbor concentrate on the rectangle between Main, Mt. Desert, Rodick, and West Streets. Then, within this area, have fun wandering along all the little offshoots and alleys. There are eateries, gift shops, and galleries for all budgets.
An hour or so before sunset, drive (or take the free Island Explorer bus) 3 miles to Cadillac Summit Road. At the top of Cadillac Mountain explore the summit and watch the sun dip. Check the weather before you go. It is often sunny in Bar Harbor and shrouded in fog at the Cadillac Mountain summit. If the weather is poor, take in the sunset from the Town Pier (also spectacular). Tonight, do a downtown Bar Harbor pub crawl.
Day 2 Acadia National Park Tour, Shopping in Bar Harbor, Evening Sunset Cruise
If taking your personal vehicle, leave early and drive the Acadia Park Loop Road. Park in the Sand Beach lot (rest rooms available). If the lot is full there is overflow parking along the right-hand lane of the road. Hike the Acadia Ocean Path, a 4-5 mile round trip from Sand Beach to Otter's Point. The mostly-flat trail follows one of the most scenic portions of the coastline. Allow 3 hours for the hike, and the following stops:
Stop 1 - Sand Beach - Acadia: Amazing scenery and sandy beach.
Stop 2 - Thunder Hole - Acadia: Blow hole where waves crash with a roar.
Stop 3 - Monument Cove: Pass by a small, rocky stretch of coast with striking granite formations.
Stop 4 - Boulder Beach: Cove littered with bowling ball sized rocks worn smooth from the surf.
Stop 5 - Otter Cliff and Point: Dramatic cliffs that are a favorite of rock climbers and rocks to relax on.
After your hike, spend the afternoon shopping in downtown Bar Harbor. This evening, book a late afternoon or sunset cruise along the magnificent Maine coastline. There are many types of boats offering cruises and small crafts that can be rented. Walk along the Town Pier to be inspired (in high season book ahead).
Day 3: Morning Hike (Bar Island or Eden Street). Travel Home.
If the morning brings low tide, head to end of Bridge Street in Bar Harbor. An hour and a half before and after low tide, there is a natural land bridge to Bar Island (part of the National Park). Cross the gravelly sea bed to Bar Island. Beachcomb around the tide pools or hike to the top of the island for views of Bar Harbor.
If the tides are not right, take a walk on Eden Street (West Street to Historic West Street to Eden Street). Follow Eden Street past captain's mansions and boutique inns. Eventually, you will reach the old ferry terminal (Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia). If you don't feel like a hike - just shop!
Next stop: Home! Laura and Randy
For more information on traveling to the Acadia National Park area read our articles on: