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4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

Westerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
87 posts
69 reviews
4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

Would love suggestions of must sees for our stay. We are moderate+ hikers, seafood lovers, scenery viewers. Also open to day trips from Bar Harbor. We of course are planning to spend much time in Acadia. Staying at the Bar Harbor Grand Hotel. Open to tours but also like DIY. FYI - This is midpoint on a 2 week trip from Ohio. Thanks for any suggestions!


Is a tour of the park by trolley bus a good idea for overview?

Any really great boat experiences (we do NOT fish)

Is a trip to Prince Edward Island doable in a day or should that be a trip on its own?

Any reason to head into Canada during our stay or will we have plenty to do here?

HIghly recommended restaurants from locals?

Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
7,613 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: 4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

Prince Edward Island is definitely NOT a doable day trip from Bar Harbor. It's a seven hour drive, one-way.

Oli's Trolley would be a good introduction to Acadia for the narration. However, you can easily drive yourself along the Park Loop Road and to the top of Cadillac Mountain. A stop at the Acadia Visitor's Center will give you a lot of information. You can even buy a CD for a self-guided narrated tour as you drive the Loop Road. You can also purchase a good hiking map (I highly recommend doing that) and get your Park Pass at the Visitor's Center.

A boat tour might be a fun idea. For example this two hour cruise: barharborwhales.com/whale-watching-tours/… Or you could take the mail boat from Northeast Harbor out to the Cranberry Islands for a walk around an outer island.

I would think you would find plenty to do in Acadia for three days without heading to Canada. In any case, most tourist amenities north and east of Bar Harbor tend to close for the season in mid-October.

As to which restaurants are highly recommended by locals, that would very definitely depend on the local you happen to talk to. I like Red Sky and Rogue Cafe over in Southwest Harbor. Burning Tree in Otter Creek is very good although it will likely be closed by the time you visit. Side Street Cafe is very popular with the locals, partly because it stays open all winter. McKay's and Galyn's are popular. Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor is good. Havana in Bar Harbor is also good.

Westerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
87 posts
69 reviews
2. Re: 4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

Awesome - thank you for your thoughtful reply

Washington, Michigan
Level Contributor
133 posts
3. Re: 4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

FYI (in case it is of help) regarding the difference between the fall lighthouse tour and the nature tour I inquired about recently:

"The lighthouse tour covers the bottom of ANP as well as 5 lighthouses. It's a 3 hour tour. The Nature tour will visit the same part of ANP as well as 1 of the lighthouses,that you would see on the other tour. The Nature tour is 2 hours long."

Level Contributor
119 posts
58 reviews
4. Re: 4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

You will find that your time in Acadia is not enough. Here are some of the things we really enjoyed:

Driving - Drive the loop road and explore. You can also take the free hop on/off shuttle, but will have less freedom of schedule. Spend a day making the loop and stopping to explore points of interest ((ie. Sand beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliff, Jordan Pond (get some popovers!), Cadillac Mtn (fantastic views), etc))

Hiking - Ocean Path from Sand Beach (easy), Gorham Mountain Trail (moderate), Bubble Rock (moderate) - all with fantastic views.

Biking - Our favorite day was spent biking in Acadia. You can rent (or bring) bikes from several places in Bar Harbor. The carriage roads throughout Acadia are fantastic and many are gently sloped. We did Witch Hole Pond and Eagle Lake. They were both fantastic. You can rent a bike rack or ride the bus (with your bikes) from the village green.

Tours - Carriage road bridge tour (there are 16 bridges), Whale watching tour, Sunset cruise on the Margaret Todd, Light house tour.

Shopping - Bar Harbor is a wonderful town to explore. There are so many local shops and restaurants tucked into every crevice. We loved going to Jordan's Restaurant every morning for blueberry pancakes.

We also drove 3 hrs N to Eastport to see the West Quoddy Lighthouse, and S to Rockland to spend 4 days sailing on the Isaac H Evans. We enjoyed many other activities, but they were kid-centric.

Westerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
87 posts
69 reviews
5. Re: 4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

Thanks all for the great information. Can't wait to go....

Edited: 03 October 2017, 11:42
6. Re: 4 nights in Bar Harbor - Mid October

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