Acadia National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States and is largely located on the stunning Mount Desert Island in Maine. The gateway and premier attraction of the island and park is the historic resort town of Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is a very popular tourist destination and summer colony. It is home to Acadia's Cadillac Mountain and has a population of around 5,000 people.
Getting to Bar Harbor is easy with a number of transportation options. While on the island, take time to explore the romantic and scenic carriage roads on the island. There are plenty of ways to get to Bar Harbor - by car, ferry, and plane. Another way to get to Bar Harbor is to take one's own personal boat. Finally, another common way to get to Bar Harbor is by taking a cruise ship along the North American coastline.
Getting To Bar Harbor By Car
Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor are accessible by road from the American mainland via Maine State Route 3.
- Road To Mount Desert Island: Maine State Route 3
- Access To Bar Harbor: By Road, Air, Ferry
It is very simple to drive to Bar Harbor by car as the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. It should be kept in mind that there can be traffic jams during the summer months (it is, after all, one of New England's most popular destinations).
The closest major cities to Bar Harbor are Boston and Canada's Quebec (both around 250 miles away). Other major cities like NYC and Montreal are around 475 miles and 350 miles away, respectively. All these drives are doable for a long weekend.
People can get to Bar Harbor by bus (like Concord Coach and Greyhound Bus) or by taxi from one of the local airports. It is not necessary to have a car (or rent a car) to enjoy Bar Harbor. There are also plenty of guided tour options around the island.
Getting To Bar Harbor By Ferry
Additionally, it is also accessible by air from Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport and by ferry from Winter Harbor, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
See The Cat for ferry services from Yarmouth in Canada. The ferries leave Yarmouth at 9.30 am and arrive in Bar Harbor at 3.00 pm, making it around a 5.5-hour ferry ride.
The Cat Ferry Yarmouth to Bar Harbor:
- Adult Passenger: $115 One Way l $210 Return (Aged 14-59)
- Vehicle to 20': $119 One Way l $274 Return
There is a daily passenger ferry service from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor and Schoodic Peninsula in Maine. The Ferry service runs from June 23 to August 31. The ferry right is stunning passing lighthouses, mansions, lighthouses, and more.
- Winter Harbor Departure Times: 10 am, 12 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6:30 pm
- Bar Harbor Departure Times: 9 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 5:30 pm
- Adult: $14 One Way l $24 Round-Trip
Getting To Bar Harbor By Air & Taxi
It is possible to fly to Bar Harbor (or at least close to it). The closest international airport is Bangor International Airport on the Maine mainland near Bangor. From the airport, one can hire a car and drive to Bar Harbor - or take a taxi, bus, or shuttle (like with Bar Harbor Coastal Cab & Tours or with Bar Harbor Shuttle).
- Nearby Airports: Bangor International Airport & Bar Harbor Airport
Bangor International Airport is the closest international airport to Mount Desert Island (that's around an hour's drive from Bar Harbor). The airport services around 600,000 passengers a year and is a joint civil-military public airport. It was designated by NASA as an emergency landing location for the venerable Space Shuttle.
The closest airport is Bar Harbor Airport (BHB). It is also located on the mainland but is right by the bridge leading to the island. It has connections to and from Boston, and there are rental car services and taxi services there. It is only 9 miles northwest of Bar Harbor.
During the summer, Bar Harbor Airport it comes one of the busiest airports in Maine, servicing many private jets for the wealthy going to enjoy the summer colonies of the area. Commercial flights are operated in the airport by Cape Air.