As a historic whaling and fishing town, the city's unique past offers endless attractions to discover, from carriage and ghost tours to niche museums. Learn about the region's Native American history at the Abbe Museum, or brush up on its maritime roots at the Maine Lighthouse Museum. The city's rows of Victorian mansions and historic estates offer endless eye candy, as do its charming boutiques and galleries.
The city's spas, golf courses, wineries, and breweries welcome guests who prefer to unwind. Whether you choose to discover Bar Harbor's natural wonder and history or take a bite out of a local favorite, such as lobster rolls or blueberry pie, there's something to suit every taste here.
When should you visit Bar Harbor, ME?
Thanks to its coastal location, Bar Harbor, Maine, enjoys a more moderate climate than you'd expect from its northern location. However, Bar Harbor is situated near the top of Northern New England, so winter can be prone to snowstorms and very cold temperatures. You'll get the most out of your stay if you visit in late spring, around April, through autumn. Be aware that the peak season of July and August in Bar Harbor can cause congestion on the hiking trails and roads, due to an influx of tourists from tour buses and cruise ships.
In spring you can enjoy the blooms of the famous regional flora: lupines, azaleas, and even wild blueberries. In the fall, pristine, clear views draw hikers and leaf-chasers to the island's trails and to Acadia National Park. The best time to book a boat cruise is during the months of June through October, so take that into account according to your plans. As long as you travel outside the months of July and August, you'll get better hotel rates and deals and enjoy fewer crowds during your stay. Just be aware that Bar Harbor has been known to get snow as early as mid-October.
However, if you want to taste the succulent local favorite — a lobster roll — the peak months of July, August, and September are known in Maine as lobster season. Travelers can charter a lobster fishing tour during these months for a truly unforgettable experience. During this time, you can watch the Bar Harbor lobster boat races, a local tradition. Visitors also rave about Fourth of July in Bar Harbor, especially the fireworks show over the harbor.
Bar Harbor is also known for its music festivals, which draw talented musicians of all genres. The Bar Harbor Music Festival takes place all over town throughout July, and many of the concerts are free. It's a tradition that has endured for more than 51 years. If you're a music-lover, this is a can't-miss event worth braving the crowds for. You can take in opera, choral, jazz, classical, and contemporary performances of all styles at venues such as Acadia National Park's amphitheater and Bar Harbor Congregational Church.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Bar Harbor, ME:
Bar Harbor by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Bar Harbor, ME. You can use these illustrations to determine the cheapest time to book in Bar Harbor for upcoming travels.
What are the luxury hotel options in Bar Harbor, ME?
4 Star Average Prices: $331.75
Bar Harbor, Maine, doesn't offer any four- or five-star accommodations, but you'll find all the comfort, convenience, and high-quality furnishings you are seeking right on the water at Elsa's Inn on the Harbor. This quaint 3.5-star bed and breakfast epitomizes Bar Harbor's charms; it's welcoming, charming, and just a bit quirky. It's located on Main Street, right in the heart of the action, yet still offers a quiet escape after a day of exploring.
Each room and garret is furnished with homey wallpaper, wrought-iron beds, and fluffy bedding, yet the property offers up-to-date or renovated conveniences such as spa tubs, new bathroom fixtures, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Elsa's Inn on the Harbor also consistently garners rave reviews from guests for its convenient proximity to great shopping options, such as the L.L. Bean outlet, and nearby Acadia National Park.
You'll want to book your room at Elsa's Inn on the Harbor well in advance of your stay, as the property has only six guest rooms. That makes for a sense of intimacy, so you can relax in the on-site garden terrace or quietly enjoy your complimentary coffee and breakfast. If you want to bring your furry friend, just contact the hotel staff when booking to notify them you'll be bringing a pet.
What are the affordable hotel options in Bar Harbor, ME?
3 Star Average Prices: $156.82
The Primavera Inn in nearby Ellsworth offers some of the most competitive room rates around, paired with daily housekeeping and complimentary newspapers. The property is well-kept and offers the added convenience of an adjacent steakhouse and lounge. There's also a meeting room on the property, should you like to host a family reunion, party, or small business function during your stay. Nearby, Primavera Inn's guests can visit Birdsacre Wildlife Sanctuary and Downeast Scenic Railroad. The Primavera Inn's convenience and well-maintained facility make it a top choice for families seeking both value and charm.
For a few more amenities, head over to the affordable Comfort Inn Ellsworth – Bar Harbor. This property features an on-site café and coffee shop, as well as a business center and free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected while you are on the road. The Comfort Inn Ellsworth's RV parking and picnic area make it a great stopover during a family road trip, and the free breakfast will satisfy every member of the family.