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What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

U.K.
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What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

I've been reading the posts on this forum as I'm trying to make a decision about which to chose for my annual holiday next year. Unfortunately pressure of work means that I will be travelling in either July or August, when things slack off for EU holidays times.

Some of the existing posts suggesting that Bar Harbour is really not too OTT seem to be saying this about the quieter times (ie not July or August)

Now I'm not looking for complete peace and quiet - in fact I like a bit of 'life' and want somewhere with some choices in restaurants, somewhere to stroll after dinner and somewhere to have a beer after dinner as well.

Any advice on the choice between these two - factoring in that I'll be there in the busy season?

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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1. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

Given what you have said about choices and some "life," were I you, I would stay in Bar Harbor but make at least one foray to SW Harbor to dine at Red Sky.

One of the two best (in my opinion) breweries on the island now is located in the village of Bar Harbor and has a brew pub. The other one is a short drive (and happens to be close to another good restaurant--Town Hill Bistro.

As has been discussed on this forum several times, "busy" is to some extent in the perception and experience of the beholder. You don't sound like the reclusive sort, so I doubt that you will be bothered.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

Unless you are staying above a shop on Main Street in Bar Harbor, I don't think there is much difference between staying in Bar Harbor vs. Southwest Harbor. Both towns will be relatively quiet after dinner. Most of the B&B's in Bar Harbor are located on quiet side streets that are crowd free.

Bar Harbor is full of people during the day in July and August, but I would gather that you will be spending most of your time either in the park or maybe out on a boat ride. No matter where you stay, you will be encountering the same crowds in the park. Also, no matter which town you stay, you will still need reservations for dining either in Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor or Town Hill. You may have to wait in a longer ice cream line after dinner in Bar Harbor than in Southwest Harbor!

All that being said, I would base my decision on the hotel, B&B, cottage, etc. . . Find the one that has the view, amenities, and price you want and stay there.

U.K.
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3. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

Thanks for putting the 'busy-ness' into perspective. The rational that everywhere will be quieter after dinner is helpful.

I've just been looking at accommodations via Arcadiamagic and had just come to the same conclusion is on respondent - that I need to base my decision on which hotel/b&b I want to stay in.

I really want ocean/harbour views - if possible with a deck/balcony.

Can you make any suggestions? I can't say price is no object ('cos it has to be!) but I'll go with up to $300 per night for the right place. Will that get me an ocean view the a deck, in walking distance to town?

Suggestions please?

Bar Harbor, Maine
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4. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

"I really want ocean/harbour views - if possible with a deck/balcony.

Can you make any suggestions? I can't say price is no object ('cos it has to be!) but I'll go with up to $300 per night for the right place. Will that get me an ocean view the a deck, in walking distance to town?"

Well, that narrows it down considerably. In the village of Bar Harbor, your choices are Saltair, Bar Harbor Inn, Balance Rock Inn, and Harborside Hotel & Marina. These are the four that seem to meet your "walking distance" critieria.

Saltair is a B&B located in the historic area of Bar Harbor. The other three are more on the order of hotels than B&Bs---considerably larger.

U.K.
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5. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

Thanks I'll look at those.

I found Ulikana (somewhere..) as well - have you any experience of this B&B? It's seems I little pricey but also looks lovely.

I'm just going to read up on the TA review section to try and get some more ideas.

Thanks again.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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6. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

Ullikana is a very nice place; I'm not sure however how much they have in terms of water views.

11 posts
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7. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

We just got back from a 7 day trip to Mt Desert Island. We stayed at the Lindenwood Inn in the Penthouse Suite. It cost about what you are willing to spend. It sounds perfect for what you are looking for. It is on the top floor of a great inn. It has a huge deck overlooking a quiet beautiful harbor. It has it's own private jacuzzi. We cannot recommend this inn highly enough. It is very well run.

We spent a few hours in Bar Harbor during our entire week and felt like that was plenty. Southwest Harbor had everything we needed including bike rentals, kayak trips, restaurants, and even shopping. Yet it was much quieter and still very close to all of the sites of Acadia NP.

Manchester, Maryland
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8. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

I have to agree with Randi. Bar Harbor is fairly busy during the day in July and August and is the biggest tourist town on the Island. Southwest Harbor is a better choice to stay in my opinion. Southwest Harbor has several places that are open later into the evening where you can get a drink and enjoy live music. The Lazy Moose, which is at the corner of Main Street and Clark Point Road in SW Harbor, had live bands playing several nights while I was there. There are also some very good restaurants in SW Harbor. Additionally, if you like your beer, the Atlantic Brewing Company and Knox Road Grille are only 10 minutes up the road. The Atlantic Brewing Company makes a great Blueberry Ale. It tastes a lot better than it sounds. During my trip, I spent one afternoon in Bar Harbor and that was enough for me.

As far as accommodations, there are a number of ocean front homes and condominiums available for rent in SW Harbor that are very reasonable. Checking with one of the local real estate companies such as Knowles, L.S. Robinson or Acadia Real Estate would be a good start. I advise reserving your accommodations about one year to ten months before your trip to insure that you get what you want.

Although I think that SW Harbor is the best place on the Island, the bottom line is that you will love it no matter where you stay on the Island.

9. Re: What about Bar Harbor v. SW Harbor in the middle of summer?

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