We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Which Bar Harbor hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Lawrenceville, New...
Level Contributor
30 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Looking to possibly make our first trip to Bar Harbor this summer with two 13 year olds. Should the crowds in July and August deter us? We can deal with crowds (have done Disney twice in Aug!) but were intimidated by reports of traffic snarls, no parking, shoulder-to-shoulder people. We just don't want the trip to be disappointing because it was too crowded to enjoy it.

Would consider a late June trip but wondering if weather would be decent?? Would it be too chilly to swim? Frequent rain?

Thanks so much for any insights (and any recommendations on accomodations would be much appreciated - looking for moderately-priced and enjoyable for the kids).

Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
5,459 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Wow. Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park need not be mentioned in the same paragraph with Disneyland ! It is not crowded like that. It's not even crowded like Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Smokey Mountain National Park.

The only real traffic snarl we see in this area is on July 4th when the parade and the fireworks bring lots of people into Bar Harbor. The only other traffic in July and August is a slow down at the stoplights in Ellsworth and, sometimes, to make a left turn from Mount Desert Street onto Main. Take into account that for those of us who live here a back-up of six cars is considered heavy traffic.

Sometimes it is difficult to find a parking space in Bar Harbor during the dinner hour, when most of the tourists staying on the island come into the village of Bar Harbor to stroll the streets and find a good restaurant for dinner. But usually a 10 minute hunt will find you a parking space somewhere.

There can also be a hunt for a parking spot at the popular trail heads and at Sand Beach. But that is easily solved by leaving your car at your motel or B&B and taking the free Island Explorer to your trail head or to Jordan Pond House.

There are never shoulder to shoulder people nor do you ever have to queue at the trailheads of the hiking, biking, and walking in Acadia. You might want to make a dinner, kayak, or boat tour reservation 24 hours before. I'd say come during July or August when everything is up and running and the weather is usually wonderful. It can indeed be foggy, rainy, and cool in June.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,840 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Just a few thoughts to add to the above.

Swimming: The ocean temperature, even in July and August, will be in the range of 55-60F. Some do swim in it (some, very briefly) at Sand Beach or at the beach in Seal Harbor. Echo Lake, being a relatively small freshwater body, is warmer; it is part of Acadia National Park, has a large beach, lots of parking, and lifeguards. (There are lifeguards at Sand Beach as well.)

Accommodations: Probably the best one-stop web site for this, as well as links to activities such as kayaking and the ANP web site, is:

http://www.acadiamagic.com

One place that uniformly receives good reviews is the Bar Harbor Motel.

Weather: To see what the range of weather conditions is during different parts of our summer, see:

www.wunderground.com/tripplanner/index.asp

Enter the zip for Bar Harbor (04609) and the range of dates that interests you.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,653 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Bonniemaev and CW have it right (as usual)....

Having done Disney in August (and several other months of the year) and Bar Harbor/Acadia in every month of the year (at one time or another), I can confidently say that if you can handle Disney in August, you definitely will have no problems at all with Bar Harbor anytime....comparisons wouldn't even be close...

With one exception -- sometimes when cruise ships dock in Bar Harbor, the immediate downtown area can get pedestrian-packed for a while in the middle of the day....but the arrivals are well-publicized and the trick to avoiding the crowds they cause is to just go somewhere in Acadia National Park or to one of the other Mt Desert Island communities (Southwest Harbor comes to mind) during the middle of the day....cruise ships are generally gone by suppertime, so you can still enjoy an evening meal in downtown Bar Harbor......would still make dinner reservations for the most popular places though (true whether cruise ships are in port that day or not).

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,840 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

...And for what it's worth, here is the cruise-ship schedule as of 4 January:

www.barharbormaine.gov/xhtml/150/ViewDefault/

Lawrenceville, New...
Level Contributor
30 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Wow, these are great replies - I sincerely thank you! It is good to get your perspectives about crowds - I guess everyone's perception is a little different, but it sounds like it is still quite comfortable even in the busy season (and especially compared to the throngs of people in Orlando! - LOL!) Good to know about the cruise schedules and great suggestion about some of the neighboring communities. I also like the lake suggestion. We live in NJ so it won't be upsetting to pass on a dip in the ocean, but my kids love to swim so I know they will want to try to get some in while we are there. It seems there are not too many accomodations with indoor pools, correct?

Again, thanks a bunch!!

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,653 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Bonniemaev and CW (and others closer to Bar Harbor than I am) will probably have more definite information, but, to add a little perspective, many of the Bar Harbor/Mt Desert properties are seasonal and close completely during the winter.....not worth it to them to invest in an indoor pool. There may be a few indoor pools in the area, but I can't think of one right off the top of my head. Am sure others will have more property-specific info for you....

Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
5,459 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

True, not too many indoor pools. But the Bluenose Inn has a magnificent indoor pool, modeled after one seen in a movie of some years back. It's beautiful. Atlantic Oceanside also has an indoor pool. Can't think of any others at the moment -- of course, it's VERY difficult to think of swimming while a foot of snow is falling on Acadia !

Mid Coast Maine...
Level Contributor
761 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

Hey NJFabFour......don't think twice about "crowds" in Miane, even in the height of the season.....It it nothing compared to driving down the Parkway at 7AM on a hot Saturday morning in July just so that you can claim your spot on the beach.

I grew up in NJ and now live in Maine and I'm always amazed at just how uncrowded "crowded" places are here. Come.....you will NOT be disappointed!

If you can't decide when to come, check out to see what festivals are taking place during July and August that may interest you. The, do book your accomodations soon...those do fill up.

9. Re: Summertime - weather vs crowds?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 February 2012, 22:15
Get answers to your questions about Bar Harbor