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Bar Harbor in September or October

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British Columbia...
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Bar Harbor in September or October

I've heard that most shops in Bar Harbor are closed in September and October. Is this correct?

In terms of sightseeing, is there any difference as to what is available to see/do in September versus October?

Thanks.

Lehigh Valley, PA
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1. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

That is INCORRECT!

Virtually everything remains open until about mid-October and even then most shops, restaurants, etc. remain open until the end of October at the least. Among the reasons everything stays open - cruise ships come in throughout September and October.

We have vacationed in Bar Harbor many times, most often in September. It is a beautiful time of the year to visit. Actually we are scheduled to arrive on September 10 this year.

Last year we visited the second week in October . A little cooler but still lovely. If you want to shoot for the foliage season, try October. Otherwise either month will work.

Cork, Ireland
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2. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

We arrive on the 9th paflyfisher for our first visit, maybe we'll see you there!

Are there any websites that give a schedule of when the cruise ships dock in Bar Harbor? Am at the stage where we are planning our itinerary and would plan accordingly if there was a ship docking one of our days.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

How's this for instant gratification?

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

Incidentally, I strongly second paflyfisher's remark. Whoever continues to perpetuate this myth that everything shuts down after Labor Day either is totally deluded or else has not been here for about 20 years.

Cork, Ireland
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4. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

Thanks for that cwvoight. There are a lot of ships docking while I am there including overnights on Sat 10th and Sun 11th Sept. Does it leave Bar Harbor and Acadia Park very busy? We were planning to rent and cycle the carraige paths on the Saturday and do a whale watching trip on the Sunday, is it likely to be busy because of the ships?

What about restaurants, do they get busier with the overnight stops?

Maine
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5. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

I wouldn't worry about the overnight ships having an effect on crowds. If you scroll further down the pdf then it shows the capacities of the ships. Each of the ships overnighting on those days have a passenger capacity of 100 or less. Certainly not the large ships with 1000+ on board.

Some of the day ships docking on your days are much larger, but I don't have personal experience with how that impacts the park. I would assume they mostly stick to the bus tours and don't make it to the carriage roads and such.

Edited: 19 July 2011, 15:23
Cork, Ireland
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6. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

Thanks soxfan, I didn't notice the capacity on the bottom of the page. You're right, the capacity of the overnight ships is tiny. I think the day we might have a problem is Sunday 11th Sept, there are two large ships docked. But that is the day I had planned to do a whale watching trip and drive to the top of Mount Cadillac. I'm going to presume that they won't want to get off one ship and get straight onto another boat to whale watch, so hopefully it won't leave it crowded!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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7. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

Correct, soxfan---

The big ones steam in in the early morning, start disembarking their passengers between 0900 and 1000, then start loading up about 1600 for late afternoon/early evening departure. The passengers divide into two basic groups---those that take one bus tour or another and those that wander the village center, shopping, eating lunch, consuming vast quantities of ice cream, etc. Principal areas of congestion are where the tenders dock and people transfer to the buses---at/near the Town Pier---and near the intersection of Main and Cottage Streets (shops and ice cream).

The principal stops on the bus tours are Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond House, and Cadillac summit. None of this group venture onto carriage roads or hiking trails.

As for restaurants, I haven't heard that the overnighters have much of an impact. It's a good idea to make dinner reservations, if the places that interests you accept them.

St. Simons Island...
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8. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

I'm planning to be in BH later this month for my yearly escape from the South and I really appreciate this info re the cruise ship schedule. I've never been affected before but I would certainly be disappointed to find an extra 3000 cruisers, plus crew "intruding" on my "private place". :-) Now I can adjust my schedule. Thanks ol' southerner!

Lehigh Valley, PA
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9. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

Unless you are planning on spending all your time in downtown Bar Harbor, the "cruisers" (I call them "boat people") are really not a problem. At least I have never found them to be troublesome in the park.

That said, here is the schedule

www.barharbormaine.gov/document/0001/1395.pdf

I am heading up on Saturday for 9 days. I got sometimes multiple cruise ships in every day. Doesn't bother me a bit.

10. Re: Bar Harbor in September or October

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