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Bar Harbor/Acadia next weekend

Hello! A friend and I are going to this gorgeous town next weekend (31mar-04apr) to hike Acadia. I know the weather will be questionable, and there will be many things still closed for the season. We’re fine with that, really…we’re hearty Midwestern women. 😄

But…..what WILL be open? We are flying in and out of Portland, but we’ll be shacking up in Bar Harbor with a rental car.


Posted by
4158 posts

Its still a beautiful place but the season really doesn't get into full swing until Memorial Day weekend . Have warm clothing , layers are best and hit a couple of Lobster Pounds ( the term for restaurants selling live lobsters ) One word of caution - The classic way to cook lobsters is to steam or boil them . While you are highly unlikely to have any issues , lobsters must be alive when they are cooked . If you get a lobster where the tail lays out flat , after cooking , ( as opposed to being curled up , if pulled out flat, it should snap back into a curl ) reject it . As much as I love lobster there is nothing worse than shellfish borne food poisoning . Again , getting a bad one is extremely unlikely .

Posted by
30 posts

I went to Bar Harbor once way off season many years ago. There was very little open, and much of Acadia NP was snow-covered, making things like hiking and driving up to Cadillac Mountain impossible. You’ll still likely see some pretty scenery if you drive around Mount Desert Island, as it’s a picturesque area regardless of season. The good news is that you’ll probably have no trouble with crowds.

That’s also likely going to be true for much of the rest of Maine except Portland, maybe Freeport for shopping. Things don’t get going in the state until Memorial Day, generally speaking.

Posted by
6670 posts

Bar Harbor is a pretty big place with a full range of tourism-related services. I don't think you'll have any trouble finding places to eat, drink, or sleep -- though maybe not the outdoor eating this website depicts.

Acadia National Park is open but the most popular roads won't be till mid-April, and the spectacular road to the top of Cadillac Mountain is closed till mid-May. The carriage roads (unpaved glorified trails) look to be open unless there's particular bad weather. It looks like the road out to Schoodic Point will be open, and that's a great place to see. You might want to take your time getting to Acadia from Portland, checking out the many nice towns and state parks along the way.

Posted by
4158 posts

I'll tag on to Dick's comments - A drive out to Schoodic Point is well worth the trip, its Primeval country at its best , and the views are spectacular . Also , you'll be driving up US 1 from Portland , a few places to consider on the way - As you enter Wiscasset , ME you will shortly cross the Sheepscot River and on the far side you can turn right and head down to Boothbay Harbor , a cute place . Before you cross the river , if you are hungry, there is an iconic New England seafood shack on your left - Red's Eats . Dont be fooled by the hyperbole , it's every bit as good as the publicity claims . As you go further on US 1 , Camden is another small town , very picturesque and charming . You could keep stopping all the way to Mt Desert , but I'll add one more must ( if you have an interest in art ) In Rockland , which is a nice stop as well , there is The Farnsworth Museum , home to a large collection of works by The Wyeth Family ( NC , Andrew , and Jamie ) . They also operate the Olsen House , a drive down The St George Peninsula to Cushing , ME , the place where Andrew painted his best known work " Christina's World " and finally , before you go , this wonderful documentary about the Wyeths , will further enrich your visit -

Posted by
883 posts

Not sure if it will be open that time of year, but the Travelin' Lobster was terrific! And yes, Red's Eats really is good. You might consider a stop at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on your way to or from Bar Harbor.

Posted by
220 posts

I am in Maine now, about 50 miles from Bar Harbor. It is mud season so the trails are apt to be muddy and/or slippery. There’s still snow on the ground in some places with a bit more predicted over the next week. The snow shouldn’t limit travel but it won’t help trail conditions. Temperatures are below freezing most nights. That said, there may be some opportunities for snowshoeing.

The town of Bar Harbor will have some restaurants and shops open but most of the seasonal businesses won’t open until late April or May. Locals have named the shoulder seasons as the “newly wed and nearly dead” season.