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.

airport advice

Which Bar Harbor hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 16
airport advice


I am planning a trip for this coming October. I would like some

advice on any pros/cons to flying into Bar Harbor airport versus

Bangor. I understand there is about an hours drive into Bar Harbor

from Bangor. It seems that flights into Bangor have fewer stops

and involve less travel time. How is the drive from Bangor to

Bar Harbor? Anyone's input is greatly appreciated.


Brunswick, Maine
posts: 2,422
reviews: 39
1. Re: airport advice

Airports to consider when you're visiting Bar Harbor:

1. Bar Harbor has a tiny little airport that is serviced by an USAirways commuter line. It would be a perfect airport to use if all you want to see is the immediate vicinity of Bar Harbor. Very small, very easy to get in and out. They have several car rental agencies there.

2. Bangor is 60-90 minutes away, depending on traffic. The closest of the "big" airports. If you fly into Bangor it's also convenient to see other sights in Eastern Maine, but it's not so convenient if you want to see Southern Maine/ Portland. Very small, easy to navigate airport, plenty of rental car choices, close to the interstate, easy to get to the major highways.

There isn't a whole lot to see in Bangor; the two biggies are Stephen King's house and the 40-foot Paul Bunyan statue. After that, it's just a sleepy New England town.

The road between Bangor and Bar Harbor has been under construction for what seems like forever. It's under construction right now; don't know if it will still be under construction in October. The good news is that October is not typically a busy tourism month, so traffic should be much lighter. Regardless, I wouldn't consider construction delays a big deal when deciding whether to fly Bangor.

3. Portland--a good 3.5 hours to Bar Harbor, but this is where most people who fly into Maine arrive. Also a very small, easy to navigate airport, plenty of rental car choices, close to the interstate, easy to get to the major highways.

Portland is a relatively small town, but vibrant and hip. It's worth a visit if you can spare the time. Next to Portland is Freeport. Everyone should go to the LLBean store once in their life. :)

Southern Maine is also interesting. Kennebunkport is choked with tourists, but it's a classic New England seaside town, worth a visit if you have time.

If you fly into Portland, there are two ways to get to Bar Harbor. The faster involves the interstate, the more scenic involves taking Route 1 as it hugs the coast and goes thru small New England town after small New England town. If you go the Interstate you get the last few of those small towns, but if you go the coast you get them all. The joke is that if you take the Interstate it takes 3 hours, and if you take Route 1 it could easily turn into three days. :)

Most tourists like to take Route 1 and they drive slow as they are on vacation, so it's not the way to go if you are in a hurry. But, if you want to see a lot, it can't be beat. There are some absolutely beautiful towns on Route 1: Bath (a traditional shipbuilding town with some huge old sea captains' house, home of Bath Iron Works, a major navy shipbuilder), Wiscasset (which touts itself as The Prettiest Village in Maine; is it pretty, but small. Known for its very nice antique shops), Damariscotta (sweet little vilage you can stop in or just view from Route 1; a few very nice shops), Camden (which touts itself as the jewel of Maine and is absolutely picture perfect New England; the Peyton Place movie was filmed there). These are all very sweet towns that you will miss if you go via the interstate.

You can make it all the way via Route 1 from Portland to Bar Harbor in one day, but you'll have to make choices about where you stop, and most likely you'll feel rushed and arrive late and be tired. IF you can spare one night on the way, stay in Camden. It's my favorite town en route, and it's a destination in it's own right. That breaks things up and Camden is a lovely place to spend the night, eat dinner at a waterside restaurant, etc. Lots of lovely B&Bs is you want a romantic night. Suggestion: if you can spare the time, take Route 1 TO Acadia, spend one night in Camden, then take the interstate back.

4. Boston--lots of Maine folks fly thru Boston to get cheap fares. Big airport, a bit of a hassle to navigate if you are driving, Boston traffic goes very fast, but the airport is right next to controlled access Route 1, and there are signs to get onto Route 1 then Interstate 95 north. If you fly into Boston you can add a day or two in Boston on either end. Beautiful town.

If you fly into Boston, you can zip on into Maine in about an hour or wo, or dally along the way in pretty coastal towns (Newburyport Mass, Portsmouth New Hampshire, etc.).

5. Manchester, New Hampshire--known regionally for lower fares, a big Southwest hub, I've never flown there. Probably an easier airport to navigate than Boston simply because Manchester is a smaller town. Probably about the same distance as Boston. Easy access to roads, signs to I-95 north.

Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 3,681
reviews: 8
2. Re: airport advice

The Bar Harbor airport is really one of those meant for private planes. But it does have one commuter flight which goes only to Boston. Last time I was there it had only one car rental agency. The planes are very small, carrying only about ten people, one row of seats on each side of the aisle. I've heard great stories of how the passengers can see the pilot and watch the tarmac coming up through the windshield.

I've never flown out of Bar Harbor, because I don't like flying through Boston. But I have good friends who always go that way. Parking is free at the airport. The drive from the airport, which is just off-island, is only about 15 minutes.

The last time I went to Bangor, a few weeks ago, the road construction between Bangor and Bar Harbor was completed and it looks very good. We usually make it between Bar Harbor and Bangor in about an hour. I don't think any hassle of that drive is worth the extra money to fly into the Bar Harbor airport rather than Bangor.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
posts: 3,688
reviews: 9
3. Re: airport advice

Someone else has already accurately depicted the Bar Harbor airport and service.

Unless things have changed markedly since last autumn, only Hertz still has a rental facility there.

Driving from Bangor to Bar Harbor takes slightly more than an hour under most conditions. The major construction on Rte 1A is finished. They still are doing cosmetic and ancillary work; according to their plans, they will lay down another layer of asphalt but I haven't heard a schedule yet. Chances are it will be done by October if in fact they start this summer. At any rate, the delays would be very short.

The url for current Maine highway conditions, construction activity, etc is:

(For some reason, the numerical version is the only one I can find.)

Gorham, Maine
posts: 628
reviews: 67
4. Re: airport advice

Fly into Bangor, you'll have many more flight choices and should be able to get more direct flights. I know flights are available from Cincinnati but I am not sure about Cleveland. I travel RT-1A all the time and the construction is complete, some paving was going on last week but they are wrapping it up now. I've priced flying US Air out of Bar Harbor and its always more expensive, I suspect that car rentals are higher in the BH airport as well, since there is little or no competition.

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 16
5. Re: airport advice

Thanx for all the great advice everyone! It really helps to make the best decisions with your imput. I am excited to visit Bar Harbor,

and have a feeling that I am not going to want to leave!

6. Re: airport advice

-:- 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: 12:16 pm, August 14, 2009