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First visit to Bar Harbor

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posts: 14
reviews: 21
First visit to Bar Harbor

Good Afternoon

The purpose of this trip is to finish the last item on my bucket list, visiting all fifty states with my wife. We will fly into New Hampshire first and then tour Maine. My wife and I will be visiting Bar Harbor from Oct: 10th to the 14th.

What would be the fastest route from Manchester NH to Bar harbor? I did see this last week on the forum but am unable to locate it at this time. When we return to NH we will use the route 1 scenic drive to Portland as noted on the forum.

In addition, we’ll be celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary and my birthday. What would be an excellent place for dinner with a great view for our special occasion?

Our plans were to spend the day in ANP on Friday, and walking around in Bar Harbor on Saturday, with a Sunday drive. I will be wearing my fifty state shirt on Saturday in Bar Harbor.

Can anyone recommend a scenic drive in the area for a day (Sunday)?

Since we are unable to do the trolley tour in ANP, is there an easy walk we can we can do in the park on mostly level ground?

I want to thank the Bar Harbor experts as we based out hotel and restaurant choices on the information mentioned on trip advisor.

Thanks for your help


Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 3,681
reviews: 8
1. Re: First visit to Bar Harbor

Fastest route from Manchester, NH to Bar Harbor, ME:

Take highway 101 out of Manchester. It is a four lane, divided highway. 101 will take you to I-95. Take I-95 all the way to Bangor, Maine. From Bangor take I-395 and 1A to Ellsworth. Route 3 from Ellsworth will bring you to Bar Harbor. It should take you about four and a half hours.

There are very few restaurants in Bar Harbor with a good view. The Reading Room at the Bar Harbor Inn is about the only one:


If good food is more important than the view you could try Havana or Mache Bistro.

Oli's Trolley in Bar Harbor has figured out a scenic route to see the fall foliage without actually going into Acadia National Park. Public roads surround the Park. I'd still recommend taking the trolley tour just for the wonderful historical narrative about the village and the island that you will be given.

Possibly the best easy, flat walk in the area is right in Bar Harbor, along the Shore Path. I walked it today at high tide and appreciated the beauty of our ocean and islands all over again. You can pick up the walk in front of the Bar Harbor Inn and walk along, with the ocean on your left and some of the old mansions on your left, for about a half mile. At the end of the gravel path you will find a spur that will take you back to Main Street so that you can make a nice circle out of the walk.

I'll leave it to someone else to give you a scenic drive for Sunday.

Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 19
reviews: 119
2. Re: First visit to Bar Harbor

While the Shore Path is indeed a lovely walk, please consider exploring Mt Desert Island areas other than Bar Harbor!!! The quietside of the island, ie Southwest Harbor, offer wonderful trails, which though technically in the park, are still accessible. The "Wonderland Trail" is mostly flat and has spectacular ocean views. There will be Oktoberfest this coming weekend at Smuggler's Den in Southwest Harbor...a real treat even if you don't drink beer. Nice meals at Sips, coffee at Milagro, pastries/sandwiches at Little Notch Bakery. Yes, there is road construction but the wait isn't bad. Then visit Northeast Harbor & Seal Harbor with an easy, lovely flat walk around Asticou Gardens, visit the Mt Desert Historical Museum enroute. Enjoy the little shops in Northeast Harbor, lunch at the Colonels. So much to see beyond Bar Harbor. Enjoy!

posts: 14
reviews: 21
3. Re: First visit to Bar Harbor

I want to thank both Bonnie and Lily for their response and information.

We have decided to eat at The Reading Room for our special dinner. Based on reviews and comments both Havana and Mache Bistro were on my wife’s list for dinner. We’ll have breakfast at the Hotel and all other meals out.

The drive mentioned by Lily and trolley tour mentioned by Bonnie are very interesting, both my wife and I will do both this weekend.


4. Re: First visit to Bar Harbor

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