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Acadia - Isle au Haut - access from Vinalhaven? (Corrected)

Austin
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Acadia - Isle au Haut - access from Vinalhaven? (Corrected)

I'm planning a trip to Vinalhaven to stay with friends. We are an active senior couple (50's) who enjoy everything from wilderness camping to posh comforts; ocean kayaks to yachts; taco stands to fine dining. We have a rental car and would like to see Acadia and spend the night nearby before driving up to Nova Scotia. Does anyone have suggestions?

Does enyone know of a "perfect" place to stay in this scenario in the $200 range? "Perfect" means charming, romantic, authentic, good value, possibly sea-side,

I'd like to know about access to the Isle au Haut part of Acadia. is there a ferry from Vinalhaven? Water taxi?

Also, after leaving Vinalhaven, what is the traffic like driving to Bar Harbor in late July?

Thanks for your time.

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Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Austin
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1. Re: Acadia - Isle au Haut - access from Vinalhaven? (Corrected)

bonniemaev of Bar Harbor, Maine was kind enough to post this to my original inquiry, Posted on: 6:34 pm, 5/23/2007. Thank you.

I've never heard of Battery Island as a part of Acadia. The only island I know that is part of Acadia is Isle au Haut. I don't know of any part of Acadia that is accessible from Vinalhaven.

There are hundreds of places to stay in the $200 range in the Acadia area. Perhaps if you give us an idea of what "perfect" means to you in this context, we could be more of a help. Cottage? Bed and Breakfast? Luxury Inn? On the water upscale hotel? Motel close to ferry?

The traffic along Route 1 from Vinalhaven to Bar Harbor in late July will be very congested. Driving through Camden will be especially difficult.

There is not a car ferry from anywhere to Halifax. The only car ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia is to Yarmouth, the southern tip of Nova Scotia. The Cat ferry leaves for Nova Scotia some days from Portland, other days from Bar Harbor. You can drive north from Bar Harbor, into Canada, and to St. John, New Brunswick where a ferry will take you across the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia.

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Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Acadia - Isle au Haut - access from Vinalhaven? (Corrected)

The only ferry that I am aware that goes to Isle au Haut leaves from Stonington on Deer Isle. There is a mail boat year 'round and an added ferry in the summer months that will take you to the southern part of Isle au Haut, which is owned by Acadia National Park. There are very few facilities on Isle au Haut: hiking trails, one dirt road, primitive camping, two (very expensive) lodging establishments, no restaurants, one small grocery store, an outdoor pump handle with fresh water. The ferry is not a car ferry.

With limited time I would suggest spending your Acadia time on Mount Desert Island, where the main part of the Park is located. There are many, many trails there ranging from carriage roads to mountain climbs that involve iron rungs and ladders.

Perhaps a perfect place to stay for you would be one of the two small waterfront Inns on West Street in Bar Harbor. Saltair has three luxury rooms. The Tides is next door to it also with three large rooms. Both of these houses were mansions in the heydey of Bar Harbor around the turn of the last century. You will get a wonderful bedroom, a sitting room, public areas of the Inn for your use, a good breakfast, helpful owners, and you will be a short stroll to the shops and restaurants of Bar Harbor. Each has a sloping lawn down to the water. There is usually a two night minimum stay in Bar Harbor during the height of the season.

If the price on those places seems sort of steep, then there are some good Bed and Breakfasts to choose from. I'd recommend The Hearthside or The Cleftstone. The Hearthside is right in town, on a quiet side street. It has nine nicely decorated rooms, friendly hosts, and a great breakfast. It is a three story home from the older days. The Cleftstone is just outside of the village of Bar Harbor on a hill. It is a mansion from the early days. It rents sixteen rooms, varying widely in size and price.

Another choice would be The Wonderview Inn. It is a large family-run motel that has been there for quite some time. It was built on the grounds of a mansion that burned down in The Great Fire of 1947. The motel rooms are sort of standard but the grounds and the view truly are stunning. It isn't waterfront, but rather high on a hill, just outside of Bar Harbor. There is also a nice restaurant associated with the motel.

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3. Re: Acadia - Isle au Haut - access from Vinalhaven? (Corrected)

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