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Bar Harbor in May

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Tennessee
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Bar Harbor in May

My husband and I are looking to stay in Bar Harbor for a week or so in May. We love to travel in off-season, and find that usually the loss of a few places being closed is worth the gain of having our destination uncrowded and unhurried.

That being said, will Bar Harbor be a ghost town if we go the 2nd week in May? Should we wait a little later?

My husband is a kayaker, and would like to kayak (he kayaks in icy water and 20 degree temps here) whenever we go. Will anywhere be open that time of year for him to rent a kayak?

I'm a shopper, so I'm curious when most of the retail places open. Again, will May be too early?

Also, we're looking to stay in a cabin or cottage. It doesn't have to be right in the heart of things, but I'd like it to be as close to the water as possible. Any ideas?

I've learned so much already from this forum. I've never been to Maine before and can't thank ya'll (gee, think I'm southern??) enough for giving me so much great info already. I'm looking forward to seeing what I'll learn from this post. Thanks bunches!!

Cincinnati, Oh
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1. Re: Bar Harbor in May

I also will be in Bar Harbor in May but just for 2 nights before heading to Swan's Island. Check for lodging on Cyberrentals.com, I have rented from that site in the past.

I have found that some of the smaller motels/cottages don't start taking reaservations until January and some later than that. When you travel early, before the season starts, sometimes it's hard to "get your ducks all in a row", if you know what I mean. Try the chamber of commerce websites for areas you want to visit, they have books available that will help you, but the 2006 editions usually don't get mailed until LATE spring. The 2005 you can still get now and will give you some ideas. Have a great trip.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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2. Re: Bar Harbor in May

Traveltoo gave good advice re: cottages/cabins.

May is a quirky month here for weather and for tourism. Many of the B&Bs begin opening in early May, as do some of the restaurants and shops---the remainder usually shoot for opening around Mother's Day weekend.

I'm not sure about kayaks. There are several companies that provide kayak tours but how many will be open in May and how many rent kayaks, I don't know. Some of possible sources are: <www.acadiafun.com>; <aquaterra-adventures.com>; and <www.acadia.net/canoe>. That last source (National Park Canoe & Kayak) does rent kayaks by the day or week but I don't know when they start operating.

Bradley, Maine
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3. Re: Bar Harbor in May

I think in may you'll find everything/ most everything open and happy to have you. Agree with the above on Kayaking, but the owner of the cabins where I've stayed has a kayak contact. Quietside campgrounds which is near Bass Harbor. Not on the water but you can smell and feel the ocean breezes. The Cabins are what I call, PERFECT. Bring your own bedding (i do anyway) and the bath houses are clean and convienent. They have both heaters and fans available in the cabins, with either a charcoal or gas grill or even a microwave or toaster oven. With of course a picnic table and a place to have a fire. As you can tell on my other posts this is my favorite by far to stay on the island as it's also reasonable. I only live 1+ hours away and wouldn't bother staying down there if it was too much.

Tennessee
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4. Re: Bar Harbor in May

Thanks so much for all the info! Now I have even more fun things to research.

BaxterME, is the Quietside sort of like a KOA camping cabin sort of thing?

One more odd question... we're planning on cooking for ourselves part of the time, so are there easily accessible grocery stores nearby? I know that sounds funny, but we hunted a grocery store in one resort town for ages before we finally had a local tell us they were all on the outskirts of town. So, thought maybe I should find that out before I spend an hour hunting a place to buy chicken!

Thanks again!

Brunswick, Maine
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5. Re: Bar Harbor in May

You won't have any trouble finding a grocery store. It's right on Cottage Stree (the middle of town) in Bar Harbor. Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor also have easy to find markets.

About the second week in May, it's not only off-season but I think there is a very good chance that the grass won't even be green yet or the trees leafed out. Remember, we are God's Frozen People and summer comes very late here.

Can you wait until the last week of May? By that time the grass should be greened up, trees leafed-out, and the landscape lush. I think you'll be much happier.

easton, pa
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6. Re: Bar Harbor in May

I as well stayed at the Quietside Campground this past September taking the recommendation from baxter. My husband and I stayed at a tent site though, and I will give a thumbs up on every aspect of the campground. The cabins are perfect, and they are very well kept. We have stayed at KOA, and we have stayed in their camping cabins. I can tell you that the cabins at quietside are so much better. I mean the whole campground in general is so much better - it's not commercialized like so many others, and it's got that very rustic charm to it. It's a very small, personal campground with VERY clean bathhouses. We did stay in the off season, and the entire week we stayed at this campground we only seen three other people, and I imagine that even if we were there during the peak time, we still would have our privacy as most of the campsites offer much privacy. The cabins are surrounded by pines and also offer the same quiet atmosphere as the tucked away tentsites do - and there are a few different types of cabins you can choose. Although we weren't on the water, we still enjoyed the wonderful ocean breeze. I would definately give up the ocean view for more privacy and to be away from the tourists and commercialization. In fact, we originally were going to stay at quietside 4 nights and switch to the koa for the last 3 nights, tenting with an oceanview. We loced the small rustic quietside campground that we cancelled the reservations at the koa and stayed the additional 3 nights at quietside. My husband and I are already planning our trip back to quietside next september!

Brunswick, Maine
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7. Re: Bar Harbor in May

There is a little area on the north part of the island called Salisbury Cove. http://www.acadiamagic.com/SalisburyCove.html There are a couple of cabin settlements up in that area that look nice and are on the water. Get a book from the tourist bureau that should help you identify them or maybe some of the locals will chime in on this thread and tell you the cabin's names. I think one is someting like Edgewater. Maybe if you did a google search with Salisbury Cove and cabins it would come up.

There is one little cabin settlement right on the water. That's the one I'd pick. Another, across the road, has cabins that are teeny tiny. They look a little too rustic (dumpy) for my tastes.

Also, if you are coming for a whole week, you should contact the rental agencies and maybe rent a house or cottage that is not part of a hotel-like set up. Rates should be low in May as that's not a high demand time.

Bradley, Maine
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8. Re: Bar Harbor in May

Glad to know I'm not a sole "Quietside fan". It is definatley not in the "discovered" area for people from away. But only like 5-10 minutes from SWHarbor center. I've never stayed in a KOA but from what I understand those are more of a big RV park type thing. Quietside does have some RV sites but not overloaded with them. And from what I remember when I was ther over the forth of july, those that were there were staying there for the season.

Michele says things so much more eloquently than I can. So I do tend to agree with her on most things, but on the weather in May I'll have to respecfully disagree.

Although each year is different, I can usually hit the trails and have beautiful budding and opening canopy by end of april/May. Yes it will likely be chillier than in July, but it's still has its own glory. The one thing that WILL NOT be open is JORDAN POND HOUSE which usually isnt until after memorial day,.... I think.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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9. Re: Bar Harbor in May

Agree with baxterME---we've lived on MDI for nine years and I haven't yet seen two springs alike. Usually, though, by mid-May things are budding out nicely; areas such as Great Meadow seem to be painted in pastels then.

As for Jordan Pond House, their website says that they are open "mid-May to late October." Even with a mid-May opening, they might not serve their legendary popovers and tea on the lawn until later.

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