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Is a single day worth it...?

Washington DC...
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Is a single day worth it...?

We're driving from DC to Prince Edward Island in mid-June. I'm trying to decide where to spend each night (assuming three driving days) and Bar Harbor sort of works in there as the second night's pit stop. We'd probably get there late afternoon and have to leave mid-morning, so I'm assuming that's just crazy and we might as well not go there at all - better to stay somewhere on the main road, etc. But we've never been to Maine, I'd love to see Acadia, and it's *possible* for me to work it so that we could actually stay two nights on Bar Harbor, so that we'd have one full day. The big question: is one day worth it? (My son would like to hike around, my mother would like to shop, and my husband would love to just sit somewhere with a book.)

Thanks for any advice -

Ranee

Boston...
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1. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

"Worth It" is a very subjective word. Some people would like to park the car & take a few pictures and say they have done it. While there are others, who spend a week exploring and still not happy with what they saw! So just to give an idea -

Bar Harbor is the town outside of Acadia National Park. It is a decent size town with many shops & restaurants along the waterfront. You can easily walk around(do nothing) the touristy part of the town is less than an hour.

The most popular thing to do in Acadia National park is drive around the Park loop road, which is ~ 22 miles long. You can do this in couple of hours with very few picture stops & NO hiking.

Since you have never been to Maine, my personal suggestion would be, spend the second day driving up from Boston through the Southern Maine Coastal towns like York, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport & Portland and end the day in Bangor. Maybe you can do Mid Coast Maine & Acadia some other time.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

I think it is very definitely worth it. You have to stay somewhere. Bar Harbor is only a half hour off of Route 1 in Ellsworth. You can drive the most scenic 27 miles in Maine -- the Park Loop Road in Acadia, have a lobster dinner on the water, and watch the sunset from the top of Cadillac Mountain. Your son can take a hike or walk in the Park the next morning, your mother can shop the little stores of Bar Harbor, your husband can read his book, and everyone will be happy.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

Hmmmm...decisions! I will have to do some research on where to stay in Bar Harbor, and what there is to see if we skip it. Thanks for your perspectives!

Central Maine
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4. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

Snooray -- I was a little worried when you talked about arriving mid-afternoon and leaving mid-morning the following day -- would really question whether or not you could see much in that amount of time..... but .... if you can rearrange things so that you can stay there two nights, with a full day in between to see the area, I''d say it's worth making the schedule adjustment. The southern Maine coastline that RelaxbyTravel can be interesting to some people (but is considered too commercial by others) -- whereas the coastline of Acadia National Park is truly unique compared to anywhere else on the eastern United States coastline. If I only had time to visit one, I'd definitely go with Acadia and maybe one of the smaller nearby villages like Northeast or Southwest Harbor.... can be as equally interesting as Ogunquit or Kennebunkport in southern Maine. And, as Bonniemaev points out, you don't all have to do the same thing during your time in Acadia. I would definitely suggest you all plan to do the Park Loop Road and Cadillac Mountain Summit Road together,,,but after that there still should be time for some hiking, shopping, reading, or our favorite activity: just finding a quiet spot on the water, taking the time to slow down and sit back, and enjoy the wind-waves-and-sounds of Acadia.

If you do decide to go, on your way into town, stop at the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center on Route 3 in the village of Hull's Cove (the Center is on your right as you go up a hill) -- the rangers and staff there can help with maps and information about how to make the most of the time you have available -- including helping your son find hikes to match his interests and abilities....

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

Thanks, Mainer. The words "unique coastline" pretty much made the decision for me - I will make the extra effort to get to Bar Harbor and stay two nights. The rest of your advice is also much appreciated!

:)

Ranee

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

So...I have two choices of where to stay (two nights!) One is out of town about six miles (a cottage) and the other is the Highbrook Motel, about a mile's walk into town. We've got a designated driver (our 19-year-old) so that's not a problem...but I'm wondering about going into town and parking, say for shopping or supper. If that's not a problem, I think I'd rather go with the cabin (has a little screen porch and stuff...) Thoughts?

Central Maine
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7. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

In mid-June, things are still "gearing up" -- not as busy as July or August.... Don't think going into town and finding a parking spot will be that onerous -- you may not park right in front of the door of where you're going, but should be able to find something nearby.... However, if you get a response from someone who lives in Bar Harbor, I''d go with their advice over mine. As far as the two specific properties you've mentioned, I'm not familiar enough with either of them to make a meaningful recommendation -- Bar Harbor and Acadia are day-trip distance for us so we rarely stay overnight....

Bar Harbor, Maine
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8. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

Go with the cabin. Parking isn't that much of a problem in mid-June.

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

Cabin it is - thanks, Mainer and Bonnie!

Lafayette, Louisiana
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10. Re: Is a single day worth it...?

Please explain Ollie's Trolley. Is it really an open trolley, a bus or what? And what is the cost? Is that really the best way to go to Acadia Park? Trying to decide, on our one day off the cruise ship, whether to just walk around town or spend the time on a tour.

Thanks for all the helpful tips so far.