Where to stay in Acadia National Park, ME

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  • Post last modified:February 12, 2024
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Acadia National Park on the Atlantic coast is a fantastic place to visit. The Maine park offers some of the most incredible views in New England. But where to stay in Acadia National Park and vicinity for the best experience?

The complete gateway town, Bar Harbor offers all from excellent park access to tasty seafood restaurants. Other options include Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Ellsworth.

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Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a great option for where to stay when visiting Acadia National Park. The town is located on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island with convenient access to the park. And this biggest town on Mount Desert Island certainly offers the whole Acadia package.

Above all Bar Harbor is a place to stay that offers great access to many of the most popular spots in the park. Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach and the park’s loop road are all located on the eastern side of the island. So from Bar Harbor, you easily get to them.

In addition, Bar Harbor is also a superb place for the time you don’t spend in the park. In Bar Harbor, you find great lodging, restaurants and shops to check out. So in Bar Harbor, you really have all you need for a great time.

But the attractive location for both the park and things to do makes Bar Harbor popular for where to stay when visiting Acadia National Park. Therefore, make sure to book your lodging in Bar Harbor as early as possible.

  • Pick Bar Harbor for: It all.

Bar Harbor Villager Motel

At Bar Harbor Villager Motel, you stay in the heart of Bar Harbor. While this motel sits just steps from attractions, shopping and restaurants in the adorable town, you’re also only a short drive away from exploring Acadia National Park. The combo of park access and entertainment makes Bar Harbor Villager Motel one of the very best places to stay near Acadia National Park; visitors come back year after year for the unique offering.

Best Western Acadia Park Inn

Best Western Acadia Park Inn is located 5 miles (8 km) from Downtown Bar Harbor. That’s excellent if you want to dodge the crowds when visiting Acadia National Park. At the peaceful hotel, it’s easy to focus on the park experience. But if you happen to need some more stimulation, you also effortlessly reach the downtown area of Bar Harbor.

Clear lake and mountain tops in Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park, Maine.

Northeast Harbor

Bar Harbor is not the only option if you want to stay on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. Northeast Harbor is a charming but much smaller town that also offers a remarkable vantage point for park exploration.

Northeast Harbor just like Bar Harbor offers great access to famous and well-visited park areas. The most popular spots to visit on the eastern half of the island include Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach and the loop road.

The main difference between Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor is that the latter is a much bigger town. So even though Northeast Harbor is located on the more lively eastern side of Mount Desert Island too, it’s much quieter than the bigger Bar Harbor.

Therefore, Northeast Harbor is a great option for Acadia National Park lodging if you want a more quiet scene. Much fewer visitors come to and stay in Northeast Harbor, so in that way you avoid the masses.

  • Pick Northeast Harbor for: Smaller scale.
Red chair at pond in Acadia National Park, ME.
Long Pond in Acadia, ME.

Southwest Harbor

Southwest Harbor lies on the western side of Mount Desert Island, an area much different experience than the eastern. This is the quieter slice, offering more solitude than the eastern side.

Southwest Harbor provides great access to the western park highlights. That includes Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Seawall, Acadia Mountain, Beech Mountain, Echo Lake Beach and Carroll Homestead.

On the other hand, you are further away from the most visited eastern destinations, such as Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach and the Acadia loop road.

Yet, it’s only a 14-mile drive and roughly 30 minutes to go from Southwest Harbor to Hulls Cove Visitor Center and the start of the loop road. So even though you base yourself further away, you still have good access to the eastern park highlights as well.

  • Pick Southwest Harbor for: Solitude.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Acadia National Park
Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Acadia, ME.

Ellsworth

Ellsworth is located further away than all the other options for where to stay when visiting Acadia National Park. This town is, in fact, not even on Mount Desert Island.

Still, it’s just 9 miles (14 km) to get from Ellsworth to Mount Desert Island and another 8 miles (13 km) to Hulls Cove Visitor Center. So Ellsworth gives you rather good access to the the park too.

And away from Acadia National Park means cheaper hotel rates. Therefore, Ellsworth is a popular option for where to stay near Acadia National Park on a budget.

  • Pick Ellsworth for: Budget friendliness.
Sunset in Acadia National Park, ME
Breathtaking views in Acadia National Park.

Where to stay near Acadia National Park FAQ

Where should I stay when visiting Acadia National Park?

Bar Harbor, on the eastern side of the island, offers the whole package when visiting Acadia National Park. Another charming but smaller town with close to the eastern highlights is Northeast Harbor. And on the quieter western side, Southwest Harbor lies. For a bigger selection, Ellsworth offers additional accommodation.

How many days do you need in Acadia National Park?

It’s recommended to have at least three full days for exploring Acadia National Park and the adjacent small towns. But add more time if you want to scratch deeper and hike the trails in Acadia further.

Does Acadia National Park have a hotel?

There are no hotels inside Acadia National Park. However, there are towns near the park including Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor that offer great accommodation.

Related: Also check our comprehensive list of the best things to do in the United States. Do you think Acadia is there?

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