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?
Bar Harbor is the best place to stay in Acadia National Park for the whole package. Other options for where to stay when visiting Acadia National Park are Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Ellsworth.
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Bar Harbor is a great option for where to stay in Acadia National Park and vicinity. The Acadia town is located on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island with convenient access to the Maine park. And the biggest town on Mount Desert Island certainly offers the whole Acadia package.
Above all Bar Harbor is a place to stay in Acadia 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 Acadia National Park hotels in 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 Acadia National Park 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 that you book your lodging near Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor as early as possible if you want to have the town as your base.
In short, Bar Harbor is the best place to stay near Acadia National Park for the whole package. If you pick Bar Harbor for where to stay in Acadia and vicinity, you get both a great park location and all you need for quality time off the park. The liveliness and options in Bar Harbor is certainly a great complement to amazing time in the nature.
- Pick Bar Harbor for: The whole Acadia National Park package.
Favorite location. Bar Harbor is almost a synonym for Acadia. The gateway town is the alternative for where to stay near Acadia National Park that offers both great national park access and off the park fun.
Recommended hotels in Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor Villager Motel
At Bar Harbor Villager Motel, you stay in the heart of Bar Harbor. While this Bar Harbor motel sits just steps from attractions, shopping and restaurants in the adorable Acadia 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 Acadia 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.
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 great options for where to stay in Acadia National Park and vicinity.
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.
But Northeast Harbor offers much fewer Acadia hotels, restaurants and shops than Bar Harbor. So for entertainment and liveliness Bar Harbor is the obvious Acadia lodging choice.
To sum up, Northeast Harbor is located in a quiet corner on the eastern half of Mount Desert Island. The town offers Acadia National Park hotels with great access to many of the park highlights. But Northeast Harbor is also much quieter with less entertainment than Bar Harbor on the same side of the island.
- Pick Northeast Harbor for: Acadia accommodation in a quieter town with easy access to park highlights.
Southwest Harbor is an option for where to stay in Acadia National Park and vicinity that’s located on the western side of Mount Desert Island. The western area offers a slightly different experience than the eastern.
Mount Desert Island’s western half is known as the quieter side. So Southwest Harbor is an Acadia National Park place to stay that offers more solitude, compared to the busier eastern side.
From Acadia National Park hotels in Southwest Harbor you also have great access to the western park highlights. That includes great access to 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, including Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach and the Acadia loop road. So Acadia National Park lodging in Southwest Harbor is slightly less convenient for some of the most popular parts of the park.
Still it’s only a 14-mile drive and roughly 30 minutes to go from Acadia hotels in 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.
All in all, Southwest Harbor is a great choice for where to stay in Acadia National Park and vicinity if you look for solitude. The western side of the island is great if you want to avoid larger crowds and don’t mind being slightly further away from some of the park’s main attractions.
- Pick Southwest Harbor for: More solitude when visiting Acadia NP.
The town Ellsworth is located further away than all the other options for where to stay when visiting Acadia National Park. Ellsworth is in fact not even located on Mount Desert Island.
That makes Ellsworth less convenient than other options for where to stay near Acadia National Park. It’s more comfortable to stay on Mount Desert Island at hotels closer to Acadia National Park.
Still it’s just 9 miles to get from Ellsworth to Mount Desert Island and another 8 miles to Hulls Cove Visitor Center. So from hotels near Acadia National Park in Ellsworth you have rather good access to the the park too.
Away from Acadia National Park also means that the hotel rates tend to be lower in Ellsworth, compared to at Acadia lodging closer to the park. Therefore Ellsworth is a popular Acadia National Park town to stay on a budget.
In short, Ellsworth is not the most convenient option for where to stay near Acadia National Park. But the relatively short drive to Mount Desert Island makes it a great option for where to stay near Acadia National Park on a budget.
- Pick Ellsworth for: A place to stay near Acadia National Park on a budget.
Budget location. Ellsworth is a very welcome alternative for where to stay near Acadia National Park on a budget. Only 17 miles (27 km) from Hulls Cove Visitor Center there isn’t anything about the location to complain about.
Where to stay near Acadia National Park FAQ
Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay in Acadia National Park, Maine.
Bar Harbor on the eastern side of the island offers the whole package when visiting Acadia National Park. Another charming but smaller town with Acadia lodging close to the eastern highlights is Northeast Harbor. On the quieter western side Southwest Harbor is a great option for where to stay when visiting Acadia. For a bigger selection Ellsworth on the mainland offers more hotels near 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.
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 Acadia National Park accommodation. So Acadia has all the lodging options you need to comfortably explore the park.
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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