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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Bar Harbor, Maine in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Bar Harbor, Maine in 2024

What's the best time to visit Bar Harbor, Maine?

The best times to visit Bar Harbor, Maine, are in the spring (April to May) and fall (September to October), offering warm temperatures and fewer crowds. May signals the beginning of whale watching season and the bloom of local flora, with businesses reopening for the season. These months also allow for pleasant drives and outdoor activities without the inconvenience of summer traffic jams and black flies.

There are so many things to love about Bar Harbor, and when you know the best time to visit Maine, you’ll have the opportunity to check everything off your seasonal bucket list. Everybody has a list of things they want to accomplish during a vacation.

So whether it’s finding the most affordable flights and rooms, the least crowded times to visit, or moderate temperature to enjoy the coastal breeze, we’ll show you the best time to visit Bar Harbor, Maine, that suits your needs.

We’re also here to give you traveler tips and things to consider about Bar Harbor to make this the trip of your dreams; let us be your guide!

Overall Best Time to Visit Bar Harbor

Dusk snapshot of the coastal lighthouse in Acadia National Park, which is perched on a rock overlooking the bay


The overall best time to visit Bar Harbor, Maine, is from April to May or September to October. These two months rest outside of summer, so you can enjoy the sunny skies and warm temperatures without the expensive rates in the area.

The beginning of May marks the beginning of whale watching season. They say April showers bring May Flowers, and the lush forests of Bar Harbor come alive in May. The Springtime is comfortable with a slight chill from the ocean.

You’ll be able to walk around Bar Harbor enjoying the low 60s temperature during the day. May is the beginning of the season, so most businesses are opening back up. You’ll be able to go shopping and dine at some of the best places in Bar Harbor, Maine.

May and September give you the best chance for a relaxing drive through the countryside. Unfortunately, during the summer, traffic jams take away from the relaxing atmosphere.

Also, spring is the best time to avoid bugs. Black Flies are typically found in June and can be annoying throughout the summer, so you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without worrying about too many bugs.  

Cheapest Time to Visit Bar Harbor

Photo of waves lapping the coast of the lighthouse, taken during the Winter, the cheapest time to visit Bar Harob

G Allen Penton/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Bar Harbor is between November and March. However, this timeframe is the off-season, so you’ll find excellent rates and fewer travelers.

While you might want to save some money on flights, rooms, and activities, you should only come to Bar harbor during this time if you’re not afraid to embrace the frigid winter temperatures.

Visitors tend to take advantage of the lessening crowds as winter approaches in the Northeast. November is the warmest of these months, but the temperatures rarely reach the 50s.

While enjoying the affordable prices through autumn and winter, you can also enjoy the stunning fall foliage in October and November. The foliage offers the classic New England views of the trees.

Least Busy Time to Visit Bar Harbor, Maine

People walking downtown at night during the least busy time to visit Bar Harbor Maine

Bar Harbor, USA – June 8, 2017: People walking sidewalk street by Main road in downtown village during evening night/Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Bar Harbor is in December. Anyone who’s a warm weather traveler won’t enjoy any of the activities on hand because of the cold weather.

Leading up to December, Bar Harbor’s quiet months include September through November.  The off-season is the least busy time to visit because the weather is cold, and many activities in Acadia National Park are closed for the season.

However, if you plan to visit between September through November, there will be the least amount of tourists due to the chilly weather. In addition, Bar Harbor is a kid-friendly town, and since many kids return to school, the visitors stop coming by this point.

According to the Maine Climate Council, the annual precipitation of rain and snowfall has increased, meaning if you’re visiting in December, there’s a higher probability of snow.

The snow doesn’t need to ruin your outdoor activities during the winter. Skiing and snowmobiling in Acadia National Park are the most popular activities for tourists and locals. Winter offers you cozy and quaint cottages in the areas to lodge in during your stay.

Again, these bed and breakfasts offer classic New England winter feelings. Beginning December 1st, Maine closes the Acadia National Park’s Park Loop Road for the entire winter.

Read Next: The Overall Best Time to Visit Acadia National Park in 2024

Worst Time to Visit Bar Harbor

People boarding a sailboat during the Summer, the most crowded and worst time to visit Bar Harbor Maine

Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Generally, summer is the worst time (though not necessarily a terrible time) to go to Bar Harbor, Maine. Typically, the worst time to visit Bar Harbor, Maine, is between June and August.

While this may be considered the worst time to visit, it’s also the busiest and most popular time that tourists and Maine residents visit Bar Harbor.

One good thing about visiting during the summer is that the temperature is relatively low compared to other towns in Maine. The area is part of the coastal division near the ocean, which results in both lower summer and winter temperatures.

Bar Harbor by Month: Climate & Activities

Photo of the oceanfront resort Bar Harbor Inn pictured on a nice summer day under semi-cloudy but blue skies with the downtown area pictured in the foreground during the best time to visit Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor, USA – June 8, 2017: Oceanfront resort inn sign with waterfront dining and harbor in downtown village in summer/Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Bar Harbor? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


January in Bar Harbor offers cold winter weather, with temperatures ranging from -7 to 1°C (19-34°F). This month is ideal for cozy indoor activities, enjoying local seafood cuisine, and winter photography of the scenic landscapes.


February continues with chilly weather, perfect for exploring the local shops and galleries, attending winter festivals and events, and enjoying peaceful walks along the snow-covered shorelines.


As spring begins to emerge, temperatures in Bar Harbor range from -3 to 4°C (27-39°F). March is a great time for late winter/early spring hiking in Acadia National Park, visiting the Abbe Museum to learn about Native American history, and enjoying the quiet off-season ambiance.


April brings milder weather, with temperatures around 1 to 10°C (34-50°F). Enjoy the blooming spring flowers, explore the quieter side of Acadia National Park before the summer crowds, and visit the Bar Harbor Historical Society Museum.


May sees warmer temperatures from 7 to 16°C (45-61°F). It’s an excellent time for bird watching as migratory birds return, exploring the Bar Harbor waterfront, and attending the Taste of Bar Harbor food festival.


June brings pleasant weather, with temperatures between 11 to 21°C (52-70°F). Enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking and whale watching, explore the bustling downtown area, and experience the beginning of the summer season in the town.


July is warm, with temperatures from 14 to 24°C (57-75°F). Celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and festivities, enjoy the Bar Harbor Music Festival, and take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities in Acadia National Park.


August continues with warm weather, offering temperatures from 14 to 23°C (57-73°F). Visit the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, enjoy the warm summer days on boat tours, and explore the local farmers’ markets for fresh produce.


As fall begins, temperatures in Bar Harbor range from 10 to 20°C (50-68°F). September is perfect for experiencing the fall foliage in Acadia National Park, attending the Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival, and enjoying the cooler, less crowded town.


October sees cooler temperatures from 4 to 14°C (39-57°F). Enjoy the vibrant fall colors in Acadia, attend the Acadia Night Sky Festival, and explore the quiet charm of Bar Harbor as the tourist season winds down.


Fall temperatures in November range from -1 to 8°C (30-46°F). This month is ideal for enjoying the tranquil seaside town, visiting the local breweries and wineries, and experiencing the quiet beauty of the Maine coast.


Winter brings cooler temperatures ranging from -6 to 2°C (21-36°F). December is festive with holiday decorations and events, offering a peaceful getaway and the opportunity to experience a quintessential New England winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of Bear Island Lighthouse sitting on the side of a hill and protruding up from the forest, surrounded by pine trees

TD Dolci/Shutterstock

Do you need more help deciding the best time to visit Bar Harbor, Maine? Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you plan your trip:

Where is Bar Harbor?

Bar Harbor is situated along the Atlantic Ocean at the southern end of Maine. Bar Harbor is three hours southwest of Portland compared to other popular Maine towns. Bar Harbor is also one hour southeast of Bangor, Maine.

How do you get around Bar Harbor, Maine?

Depending on where you’re staying, the main places are an easy walk to Cottage Street and Main Street. These streets are the primary locations for the shops and restaurants in downtown Bar Harbor.

Downtown Bar Harbor is a great place to walk on a nice day. However, depending on when you visit Bar Harbor, there’s a good chance you might encounter rain or snow during the off-season.

What are the lodging options in Bar Harbor?

Bar Harbor, Maine, offers many different lodging options for people depending on the type of vacation you’re having. Bar Harbor has many cozy motels and inns for anyone looking for the small-town experience.

Some hotels and resorts keep you close to the coast, and you can easily use public transportation to get you to your many activities in the area.

What kind of wildlife can you see in Bar Harbor?

Bar Harbor is the perfect location for birdwatching. In addition, Mount Desert Island has over 20 species of warblers and 308 other species of birds in Acadia National Park.

Off the coast of Maine, puffins are another popular animal to see. Unfortunately, the only way to see puffins is by taking a boat to one of the small islands off the coast. You’re unable to see puffins on Bar Harbor without traveling by boat.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Bar Harbor, Maine?

Overall, the best time to visit is April-May and September-October. The weather is the most comfortable time of year, but the outside activities and attractions are open after the off-season and remain open after the peak season.

These shoulder seasons are less crowded than during the summer. So you won’t need to worry about large crowds in the lodges or Acadia National Park. You can also find great deals on flights and hotels during these months.

Now that you have the best time to visit Bar Harbor, it’s time to start planning the trip of your dreams. And trust us when we tell you that it’ll be a trip to remember. Happy travels!