5 Best Places To Stay Near Acadia National Park


Best hotels and places to stay near Acadia national park by Where Are Those Morgans

Are you looking for the best places to stay near Acadia National Park? Perfect! We are going to show you the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in 5 popular areas to stay for visiting Acadia, including Bar Harbor, Ellsworth and the lesser known areas of Mt Desert Island.

Is Bar Harbor the best place to stay for your trip to Acadia National Park?

Yes, Bar Harbor is arguably the best place to stay for convenience, comfort and amenities during a visit to Acadia National Park. However, Bar Harbor is also by far the most expensive place to stay near Acadia, so you might want to consider the other areas in this guide if traveling on a budget.

Here is what we will show you:

  • Why hotels in Acadia National Park are expensive
  • Acadia hotels map
  • The 5 best places to stay near Acadia
  • Top rated cheap and luxury hotels in each area

Let’s find you the perfect hotel near Acadia National Park!

Our Acadia Hotel Experience

Where did we stay when we visited Acadia?

Well, our top priority was to be as close to the best things to do in Acadia National Park as possible. Sunrise photography and early starts for hiking are always on our agenda.

So that ruled out staying anywhere requiring a long drive for accessing Acadia Park Loop Rd. We knew that also meant paying more money for the convenience but we still wanted to keep costs down as much as we could.

In the end we chose a lower budget motel in Bar Harbor during our fall visit to Acadia. It still cost a small fortune despite being one of the cheaper Bar Harbor hotel options but it made our lives much easier for getting into Acadia quickly.

Is location or hotel cost more important for your visit to Acadia?

Hikers at a summit vista in Acadia national park with trees and ocean behind
Mark and Kristen at the summit of Beech Mountain in Acadia

What Is The Best Place To Stay Near Acadia National Park?

  • Bar Harbor – Best for first time visitors to Acadia with no budget concerns
  • North Mt Desert Island – Best for a balance between cost and location
  • Northeast Harbor – Best place to escape the crowds
  • Southwest Harbor – Best for top rated lodging on the ‘other side’ of Acadia
  • Ellsworth – Best for those visiting Acadia on a tight budget

Acadia has no official National Park lodges. Therefore, along with every other visitor to Acadia, you are left with a choice between one of three major campgrounds or finding a hotel in a nearby area.

As a result, Bar Harbor is the most popular place to stay when visiting Acadia. The small but high end resort town is a summer home for many famous celebrities and it has an easy going relaxed seaside vibe.

We really like Bar Harbor, it epitomizes a quintessential ritzy New England coastal town and we didn’t want to leave!

Why Stay Anywhere Other Than Bar Harbor When Visiting Acadia?

Well, for starters Bar Harbor is an excessively expensive place to stay next to Acadia, wait until you see the prices for your dates of travel!

The small town center is also very busy and densely populated by tourists, restaurants are always full and there’s not a huge amount to do in the town itself for the money you are paying.

If you prefer to be away from the crowds, you are a return visitor to Acadia or you simply want better value for your money, consider staying in one of the 4 alternative areas we cover below.

But if you want the full Acadia experience with a lively apres-hiking scene and money is no concern, we strongly recommend you take a hit on the bank balance and splurge on a hotel in Bar Harbor.

Coastline of Acadia national park in Maine with boulders and clouds in sky
Great Ocean Path on the Acadia coastline

Why Are Hotels Near Acadia Expensive?

Acadia is widely regarded as one of the best USA national parks and it is one of very few parks located on the more densely populated US east coast.

In 2022, Acadia was the fifth most visited US national park with almost 4 million tourists.

Why does this impact hotel prices?

Well, because there are very few places for people to stay around the boundaries of Acadia National Park on Mt Desert Island.

Each place you can stay around Acadia has enormous demand and very little supply. Therefore, hotels in places like Bar Harbor can inflate prices according to surges in tourism, especially during summer and fall when Acadia is busiest.

Ellsworth offers much cheaper hotels because it is not on Mt Desert Island.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia national park on a sunny late afternoon with blue sky
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse near Southwest Harbor

Tips For Booking Hotels Near Acadia National Park

Let’s take a quick look at some of our top tips for deciding where to stay in Acadia.

  • 1. Book your Acadia hotel as soon as you have travel dates to avoid missing out on availability and losing out on cheaper early bird prices.
  • 2. Do you have any special or unique activities lined up for Acadia? A night hike or sunrise photography shoot? Consider staying near a top attraction, trailhead or photo spot.
  • 3. You can buy lunches and even food for dinner at Hannaford Supermarket in Bar Harbor. This can free up some of your overall travel budget for a more expensive hotel with a better location.
  • 4. Make sure you use a credit card with rewards points and use your typical hotel booking rewards program. We always use Booking.com and have huge benefits.

Top tip: Remember Acadia is one of the best places to visit in the US. It is busiest in summer and fall, which means spring will typically offer more affordable hotel room prices.

Acadia National Park Hotels Map

Let’s take a look at a map of the top hotels in areas surrounding Acadia National Park.

Touch or click the map to activate. Zoom in and out, scroll around Mt Desert Island and orientate yourself with the locations of hotels around Acadia.

Each hotel in the map is listed below in its respective area.

Map key:

  • Green – Bar Harbor hotels
  • Blue – North Mt Desert Island hotels
  • Orange – Northeast Harbor hotels
  • Purple – Southwest Harbor hotels
  • Red – Ellsworth hotels
Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean from a beach in Acadia national park
Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean from a rocky beach in Acadia

5 Best Places To Stay Near Acadia National Park

OK, let’s get stuck into the 5 best areas you can stay around Acadia.

We are going to help you find the perfect hotel near Acadia National Park based on location and your budget.

Will it be a luxury Bar Harbor hotel, a more relaxing Mt Desert Island escape or a budget motel in Ellsworth?

Let’s find out!

Stunning building house and grounds in Maine
Typical building in Bar Harbor, Maine

1. Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is rich in historical significance, lobster and accolades. It was once an exclusive summer retreat to some of the wealthiest families in American history and today it is the popular gateway to Acadia National Park.

Bar Harbor is a wonderful place to stay and it is right on the doorstep to Acadia’s Sieur de Monts and Sand Beach entrances.

You will find dozens of excellent hotels, top rated eateries and craft breweries, a very walkable town center and the harbor itself to explore.

Bar Harbor is very small, so almost all hotels are within walking distance of the Village Green and Main Street, which is where you will find shopping, restaurants and all other amenities.

Staying in Bar Harbor gives you the most convenient access to many of Acadia’s most popular hikes and attractions, including both Beehive Trail and Precipice Trail.

But convenience, glitz and glamour come at a cost.

Splitting Up Bar Harbor

Hotels in Bar Harbor can be split into two distinct areas:

1. Downtown Bar Harbor

The first group of hotels are clustered in downtown Bar Harbor, which means it is easy to walk everywhere but they are typically extremely expensive.

2. College of the Atlantic

The second group of hotels are clustered between 1 – 1.5 miles northwest of downtown Bar Harbor, close to College of the Atlantic.

This bunching of hotels are awkwardly far enough away from downtown Bar Harbor to leave around a 25 to 30 minutes walk, which means it might be worth driving instead.

However, they are a little lighter on the wallet.

Best Hotels In Bar Harbor Maine

Let’s take a look at the best hotels in Bar Harbor using previous guest ratings on Booking.com and Google, location and value to determine the top hotel options for your visit.

In Bar Harbor the budget range is from expensive to very expensive!

The issue you are going to find with hotels in Bar Harbor is availability. Rooms are constantly booked out way in advance.

Even when researching the ratings and reviews for hotels to update this guide in early 2023 we noticed there is barely any availability for the rest of 2023.

Click hotel names to see prices and any availability for your travel dates to Acadia.

Cheap Hotels In Bar Harbor

1. Anchorage Motel – One of the cheapest hotels in Bar Harbor with regular availability throughout the year. Basic motel but a good option for those who want a prime Bar Harbor location at a low cost.

  • Booking – 7.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.1 / 5

2. Main Street Motel – Highly rated low budget hotel in Bar Harbor. Located south on main street within easy walking distance to the main restaurants. Better option but might be a little more expensive.

  • Booking – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5

3. Acadia Hotel Downtown – Perfect location opposite Village Green and within walking distance of everything in Bar Harbor. This is where we stayed for Acadia and it was great, if you can snag a room at an affordable rate this is a top choice.

  • Booking – 8.8 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

4. The Inn On Mount Desert – Affordable luxury if you can find availability here on the western edge of Bar Harbor. It is a 5 minute walk into town but it is also closer to Acadia’s entrances.

  • Booking – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5

5. Acadia Inn – Cheaper alternative hotel option near College of the Atlantic a few miles north of downtown Bar Harbor. Quieter and more secluded but requires drive into town.

  • Booking – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5

Luxury Hotels In Bar Harbor

1. Bar Harbor Grand Hotel – The most sought after place to stay in Bar Harbor. Historic, luxurious and like the name implies, grand. Definitely check prices to see if the price works for your budget.

  • Booking – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

2. The Primrose – Elegant bed and breakfast option in Bar Harbor with excellent ratings. This one is a bit more expensive but it is also more luxurious.

  • Booking – 9.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5

3. Bar Harbor Manor – Popular Bar Harbor hotel with good ratings also located on the western side of town.

  • Booking – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

4. Yellow House Inn – Top rated bed and breakfast located very close to the Bar Harbor shoreline. Excellent place to stay if you can find availability.

  • Booking – 9.4 / 10
  • Google – 5 / 5

5. Atlantic Oceanside – Popular hotel right on the coastline near College of the Atlantic to the north of downtown Bar Harbor. Worth checking prices against hotels downtown.

  • Booking – 8.8 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Downtown Bar Harbor shops and restaurants popular place for where to stay in acadia national park maine
Hikers having a beer in Bar Harbor

2. North Mt Desert Island

It is a 10 mile drive to Bar Harbor after crossing Mt Desert Narrows from the mainland onto Mount Desert Island.

However, you will pass by the small areas of Eden, Salisbury Cove and Hulls Cove as the road bends around the north of Mt Desert Island toward Bar Harbor.

Within each of these areas you can book into affordable lodging near Acadia National Park. You would definitely be sacrificing location but you would also be saving on cost.

North Mt Desert Island may be a better location for longer stays in the area. Lower nightly rated add up quickly, so a full week at lower prices can equal huge savings.

One thing to note is the main road “ME-3” is fast and busy. Car slam on brakes regularly because they don’t expect people to be turning off a fast road onto a tiny driveway for accommodation.

Best Hotels In North Mt Desert Island

Hotels in north Mt Desert Island typically have better availability and affordability when compared to Bar Harbor.

Let’s take a look at the top rated cheap and luxury hotels on the north side of Mt Desert Island:

1. Acadia Ocean View Motel – Affordable motel with stunning views over the ocean, perfect for watching sunrises.

  • Booking – 8.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.1 / 5

2. Best Western Acadia Park Inn – Classic hotel chain offering with breakfast included and outdoor swimming pool for summer visits.

  • Booking – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

3. Eden Village Motel – Pet friendly hotel near Acadia National Park with motel rooms and cabins available.

  • Booking – 8.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5

4. Hanscom’s Motel + Cottages – Pet friendly, affordable and highly rated lodging near Acadia. Quieter location just 5 miles from Bar Harbor.

  • Booking – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5

5. Bar Harbor Cottages + Suites – Quaint and cozy detached cottages perfect for light sleepers. The most luxurious place to stay on the north side of Mt Desert Island.

  • Booking – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Bar Harbor boats in the water near main street
Pier and boat tours running out of Mt Desert Island

3. Northeast Harbor

Northeast Harbor is a tiny residential area on the east side of Somes Sound near the bottom of Mt Desert Island. This very small community is home to a handful of Inns and places to eat.

In terms of location and proximity to some of the best hikes in Acadia National Park, access to mountain peaks and the park’s loop road, it doesn’t get much better than Northeast Harbor.

You can be on the loop road near Jordan Pond in 5 minutes flat. However, you are a 20 minute drive from Bar Harbor so only stay here if you don’t mind being far from the livelier areas on an evening.

Northeast Harbor would be a much quieter and more relaxing place to stay compared to Bar Harbor, but rooms are limited and sell out very quickly.

Stay here if you want to avoid the crowds on an evening after spending a day surrounded by thousands of tourists. This is also the place you can hop on a Sea Princess Acadia Nature Cruise.

Best Hotels In Northeast Harbor

Let’s take a look at the 2 best hotels available in Northeast Harbor:

1. Kimball Terrace Inn – Very popular place to stay in Northeast Harbor with good ratings. Outdoor pool and gardens perfect for relaxing after a long day in the park.

  • Booking – 8.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5

2. Harbourside Inn – Very highly rated historic lodging near Acadia National Park. Much quieter place to stay a few minutes walk from the center of Northeast Harbor.

  • Booking – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.7 / 5
Southwest harbor is a quieter place to stay in acadia national park than bar harbor this bridge and building reflecting in the river is beautiful
Stunning photo spot near Southwest Harbor

4. Southwest Harbor

Southwest Harbor is the best place to stay near Acadia National Park if you’re looking for something in between the buzzy atmosphere of Bar Harbor and the tranquility of Northeast Harbor.

This small community is located very close to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, one of Acadia’s most beloved attractions. The famous lighthouse is just 8 minutes drive to the south.

Heading north, you can drive to Echo Lake Beach or park at Acadia Mountain Trailhead within 5 minutes. Bar Harbor is 25 minutes drive from Southwest Harbor.

Stay here if you want instant access into the quieter half of Acadia National Park and more relaxing evenings.

Best Hotels In Southwest Harbor

Let’s take a look at the best places to stay in Southwest Harbor near Acadia National Park:

1. Drydock Inn and Cafe – Well rated lodging and a very popular restaurant all in one. Great location in the heart of Southwest Harbor.

  • Hotels – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5

2. Harbor View Motel + Cottages – Another great option in Southwest Harbor. Views over the harbor and just a few minutes walk into town.

  • Google – 4.5 / 5

3. The Claremont Hotel – Luxury and elegant waterfront hotel with outdoor swimming pool and dining. This is the best place to stay in Southwest Harbor if you can stretch the budget.

  • Hotels – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5

4. Harbour Cottage Inn – Very highly rated bed and breakfast on the edges of Acadia National Park. One of the top B+B’s on Mt Desert Island.

  • Hotels – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5

5. Harbor Ridge – Popular family friendly resort style hotel near Acadia with indoor swimming pool and gym. Little remote so you will definitely need to drive back into Southwest Harbor.

  • Booking – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Motel surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage colors in bar harbor maine
Parking lot at a motel near Acadia National Park in fall

5. Ellsworth

Ellsworth is located 20 miles from Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The drive takes anywhere between 25 – 40 minutes depending on traffic.

So, why are we including it on this list of best places to stay near Acadia?

Well, we met at least a dozen hikers and photographers at Acadia who said they were staying in Ellsworth because hotels are much cheaper and food options are more diverse.

Our hotel in Bar Harbor was expensive but our food bill was also sky high because there are no cheap places to eat in town.

Ellsworth offers more of a ‘normal‘ town with typical food chains, which might just be the budget saving salvation you are looking for in order to see Acadia on the cheap.

If you want to save on your visit to Acadia, read our popular guide on how to book cheap hotels next.

Best Hotels In Ellsworth

Let’s take a look at the best places to stay in Ellsworth near Acadia National Park:

1. Atlantic Coast Inn – Cheap hotel near Acadia National Park with reasonable ratings. Compare prices against other hotels in Ellsworth before booking.

  • Booking – 7.8 / 10
  • Google – 4.1 / 5

2. Comfort Inn Ellsworth – Step up in quality and breakfast included. Much cheaper to stay here in Ellsworth but only if willing to drive into and out of Acadia each day.

  • Booking – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5

3. Hampton Inn Ellsworth – The best place to stay in Ellsworth if you are looking for a bit more luxury at affordable rates near Acadia. Better value for money but you need to be happy with location.

  • Booking – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Hikers stood on a log inside a forest full of green leaves
Mark and Kristen walking through forest near Jordan Pond

Acadia National Park Campgrounds + RV Park

If you can’t find a hotel to fit your travel budget inside or near Acadia National Park, consider camping or parking an RV instead.

We know camping isn’t for everyone but it is a way to stay inside Acadia close to the hikes and save money.

There are 3 major campgrounds to choose between in Acadia National Park:

  • Blackwoods Campground281 sites comprised of 221 tent only and 60 RV only sites. Located perfectly between Sand Beach and Jordan Pond. Check availability.
  • Seawall Campground202 sites comprised of 43 tent only, 59 RV only and the rest mixed use. Located 4 miles South of Southwest Harbor (near Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse).
  • Schoodic Woods Campground89 sites comprised of 13 tent only, 41 RV only and the rest mixed use. Located in Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland, over 40 miles from Bar Harbor.

National Park campgrounds are notoriously difficult to book into these days, especially with small to medium sized travel companies block booking camp sites.

There is also Duck Harbor Campground located on Isle au Haut. But this campground can only be accessed by mailboat from the mainland.

You will have to be flexible with dates and book as early as you have dates. Good luck!

Can’t find a campground? Use our exclusive 30 day free trial of The Dyrt PRO to find both free and paid campsites near Acadia or use Dyrt Alerts to snag a spot at a sold out campground nearby.

Acadia Hotels FAQ’s

Let’s finish with some of the most asked questions about the best places to stay near Acadia National Park.

How Many Days Do I Need For Acadia?

You should plan for at least 2 full days to hike the best trails and see the top sights in Acadia National Park. However, we recommend 3 full days in Acadia as the optimal amount of time for first time visitors to fully explore the park.

Is Bar Harbor A Good Place To Stay For Visiting Acadia?

Yes, Bar Harbor is the most convenient place to stay for visiting Acadia National Park. It has the most amenities, restaurants and hotels. Plus, Bar Harbor is just a few minutes drive from the most popular hikes and attractions in Acadia.

Want more Maine content? Head over to our Maine Travel Guides to explore Acadia National Park and beyond. 

We hope this guide on where to stay in Acadia National Park helps you book the perfect hotel!

Please let us know if you have any questions or need help planning your visit to Acadia in the comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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