Our family visits Bar Harbor often and we feel like we are stating to get the know the town pretty well and talk to a lot of the locals.
Geddy's is the quintessential tourist trap. They lure people in by decorating the place with all kinds of kitchy eye catching junk but the food and the service are awful.
According to the locals I've spoken with the staff there is miserable because the owner is an overbearing inconsiderate person and he is not even from Maine. The locals told me some other stories about the management of the restaurant but I don't think I should repeat here because they are pretty bad.
Apparently they also get most of their food frozen from a large national food distributor. They say on their menu that their clam chowder is their own secret recipe but they actually get it frozen in a bag.
I really like to see restaurants support their local producers especially things that are abundantly available in the area like fresh fish to make chowder with.
The food honestly taste like taco bell. The whole place is a farce.
Unique Suggestions: Don't go!
Fun Alternatives: For a casual family place like Geddy's go to West Street Cafe which is much better.
I received a $10 ticket. Here is how it happened, and how to avoid it.
I had driven to an outfitter to arrange a kayak trip. The kayak trip would last 4 hours. The only parking nearby was 2 hours, and the person directed me to a spot that was 3 hour parking. It was a chance to take, and unfortunately I received a ticket, albeit a relatively small one.
Unique Suggestions: What the outfitter did not tell me, and I later learned while talking to the police department while inquiry (i.e. begging) about the ticker, was that there is free parking on a variety of side streets. Such as the streets near the gazebo, and along the north side of West street.
Fun Alternatives: Best to ask a police officer or perhaps someone at the National Park center.
This is not exactly a tourist trap, though a head's up which is that at any time there may be a cruise ship passing through. While this is great for local business, it does make things a little more congested at restaurants, shops, et al. Unfortunately, though, I don't know how one could plan around this. It would seem like someone in town (Chanmber of Commerce of Harbor Officials) would know when cruise ships would be anchored. I will check the next time I am there.
I had a couple hours to roam around as my kayak trip was the next day. So I headed down to harbor and decided to take a whale watch boat. After boarding, the captain announced that there might not be whale's and that we might have to take the boat around Acadia rather than out to sea. They offered a discount if it was the island tour. As it turns out it was this and although there were a couple interesting views, the time and money were not worth it. I am not an expert on whale watching, though there would seem to be an optimal time and place for this. Not sure if Bar Harbor is that place, and if it is, when is the best time. I guess whale watch web sites could help in that regard.
There are a lot of run down, touristy shops all along Route 3 on the approach to Bar Harbor, basically from Ellsworth on down to Mount Desert Island. Perhaps the worst site that I saw was the Acadia Zoo, which had three or four bison holed up in a pen much too small for free range animals. Quite sad...
The popularity of Ben & Bill's ice cream shop in downtown Bar Harbor is a mystery to me. While the ice cream flavor selection is vast, I can't understand the appeal of waiting half an hour on line to pay $3.50 for a stingy single scoop. You can do a lot better at lesser-known ice cream shops.