The streets are narrow and the Island Explorer bus drivers are reckless. (Sheldon....grrr) Please be Careful if parking roadside, they come REALLY close. We were lucky he only took off my door and not Louis' arm! There is a big lot if you turn up the Street by Rupunui's best bet to park back there or on a side street away from the majority of the traffic.
Lobsters molt their shells in the summertime when the water warms up, usually in August in northern Maine. After lobsters molt they surround their bodies (inside of their new shells, which are soft to the touch) with seawater in order to stretch them out, making their shells a bit larger than their bodies so that they'll have a bit of space to grow until the following year. If you go to the market you will see that softshell lobsters are usually less money per pound than the hard shelled ones and this is because their weight on the scale is mostly water, not meat. If you know this is what you're getting ahead of time, that's fine. What you don't want however is to go into a restaurant and order the lobster special and end up paying big bucks for a crustacean that's mostly just shell and water. Any time you order a lobster in a restaurant, or buy one at the pound, be sure to ask if it's hard or soft shelled, especially during the summer.
When we arrived in town I was a little surprised to see so many people since it was off season but then I saw the reason why, a large cruise ship docked in port. Someone said they are there almost every day in season, the good news is that they seem to leave by nightfall making it a little easier to get into restaurants.
Parking is a hassle in Bar Harbor. Most of the nearby parking is out on the street, your standard parallel parking. There are very few, if any, actual parking meters. BUT, the signs clearly say "two hour limit" on parking. Now, you're probably going to want or need more than a couple of hours in Bar Harbor, especially if you're hanging around for dinner.
What to do, what to do, with respect to parking??
You have two choices, both are technically illegal. But, they work pretty well, so here goes...
The first choice is to keep your car clean. Like cops everywhere, the constables in Bar Harbor will put chalk marks on your tires to record that they've "seen" you in a particular parking place. Then, if they come back two hours later and find chalked tires, they know that you've been there too long and BAM - a ticket. So, if you're fastidious like me, and you find any strange chalk marks on your car, I'd think it only normal that you'd want to immediately spruce up your wheels, right?
And, the second option is actually a consequence of failure on the first option. IF you do get noticed spending more than 120 minutes in one of Bar Harbor's extra-fine parking places, and Rita Meter Maid (Beatles song, not picking on any particular cop named Rita, honest...) gives you a ticket, the fine is apparently ONLY something like $10. No big deal, really - cheaper than legal parking in many places for an afternoon.
I guess I'll go write some other tips, now that I've destroyed my pristine and law-abiding reputation here on VT. Now you know the real me.
Footnote, apparently the police in Bar Harbor read this tip and were none too pleased. Apparently things are slow enough in Bar Harbor that the men and women in blue have time to surf the 'net. After seeing my original tip - which I have sanitized to make it somewhat less revolutionary in nature - they actually began brow-beating local merchants, in an effort to flush out any collaborators who've been helping "out of town undesirables" slide by on parking in Bar Harbor. Where's McGruff, the Crime Dog, when you need him?
Bar Harbor is so safe I bet you can leave the doors unlocked.
(i'm phobic so I wouldn't but I'll bet you could).
Bar Harbor has a rating of 1/3 of the national average of crime stats.
no murders, no robberies in 6 years.
only one registered sex offender.
only 5 cars get stolen(broken into) annually.
so you should feel pretty good about walking around the area with the family.
but you still should keep safety first and lock the doors and be aware of who is near you and where the kids are.
Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor get swamped with tourists in the high summer months. To avoid the crowds; but still enjoy good weather, try to plan your trip in the first two or three weeks in May or the last two or three weeks in September.
Bugs! I got bitten by every nasty flying insect known to man while I was outdoors. Blackflies and mosquitoes were absolutely everywhere, and a veritable plague. Bring DEET bug spray and wear it all the time!