How to Spend 4 Nights Camping in Bar Harbor

If you’re planning a trip to Maine, you’ve most likely heard of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Today, I’ll be sharing thoughts on a recent trip to Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday Campground and how to RV in Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park.

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Overall Review of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, and Acadia National Park

Bar Harbor Maine is just one town on Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor gets the most recognition because it’s the largest of the towns on the island and receives the most tourists each year. You’ll often see cruise ships entering the ports and even the CAT ferry from Maine to Nova Scotia connects in Bar Harbor. 

Besides the town of Bar Harbor, there is also the easternmost national park in the US, Acadia National Park. Taking over much of the island, Acadia spans nearly 50,000 acres, and ventures into surrounding regions such as near Winter’s Harbor located about an hour’s drive up the coast. 

One of my favorite parts of Mount Desert Island is the western side near towns like Wonderland and Southwest Harbor. This area tends to be a bit slower paced and less crowded. 

Is Bar Harbor, Maine Worth visiting?

Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island are definitely worth visiting! If you only have a few days or a bit longer, you’ll want to be sure to visit this region. Acadia National Park and the beautiful Maine coast are reason enough to make the trek. 

Although, I will admit, Mount Desert can get a bit crowded and busy. 

If you love local shops, restaurants, and lots of things to do, you’ll want to be as close to downtown as possible. 

If you’re like my husband and I though, you might want to opt to be slightly outside of town for a quieter experience.

Getting Around and To Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is located in a region referred to as DownEast. Getting to this area, you’ll definitely want a car. If you are RVing to Bar Harbor, just beware the streets downtown can get quite narrow with cars parked on both sides. 

If you are flying into the region, you most likely fly into Portland International Jetport, about three hours from Bar Harbor. Alternatively, you could also fly into Bangor, ME located only one hour from Bar Harbor. There is an airport on Mount Desert Island, but the flights are extremely expensive.  

If you’re looking to rent an RV when visiting Bar Harbor, check out Outdoorsy.com or the Airstream rentals available at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday.

The view from our campsite in Bar Harbor, Maine

How Many Days Do You Need in Bar Harbor, Maine

We recommend no less than 3 nights in the Bar Harbor, Maine area. We spent 4 nights on a recent trip, and I would have loved to spend at least a week. Between Acadia National Park, visiting the smaller towns, exploring local beaches, and time spent relaxing, you could spend a month in this area and not get bored.

Things To Do Near Bar Harbor, Maine

Beaches near Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island

Sand Beach

This is a really popular beach located in the same parking lot as the Beehive trial. Be sure to arrive early to get a good spot. If you’re looking for even more adventure you can walk along the Ocean Path Trail for stunning views of the coastline. 

Lamoine Beach

If you’re willing to go outside of Bar Harbor a bit, take a drive to Lamoine, Maine. Here you’ll find a hidden gem beach enjoyed mostly by locals. 

Lamoine Beach is located close to Lamoine State Park (I would skip going to the state park and go straight to the beach).

Exploring Lamoine Beach

Hiking in Acadia National Park and Around Mount Desert Island

There are TONS of hiking options in Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island

We explored only a fraction of what’s available. For even more hiking ideas, check out Alltrails.com

Beehive Loop Trail – 1.5 miles, challenging

Ben felt this hike was super busy but not as challenging as advertised. This is one of the most popular hikes and therefore gets crazy busy. We arrived at 9 am and the parking lot was already filling up. 

Precipice Loop Trail – 2.1 miles, challenging

Another super popular trail. Ben did the hike and found it challenging and accidently went the wrong way and had to go down the rings instead of climbing up them. 

If you’re afraid of heights skip Beehive and Precipice trails. I am terrified of heights so waited for Ben at the trailhead:)

View from Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park

Wonderland Trail – 1.3 miles, easy peasy

For a change of pace, this hike is incredibly easy, you’ll barely break a sweat. This trail leads to a rocky beach and beautiful views. 

Exploring the rocky beach on the Wonderland Trail in Acadia National Park

Scenic Drives Near Bar Harbor, Maine

If you have the time, we definitely recommend driving along the entire Mount Desert Island. We spent a day driving along Route 102 on the quieter side of the island. This loop will take you through the adorable Southwest Harbor and to the Wonderland Trail mentioned above. 

If you’d like to stick to the more popular side of the island, you can drive around Route 3 or along the Acadia Loop Road. 

Have your hiking shoes and extra water ready in case you want to go on a spontaneous adventure!

Read More: Bar Harbor to Lubec: The Most Beautiful Part of Maine

Places We Ate in Bar Harbor, Maine

We admittedly don’t eat out often when we travel. We try to save our money for future travel and cook in our RV. But we did enjoy the few times we adventured out. 

Island Take Out 

This hole in the wall is located minutes from the Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA campground. Literally behind a gas station, it’s easy to miss. But it’s definitely worth the walk over from the campground or a stop by during your Bar Harbor trip. 

They have a few picnic tables set up for outdoor dinning or you can order take out to go which is what we did. 

I highly recommend their Jerk Chicken Mac & Cheese and salads – their homemade dressing is so yummy!

Island Take Out – only a few minutes walk from Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA

The Independent Cafe

Before our day exploring Acadia National Park we opted for a quick coffee and tea at one of Bar Harbor’s cafes. We originally planned to visit Choco-Latte but the line was insane. 

We walked a few minutes down the road and found the Independent Cafe. Their breakfast sandwich was so-so but their Chai Latte was one of the best I’ve ever had!

How Much 4 Nights RVing in Bar Harbor, ME Costs

Our stay at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday Campground was by far the most expensive stay of our RV season. The only campground that was similar was our stay at Cherry Hill RV Park just outside of Washington, DC which was a whopping $150/night.

For 4 nights at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday – oceanfront site = $120 / night plus taxes and fees for a total of $637

We spent $82 on gas to get from our home in western Maine to Bar Harbor. The journey took us just under 3 hours. 

We ate most meals from the RV and spent $180 on groceries

We went out to dinner one time at the Island Take Out for $35

A trip to a local cafe called Independent Coffee for $20

And finally, we purchased a 7 day pass to Acadia for $35

Total for 4 nights in Bar Harbor we spent: $989 – ouchy! That’s quite a bit for 4 nights and shows what a difference an expensive campsite makes on a weekend budget.

Read More: How to RV in the US for Less Than $2500

Where to Camp in Bar Harbor, Maine

There are multiple RV park options near Bar Harbor, Maine. 

We loved our stay at the Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday.

You could also check out the following campgrounds:

Read More: 3 Amazing Maine Oceanfront Campgrounds: Reviewed for You!

Oceanfront views at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday

Overview of Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday Campground

The Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday is located immediately to the right as you enter Mount Desert Island. 

Featuring gorgeous oceanfront views, beautiful sunsets, and tons of amenities this campground will quickly steal your heart. This KOA offers RV camping, tent camping, as well as cabin and Airstream rentals. 

Things to Know Before Visiting Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA

You should keep in mind that in order to request a specific site you’ll need to pay an extra $50. But, you really can’t go wrong with an oceanfront site. 

The campground is about 20 minutes from Acadia National Park. 

Also keep in mind that Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are not these only regions worth exploring. It’s well worth your time to check out the charming towns of Southwest on the western side of Mount Desert Island and the town of Winter Harbor, just north of the island. 

Best Time to Visit Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park

May through October is considered the best weather season in Maine. June through August is our peak season with the highest prices and most crowds. 

June tends to be a big buggier than the rest of the summer so just be aware of that. But if you’re looking for great Maine weather plus less crowds I’d recommend visiting in May or September.

Amenities and Activities at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday

  • Super fast Wifi
  • Onsite dining at the Lobster Trap Cafe
  • Tons of playground and activities for little ones
  • Dog park
  • Firewood and propane for sale
  • Bike Rentals
  • Tons of onsite activities including a Smores Night, Live Music, and crafts for kiddos

There’s also a train that goes through the campground for little ones, a recreational area with games like cornhole and horseshoes. 

All sites also have daily trash pick up. 

Kayaking and Paddleboarding at Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA Holiday

What I loved most about this campground was the waterfront site we had and how easy it was to launch are kayaks. 

If you have sites #307-311 you have access to a pebbly beach and can launch right from there. 

If you don’t have access to these sites, there’s also a water access path near site #307 that anyone can access. 

A note about kayaking in the ocean – beware of the timing of the tides. You’ll want to be aware if the tide is coming in or going out. We like to go kayaking a few hours before high tide and then come in around when high tide is fully in. 

Kayaking in Bar Harbor, Maine

Final Thoughts

I absolutely recommend staying at the Bar Harbor / Oceanside KOA and exploring the multiple things to do near Mount Desert, Maine. I hope this post gave you more info on how to RV in Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park.

Whether you plan to visit the Bar Harbor area for a day or an entire summer, either way, you won’t regret it!

Happy Traveling