Jordan Pond

The Best Airports Near Bar Harbor, Maine, 2024

Embarking on a family adventure to the picturesque haven of Bar Harbor, Maine, to soak in the natural beauty of Acadia National Park? Ensuring a smooth journey from takeoff to touchdown is the key to kickstarting an unforgettable vacation. Amidst the breathtaking landscapes and coastal charm, choosing the right airport can significantly elevate your travel experience. Join us as we explore the best airports near Bar Harbor, Maine, where every family member can dive into a world of natural wonders and cherished moments.

visit Sand Beach on your trip to Bar Harbor

photo credit: K. Wiggins

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Navigating the Route from New England Airports to Bar Harbor

Our family loves visiting National Parks, and Acadia is one of my all-time favorite destinations. We have experimented with flying into different airports, so I have experience determining the best route to Bar Harbor.

Some of the airports are in closer proximity but may require a connecting flight. With three kids, I’m not a big fan of connecting flights personally and prefer direct flights. Also, I love Maine, so I don’t mind a scenic drive to Acadia, especially if it means I can pop into some of my favorite towns like Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, and Camden. I also have my favorite lobster roll joints I like to visit while in Maine.

Visit Acadia

Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport

  • Distance: 13 miles 
  • Airport Code: BHB
  • Major Airlines: Cape Air is a smaller airline out of Boston, as well as Jet Blue
  • Helpful Tips: This is the closest airport to Bar Harbor.

Hancock County airport is near the town of Bar Harbor, as it is in neighboring Trenton. This small airport receives flights out of Boston from Cape Air and JetBlue. More than likely, you would need to schedule a flight to Boston on a major airline and then transfer to this smaller regional line. 

If you fly into Hancock County, Hertz and Enterprise offer rental car services. The local transit, Island Explorer, runs a shuttle from mid-June to through mid-October (Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day). The shuttle drops off at several stops on Mount Desert Island for free. Check their website for schedule updates.

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the best airports near Bar Harbor, Maine

Bangor International Airport

  • Distance: 50 miles 
  • Airport Code: BGR
  • Major Airlines: Delta, United, American & Allegiant 
  • Helpful Tips: Bangor’s airport is larger than Hancock County, providing more opportunities for major airline carriers.

Bangor’s Airport is a popular choice for travelers as three major airlines fly into Bangor daily and a smaller line, Allegiant. It is a smaller airport so the flight options will be limited compared to a larger location like Boston. Many Acadia visitors prefer Bangor for its proximity to the region. 

The travel time to Bangor is much shorter than Portland; however, if you travel from another region, expect a layover. For instance, our hub is Atlanta, and if we flew into Bangor, we would have a layover. Some left earlier on a trip with extended family and flew out of Bangor. It was nice because no one had to go far to the airport, but the family had layovers at JFK. We are spoiled with Atlanta as our hub, but Bangor Airport is the best choice for many guests. 

Bangor, Maine is one of the great options for flying to Bar Harbor

There are multiple car rental companies located in Bangor. Avis and Enterprise are just a few to name. You can grab a tasty meal in town before exploring Acadia. 

Portland International Jetport

  • Distance: 175 miles 
  • Airport Code: PWM
  • Major Airlines: Delta, American, United, Breeze, Frontier, JetBlue Airways, Southwest and Sun Country 
  • Helpful Tips: The location is right off Highway 95, making hopping on the road towards Acadia easy. 

Portland is my favorite airport for a getaway to Acadia. We can fly non-stop from Atlanta on Delta, with several daily flights. The Portland International Airport is the best option in Maine coming out of Atlanta because, typically, it is the cheapest flight compared to Bangor. It is the largest airport in Maine, too. 

Portland, Maine is another great option for flying to Bar Harbor

Obtaining a rental car is easy as you walk outside the airport to the car hub. You don’t have to worry about catching a bus or tram, which always adds another stop. When you return the car, there are gas stations close to refuel before returning. 

I found this airport easy to navigate, especially when traveling with kids. There’s a small indoor play area for toddlers, and the walkways are wide, perfect for little ones to burn off energy. 

Although this airport is a bit further, it is one of the best options. More flight options exist than in Bangor, and its location on 95 can’t be beaten. If I’m not in a rush, I also love taking the scenic drive out of Portland. Instead of getting on 95, we take 295 and get off in Brunswick for Highway 1. 

Highway 1 is a scenic route that takes you through some beautiful communities on the Atlantic coast, such as Brunswick and Camden, and straight through Wiscasset, where you can stop for one of the best lobster rolls in Maine at Red’s. The route also takes you across the impressive Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

Luke's Lobster roll

Boston Logan International Airport

  • Distance: 280 miles 
  • Airport Code: BOS
  • Major Airlines: You will have the best airline availability at the Boston Airport. For instance, Delta, Southwest, and American are just a few. 
  • Helpful Tips: Boston is the largest airport in the region, so it may be easier if you don’t want connecting flights. It is probably the best airport for international travelers.

Boston is far from Bar Harbor but still a great option. First, it is a large international airport, so many more non-stop flight options will help with flight availability and pricing. You can get to Boston from most major cities in the United States. 

Once you land at Logan, you must take the shuttle to the car rental company venue. The process can take time if there are crowds, so be patient. We were there recently, and the wait wasn’t too terrible. It is very easy to return the car on your departure day. 

Flying into Boston offers many possibilities. For instance, you can stay in town and explore for a few days. Or take my favorite scenic route through Maine’s picturesque coastal towns like Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. Leaving from Boston sets up a fun road trip through the beautiful state of Maine. If that doesn’t interest you, then hop on 95 and head north. 

Ogunquit, Maine is a great stop on your road from Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine

FAQ: Traveling to Bar Harbor

Which airport is the closest to the famous Acadia National Park?

Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport

What’s the best time to visit Bar Harbor? 

July through the Fall

Can you get around Bar Harbor without a car?

You can get around without a car, but I highly recommend renting a car to explore the national park and the rest of Mount Desert Island. You will also want the ability to check out some of the best local restaurants on Mount Desert Island. However, the Island Explorer is a bus with numerous routes and a great option if you don’t want to rent a car. 

Do I need a reservation for Cadillac Mountain in the national park?

Yes, you need to reserve a timed entry to one of the most beautiful spots on the entire East Coast. 

In Conclusion: The Best Airports Near Bar Harbor, Maine, 2024

As our exploration of the best airports near Bar Harbor draws a close, this guide has provided valuable insights for your upcoming family getaway. Whether you opt for the convenience of Bangor International Airport, the regional charm of Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, or the scenic drive from Portland International Jetport, each choice presents its unique adventure. As you prepare for your journey to this coastal gem, may your travels be smooth, your experiences be rich, and your experiences be filled with endless joy and unforgettable memories. My guide to the best airports near Bar Harbor, Maine, helps you plan your next great adventures.

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