On some hot summer some days, only a visit to a beach will do. Grab the cooler, the beverages, sandwiches for the kids, and perhaps a radio or iPod, and beeline it to the shore. You can venture into the cool ocean water or in the crystal clear water of a lake. Spend your time relaxing on a towel or blanket getting some needed sun, read a book, or try some other beach side recreation like constructing your first sand castle or tossing a football with friends or family. There are three nice beaches on Mount Desert Island to choose from that are within an easy driving distance of Bar Harbor, Maine.
The map of Mount Desert Island to the right shows you the locations of the three beach options relative to the Bar Harbor town center (noted by the star). The green area represents land within Acadia National Park. All three beaches are accessible by your own private transportation or by the Free Island Explorer Bus Service (note additional information below). All three also have adequate parking and restroom facilities of some kind.
Sand Beach is on the right or east side of the island within Acadia National Park. It is in a gorgeous setting between two large walls of granite and evergreen. The 290 yard (265 meter) beach is comprised of unique sand of shell fragments. The ocean water is a cool 55 degrees fahrenheit (12.8 celsius) even in summer. Sand Beach is accessed via the Park Loop Road and you will need to have an entrance pass to the park to get there. It is 5 - 6 miles from downtown Bar Harbor and will take about 15 minutes drive time. (View Sand Beach)
Echo Lake Beach is also within Acadia National Park and is accessed via Route 102 between Somesville to the north and Southwest Harbor to the south. Locals often prefer this beach because of smaller crowds, warmer inland water, and its spectacular setting right next to 839 foot (256 meter) Beech Mountain. The beach is about 12 miles (19.3 km) from Bar Harbor and will take about 20 - 25 minutes to get there
(View Echo Lake Beach)
Seal Harbor Public Beach is an oceanside beach located right in the center of town on the southeastern side of Mount Desert Island. This is a quaint little beach with great views of expensive yachts immediately off shore. Seal Harbor is a home to many rich and famous people but the beach gives a feeling of being for regular every day people. The beach is right next to Route 3 and is about 9 miles from Bar Harbor, taking about 20 minutes drive time. (View Seal Harbor)
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular stops (in season) at all three beaches. View the #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods Route and the #4 Loop Road Route for Sand Beach. View the #5 Jordan Pond Route for Seal Harbor Beach and the #7 Southwest Harbor Route for Echo Lake Beach. Routes 3 & 7 makes regular stops at the Bar Harbor Village Green. Route #4 stops at the Visitor Center.
Sand Beach Parking GPS Coordinates: Latitude 44.330198; Longitude -68.183998
Echo Lake Beach Parking GPS: Latitude 44.314308; Longitude -68.336482
Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
Enjoy our beaches!