A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Atlantic City vs. Bar Harbor for Food, Resorts, Couples, and Beaches

Should you visit Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Atlantic City and Bar Harbor. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a glitzy, flashy, and party-oriented city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and beaches.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a charming, picturesque, and relaxed coastal town. This is also a fantastic small town with plenty of charm and local activities. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for hiking, shopping, and food.

Atlantic City and Bar Harbor: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Atlantic City. Although Atlantic City and Bar Harbor are both popular with visitors, Atlantic City has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Atlantic City is more popular for its museums, nightlife, and resorts, while Bar Harbor is known for its food, hiking, shopping, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Atlantic City is more touristy than Bar Harbor and is known for its casinos, gambling culture, nightlife scene, and wild personality It is also home to Steel Pier and the Boardwalk. Bar Harbor is popular for its small town vibe, picturesque setting, whale watching tours, and convenient location near Acadia National Park.

How is Atlantic City different from Bar Harbor?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bar Harbor and Atlantic City. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City is a moderate city for its sights and museums. However, Bar Harbor does not have museums and landmarks.

Atlantic City offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While most people don't spend their time in museums, there is the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, the African American Heritage Museum, and the Noyes Museum Galleries.

Bar Harbor does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is well known for its restaurant scene. Also, Atlantic City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Bar Harbor makes for a great culinary experience. The town is famous for its Maine lobster, but there are also countless other types of fresh seafood available. You'll find waterfront restaurants with beautiful views and fresh ingredients.

Atlantic City has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There are budget buffets around town as well as seafood restaurants and even some fine dining. Salt water taffy is a local specialty that you should pick up while you're in the area.

Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Nightlife?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City is terrific for nightlife. However, Bar Harbor is not a good coastal town for nightlife and partying.

Atlantic City is a must-see party destination. This is a city that is all about its nightlife scene. Many visitors come here just to party, and you'll find clubs with DJs or bands playing from sunset to sunrise. There are glitzy lounges and dive bars with everything in between. As a gambling town, there are casinos and all-night activities that keep the energy going round the clock.

Bar Harbor doesn't offer many options. It's a peaceful and sleepy town, so you wont find much in the way of nightlife.

Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Resorts?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City is a well-known place for its resorts. Also, Bar Harbor is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its luxury resorts.

In Atlantic City, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. The beach and boardwalk are lined with casinos and resorts. There are many recognizable names such as Harrah's, Bally's, Caesars, Hard Rock, and the Tropicana.

With a selection of resorts, Bar Harbor makes a nice vacation spot. The town is all about the cute hotel. Several favorites include Sand Bar Cottage Inn, Bluenose Inn, and Bar Harbor Inn and Spa.


Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Beaches?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City and Bar Harbor both offer good beaches.

Atlantic City offers a nice beach destination. There's a Boardwalk that runs along the beach and is lined with piers and hotels. The Downtown Beach is the most accessible, and where most tourists hang out. If you're willing to travel a little further, there are some nice beaches nearby such as Margate Beach and Brigantine Beach.

Bar Harbor is a good option for a beach vacation. A nice beach is close by but do note that the sand is very shelly and there is a big difference between high and low tides.

Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Hiking?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a good destination for its hiking experiences. However, Atlantic City is not a hiking destination.

Bar Harbor offers some nice hiking trails. Nearby Acadia National Park has plenty of hiking options. There's also the Bar Harbor Shore Path that wanders along the coastline and offers beautiful views.

Atlantic City is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is well known for shopping. Also, Atlantic City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Bar Harbor is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Filled with plenty of local boutique shops, its fun to enjoy some shopping around town.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Atlantic City. You'll find many souvenir shops along the boardwalk. There's also a Tangier Outlet Mall in the area. Some of the hotels such as the Tropicana have their own shopping areas as well.


Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Families?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a good destination for its family-friendly activities. However, Atlantic City is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Bar Harbor. It is a small town with a lot of outdoor activities that kids will enjoy. Whale watching, kayaking, and wildlife spotting are all fun activities for all ages.

For families, Atlantic City is not always the best place to visit. Most families avoid this area for more family-friendly beaches, but if you find yourself in the area, you can check out Ripley's Believe It or Not or go on a dolphin cruise. Also popular is Steel Pier, which has rides for all ages.

Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Couples?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is well known for romance. Also, Atlantic City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its romantic activities.

Couples visit Bar Harbor frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. It is a quaint coastal town that is perfect for a couple's getaway or a short honeymoon. There are romantic restaurants, scenic walks, and beautiful views that make this a wonderful retreat.

Atlantic City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's not exactly known for its romance, but there are casinos, hotels, and a beaches that are fun to visit. You'll also find several spas and sunset cruises in the area.

Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City is a city with good options for backpackers. However, Bar Harbor is not a good coastal town for backpackers and budget travelers.

Atlantic City is a good city to visit for backpackers. There is a hostel in the area. You'll also find a younger crowd and plenty of partying.

Bar Harbor is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. It's a small town with mostly high end accommodation so budget travelers and backpackers will struggle to find a place to stay.


Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City is a city with good options for its public transit. However, Bar Harbor is not a good coastal town for times when you don't have a car.

Atlantic City has a few public transit options. The Jitney are shuttle buses that runs from one end of the city to the other. They pass by most of the hotels and casinos along Pacific Avenue.

Public transit is mostly limited in Bar Harbor. There is a free shuttle bus that will help you get around town if needed.

Is Atlantic City or Bar Harbor a more walkable city?

Atlantic City
Bar Harbor

Atlantic City and Bar Harbor both are very good when exploring on foot.

Atlantic City is very walkable. Many of the hotels are walkable and located near the boardwalk.

Bar Harbor is a very walkable city. The town is small enough that it's easily explored on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Atlantic City Worth Visiting? and Is Bar Harbor Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Bar Harbor or Atlantic City?

How long in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Atlantic City and Bar Harbor. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Atlantic City, and 2-3 days is enough time in Bar Harbor.

Families should spend more time in Bar Harbor than Atlantic City. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Bar Harbor, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Bar Harbor than Atlantic City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Bar Harbor that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Atlantic City than Bar Harbor if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Atlantic City.


  • How many days in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor? Ideal Length of Stay
    Atlantic City 1-3 
    Bar Harbor 2-3

One day in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

With shopping and nightlife around the glitzy city of Atlantic City, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Atlantic City, one day is sufficent for most.

Even though Bar Harbor is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.


A weekend in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Atlantic City, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bar Harbor. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Five days in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Atlantic City, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Bar Harbor is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

A week in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Atlantic City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Bar Harbor is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Bar Harbor or Atlantic City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Atlantic City is $154, while the average daily cost in Bar Harbor is $202. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Atlantic City and Bar Harbor in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Atlantic City $73
    Bar Harbor $117
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Atlantic City $146
    Bar Harbor $234
Compare Hotels in Atlantic City and Bar Harbor

Looking for a hotel in Atlantic City or Bar Harbor? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Atlantic City


Hotels in Bar Harbor


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Atlantic City Hotel Prices and Bar Harbor Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Atlantic City $40
    Bar Harbor $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Prices for flights to both Bar Harbor and Atlantic City change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Atlantic City $50
    Bar Harbor $57

Typical Food Prices in Bar Harbor

Some typical examples of dining costs in Bar Harbor are as follows:


  • West Street Cafe (for 4)
    $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Atlantic City $44
    Bar Harbor $39

Tours and Activities in Atlantic City

Here are a few actual costs in Atlantic City for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Absecon Lighthouse Admission Ticket: $10
  • Atlantic City Adventure Scavenger Hunt: $22
  • Sea Rocket Sunrise Cruise Overlooking Ocean City, MD: $22
  • Sea Rocket Early Bird Speed Boat & Dolphin Cruise in Ocean City: $24
  • Sea Rocket Speed Boat & Dolphin Cruise in Ocean City, MD: $25
  • Morning or Afternoon Skyline Ocean Cruise: $27
  • Quiet Bay Cruise With Happy Hour Options: $27
  • Sunset Party Cruise with DJ: $33
  • Sea Rocket Sunset Cruise Overlooking Ocean City, MD: $34
  • Bay Hopper Breakfast Sandwich Cruise: $35
  • OC Bay Hopper - Sunset Cruise: $40
  • OC Bay Hopper - Ice Cream Cruise: $40

Typical Entertainment Prices in Bar Harbor

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Bar Harbor are as follows:


  • Acadia National Park Entrance Fee
    $25
  • Sunset Cruise (for 4)
    $96

Tours and Activities in Bar Harbor

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bar Harbor are as follows:

  • Self Guided GPS Audio Driving Tour Acadia NP From Hulls Cove VC: $7.60
  • Acadia's Ocean Path Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $8.99
  • Ocean Path: Acadia Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $13
  • Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour in Acadia National Park: $13
  • Historic Self-Guided Audio Guide Tour: $13
  • Historic Bar Harbor Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour Guide: $15
  • Acadia Mount Desert Island Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15
  • Ultimate Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Acadia NP & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving and Walking Tour: $22
  • Bar Harbor Walking Tour: $24
  • Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Atlantic City $39
    Bar Harbor $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Atlantic City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Atlantic City:

  • Little Water Distillery Spirit Tasting: $15


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Atlantic City and Bar Harbor, we can see that Bar Harbor is more expensive. And not only is Atlantic City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Atlantic City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Atlantic City and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bar Harbor would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bar Harbor than you might in Atlantic City.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Atlantic City Expensive? and Is Bar Harbor Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Atlantic City has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Bar Harbor. When comparing the sizes of Atlantic City and Bar Harbor, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Atlantic City or Bar Harbor?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Atlantic City or Bar Harbor in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Atlantic City and Bar Harbor. Most visitors come to Atlantic City for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Bar Harbor because of the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Atlantic City is a little warmer than Bar Harbor in the summer. The daily temperature in Atlantic City averages around 75°F (24°C) in July, and Bar Harbor fluctuates around 69°F (21°C).

Atlantic City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Atlantic City usually receives more rain than Bar Harbor. Atlantic City gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Atlantic City 75°F (24°C) 
    Bar Harbor 69°F (21°C)

Should I visit Atlantic City or Bar Harbor in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Atlantic City as well as Bar Harbor. The autumn months attract visitors to Atlantic City because of the shopping scene. Additionally, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Bar Harbor this time of year.

In the autumn, Atlantic City is a little warmer than Bar Harbor. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Atlantic City in October average around 56°F (13°C), and Bar Harbor averages at about 48°F (9°C).

Atlantic City usually gets less rain in October than Bar Harbor. Atlantic City gets 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Atlantic City 56°F (13°C) 
    Bar Harbor 48°F (9°C)

Should I visit Atlantic City or Bar Harbor in the Winter?

Both Bar Harbor and Atlantic City are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Atlantic City this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Bar Harbor for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Bar Harbor. It's quite cold in Atlantic City in the winter. In January, Atlantic City is generally much warmer than Bar Harbor. Daily temperatures in Atlantic City average around 31°F (-0°C), and Bar Harbor fluctuates around 18°F (-8°C).

In January, Atlantic City usually receives more rain than Bar Harbor. Atlantic City gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Atlantic City 31°F (-0°C) 
    Bar Harbor 18°F (-8°C)

Should I visit Atlantic City or Bar Harbor in the Spring?

Both Bar Harbor and Atlantic City during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Atlantic City for the beaches. Also, many visitors come to Bar Harbor in the spring for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

Atlantic City is much warmer than Bar Harbor in the spring. The daily temperature in Atlantic City averages around 51°F (10°C) in April, and Bar Harbor fluctuates around 43°F (6°C).

Atlantic City usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Bar Harbor. Atlantic City gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Bar Harbor receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Atlantic City 51°F (10°C) 
    Bar Harbor 43°F (6°C)

Typical Weather for Bar Harbor and Atlantic City

Atlantic City Bar Harbor
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 31°F (-0°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 18°F (-8°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm) 20°F (-6°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 42°F (6°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)
Apr 51°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
May 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jun 70°F (21°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Jul 75°F (24°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 69°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Aug 74°F (23°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Sep 67°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Oct 56°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 37°F (3°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Dec 36°F (2°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 24°F (-5°C) 4 inches (100 mm)