A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Bar Harbor vs. Providence for Food, Couples, and Families

Should you visit Bar Harbor or Providence?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Bar Harbor and Providence can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a picturesque, relaxed, and quaint coastal town. With amazing attractions and sights, it's also a fun small town not to be missed. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the shopping, food, and beaches.

Providence

Providence is a friendly, fascinating, and active city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Bar Harbor and Providence: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • 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
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students


Is there more to do in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Bar Harbor than Providence, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Bar Harbor is better known for its resorts, beaches, hiking, shopping, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Providence is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Bar Harbor is more touristy than Providence and is popular for its small town vibe, picturesque setting, whale watching tours, and convenient location near Acadia National Park. Also, Bar Harbor is famous for Acadia National Park. Providence is well known for its outdoor parks, historic atmosphere, and college town vibe.

How is Bar Harbor different from Providence?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Bar Harbor
Providence

Providence is a city with good options for its sights and museums. However, Bar Harbor does not have museums and landmarks.

Providence is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are several historical museums around town as well as art museums, zoos, a planetarium and natural history museum, and even a children's museum.

Bar Harbor does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Bar Harbor
Providence

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Bar Harbor and Providence.

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.

Providence has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The food scene around town has grown and diversified in recent years. You'll find a mix of international and local options and for such a small city, it really has a lot to offer.

Is Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Nightlife?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Providence is a city with good options for nightlife. However, Bar Harbor is not a good coastal town for nightlife and partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Providence. Comedy clubs, bars, and clubs keep the energy high during the evening hours. It's not hard to find something to do, particularly on weekend nights.

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 Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Resorts?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Bar Harbor is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Providence is not a resort destination.

Bar Harbor has a few great resort options. The town is all about the cute hotel. Several favorites include Sand Bar Cottage Inn, Bluenose Inn, and Bar Harbor Inn and Spa.

Providence is not a resort destination.


Is Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Beaches?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Bar Harbor is a good destination for the beach. However, Providence is not a beach destination.

Bar Harbor offers a nice beach destination. 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.

Providence is not a beach destination.

Is Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Hiking?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Bar Harbor is a good destination for hiking. However, Providence 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.

Providence is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Bar Harbor is a great coastal town for its shopping areas. Also, Providence is not as popular, but is still a nice city for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Bar Harbor. Filled with plenty of local boutique shops, its fun to enjoy some shopping around town.

Providence is a great destination for shopping. Malls, shopping centers, and boutiques all offer a range of shopping experiences around town.


Is Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Families?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Both Bar Harbor and Providence are notable to visit with kids.

Bar Harbor is a family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Providence is a family-friendly coastal town. There are opportunities for kids to interact with animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, as well as plenty of places for kids to run around like Rocky Point Park or Goddard Memorial State Park. There's also the Providence Children's Museum, go carting, and entertainment centers.

Is Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Couples?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Bar Harbor is a great coastal town for couples. Also, Providence is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Bar Harbor is a great coastal town if you're traveling as a couple. 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.

Providence is a nice destination for couples. You can see a show at the Providence Performing Arts Center or visit some of the city's historic buildings and museums. There are also parks and coastal walks as well as many great restaurants.

Is Bar Harbor or Providence Better for Students?

Bar Harbor
Providence

Providence is a well-known place for students. However, Bar Harbor is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Providence. There's a college town vibe to this small city because it's home to Brown University, which is a member of the Ivy League.

Bar Harbor is not popular with students.


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

Bar Harbor
Providence

Providence 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.

Providence has a few public transit options. There are RIPTA buses that travel around town.

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

Is Bar Harbor or Providence a more walkable city?

Bar Harbor
Providence

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

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

Providence is a very walkable coastal town. It's a walkable city and it's relatively easy to explore on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Providence or Bar Harbor?

How long in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Bar Harbor and Providence. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Providence 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 Providence.


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

One day in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Bar Harbor might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With museums and nightlife around the active city of Providence, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Even though Bar Harbor is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this coastal town.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Providence, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Bar Harbor, a popular coastal town, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Providence, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Bar Harbor or Providence?

Bar Harbor is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. 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.

Providence is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Providence or Bar Harbor?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bar Harbor is $202, while the average daily cost in Providence is $210. 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 Bar Harbor and Providence in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bar Harbor $117
    Providence $114
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bar Harbor $234
    Providence $228
Compare Hotels in Bar Harbor and Providence

Looking for a hotel in Bar Harbor or Providence? 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 Bar Harbor


Hotels in Providence


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: Bar Harbor Hotel Prices and Providence Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bar Harbor $35
    Providence $46

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Providence

Also for Providence, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Providence TF Green Airport PVD: $36
  • Providence to Rhode Island Airport PVD Departure Transfer : $46
  • T. F. Green State Airport (PVD) to Providence – Arrival Private Transfer : $46
  • Private Transfer from Providence Airport (PVD) to Newport Port : $49
  • Private Transfer from Providence City Hotels to Newport Port: $61
  • T. F. Green State Airport (PVD) to Providence - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $92
  • Providence to Boston’s Logan International Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $170
  • New York’s JFK International Airport to Providence – Departure Private Transfer: $273

Is it cheaper to fly into Bar Harbor or Providence?

Prices for flights to both Providence and Bar Harbor 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
    Bar Harbor $57
    Providence $48
Typical Food Prices in Bar Harbor

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


  • West Street Cafe (for 4)
    $70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Providence

For Providence, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Downcity Providence Food Tour: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bar Harbor $39
    Providence $26
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:

  • 90-minute Ghost Walking Tour in Bar Harbor: $24
  • Acadia Full Day Small Group Tour: $299
  • Acadia Mount Desert Island Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour: $25
  • Acadia's Ocean Path Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $8.99
  • Bar Harbor Walking Tour: $24
  • East Coast USA: Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour Bundle: $75
  • Guided Ebike Tour of Acadia National Park Carriage Roads: $174
  • Historic Bar Harbor Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour Guide: $15
  • Narrated Bus Tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (2.5Hr): $64
  • Premium Narrated Bus Tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (3.5 Hours) : $93
  • Savor Bar Harbor Culinary Walking Tour: $140

Tours and Activities in Providence

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Providence.

  • Providence Scavenger Hunt: Providence Adventure: $12
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Providence: $13
  • Providence, RI: Murder Mystery Detective Experience: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Providence RI: $15
  • Providence Ghosts Phantoms and Poltergeists Tour: $24
  • Ghosts, Phantoms and Poltergeists Walking Tour: $26
  • Providence Jewelry District Walking Tours: $28
  • Parasols and Pocket Watches: A History Tour: $30
  • Haunted History Walking Tour of Providence: $30
  • Discover Providence Guided Walking Tours: $30
  • The Creative Capital: An Art and Architecture Tour of Providence: $35
  • Power and Politics: The Struggle for the Soul of Providence Tour: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bar Harbor $30
    Providence $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Providence

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Providence:

  • Vineyard Voyages - Floating Wine Tasting: $65


When comparing the travel costs between Bar Harbor and Providence, we can see that Providence is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Bar Harbor or Providence?

Providence has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Bar Harbor. When comparing the sizes of Bar Harbor and Providence, 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 Bar Harbor or Providence?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Providence in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Bar Harbor as well as Providence. The beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Bar Harbor this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Providence for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Bar Harbor is generally cooler than Providence. Daily temperatures in Bar Harbor average around 69°F (21°C), and Providence fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

Bar Harbor usually gets more rain in July than Providence. Bar Harbor gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Providence receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bar Harbor 69°F (21°C) 
    Providence 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Providence in the Autumn?

Both Providence and Bar Harbor are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Bar Harbor for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Providence in the autumn for the shopping scene.

Bar Harbor is cooler than Providence in the autumn. The daily temperature in Bar Harbor averages around 48°F (9°C) in October, and Providence fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

In October, Bar Harbor usually receives around the same amount of rain as Providence. Bar Harbor gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Providence receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bar Harbor 48°F (9°C) 
    Providence 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Providence in the Winter?

Both Providence and Bar Harbor during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Bar Harbor in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Providence for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Providence can be very cold during winter. Bar Harbor can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Bar Harbor is much colder than Providence. Typically, the winter temperatures in Bar Harbor in January average around 18°F (-8°C), and Providence averages at about 28°F (-2°C).

Bar Harbor usually gets less rain in January than Providence. Bar Harbor gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Providence receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bar Harbor 18°F (-8°C) 
    Providence 28°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Providence in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Bar Harbor and Providence. Most visitors come to Bar Harbor for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Bar Harbor is generally much colder than Providence. Daily temperatures in Bar Harbor average around 43°F (6°C), and Providence fluctuates around 48°F (9°C).

In April, Bar Harbor usually receives less rain than Providence. Bar Harbor gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Providence receives 3.7 inches (94 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bar Harbor 43°F (6°C) 
    Providence 48°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Providence and Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor Providence
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 18°F (-8°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 28°F (-2°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Feb 20°F (-6°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Mar 31°F (-1°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 38°F (3°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Apr 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
May 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 58°F (15°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jun 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 67°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Jul 69°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Aug 67°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Sep 59°F (15°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Oct 48°F (9°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Nov 37°F (3°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 44°F (7°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)
Dec 24°F (-5°C) 4 inches (100 mm) 33°F (0°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)