A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Bar Harbor vs. Yellowstone National Park for Hiking, Food, Resorts, and Families

Should you visit Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

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 Yellowstone National Park 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 charming, picturesque, and relaxed coastal town. Because it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. 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. Other popular activities here include hiking, shopping, and food.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a popular, immense, and unique national park. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for hiking.

Bar Harbor and Yellowstone National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Old Faithful
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Yellowstone National Park than Bar Harbor, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Yellowstone National Park is better known for its resorts, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Bar Harbor is more popular for its food, nightlife, beaches, shopping, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Yellowstone National Park is more touristy than Bar Harbor and is known for its iconic geysers, breathtaking waterfalls, world-class hikes, and diverse wildlife. Also, Yellowstone National Park is famous for Old Faithful. Bar Harbor is well known for its small town vibe, picturesque setting, whale watching tours, and convenient location near Acadia National Park.

How is Bar Harbor different from Yellowstone National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is the Food Better in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Bar Harbor is well known for its restaurant scene. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for its local flavors and cuisine.

Dining out in Bar Harbor is an experience not to be missed. 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.

Yellowstone National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. This is a large park and there are a number of dining options available both inside and just outside of the park. Many places are seasonal so your options will be highest during the summer months. Like most national park venues, prices can be high and the quality is variable. It's recommended that you pack your own food and plan to picnic.


Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Nightlife?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Bar Harbor is not so good for its evening party scene. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Bar Harbor. It's a peaceful and sleepy town, so you wont find much in the way of nightlife.

Yellowstone National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Resorts?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park 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 Yellowstone National Park, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. It is a large national park, and there are several impressive lodges nearby. Reservations are recommended well in advance. Within the park, Old Faithful Inn, Roosevelt Lodge, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are all nice options.

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 Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Beaches?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Bar Harbor is a popular place for the beach. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a beach destination.

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.

Yellowstone National Park is not a beach destination.


Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Hiking?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is terrific for the nearby hiking options. Also, Bar Harbor is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its hiking trails.

Around Yellowstone National Park visitors will find world-class hiking trails. The park is huge, and there are countless hikes throughout. From short strolls to lengthy endeavors, there really is something for everyone. If you want to see the geysers, some of the best hikes are Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail, the Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation Point Loop, and the Lone Star Geyser Trail. For waterfalls you can check out Brink of the Lower Falls Trail, the North Rim Trail, and Fairy Falls Trail.

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.

Is the Shopping Better in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Bar Harbor is well known for its shopping areas. However, Yellowstone National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Bar Harbor. Filled with plenty of local boutique shops, its fun to enjoy some shopping around town.

Yellowstone National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Families?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Bar Harbor is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Yellowstone National Park is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids who enjoy the outdoors and exploring new environments will appreciate a visit to this park. The geysers are fascinating for everyone and the waterfalls are breathtaking. There are ranger shows and other activities that are great for kids as well. Make sure you stop by the Visitor's Centers.

Bar Harbor is a family-friendly coastal town. 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.


Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Couples?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Both Bar Harbor and Yellowstone National Park are excellent destinations for a couple's getaway.

Bar Harbor is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Yellowstone National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. This park is a beautiful and romantic destination for couples who enjoy the outdoors. There are world-renowned hikes and breathtaking views. There are also lodges in the area that make for a romantic stay.

Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is terrific for backpackers. However, Bar Harbor is not a good coastal town for backpackers and budget travelers.

Yellowstone National Park is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. Backpackers will appreciate the campgrounds and affordable facilities that are found around the park. Reservations are recommended well in advance, particularly if you're hoping to stay inside the park.

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

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Bar Harbor is a coastal town with a few options for its public transit. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

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

Public transit is quite limited in Yellowstone National Park. There is no public transportation service available in the park. There are private tour options available.


Is Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park a more walkable city?

Bar Harbor
Yellowstone National Park

Bar Harbor is well known for its ease of walking around. However, Yellowstone National Park is not particularly known for its walkability.

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

Yellowstone National Park is not a very walkable coastal town. This is among the largest national parks and a car is an absolute must if you hope to experience the different landscapes.

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

Should I spend more time in Yellowstone National Park or Bar Harbor?

How long in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Both Bar Harbor and Yellowstone National Park have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Yellowstone National Park than in Bar Harbor. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Bar Harbor, and 5-7 days is enough time in Yellowstone National Park.

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

Couples should spend more time in Bar Harbor than Yellowstone National Park. 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 Bar Harbor than Yellowstone National Park 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 Bar Harbor.


  • How many days in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bar Harbor 2-3 
    Yellowstone National Park 5-7

One day in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Even though Bar Harbor is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

With around the stunning national park of Yellowstone National Park, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the hiking. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Bar Harbor is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

With around the destination of Yellowstone National Park, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the hiking. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Bar Harbor is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. It offers something for everyone.

Yellowstone National Park, a popular national park, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this national park. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Bar Harbor is a popular choice for travelers. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Yellowstone National Park is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this national park makes for a great vacation. One of the main draws to the area is the hiking. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this national park has to offer. 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, Yellowstone National Park 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 Yellowstone National Park is $147. 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 Yellowstone National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bar Harbor $117
    Yellowstone National Park $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bar Harbor $234
    Yellowstone National Park $148
Compare Hotels in Bar Harbor and Yellowstone National Park

Looking for a hotel in Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park? 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 Yellowstone National Park


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 Yellowstone National Park Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bar Harbor $35
    Yellowstone National Park $37

Is it cheaper to fly into Bar Harbor or Yellowstone National Park?

Prices for flights to both Yellowstone National Park 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
    Yellowstone National Park $46
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.
    Bar Harbor $39
    Yellowstone National Park $34
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 Audio Driving Tour in Acadia National Park: $13
  • Ocean Path: Acadia Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Historic Self-Guided Audio Guide Tour: $15
  • Acadia Mount Desert Island Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Acadia's Ocean Path Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Historic Bar Harbor Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour Guide: $15
  • Ultimate Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Acadia NP & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving and Walking Tour: $25
  • Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour: $25
  • 90-minute Ghost Walking Tour in Bar Harbor: $30
  • Bar Harbor Walking Tour: $30
  • Self-Guided Driving & Walking Bundle of Maine Tours: $40

Tours and Activities in Yellowstone National Park

Here are a few actual costs in Yellowstone National Park for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Self-Guided Grand Teton National Park Driving Tour: $8.99
  • Yellowstone Old Faithful Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • West Thumb Geysers Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Grand Prismatic Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Yellowstone National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Self-guided tours with Audioguide West Coast Parks U.S.: $27
  • Lake Yellowstone Half Day Kayak Tours Past Geothermal Features : $135
  • Small-Group Sunset Kayaking Tour on Lake Yellowstone : $150
  • Yellowstone Lake Twilight Tour: $150
  • Early Morning Guided Kayak Tour: $150
  • 6-Mile Geyser Hiking Tour in Yellowstone with Lunch: $182

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bar Harbor $30
    Yellowstone National Park $19


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bar Harbor and Yellowstone National Park, we can see that Bar Harbor is more expensive. And not only is Yellowstone National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Yellowstone National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Yellowstone National Park 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 Yellowstone National Park.

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 Yellowstone National Park Expensive?.