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

Should you visit Mystic 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 Mystic 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.

Mystic

Mystic is a charming, quaint, and laid back town. It's also known for nightlife, food, and beaches.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a quaint, charming, and picturesque coastal town. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. 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. Other reasons to visit include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Mystic and Bar Harbor: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Mystic. Although Mystic and Bar Harbor are both popular with visitors, Mystic has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Mystic is more popular for its museums, nightlife, and beaches, while Bar Harbor is known for its food, resorts, hiking, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Mystic is popular for its New England charm and local character. It is also home to the Mystic Seaport Museum. Bar Harbor is popular for its small town vibe, picturesque setting, whale watching tours, and convenient location near Acadia National Park.

How is Mystic different from Bar Harbor?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Mystic is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Bar Harbor does not have museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Mystic. There's a decent selection of museums around town with some of the favorites being the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Mystic Museum of Art, the Denison Homestead Museum, and the Old Lighthouse Museum, The Mystic Aquarium is also a popular destination.

Bar Harbor does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is an excellent place to visit for its restaurants. Also, Mystic is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Bar Harbor. 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.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Mystic. As a coastal town, you'll find no shortage of seafood at many restaurants. Popular dishes include oysters, shrimp, or fish. There are also many casual restaurants that serve comfort food for classic American favorites like mac and cheese, pasta, or burgers.

Is Mystic or Bar Harbor Better for Nightlife?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Mystic is a town 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 Mystic. Head downtown for the most interesting bars and breweries. You can sip wine or enjoy a cocktail at a laid back pub with friends or family.

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 Mystic or Bar Harbor Better for Resorts?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

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

Bar Harbor has a handful of resorts to choose from. The town is all about the cute hotel. Several favorites include Sand Bar Cottage Inn, Bluenose Inn, and Bar Harbor Inn and Spa.

Mystic is not a resort destination.


Is Mystic or Bar Harbor Better for Beaches?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Mystic is a well-known place for its beaches. Also, Bar Harbor is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for the beache.

The beaches at Mystic attract visitors from all over. The beaches are accessible from town and offer a laid back setting that's not overly developed. Families will like Ocean Beach Park but Williams Beach Park is one of the easiest beaches to access. If you're willing to drive a bit out of town, you should check out Misquamicut State Beach.

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.

Is Mystic or Bar Harbor Better for Hiking?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, Mystic 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.

Mystic is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Shoppers can find a variety of very good stores in both Mystic and Bar Harbor.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Mystic. Head downtown for scenic shopping streets with boutiques, artisan craft shops, and jewelry stores.

Bar Harbor is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Filled with plenty of local boutique shops, its fun to enjoy some shopping around town.


Is Mystic or Bar Harbor Better for Families?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Mystic 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.

Mystic is a very family-friendly place to visit. Animal lovers will enjoy wandering around the many trails at Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center or visiting the famous Mystic Aquarium. You can also visit the shops around Olde Mistick Village or dine at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants.

Bar Harbor is a family-friendly 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 Mystic or Bar Harbor Better for Couples?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is an excellent place to visit for romance. Also, Mystic is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Bar Harbor makes for a fun place to visit for 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.

Mystic makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Check out Mystic Seaport or drive down the coastline and visit the lighthouses. You'll also find breweries around town as well as many fun or romantic restaurants.

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

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Mystic is lacking in options for its public transit.

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Mystic. There is a bus but it has limited stops and only runs on weekdays.


Is Mystic or Bar Harbor a more walkable city?

Mystic
Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is an excellent place to visit for its walkability. However, Mystic is lacking in options for its high level of walkability.

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

Mystic is generally not very walkable. While parts of town are very walkable, you'll need a car if you want to see the sights that are a bit further away.

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

Should I spend more time in Bar Harbor or Mystic?

How long in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Mystic and Bar Harbor. In our opinion, Bar Harbor has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Bar Harbor than Mystic. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Couples should spend more time in Bar Harbor than Mystic. 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 Bar Harbor than Mystic 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 Mystic or Bar Harbor? Ideal Length of Stay
    Mystic 2-3 
    Bar Harbor 2-3

One day in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

With museums and nightlife around the quaint town of Mystic, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

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

A weekend in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

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

Bar Harbor is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Mystic, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bar Harbor. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Mystic 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.

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. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, Bar Harbor or Mystic?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mystic is $210, 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 Mystic and Bar Harbor in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mystic $125
    Bar Harbor $117
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mystic $250
    Bar Harbor $234
Compare Hotels in Mystic and Bar Harbor

Looking for a hotel in Mystic 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 Mystic


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: Mystic Hotel Prices and Bar Harbor Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mystic $56
    Bar Harbor $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Prices for flights to both Bar Harbor and Mystic 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
    Mystic $52
    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.
    Mystic $24
    Bar Harbor $39

Tours and Activities in Mystic

For Mystic, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Mystic Moonlit Graveyard Ghost Tour: $30
  • Downtown Mystic Ghost Tour: $30
  • Ghosts of Christmas Past Downtown Walking Tour: $30
  • Mystic Seaport Museum Adventure : $31
  • Moonlit Mystic Graveyard Ghost Tour: $35
  • Downtown Mystic Ghost Tour: $35

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:

  • 3 Hour Private Tour: Insiders tour of Acadia National Park: $675
  • 4 Hour Private Tour: Acadia, Fjord, Gardens & Mansions: $775
  • 6 Hour Private Tour: Ultimate Acadia Tour with Lobster Lunch: $1,000
  • 90-minute Ghost Walking Tour in Bar Harbor: $30
  • Acadia Full Day Small Group Tour: $299
  • Acadia Full-Day Private Bike & Hike Tour: $1,295
  • Acadia Mount Desert Island Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Acadia NP & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving and Walking Tour: $25
  • Acadia NP: Half-Day Private Tour with Cadillac Mountain: $995
  • Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour: $25
  • Acadia National Park Private Bike Tour: $1,095
  • Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour: $85

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mystic $31
    Bar Harbor $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Mystic

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Mystic:

  • Paranormal Pub Crawl: Beer Tour: $75
  • Paranormal Pub Crawl: Beer Tour: $75
  • Spirits of Cocktail Pub Crawl: $100
  • Spirits of Cocktail Pub Crawl: $100


When comparing the travel costs between Mystic and Bar Harbor, we can see that Mystic 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 Mystic Expensive? and Is Bar Harbor Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Mystic or Bar Harbor?

Bar Harbor has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Mystic. When comparing the sizes of Mystic 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 Mystic or Bar Harbor?

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 Mystic or Bar Harbor in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Mystic as well as Bar Harbor. Most visitors come to Mystic for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Bar Harbor because of the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

Mystic is a little warmer than Bar Harbor in the summer. The daily temperature in Mystic averages around 73°F (23°C) in July, and Bar Harbor fluctuates around 69°F (21°C).

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


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

Should I visit Mystic or Bar Harbor in the Autumn?

Both Bar Harbor and Mystic are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Mystic because of the shopping scene. Also, 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, Mystic is a little warmer than Bar Harbor. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Mystic in October average around 53°F (12°C), and Bar Harbor averages at about 48°F (9°C).

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


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

Should I visit Mystic or Bar Harbor in the Winter?

Both Bar Harbor and Mystic during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Mystic this time of year. Furthermore, 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 Mystic in the winter. In January, Mystic is generally much warmer than Bar Harbor. Daily temperatures in Mystic average around 28°F (-2°C), and Bar Harbor fluctuates around 18°F (-8°C).

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


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

Should I visit Mystic or Bar Harbor in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Mystic and Bar Harbor. Many travelers come to Mystic for the beaches. Furthermore, many visitors come to Bar Harbor in the spring for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

Mystic is much warmer than Bar Harbor in the spring. The daily temperature in Mystic averages around 48°F (9°C) in April, and Bar Harbor fluctuates around 43°F (6°C).

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


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

Typical Weather for Bar Harbor and Mystic

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