Is Bar Harbor ‘America’s Best Town Ever?’ Duh.

BarHarborTripAdvisor has ranked it on one of its Top Ten lists. Good Morning America picked it as “America’s Favorite Place.” And now it has made the Sweet Sixteen round of Outside magazine’s “America’s Best Town Ever” online poll.

Technically, it was Acadia National Park that was named “America’s Favorite Place” last year by the ABC television morning news show, but a lot of people equate the park and Bar Harbor together, which is why Bar Harbor has such appeal to so many people. Its scenery, small-town atmosphere, and proximity to outdoor activities along the Altantic coastline and in the park have enchanted visitors and residents for at least the past century.

Earlier this month, Outside filled out a bracket of 64 contenders – 16 each from the East, Midwest, South and West portions of the country – and began letting visitors to its website vote for which ones should advance to the next round.

In picking the 64 towns and cities for the poll, Outside said it “looked for places with great access to trails and public lands, thriving restaurants and neighborhoods, and, of course, a good beer scene.”

Bar Harbor has access to trails and public lands galore, thanks to its direct proximity next to Acadia; it does has thriving restaurants for, well, a good part of the year anyway; it does have neighborhoods (though “Bar Harlem” is largely gentrified these days); and, yes, it does have (as does the entire state) a good beer scene.

But will it win Outside’s national championship? Already, in the East division, Bar Harbor has bested Pittsburgh, and Portsmouth, N.H., which had eliminated 10th-seeded New Haven. Next, it faces off against Annapolis and then, if it advances, will square off against the winner of the Lake Placid-Middlebury, Vt., matchup.

I’m not going to list all the places in the running (or, though I am tempted, comment on their inclusion in the contest). If you are inclined to cast a vote, you have until the end of May 18 to help determine whether Bar Harbor will advance to the next round.

Participants can vote once on each matchup in each round. The winner of the poll of will be decided on June 5.

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.