Many travelers to Mount Desert Island find that staying off island is more to their liking, especially when spontaneity or last minute travel leaves fewer options available. Ellsworth Maine is that place. Less than half an hour from Acadia National Park, many people do not realize the variety of lodging, hotels, activities and attractions that are offered.
- Traveling I 95 from New Hampshire to Bangor Maine will take about four hours and approximately 250 miles.
- From Bangor to Ellsworth via Route 3 is about 50 miles and will take approximately one hour.
- Coastal Route 1 is a scenic route from the border of Maine to Ellsworth of approximately five hours and 300 miles.
Whether passing through the city of Ellsworth Maine or staying there, one can find excitement or relaxation between day trips to Acadia National Park. Ellsworth is the largest city in Hancock County and the county seat. Ellsworth ME is approximately 15 minutes from Mount Desert Island and 30 minutes from Bar Harbor.
It is home to the largest shopping district in Hancock County. For visitors planning a long term stay on the island or planning to camp, Ellsworth offers the convenience of many brand name chain stores for inexpensive amenities. Visitors can also visit many local stores, and restaurants.
Activities & Attractions
The Ellsworth Harbor Park on Water Street along the Union River offers waterfront concerts. The Union River runs through the downtown district giving visitors a chance to relax by the river at the waterfront park or the library. The Woodlawn Musuem, park and Gardens, known locally as the Black House, offers many free and low cost family activities on 180 acres. The Stanwood Homestead Museum, known locally as Birdsacre, also offers family activities and walking trails. Theaters, playgrounds, and a local library are also points of interest. The city also offers many events year-round which are listed on the city's website.
If traveling from the south, follow I-95 to Bangor. Follow I-395 to 1A until Ellsworth, where state routes 1 and 3 will eventually lead to Bar Harbor.
Visitors who are taking coastal Route 1 will find themselves on Main Street Ellsworth, which is lined with small novelty shops and restaurants and offers visitors the chance to find many unique gifts and souvenirs. From there visitors can take High Street, which Route 3 and Route 1 merge into, to Mount Desert Island.