Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Bar Harbor, Maine?
Overview: Situated on Mount Desert Island along the rock-bound, scenic mid-coast of Maine, picturesque Bar Harbor (Bah Habah) began in the mid- to late-1700s. It has been a shipbuilding, fishing and agricultural center, and its breathtaking views of the Atlantic and nearby islands have inspired writers and painters for years.
It is rugged but quaint, with darling shops, inns, bookstores and art galleries lining the narrow, hilly streets. Eateries range from touristy lobster roll shacks to cozy, 5-star bistros. New England maritime culture permeates every corner, and all kinds of pleasure craft bob in the marina. Colorful B&Bs, once home to sea captains and titans of industry, stand tall on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Once out of the touristy central district, lush neighborhoods are crowded with stately Cape Cods and shabby chic Victorians. Wealthy Easterners started building summer estates in the 1860s, and even today, families named Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Astor have homes in or near Bar Harbor. Tourists also love this place, and they come in droves via car and via cruise ship from spring into fall. There is something a little bit magical about this seaside town.
The College of the Atlantic is here, too, lending intellectual heft. Truly beautiful Acadia National Park, chock full of woodlands, coastline, lakes and trails, is just outside of town and is home to Cadillac Mountain, one of the first spots in U.S. to see the sunrise each morning. When the fog rolls in, as it often does, Bar Harbor feels as it must have years ago, when lobstermen plied their trade and tall ships set sail for the open sea.
Population: 5,400 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 42%
Cost of Living: 20% above the national average.
Median Home Price: $285,000
Climate: Summers are short with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Winters bring temperatures in the teens and 20s. Rainfall reaches 50 inches each year, on average, and snowfall can reach 65 inches each year. Winter ice storms are common.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No. The nearest accredited hospital is in Bangor, 40 miles away. Mount Desert Island Hospital is, though, accredited by the Maine Medical Association.
Public Transit: Yes. Island Explorer is a free shuttle bus.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes (part of the Broward County system)
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Maine Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: Tourists from around the world clog everything - the narrow roads, the restaurants, Acadia National Park - during summer and fall.
Notes: Bar Harbor is perhaps the most charming town on the East coast. Cruise ships are particularly prevalent during September. The town has grown by 19% within the last two decades.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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