If you’ve been on MDI year round, you may have gotten clever about figuring out ‘what’s open’ but to those of you who haven’t, here is a way you can figure out what’s open (until I become a millionaire and my extra money funds the development of the What’s Open On MDI app):

Bar Harbor Merchants Association Open Directory

I literally just found out that this website has a Open Directory with a listing of businesses that are open. This is a good place to start because, while some business take a weird week or six weeks off, at the very least you can rule out a bunch of businesses that aren’t open. Note: you can look out for the flags (a snowflake for winter, a flower for spring, and a leaf for fall) outside of some member businesses.

Chamber of Commerce website

The Bar Harbor Area Chamber has a list of businesses open in the ‘off season’ here (PDF):

Bar Harbor Chamber’s List

Note: I looked at the Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor/Tremont Chamber sites but couldn’t find lists. Please link it in the comments if there is one and I will happily edit this blog post to include them.

Acadia on My Mind Blog

This is a fun blog too! They have links to pages for the Towns on the Island, Schoodic  and the Blue Hill Peninsula etc. so it’s nice for planning a day trip too. They update as they hear about changes to businesses, so double check.

Again, these are more of a loose guide because you have to…

Know the informal schedule

The end of December generally sees the major close down, but beyond that, many places try to have set annual break times for the ease of all concerned. For example, Galyn’s closes Thanksgiving Weekend and reopens for Easter, Reel Pizza is open year round but typically closed November to December 26, Side Street & McKay’s for November, Jordans after Christmas, Thirsty Whale is closed four to six weeks in February- March, Red Sky usually reopens in time for Valentine’s Day, PeekyToe Provisions generally travel in March etc.

Many shops will close for a week or so during January & February when the big gifts shows and expos are happening, for example Spruce & Gussy will be roving Expo Halls  in New York next week, reopening Thursday – be glad, they are looking for new products to bring to you! When I first moved here, I sort of admired how year round businesses took turns closing for periods of time but I’m sad this isn’t written anywhere. If you have other businesses you know are typically closed during a set time period, can you please add a comment to this blog and I’ll get this as up to date as possible. 

Be aware that last minute changes will occur, especially if renovations are planned – we all know those don’t generally go as scheduled and this year has seen more than normal frozen pipe scenarios…

Aside: I tried to get this list together of general for you readers but 100+ comments and conflicting information meant I couldn’t confidently post it here. I was also looking for verification from the actual business owners, which was limited. I can see why no one has been able to do this before! That said, doesn’t hurt to put out a social media post asking about a particular business and a few people weighing in can be verification.

Facebook pages

Businesses are sometimes better about updating their Facebook pages than their web pages. For example, House Wine religiously posts their wine tastings as Facebook events. If in doubt, check Facebook pages over Google listings.

Call the business

This is the last possible (and clearly most annoying) option but most voicemail has been updated with business hours.

(The last two options are the reason every business that sells gift certificates on this site has Facebook and phone number links on their listings.)

While buying local can take a little more effort (especially certain times of the year), we think it’s totally worth it… and that you do too! What’s your favorite off season spot?

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