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It is longer, BUT quicker because you are on I-95 doing “65” mph.
It is not the MOST scenic. If you have the time and want to enjoy the scenery, including the quite magnificent ‘Penobscot Narrows Bridge‘, turn off I-95 in Augusta (Maine) and take Routes 202, 3 and 1. Route 1, obviously, is iconic and there is always a lot to see. But, you are averaging 45 mph, at best.
We have been to Acadia 8 times since 2013. We always too the scenic route. I would often question locals about it. They would say there wasn’t much of a difference and as such it was worth taking the scenic route.
Well in June of this year, coming back from our latest visit, I decided to give the Bangor route a try. Wow, it was noticeably quick. Pretty boring driving on I-95, BUT Route 1a is quite pretty.
I think in future I will most likely take the faster route.
Hope this helps and quells the debate as to the faster route once and for all. P.S., Google recommends the Bangor route!