Editor’s Choice – Acadia National Park in Maine
- Enjoy the stunning scenery of Maine’s rocky coast;
- Climb Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard and the first place in the U.S. to see sunrise;
- Drive, hike, bicycle, or ride horseback on the winding carriage roads, commissioned in 1915 by John D. Rockfeller;
- Photograph lighthouses perched on remote cliffs;
- Take whale watch, excursion, or fishing cruises;
- Explore natural features like rocky coastline, mountains, forests, ponds, marshlands and fields, and watch for whales, seals, moose, foxes, peregrine falcons, herons.
- Camp at national park campgrounds or take a room or suite in a luxury waterfront resort
GETTING HERE & AROUND
The town of Bar Harbor is 175 miles from Portland, Maine; 280 miles from Boston; 540 miles from Quebec, Canada; and 490 miles from New York City.
By CarFrom Boston, take I-95 north to Augusta, Maine, then Route 3 east to Ellsworth, and on to Mount Desert Island. Or, continue on I-95 north to Bangor, then take Route 1A east to Ellsworth and then Route 3 to Mount Desert Island.
By PlaneDirect flights from Boston's Logan Airport land at the Hancock County Airport, 10 miles from Acadia National Park. National airlines serve the Bangor International Airport, about one hour’s drive from the park. Car rentals are available at both airports.
FerriesSeveral ferry lines and boat services offer ferry service to and from Mount Desert Island or among the small islands scattered nearby: Bar Habor to Schoodic and Winter Harbor; Southwest Harbor/Manset to the Cranberry Isles; Bass Harbor to Frenchboro. Some ferries carry cars and some companies offer excursion trips among the islands.
VISITOR INFORMATIONThe park operates a headquarters and three visitor information centers that have plenty of resources for people who want to enjoy all aspects of Acadia. Park Headquarters is open year-round except March 1 to April 14. Hulls Cove Visitor Center is open April 15 to October 31. Thompson Island and Village Green information centers are open in summer. The park offers several ranger-guided and narrated tours, by bus, trolley, carriage, and boat.
Bar Harbor is the largest town on Mount Desert Island. Many visitors use Bar Harbor as a based while exploring Acadia National Park and nearby islands. Bar Harbor has plenty to do if you want to enjoy a day in town. There is dining (with an emphasis on lobster and blueberries, of course). And shopping at many interesting boutiques offering the work of Maine artists. You can jump aboard a whale-watching vessel or join a nature cruise or a sea kayak trip. The town has an oceanarium, a zoo and a popular lumberjack show during the warm seasons. Craft beers? We won’t hide them from you.
MUSEUMSThe park has two museums. Islesford Historical Museum is on Little Cranberry Island, open mid-June to August 31. Sieur de Monts Spring and Nature Center are located two miles south of Bar Harbor near the juncture of Park Loop Road and Route 3. The nature center is open May to October. Adjacent to the nature center are the Wild Gardens of Acadia, which display 300 native species of the area nine labeled areas. The gardens are open year-round. Also at this location is the Abbe Museum, which preserves the culture of local Native American tribes. (This museum is open during the warm seasons; another branch of the Abbe Museum, in downtown Bar Harbor, is open all year.)
THINGS TO DO
There are so many things to do in this beautiful part of the world. Here’s a quick overview.