Acadia National Park is the country's easternmost national park that occupies half of Mount Desert Island in Maine. There is plenty to see and do in the park including driving along the 27-mile long scenic Park Loop Road, hiking, sailing, biking, and camping. If you choose to visit Acadia in the winter, you can take part in activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. Acadia is within easy reach of Bar Harbor, a coastal town that serves as the area's main tourist hub. Founded as a fishing village, Bar Harbor evolved into a getaway town for the affluent seeking to reconnect with nature. Unless you are camping inside the park, Bar Harbor is a great place to base your group while in the area. The itinerary below is intended for a visit during the summer.
In terms of weather, the best time to visit Acadia National Park is in the summer, however, keep in mind that the park is fairly crowded as many people have the same idea. If you plan on visiting during the peak season, try to make your hotel or campground reservation as early as possible. If you wish to visit during the warmer months but with fewer crowds, consider planning a trip just after Labor Day. Fall is also a great time to visit if you want to enjoy the fall colors.
The easiest way to get around Acadia National Park is to drive. If you are not driving distance from the park, fly into either Boston, Portland, Bangor or Bar Harbor and rent a car. The park also has a free shuttle service which can save you the hassle of finding parking during the crowded summer season.
There are several accommodation options for all group sizes and budgets. Some ideas are listed below.
Acadia has several trails ranging in difficulty and length making hiking accessible for for all visitors. The best moderate and hard hikes in Acadia National Park are the Beehive Loop, Cadillac North Ridge, Cadillac South Ridge Loop, Precipice Trail, Gorham Mountain. Easy hikes include the Ocean Path and Jordan Pond Loop.
At 1,530 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. If you can, try to hike to the top of the mountain before dawn to watch the first sunrise in the US (you can also drive close to the top and walk to the summit from there). The views from the top are spectacular, especially on a sunny day. The hike takes roughly an hour via the Cadillac North Ridge Trail which is two miles in length. The trail has fairly steady elevation gain throughout, but a few sections are a bit steeper. If you decide to drive up to the top, try to go as early as possible as parking can be hard to find later in the day.
Jordan Pond House’s famous popovers live up to their name: the eggy batter gives them the fluff that makes them literally pop over lopsided as they bake. Open from late April through October, the restaurant offers lunch and afternoon tea in addition to the amazing view of Jordan Pond from the lawn. Try to make a reservation in advance if you are visiting during the peak season as the line can be long, especially if you wish to sit outside. After your meal, you can walk along the Jordan Pond Trail, a very easy walk that goes all the way around the pond.