The east coast of the United States is known for big cities, sandy beaches, and great food. What you may not realize though, is that this area also has incredible natural wonders. One of the most striking places to visit in this part of the country is Acadia National Park, located halfway up the coast of “Down East” Maine. Here you will find stunning vistas where the mountains meet the sea and beautiful forest located on the edge of the deciduous ecosystem of the south and the boreal forest system that stretches north into Canada. There are also plentiful lakes where you can swim, unique rocky shorelines, little island communities, and, if you go during the late summer, wild blueberries galore!
To better help you plan a trip to Acadia, here are some highlights of the things to do and see in this truly special national park.
Go for a Hike
There are so many wonderful hikes in Acadia National Park that it is impossible to just highlight one. These hikes range in difficulty, from easy carriage roads through beautiful forests to steep inclines to reach the tops of exposed mountains. Those up for a challenge should tackle Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain in Acadia and the first place on the East Coast to see the sun rise during certain times of the fall and winter.
Visit Schoodic Peninsula
Most of Acadia is located on Mount Desert Island, however there is also a small portion of the park that is situated to the east of the island on the other side of the Mount Desert Narrows. This section is called Schoodic Peninsula. Here you will find similar scenery with fewer crowds, making this the perfect area to visit for those seeking seclusion during the busiest times of the year.
Explore the Park Via Bike
One of the greatest ways to experience Acadia National Park is via bicycle. Try taking a bike ride on Park Loop Road, which winds its way through the park offering incredible views along the way. Do be aware that this is a paved road that can see high traffic, so bikers are recommended to get their ride in before 10am or after 4pm. If you’d rather not deal with vehicles on your ride at all, the plentiful carriage roads found throughout the park are also perfect for a family friendly bike ride.
Spend a Day in Bar Harbor
The culture of coastal Maine is worth exploring as much as the natural wonders are. Get to know the Maine way of life by spending a day in Bar Harbor, the largest town on Mount Desert Island. Here you can explore cute, locally owned shops, eat a lobster roll, and lick some homemade ice ice cream while watching the ships move across Frenchman Bay.
Whether you are looking to spend a day or a week on Mt. Desert Island visiting Acadia National Park, I can help you figure out the best way to make the most of your time there! Let me know if you are interested in visiting this beautiful area.
Kira Gartner is the owner of Blue Sky Destinations, a boutique travel agency specializing in river cruises, luxury expedition cruises and customized European vacations. For years she has helped curious travelers plan vacations that allow them to unwind, reconnect, and immerse themselves fully in a destination. Reach out to her for a free consultation - and let her start designing your dream vacation!