March 4, 2024

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A First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Acadia National Park

A First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Acadia National Park

There are not any deserts to be located in New England, so the identify of Maine’s “Mount Desert” Island arrives as a little bit of a shock to people unfamiliar with it. Today, about fifty percent of Mount Desert Island is preserved as Acadia Countrywide Park. It is just one of the smallest nonetheless most-visited national parks in the country. When French explorer Samuel de Champlain to start with explored the New England coastline in the early 17th century, he was struck by how barren and treeless this rocky coastline was. He dubbed it the island of monts-déserts, or “barren mountains.” He was not wrong—the landscape of “Downeast Maine” alongside the Bay of Fundy in between the “Mid-Coast” area and the Canadian border is exclusive to the relaxation of New England. Right here, lush forests give way to granite mountains that rise up from the sea. It’s the highest alongside the japanese seaboard this facet of Rio de Janeiro.

Acadia has considerably to offer you site visitors, and even locals locate them selves returning time and time all over again to examine its riches. If you’re interested in checking out the Northeast’s only national park this aspect of the Shenandoah Valley, it’s certainly worthy of the vacation. In this article, we’re breaking down how to make the most of your Acadia Countrywide Park excursion.

The shore of Acadia National Park
Courtesy of Stop by Maine

How to get to Acadia National Park

For the duration of the peak summer season months, driving your vehicle is convenient for everywhere apart from the park itself. Indeed, you can get from Logan Airport in Boston to the park’s entrance in four and a fifty percent hours flat. But know that targeted traffic and parking the moment you’re inside of the park could get rid of your vibe. If you strategy on observing a couple other pieces of Maine on your trip (these types of as the cafe scene in Portland, or the preppy beach front enclave at Kennebunkport), it is most likely very best to drive. If your sole concentrate is Acadia, there are a handful of other selections.

Regional provider Cape Air features often scheduled flights from Boston to Mount Desert Island. From there, it’s uncomplicated to consider a taxi from the airport to your lodge. And so prolonged as you are being in one particular of the main villages on the island (there are quite a few), it is simple to hop on and off the Island Explorer, a routinely scheduled shuttle bus that drives loops all over the island and through the nationwide park, hitting all the major spots together the way. The Island Explorer’s site also has a very handy “Motor vehicle-Cost-free Travel Information” that lists out the several solutions for general public transportation from close by Bangor, Maine, as well as Boston.

What to hope

The temperature in New England, particularly along the coast, can be variable. Even in the peak of summertime, chillier evenings can get down into the 40s, so unquestionably pack some layers. This time of year, all the things is on the table weather conditions-smart in New England, from dry heat to high winds and even hail. Possibilities are, you can count on daytime temperatures in the high 70s with plenty of solar and humidity. Hikers from drier climates could possibly be astonished by how oppressive the heat can truly feel. Pack levels, carry lots of h2o, make a prepare for where by you are likely, and you will be wonderful. The National Park Service’s Acadia National Park webpage is a need to-read through resource for path closures, repairs notices, and advisories about which parts of the park may possibly or may perhaps not be open up at any provided time.

In phrases of in which to situate yourself, it is worthy of noting there are quite a few villages on the island of Mount Desert, the most noteworthy together with the charming city of Bar Harbor, and the sleepier Southwest Harbor. If it’s your very first time to the island and proximity to the countrywide park entrance is your priority, decide for one thing in Bar Harbor. Southwest Harbor is about 20 minutes away by auto from the countrywide park (for a longer time in targeted traffic), but, conversely, is significantly sleepier and extra low important than the typically crowded streets of Bar Harbor in the peak of summer time.

What to Do in Acadia National Park

Travel the Park Loop Road

Acadia’s 27-mile Park Loop Highway is the quintessential scenic generate, with ocean views, lakeside splendor, and extraordinary cliffs in spades. It’s a worthwhile push in and of by itself, but is also the most hassle-free way to accessibility quite a few of the park’s primary attractions like Sand Seashore, Otter Place, and Cadillac Mountain.

Hiking in Acadia National Park
Courtesy of Stop by Maine

Hike, hike, and hike some much more

Did we point out you should hike though you are in this article? There are more than 158 miles of hiking trails in Acadia Countrywide Park, with options ranging from family-helpful to downright grueling. The most traditional is possibly the hike up Cadillac Mountain, particularly at sunrise, as it is among the the first sites in the place to see the sun increase over the Atlantic.

Although the crowds tend to stick to Cadillac (there is a car or truck road that finishes at the summit), locals appreciate to summit “The Bee-hive,” a complicated hike that contains granite methods, iron through ferrata rungs, and just plenty of scrambling to maintain factors appealing. After you access the top rated, having said that, you’re handled to sights that are as fantastic as anywhere else in the park. You also have only a portion of the holidaymakers. And bear in mind, the Countrywide Park Service’s Acadia site is a excellent source for dwell updates on which trails could or might not be closed for repairs.

See Acadia from the drinking water

Climbing trails across Acadia Nationwide Park make it feasible to walk throughout quite a few of the park’s rugged purely natural options. Observing them from the water offers a exceptional perspective to the park’s geography. Catch a experience with Bar Harbor Whale Observe Co., which features whale viewing excursions, puffin tours, lighthouse excursions, as effectively as a from-the-water tour of Acadia Nationwide Park. You will see issues that you would hardly ever if not see from land-dependent adventures.

Kayak to an oyster farm

Okay, Bar Harbor Oyster Business’s oyster farm may not technically be within the confines of Acadia Nationwide Park. But this is an activity that completely any customer to Mount Desert Island—especially people who love food—should take into account. Aquaculture has exploded in New England in new many years, and this compact domestically owned operation works by using its farm tours system to give a glimpse into the day-to-day lifetime of a present day farmer. The tour goes two times a 7 days all through July and August—note, it textbooks up immediately! You get to kayak out to the company’s oyster farm and taste some new bivalves plucked straight from the drinking water.

Glamping lodge with string lights at night
Courtesy Impression

In which to remain

Terramor Outdoor Resort Bar Harbor

As the only full-company glamping property found on Mount Desert Island, Terramor is the kind of property that could quickly rest on its laurels. Luckily, it doesn’t. This outdoor vacation resort usually takes all the function out of tenting, so you can concentration on the exciting stuff. It’s pretty much unfair to contact the tents right here “tents.”  They have Frette linens, Pendleton blankets, screened-in porches, personal loos, and personal fire rings. The home also has an outdoor pool and hut tub, and a extremely educated team can recommend on hikes, canoeing, and biking in the nationwide park. You can also brush up on your outdoorsy capabilities like developing fires and reading through trail maps. New for this summer time is TerraS’Mores—a rotating menu of connoisseur s’mores this sort of as lobster and brie s’mores, summer strawberry s’mores, and candied bacon s’mores. You may perhaps just be unable to go back to regular camping at any time once more.

Queen Anne’s Revenge

Every person enjoys a comeback story. The in advance of-and-right after photographs on Instagram of this inn’s recent renovation are nothing quick of jaw dropping. Three neighboring 19th century cottages were being remodeled into modern however historic hideaways. They’re unquestionably just one of the most interesting places to stay on the Maine coastline this summertime. No two rooms are the same, and your stay includes a absolutely free continental breakfast every early morning. Wanting for a little something additional significant? The inn is conveniently found in just strolling distance to all that Bar Harbor has to offer.

West Street Hotel
Courtesy of West Avenue Hotel

West Avenue Hotel

A rooftop pool? In Maine? You bet—and it’s also the only pool on the whole island with sights into the nationwide park. The hotel’s cafe Stewman’s Lobster Pound is one particular of the finest in Bar Harbor for a classic Maine lobster bake. Meanwhile, the hotel’s pub Paddy’s is a reliably pleasurable position for a nightcap. Retain in thoughts, the hotel is 18+. On an island which can be intensely family-oriented throughout the hotter months, this is a welcome reprieve for grownups. And if you’re seeking to journey with little ones, verify out the hotel’s sister residence, Harborside Hotel, wherever kids are welcome. It’s across the road.

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