If you’re planning your very first trip to Acadia National Park and looking for the best things to do there to have the best time of your life, we’re here to help!
Acadia National Park offers an endless array of activities plus sightseeing, hiking, water activities, picnicking, shopping, hiking and so much more.
In this article, we are going to share our top favorite things to do in Acadia National Park along with tips on where to stay, camp, and plan your time in the park.
|Park||Acadia National Park|
|Best Time To Visit||Between Spring & Fall|
|Camping Location||Multiple Campgrounds|
|Things To Do||Thunder Hole, Mountains, Road, Pond|
|Lodges Near||Bar Harbor Grand Hotel, Bar Harbor Inn and Spa, etc|
Let’s jump right in!
A Brief Intro to Acadia National Park
Often called the “Crown Jewel” of the North Atlantic post, Acadia is a stunning rocky shoreline with unique wildlife, breathtaking scenery, carriage roads, and culture.
Located along the Maine coast, Southwest of Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
It is packed with thrilling hiking trails, scenic drives natural wonders, and beautiful landscape.
The Park encompasses over 49,075 acres of land and includes mountains, lakes forests, meadows, beaches, and cliffs.
It receives over 3.4 million visitors every year making it the 7th most visited park after Yellowstone.
History of Acadia National Park
Acadia has a unique and rich human history that goes back thousands of years ago to the Wabanaki people.
In the 17th-century fur traders and European explorers came to the area followed by European explorers and wealthy families in the 19th century.
An affluent property owner named George B. Dorr worked hard to establish the first national park in the area.
The Acadia was initially named as “Sieur de Mounts National Monument” by decree of President Woodrow Wilson, then renamed Lafayette National Park, and then finally in 1929, the name was changed into “Acadia National Park”.
Things to Do in Acadia National Park
First on our list is “Thunder Hole” which is one of the major attractions of the park. It is a semi-submerged cave that booms every hour or two before high tide.
When the waves crash into an opening in the rocks, a loud thunderstorm sound is produced, hence the name of the hole.
The water sprays as far as 40 feet, so don’t forget to wear a raincoat to stay dry. It is located on the east side of the park and there is no hike required to get there.
Towering 1,530 feet tall, Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain in the Acadia National Park and a prime spot to catch a colorful sunset.
To summit Cadillac Mountain, enjoy driving the scenic 3.5-mile Cadillac summit road, which winds up the mountain and boasts numerous incredible lookouts along the way.
Be sure to stop at the “Blue Hill” overlook to enjoy the best sunset views. You can also choose to hike up the mountain on one of several hiking trails.
Carriage Roads are another popular tourist attraction in Acadia National Park for walking, horse riding, bicycling, and carriage rides.
The network of Carriage Roads is 57-mile long free of rustic vehicles and motorcycles and has brought back the era when Acadia was the summer sanctuary for wealthy families seeking a respite from the city’s heart.
The roads form a series of loops which means you’ll always end up where you began.
Jordan Pond is one of the most idyllic places in Acadia National Park, which is not to be missed. It is a tarn formed by a glacier with a maximum depth of 150 feet.
The pristine waters of the pond are surrounded by majestic mountains from all directions.
You can take a stroll around the Jordan Pond Trail to enjoy some great scenery that will take all your worries away and recharge your mind and body with positive energy.
Park Loop Road
If you’re looking for the best of Acadia National Park, then look no further than Park Loop Road. This 27-mile-long road offers incredible scenery on every turn along the coastline.
From spectacular views of granite peaks, sparkling lakes and ponds, to lush forests, and incredible overlooks, Park Loop offers some of the best views all year long.
There are many other places to stop by along the road including Sand Beach and Thunder Hole. The road open from April to November and closed in winter.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Acadia National Park in terms of pleasant weather is between spring and fall.
However, these are the peak months and the park is often crowded.
If you want to avoid the crowd, a sweet spot time without the heavy crowds starts in September after Labor Day and lasts until mid-September.
Having a map with you can drastically improve the safety and enjoyment of your trip.
To download the map showing all the main attractions, hiking, and skiing trails, click here.
If you want separate maps for all the places mentioned in the post, visit nps.gov.com or download the official NPS app.
Hotels Near Acadia National Park
Wondering where you should stay near Acadia National Park. Check out the best Hotel deals with booking links below:
- Bar Harbor Grand Hotel
- Bar Harbor Inn and Spa
- The Elmhurst Inn
- The Bar Harbor Motel
There are two main campgrounds on Mount Desert Island. RV and Tent sites are available in each campground.
There is backcountry or overnight camping allowed in the park. All Campgrounds must be reserved in advance with a sixty-day rolling window.
To make the reservations visit recreation.gov.
The weather in Acadia National Park shows seasonal variations, with warm to hot summers and severely cold winters.
The average temperature of the park is 47.3°F. July is the hottest while January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 69.7 °F and 23.8 °F respectively.
Entry Fee & Reservations
To enter the Acadia National Park, you can either use a National Park/Federal Lands Pass or an Acadia-Specific pass.
The Entrance fee is $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle, and $15 for an individual pass.
Vehicle reservations are not required for any areas of the park except for Cadillac Mountain. Entrance passes can be purchased in person or online.
Checklist for Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is a wonderful destination but its rugged landscape can be challenging too. Follow this checklist to make sure you’re good to go:
- Warm clothes
- Tick Remover
- Rain Coat
- Sun protection gear
- Hiking Boots
- First-aid kit
Are there any outdoor activities in Acadia National Park?
There are plenty of outdoor activities you can do in the park such as hiking, camping, horseback riding tours, bicycling, and relaxing on the beach.
Which is the peak time in Acadia National Park?
The peak season is typically from June to September, because the weather is the most desirable and hiking conditions are optimal.
Which is the best trail in Acadia National Park?
The most famous and scenic hike in Acadia National Park is Ocean Path which offers splendid views of granite formations and a beautiful coastline.