Acadia National Park from Boston Road Trip (Best Stops!) - Sunset Chasing Blonde (2022)

If you’re looking for an amazing road trip destination, Acadia National Park is a truly magical place and well worth the drive from Boston.

Located in Maine, Acadia National Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. From rocky coastlines and lighthouses to dense forests and mountain peaks, Acadia has a little something for everyone.

And not only does the Park offer stunning scenery but there are so many beautiful places along the way. So pack your bags and hit the road – Acadia National Park and New England await!

( Some of the links in this post are probably affiliate links meaning I might make a small percentage of any purchases you make. All opinions remain my own. For my disclosure policy click here. )

Table of Contents

What is there to see between Boston and Acadia National Park?

There are plenty of things to see and do between Boston and Acadia National Park. New England is filled with incredible landscapes around every corner. Half of the fun in New England is actually the journey because of all of the amazing places you can stop at on the way.

It’s actually one of the things I love most about the Northeast- how close all of the states are located to each other. Makes for an easy road trip!

Some popular destinations to see along the way include: Salem, Portsmouth, Portland, and Rockport. All of which are beautiful coastal cities that offer beautiful scenery and fun things to do and explore.

How long is the drive from Boston to Acadia National Park?

The drive to Acadia National Park from Boston is about 4.5 hours, at least per Google Maps. Of course this will depend on traffic and how many stops you make along the way. I would recommend planing for at least a 7 to 8 hour day if you want to take your time and enjoy the journey.

In a perfect world where you wanted to go slowly, I mean really slowly, up the coast, you’d have a long weekend or up to a week. Of course our PTO and schedules don’t always allow for this so a day or a few days works too.

Related: 13 Beautiful East Coast National Parks

Best Stops along Boston to Acadia National Park drive

While there’s an endless amount of stops you could make on your way to Acadia National Park, here are some of the top places you can stop and see on the way.

We’ve attempted to break this into a list of towns to see and also some must-see spots in those areas. All of these towns offer a little something different but are all worth a visit. Buckle up, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

1. Salem, Massachusetts

Acadia National Park from Boston Road Trip (Best Stops!) - Sunset Chasing Blonde (1)

Distance from Boston: About 30 minutes

Salem is best known for its witch trials that took place in the late 1600s. Today, Salem is a popular tourist destination with plenty to offer. If you’re interested in history, Salem is a great place to start your Acadia National Park from Boston road trip.

There are several museums dedicated to the witch trials, as well as several historic homes and churches. Salem is also home to a number of great restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Best Restaurants:

  • Village Tavern – Downtown restaurant with great burgers, wings, and mac and cheese
  • Sea Level Oyster Bar – Amazing seafood restaurant located on Wharf Street
  • Howling Wolf Taqueria – Great Mexican food in downtown Salem

Best Places to visit:

The Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in American history or the supernatural. The museum tells the story of the Salem witch trials of 1692 and features life-size replicas of the trial scenes. A little spooky but a good spot to visit on your road trip.

The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables is a historic house and museum located in Salem, Massachusetts. The house was made famous by author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of the Seven Gables. Today, the house is open to the public for tours and features a number of exhibits to enjoy.

Pro tip: Take a tour and climb up the hidden staircase.

Essex Street Pedestrian Mall

The Essex Street Pedestrian Mall is a pedestrian-only shopping street located in Salem, Massachusetts. The mall is home to a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The perfect spot to walk and soak up the scenery as well as to grab those New-England-esque photos you’ve been dying to take.

2. Rockport, Massachusetts

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Distance from Boston: About 50 minutes

This one is a a little off the path but it’s a really cute town so I figured I’d keep it on here. Rockport is a small town located on the coast of Massachusetts. It’s known for its rocky beaches, quaint shops, and art galleries. There are so many art galleries! Rockport is a great place to stop for a bite to eat and to stretch your legs.

Fun fact: they filmed scenes from The Proposal here with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds!

Best Restaurants:

  • Roy Moore Lobster Co. – grab some amazing lobster and enjoy the patio
  • The Fudgery – not a restaurant, but amazing fudge!
  • Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant – classy spot with incredible ocean views and lots of seafood

Best Places to visit:

Halibut Point State Park

Halibut Point State Park is located near the town of Rockport. The park offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, granite cliffs, and tide pools. Visitors can enjoy hiking along the various trails near the ocean and also makes for a great spot for a picnic. If you’re looking for a fun and scenic place to spend a day, Halibut Point State Park is definitely worth a visit!

Crane Estate and Beach

Okay, someone will come for me on this since this is technically in neighboring town Ipswich, but it’s just too good to leave off this list. If you enjoy exploring large, well-maintained mansions and gardens with beautiful lawns, you’ll want to check this place out.

Crane Estate has the mansion and grounds to explore while you can also check out Crane Beach nearby for a fun day by the water. Some would argue this is the most beautiful beach in the state.

3. Newburyport, Massachusetts

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Distance from Boston: About 45 minutes

Newburyport is another coastal town located in Massachusetts. This town is slightly larger than Rockport but still has a small-town feel. Newburyport is known for its yachting, shopping, and dining. You can also visit the Newburyport Maritime Museum to learn about the town’s maritime history.

Best Restaurants:

  • Bar 25 – Middle eastern food downtown with a sweet lounge area and ambiance
  • Black Cow – lovely seafood restaurant on the waterfront
  • Loretta – small spot but plenty of options from pasta to seafood

Best Places to visit:

The Clipper City Rail Trail

The Clipper City Rail Trail is a 3.5-mile long trail located in Newburyport. The trail is perfect for biking, walking, or running, and offers stunning views of the Merrimack River. The Clipper City Rail Trail is a great spot if you’re looking to get some fresh air and exercise.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for birdwatching, with over 300 species of birds that have been spotted in the area. There are also plenty of hiking trails to enjoy. The Refuge is open year-round making it a spot to enjoy in any season. Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot if you’re looking to explore nature and enjoy some time away from the city vibes.

4. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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Distance from Boston: About a 1-hour drive

Portsmouth is a beautiful coastal town located in New Hampshire. Portsmouth is known for its lively downtown area with great shopping and dining. There are plenty of historic sites to see, awesome tax-free shopping to take advantage of, and beautiful waterfront views to enjoy. It’s also a pretty close drive from Boston and has several restaurants you can’t miss.

Best Restaurants:

  • The Friendly Toast – Serves all-day breakfast, a personal favorite of mine
  • The Portsmouth Brewery – Great pub food and, of course, lots of beer
  • Row 34 – Great seafood, service, and bar (oysters, lobsters, and more!)

Best Places to visit:

The Strawbery Banke Museum

The Strawbery Banke Museum is definitely worth a visit. This spot is a close walk from downtown and is a great way to learn more about the history of Portsmouth. This 10-acre open-air museum is located on the site of a 17th-century settlement. We recommend starting with the Visitor Center. There are several buildings to explore, so if you get overwhelmed, check with the staff for suggestions or extra information.

Prescott Park

Prescott Park is a 10-acre park located in downtown Portsmouth. The park is home to a number of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and farmer’s markets. Prescott Park is also a great place to take a walk or relax, with beautiful views of the Piscataqua River. This is a short walk from town and is definitely a great place to stretch your legs or unwind from traveling. There’s also parking nearby for easy access.

Isles of Shoals

The Isles of Shoals are a group of small islands located off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. The islands have been home to a number of different types of people over the years, including fishermen, pirates, and even a poet. Today, the islands are home to a number of different restaurants and shops. One of the most popular islands (it’s also the largest) is Star Island. You can take a ferry to the island and even go on a walking tour of the Isles of Shoals, and it’s sure to be an experience to remember.

5. Ogunquit, Maine

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Distance from Boston: About 1 hour and 15 minutes

Ogunquit is a small town located along the Maine coast. It’s known for its beaches, art galleries, and boutique shops. Ogunquit is also home to the Ogunquit Playhouse, one of the oldest summer stock theaters in the country.

A popular activity is to take the Ogunquit trolley through town to see all the sights. Or, if you’re not into sightseeing, you can stop by one of the beautiful beaches in the area including Ogunquit Beach or Footbridge Beach.

Best Restaurants:

  • Brix + Brine – fun outdoor seating with classic seafood options
  • Front Porch – incredible piano bar and restaurant
  • The Omelette Factory – cozy little breakfast spot for omelettes & french toast

Best Places to visit:

Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove is a small fishing village located in Ogunquit, Maine. The village is home to a few small shops and restaurants, as well as a working harbor. This is a great spot to grab a bite to eat, with plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. This is a popular summer spot that many love walking around, including walking across the drawbridge nearby. If you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water in a quaint village, Perkins Cove is definitely your spot.

Marginal Way

Marginal Way is a 1.25-mile long scenic walking path located in Ogunquit. The path offers beautiful ocean views and is a great spot for a leisurely stroll. There are also a few restaurants and cafes located nearby, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat after a walk. The trail finishes at Perkins Cove, which is a lovely location that looks like it was taken right out of a movie.

6. Kennebunkport, Maine

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Distance from Boston: About 1 hour and 30 minutes

Kennebunkport is a popular summer destination located in Maine. It’s known for its beaches, golf courses, and luxury hotels. Kennebunkport is also home to the Bush family compound (Walker’s Point), which is worth a visit if you’re interested in politics or history.

Best Restaurants:

  • Old Vines Wine Bar – Beautiful place with quite the ambiance, incredible food and cocktails
  • Earth at Hidden Pond – Really cool interior with natural elements and organic menu
  • Nunan’s Lobster Hut – A classic spot in town for great seafood (lobster roll) in a casual atmosphere

Best Places to visit:

Cape Porpoise Harbor

Cape Porpoise Harbor is a small harbor located in Kennebunkport. The harbor is home to a working lobster pier, as well as a few small shops and restaurants. This is a great spot to enjoy the quintessential Maine lobster dinner. There are also beautiful ocean views, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset. You can also catch a view of the Goat Island lighthouse, which is a historic beacon that has been in operation since 1833.

Kayak the Kennebunk River

The Kennebunk River is a 17.6 mile long river located in southern Maine. The river is popular for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. There are also a few hiking trails located along the river. Picnics on the Kennebunk River are also a lot of fun. There are plenty of scenic spots to enjoy a peaceful lunch with friends or family. If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors, this is a perfect spot.

7. Portland, Maine

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Distance from Boston: About 1 hour and 45 minutes

Portland is the largest city in Maine and is located just a few hours from Acadia National Park. This charming city is known for its fresh seafood, beautiful waterfront, and lively arts scene. Be sure to check out the Old Port district and take a stroll down Commercial Street. Downtown Portland has so much to offer.

Best Restaurants:

  • Eventide Oyster Co. – Popular spot in town for amazing seafood
  • Duckfat – Well known spot for poutine and other items like cheese curds (long wait though, heads up)
  • Hot Suppa – Serving up lots of comfort food like shrimp and grits and biscuits

Best Places to visit:

Old Port

The Old Port is a historic district in Portland, Maine. It’s known for its cobblestone streets, 19th-century buildings, and waterfront views. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore in the area, as well as a few museums. Located nearby is the Wharf area on Commercial Street, which is also definitely a spot you need to check out.

Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park is a 90-acre park located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The park is home to the iconic Portland Head Light, as well as a few other historic landmarks. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and beautiful ocean views. Fort Williams Park is the perfect spot for a day trip right outside of Portland.

The Portland Museum of Art

The Portland Museum of Art is the oldest and largest art museum in Maine. The museum is home to a wide variety of art, from paintings and sculptures to photographs and prints. There are also a few rotating exhibitions, so there’s always something new to see. The Portland Museum of Art is worth a visit if you’re interested in art and culture.

8. Rockland, Maine

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Distance from Boston: About 3 hours and 15 minutes

Rockland is a small city located in Maine. It’s known for its historic downtown area, beautiful coastline, and fresh seafood. Rockland is also home to the Farnsworth Art Museum, which houses a collection of American art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Best Restaurants:

  • Primo – Farm to table experience, unique & tasty foods, great cocktails
  • In Good Company – Locally sourced food, creative menu, solid cocktails
  • La Bella Vita & the Enoteca Lounge – Italian food with great views and really cool atmosphere

Best Places to visit:

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are located in Boothbay, Maine. The gardens are home to over 300 acres of land, with beautiful flowers, plants, and trees. There are also a few ponds and streams located throughout the gardens. Don’t forget to look for the Giant Trolls which are hidden throughout the gardens! The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are a great spot to enjoy a day outside, surrounded by nature.

Rockland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse

The Rockland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse is located in Rockland. The lighthouse is open to the public and offers stunning views of the harbor. This spot sits at the end of a long pier, making it the perfect place to walk as well as to catch a beautiful sunset or even see a dolphin!

Visitors can climb up to the top of the lighthouse for stellar harbor views. The Rockland Harbor Breakwater Lighthouse is a great spot for those who love being by the water and enjoying some fresh sea air.

Acadia National Park – Exploring the Park

Acadia National Park from Boston Road Trip (Best Stops!) - Sunset Chasing Blonde (9)

Phew, that was a lot right? So many places along the way, and you haven’t even made it to your destination! So what do you do when you finally make it to Acadia National Park from Boston? Here’s some fun ideas of what to see, where to visit, and how to spend your day(s) in one of the most beautiful National Parks.

Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine. The park is home to a variety of activities and attractions, including hiking trails, a visitor’s center, and scenic drives.

Acadia National Park also offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hulls Cove Visitor Center

The Hulls Cove Visitor Center is the perfect place to start your exploration of Acadia National Park. The visitor center offers different ranger-led programs as well as information about different hikes in the area.

There are also a few exhibits located in the visitor center. Overall, this is a great first stop to learn more about Acadia National Park, grab a tour guide, or learn about the area’s different trails and activities. The Visitor Center is a must-stop spot for those exploring Acadia National Park.

Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the Eastern seaboard and offers stunning views of Acadia National Park. The mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is a popular spot for hiking and camping. There are also a few different lookout points located along the way to the top of the mountain. Cadillac Mountain is a great spot to take in and enjoy the beauty of Acadia National Park.

Pro tip: this is an amazing place to see the sunrise because it’s one of the first spots in the U.S. to see the sunrise.

Park Loop Road

The Park Loop Road is a scenic 27-mile road that winds through Acadia National Park. The road offers stunning views of the different mountains, forests, and lakes located in the park. There are also a few different pull-offs and lookout points along the way, which makes it the perfect spot to stop and take in the views. Some of the popular spots to drive to include Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, both of which are beautiful stops along the way.

The Park Loop Road is a must-do scenic loop for those exploring Acadia National Park. Just note that it’s a one-way road more often than not, so plan your route accordingly!

Carriage Roads

The Carriage Roads are a network of roads located throughout Acadia National Park. These were originally created for traveling via horse drawn carriages but are now perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Within these roads there are quite a few different loops and routes that you can take.

One of the best ways to explore Carriage Roads is by bike. You can rent e-bikes in the Park pretty easily (try to in advance as it fills up, though). The Carriage Roads are a great way to explore Acadia National Park and take in all of the different sights and sounds of the park.

Schoodic Peninsula

The Schoodic Peninsula is located in Acadia National Park. The peninsula is home to beautiful forests and hiking trails. One of the best things about the Schoodic Peninsula is that it’s much less crowded than the rest of Acadia National Park. This is a great spot to get away from the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet. Check out Schoodic Point to watch and listen to the waves crashing against the rocks. You’ll absolutely love this spot and don’t want to miss it!

Where to Stay in Acadia National Park

Once you’ve made your trip to Acadia National Park from Boston now it’s time to find a home base, hunker down into a nice cozy bed and enjoy your time in the park. Acadia National Park is located in the town of Bar Harbor, Maine and there are plenty of beautiful hotels and inns to stay at in the area. So how do you choose? Here’s some of our favorites and we think you’ll like them too.

The Inn on Mount Desert $

Beautiful family-run guesthouse with 31 rooms. Comfortable rooms and the inn is about a 10 minute walk from downtown. This inn will make you feel right at home.

Bar Harbor Inn and Spa – $$

Located along the waterfront in downtown Bar Harbor, this is the perfect location for those looking at where to stay near Acadia National Park. Many of the rooms offer beautiful views of the ocean and there is an onsite restaurant where you can dine with those same beautiful views. Conveniently located, you can walk to just about anywhere in downtown Bar Harbor.

Bar Harbor Grand Hotel – $$

The Bar Harbor Grand Hotel is the perfect place to stay when visiting Acadia National Park. The hotel offers stunning ocean views and is just a short drive from the park. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to and from the park. The Bar Harbor Grand Hotel is a great option for those looking for a luxurious and convenient place to stay while exploring Acadia National Park.

How do you get from Boston to Acadia?

There are a few ways to get from Boston to Acadia National Park. The most common way is to take I-95 North and then US-1A till you see signs for Acadia National Park.

The other option (which is what this post is based off of) is to take I-95 North to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and then take the turnpike/toll road towards Kittery, Maine. After crossing into Maine, take US-1 North towards Acadia National Park.

Which is better? Honestly, it depends on your route and what you want to see. If you want to take the more scenic route and stop in places like Portsmouth and Portland, then I would recommend taking I-95 North to Portsmouth and then US-1 North as it’s the more coastal route.

If you’re looking for a quicker drive with fewer stops, then I would suggest taking I-95 North to Augusta and then US-1A.

Frequently Asked Questions – Acadia National Park from Boston

How many days do I need to take the Acadia National Park from Boston road trip?

For this scenic road trip, you could make the trip in as little as one day, but I would recommend at least two or three days. That way, you can explore all of the coastal small towns on your way to the Park at a leisurely pace.

Best time to go on a road trip from Boston to Acadia National Park

The summer is a great time to visit for the best hiking and if you’re planning on doing any swimming or water activities. Be aware though that it’s busy during summer. Another beautiful time to visit Acadia National Park is in the fall when the leaves are changing color.

However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, I would recommend visiting Acadia National Park in the spring or early summer.

Is the drive from Boston to Acadia National Park pretty?

The drive from Boston to Acadia National Park is 100% beautiful. I love all of the coastal small towns along the way and the ocean views.

Another beautiful time to drive for the scenery would be in the fall. The leaves are changing colors, and the scenery is simply incredible.

Best cities between Boston and Acadia National Park

Some of the best small coastal towns to stop at between Boston and Acadia National Park include Portsmouth, Portland, and Kennebunkport. Of course, there are so many others to see, but these are some of the top places to explore on your road trip.

Related: Boston to Nantucket Day Trip

The Wrap-Up: Acadia National Park From Boston

Acadia National Park is a beautiful destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. If you’re looking for an amazing road trip experience, make sure to check out Acadia National Park from Boston. There are tons of things to see and do along the way, so make sure to take your time and enjoy the journey. Happy travels!

Have you been to Acadia National Park before? What tips would you add to this road trip guide? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

FAQs

Where should I stop between Boston and Acadia National Park? ›

The top stops along the way from Boston to Acadia National Park (with short detours) are Salem Witch Museum, The House of the Seven Gables, and Hampton Beach State Park. Other popular stops include Canobie Lake Park, The Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Memorial, and Peabody Essex Museum.

How long does it take to drive the 27 mile loop at Acadia? ›

To drive through Acadia National Park on the 27 mile Park Loop Road, we recommend allowing yourself a minimum of about 3 hours. Depending on how much you want to stop and look around, that time may vary.

How do I get from Boston to Acadia National Park? ›

By Car: From 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.

What is the best time of year to visit Acadia National Park? ›

The summer crowds disperse as the high average temperatures drop to the chilly 40s and 50s, but the lack of crowds makes a fall visit even more enjoyable. The prime time is in mid-October when leaf-peeping season begins; the colors make the picturesque vistas that much more dramatic.

What is halfway between Boston and Acadia National Park? ›

Halfway between Boston, MA and Acadia National Park

The town that marks the exact halfway point is actually Bowdoinham, Maine. The closest zip code to the midpoint is 04008. The exact latitude and longitude coordinates are 44° 2' 48" N and 69° 53' 33" W.

How many days do you need in Acadia National Park? ›

How many days should I spend in Acadia? An average stay here is three to four days.

Is Acadia park Loop One way? ›

Much of the road is one way but there is a two way section that begins near Wildwood Stables so keep this in mind. (GPS Coordinates for entry points are provided below.) A fee is required and may be paid at the Entrance Station located about one-half mile north of Sand Beach.

Is Acadia National Park worth the drive? ›

Acadia's 27-mile Park Loop Road is the quintessential scenic drive, with ocean views, lakeside splendor, and dramatic cliffs in spades. It's a worthwhile drive in and of itself, but is also the most convenient way to access many of the park's main attractions like Sand Beach, Otter Point, and Cadillac Mountain.

What is the best entrance to Acadia National Park? ›

The primary avenue for navigating through Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is the Park Loop Road.

How far is Bar Harbor from entrance to Acadia National Park? ›

The distance between Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is 4 miles.

Do you need to take a ferry to Acadia National Park? ›

Unless you have your own boat, visiting the Isle au Haut unit of Acadia National Park requires taking a public ferry from Stonington, Maine, a small town west of Mount Desert Island. Stonington is located at the southern end of Deer Isle, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge.

How many days do you need in Bar Harbor Maine? ›

When guests are planning their first visit to Mt. Desert Island, they often ask how long they should plan to stay in Bar Harbor. While you can get a taste of what the island has to offer in a day or two, to really experience MDI, we suggest that you plan on spending at least three days.

What is the busiest time for Acadia National Park? ›

During peak visitor season at Acadia National Park, typically from June into September each summer, parking is limited and tends to fill early each day. Visitors are encouraged to plan carefully and use the fare free Island Explorer shuttle service to access the Park Loop Road, carriage roads, and hiking trails.

Can you see the northern lights in Acadia National Park? ›

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, can often be seen from in the northernmost parts of DownEast Acadia. The best viewing time for the Northern Lights is August to October. So get outside on a crisp autumn night and look north.

Are there bears at Acadia National Park? ›

Unfortunately, the chances of seeing a black bear in Acadia are only slightly higher than seeing a moose. Unlike moose, there is a small permanent population of black bears on the island. Every year, there are scattered reports of black bears on Mount Desert Island.

What is Acadia National Park known for? ›

Acadia is famous for its stunning fall foliage, but it is also beautiful in the winter, when it is often blanketed in white. Winter scenic drives and hiking are thus popular options. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are wonderful ways to see the park in winter, and volunteers sometimes even cut trails.

How far is Bangor Maine from Acadia National Park? ›

Where Is Acadia National Park? The park is about 160 miles from Portland, Maine, and about 50 miles from Bangor, Maine.

What is the closest airport to Acadia? ›

Acadia National Park
  • State: Maine.
  • Nearest airport: Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport is less than 10 miles from the park; the larger Bangor International Airport is a little more than 46 miles away. Portland International Jetport is around 170 miles away (about three hours drive).
25 Jun 2020

What should I wear to Acadia National Park? ›

Warm sweatpants or comfortable jeans will be key for most outdoor fall activities. You'll want a warm outer layer during your visit so that you can fully enjoy all that Acadia has to offer. If the temperature rises, you can tie your jacket around your waist or stuff it in your backpack for when you need it.

Is 2 days enough for Acadia National Park? ›

While I could spend weeks in this part of the country, there's plenty to do even if you only have 2 or 3 days in Acadia National Park. Below I've shared some of the best things to do in Acadia National Park if you only have a few days, recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, and what to see.

Is one day enough for Acadia National Park? ›

But even if you just have one full day, you can do and see a lot at many parks, including Acadia National Park. You know you have one day and now you will only need to remember one name: Mount Desert Island, where the majority of the national park is preserved.

How long is the Park Loop Road in Acadia? ›

This 27-mile (43 km) road is the go-to scenic drive around the east side of Mount Desert Island, connecting Acadia's lakes, mountains, and shoreline. It provides access to popular areas such as Sieur de Monts, Sand Beach, Otter Point, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain.

Does Acadia have timed entry? ›

The timed-entry reservation system allows visitors to stay on the mountain as long as they want after entry. For visitors who prefer to plan far in advance, 30 percent of available vehicle reservations are released 90 days ahead of each calendar date.

Is there only one entrance to Acadia National Park? ›

Getting to Acadia

There are four entrances to the popular Park Loop Road section of Acadia on Mount Desert Island: Hulls Cove Entrance, located on Route 3. Cadillac Mountain Entrance, located on the outskirts of Bar Harbor on Route 233. Sieur de Monts Entrance, located on Route 3 south of Bar Harbor.

How do I prepare for Acadia National Park? ›

  1. Arrive with a plan ... and a back-up plan. ...
  2. Purchase a park entrance pass. ...
  3. Purchase a vehicle reservation for Cadillac Mountain. ...
  4. Stay the night (but make a reservation first). ...
  5. Drive responsibly. ...
  6. Play it safe. ...
  7. Share the carriage roads. ...
  8. Protect and leash your pet.
9 Apr 2022

Do you need reservation for Acadia National Park? ›

Starting May 26, 2021, through October 19, 2021, The National Park Service is requiring advanced vehicle reservations to access Acadia National Park's Cadillac Summit Road. Feeling anxious about getting a reservation? Don't panic!

How many waterfalls are in Acadia National Park? ›

Location for Hadlock Falls (aka Hadlock Brook Falls), a small 40' waterfall located in Acadia National Park, Maine. Location for Hadlock Falls (aka Hadlock Brook Falls), a small 40' waterfall located in Acadia National Park, Maine.
...
The Essentials Hadlock Falls
G Rating4
Height:40'
Access:Trail
Distance:1.9 mi (RT)
13 more rows
5 Jun 2015

What should I do first in Acadia? ›

10 Things Not To Miss on Your First Visit to Acadia National Park
  1. Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. ...
  2. Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. ...
  3. Beehive Trail. ...
  4. Afternoon at Sand Beach (& a Drive Around Park Loop Road) ...
  5. Eat Lobster! ...
  6. Jordan Pond House Popovers and 3-mile Loop. ...
  7. Beech Cliffs Trail. ...
  8. Explore Downtown Bar Harbor.

Is there a gift shop at the top of Cadillac Mountain? ›

Acadia Quietside Shop

You could say we started at the top- the top of Cadillac Mountain, that is! Our first gift shop opened at the summit of Cadillac in 1933, and we've been steadily growing since then.

What is the quiet side of Acadia National Park? ›

The west side of Acadia is a quieter, more secluded area of Mount Desert Island — great for visitors looking to explore the park's beauty and natural resources while avoiding larger crowds.

What is the closest town to Acadia National Park? ›

A seasonal shuttle is available to bring you from Bar Harbor to many of the must-see attractions in Acadia National Park, so you don't have to worry about parking and traffic. Because Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park, some accommodations are expensive.

Is Bar Harbor the same as Acadia National Park? ›

Bar Harbor, a small seaside resort on the northeastern side of Mount Desert Island, has a unique symbiotic relationship with Acadia National Park. Together, they are like conjoined twins, both born of the same mother - and she is the land and ocean combined.

What is the best time to visit Bar Harbor Maine? ›

The best time to visit Bar Harbor is from June to August. Because of the state's geographic location in the northernmost point in the U.S., Maine enjoys cool weather year-round. As such, the best time to explore the greater Bar Harbor area is when it will be the warmest and sunniest.

Can you drive up Cadillac Mountain at night? ›

Vehicle access to the summit of Cadillac Mountain at night is limited to a few months each fall and spring. The Park Loop Road is closed for winter, typically Dec 1-Apr 14. From May into October, daytime access is managed by a Vehicle Reservation System and the road closes each night at 10 pm.

Can you sleep in your car in Acadia National Park? ›

Acadia National Park Boondocking – DOT Rest Area

Small rest area with ample parking and picnic areas. Best Review: Many sleep overnight in the summer, all in vehicle. Bathroom closes for the night.

Are there mosquitoes in Acadia National Park? ›

Yes - there are mosquitoes here in July - depends on where you go and the weather. Not usually bad in towns, but can be in some other areas of the island. There is a Maine made natural repellent called Buggle that I have found to be very effective - available at local health food stores.

How do I spend a day in Acadia National Park? ›

There are two options: a two-hour sunrise entry reservation, or a 30-minute daytime entry reservation. Both can be reserved up to 90 days in advance using Recreation.gov and cost $6 per reservation. Learn more on the Acadia NPS site. During the summer months, parking can be hard to find in other parts of the park too.

Does it rain a lot in Acadia National Park? ›

The Maine coastal climate has been ranked second only to the Pacific Northwest in annual precipitation. This moisture occurs in every form at Acadia. Ice storms are regular in winter and early spring, and rain is frequent in every month.

Is Bar Harbor Maine expensive? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to Bar Harbor? You should plan to spend around $161 per day on your vacation in Bar Harbor, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $45 on meals for one day and $28 on local transportation.

What is the best time to see fall colors in Acadia National Park? ›

Colors begin to appear throughout the parks higher and cooler elevations in late September, but the peak season for color is usually during the first few weeks of October.

What is the best time of year to go to Maine? ›

The best time of year to visit Maine is during the summer. Summer is the peak travel season in Maine when the weather is the nicest for enjoying attractions like Acadia National Park, coastal beaches, and islands just off the shore.

How often can you see Northern Lights in Maine? ›

3. Aroostook County, Maine. The Northern Lights are visible a couple of times a year in Maine, usually during the winter months, but with sightings possible in the spring and fall. If you're lucky, you might also get to see some epic star trails.

How difficult is the hike up Cadillac Mountain? ›

Moderate Hiking, 2.2 miles one-way

The trail ends, of course, on the 1,528-foot summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak in the park, and highest point along the eastern seaboard. The trailhead is located on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road, about 3 1/2 miles south of the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.

When can I see Northern Lights in Maine? ›

The long period from December to February is the best time to see the northern lights in Maine. Longer days and shorter nights in the spring make viewing aurora borealis more challenging but still possible.

Do I need bear spray in Acadia? ›

Nope. Sure don't. While Acadia has wild scenery, you won't see much in the way of potentially aggressive wildlife like bears. You can leave the bear spray at home!

Are there brown bears in Acadia? ›

There are no grizzly bears in Acadia. Furthermore, there are no grizzlies in Maine at all. Grizzlies were originally found just west of the Mississippi River, extending from Cananda to Mexico.

What to do if you see a bear? ›

Remain still; stand your ground but slowly wave your arms. Help the bear recognize you as a human. It may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.

How many days do you need in Bar Harbor Maine? ›

When guests are planning their first visit to Mt. Desert Island, they often ask how long they should plan to stay in Bar Harbor. While you can get a taste of what the island has to offer in a day or two, to really experience MDI, we suggest that you plan on spending at least three days.

How far is Bar Harbor from entrance to Acadia National Park? ›

The distance between Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is 4 miles.

What is there to see between Boston and Kennebunkport? ›

The top stops along the way from Boston to Kennebunkport (with short detours) are Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, and Salem Witch Museum. Other popular stops include Public Garden, The House of the Seven Gables, and Hampton Beach State Park.

How far is Bangor Maine from Acadia National Park? ›

Where Is Acadia National Park? The park is about 160 miles from Portland, Maine, and about 50 miles from Bangor, Maine.

How do I spend a day in Acadia National Park? ›

There are two options: a two-hour sunrise entry reservation, or a 30-minute daytime entry reservation. Both can be reserved up to 90 days in advance using Recreation.gov and cost $6 per reservation. Learn more on the Acadia NPS site. During the summer months, parking can be hard to find in other parts of the park too.

Is Acadia National Park worth the trip? ›

Acadia is the only national park in New England and it boasts many unique features to make it worth a visit. With rugged cliffs of granite along the coast and miles of forested trails, this Maine gem is the perfect place to get outside.

Does it rain a lot in Acadia National Park? ›

The Maine coastal climate has been ranked second only to the Pacific Northwest in annual precipitation. This moisture occurs in every form at Acadia. Ice storms are regular in winter and early spring, and rain is frequent in every month.

What is the best entrance to Acadia National Park? ›

The primary avenue for navigating through Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is the Park Loop Road.

What is the closest town to Acadia National Park? ›

A seasonal shuttle is available to bring you from Bar Harbor to many of the must-see attractions in Acadia National Park, so you don't have to worry about parking and traffic. Because Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park, some accommodations are expensive.

What is the quiet side of Acadia? ›

The west side of Acadia is a quieter, more secluded area of Mount Desert Island — great for visitors looking to explore the park's beauty and natural resources while avoiding larger crowds.

Is the drive from Boston to Portland Maine pretty? ›

The road, weaving through scenic byways, coastal views and national parks, is the star – but there are plenty of places to stop and stare along the way. Highlights include the cool city of Portland, a winery known for its blueberry blends, and lobster – always lobster.

Is Highway 1 Maine Scenic? ›

US 1 is particularly scenic for most of the 242.6 miles (390.4 km) between Woolwich and Calais. The smoothness of its paved surface varies; compared to many other Maine roads, it's seldom particularly rough.

Is it better to stay in Ogunquit or Kennebunkport? ›

Ogunquit may be a bit more touristy and crowded, but both towns get pretty busy in the summer. Kennebunkport is a bit further ride, and is more rural once you get out of the downtown. Ogunquit is more artsy, with lots of galleries and the summer theater.

Do you need reservation for Acadia National Park? ›

Starting May 26, 2021, through October 19, 2021, The National Park Service is requiring advanced vehicle reservations to access Acadia National Park's Cadillac Summit Road. Feeling anxious about getting a reservation? Don't panic!

How far is Belfast Maine from Acadia? ›

The distance between Belfast and Acadia National Park is 38 miles. The road distance is 60.4 miles.

Is there a shuttle from Bar Harbor to Bangor? ›

Methods of ground transportation between Bangor and Bar Harbor are limited, but Bar Harbor Shuttle LLC offers an affordable, consistent alternative. We are located in Bar Harbor and make several daily trips. We are also available on the the off season months.

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