Two years ago during a fun gift exchange game at work I gave up a sweet gift only to end up with a bag of mediocre coffee and a calendar of some of the most scenic National Parks across North America. It was at this point that I thought to myself “what if the real gift is a trip across the US while visiting all of these parks in the future…” The park that stood out to me as the most striking was Acadia (the obsession began) and I knew I couldn’t leave the East coast without seeing this marvel.
Acadia National Park
So here we are at Acadia during the National Parks’ Centennial ready to explore! Our visit began with a cozy stay at an Airbnb in Bar Harbor. Our host Marc was friendly and he warmed up some homemade apple cider while we chatted. Since we we planned to wake up at 4 am to watch the sunrise over Cadillac Mountain we were soon off to bed. We rushed to the top of the mountain just before sunrise and watched as the colors along the horizon transformed and blanketed the landscape. This experience was extraordinary and one that cannot be missed when in Acadia.
We drove along park loop road towards Bubble Rocks and Jordan Pond for a short hike. Walking along the trails in the early morning was perfect as not many people were at the park yet. Before heading back to our Airbnb for a power nap we stopped by the visitor’s center to get more information on the park.
Quick Park Tips:
- Entrance fee private vehicle $25.00
- Acadia annual pass $50.00
- Interagency pass $80.00 (since we were visiting multiple parks during our road trip this was well worth it)
- Ride the Island Explorer bus from June 23rd to Columbus Day. It connects park trailheads, carriage roads and places in town.
- Other must do hikes/points of interest- North Bubble Mtn., South Bubble Mtn., Thunder Hole, Sand Beach
- Bar harbor lodging can be pricey. Try Airbnb or find great rates at Bar Harbor Motel (don’t let the name fool you… very clean and comfortable place)
Bar Harbor and Beyond
Although Acadia could be considered the main attraction, you’ll find numerous things to do around Mount Desert Island so allow at least 3-4 days for your visit. Be sure to see the iconic Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Southwest Harbor. A hike down to the rocks from the trail at the end of the parking lot will provide you with the infamous view. There is also a small and very pleasant trail through a forest on the side of the lighthouse. When in SW harbor visit Little Notch Cafe and Bakery for tasty sandwiches.
Back in Bar Harbor a walk around town is scenic and lovely. An afternoon stroll along the Shore Path provides panoramic views and Agamont Park nearby is perfect for relaxing. There are numerous restaurants to choose from in Bar Harbor. For a cozy and affordable breakfast joint try Jordan’s Restaurant. It was highly recommended by locals and definitely hit the spot. You’ll find a great lobster roll at Side Street Cafe. For a refreshing beer try out the Atlantic Brewing Blueberry Ale found at many restaurants and bars around town. It is super tasty and at Finback Alehouse they even throw in a few local blueberries in your glass. For a delicious dinner try Lompoc Cafe just be careful not to order too much because portions are huge! They also have live music on some nights.
So we began our cross country road trip by checking off a bucket list item… not a bad way to start!
Want to try out some cool Properties on Airbnb for yourself? Click below for a travel credit.
Where we’re headed next:
- Bangor, Maine
- Quebec City Canada
- Montreal Canada
- Toronto Canada