34 responses to “Top 10+ Must-Do on Mount Desert Island and in Acadia National Park”

  1. Stephanie Seacord

    And of course I would add that anyone can follow in the Obamas footsteps: stay at the Bar Harbor Regency (they were in the Vanderbilt Suite, http://www.barharborregency.com), eat at Stewman’s Lobster Pound (recently completely renovated — he arrived by boat, http://www.stewmans.com) and unwind with tennis or a dip in the pool at the Bar Harbor Club (www.barharborclub.com). Acadia National Park is one of the nation’s treasures, available to all. And a family vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine (I remember our car trip from MA in 1969) is one that anyone can experience for themselves!

  2. Kiasa

    Thanks for this post and all your posts! I grew up in CA, but currently live in NYC with my husband and two kids. I’ve dreamed of coming to Maine for several years and I finally made it here (just last night). So far, I’ve found your site to be the best resource for the things we are hoping to do. Just finalizing our plans for our week vacation here in Maine! So excited!

  3. Karen

    So glad I found your website! Any suggestions for a solo woman traveler? Traveling from Portland going North. I have 5 days to explore. Arriving Sept. 12. I plan on going to Acadia for the last day of the Night Sky Festival, then I’m open.

  4. Karen

    Hi Hilary, Just found your site and what good timing. My husband and I are going to Bar Harbor next week for my birthday. Great suggestions! I will keep reading your site for more places to visit.

  5. Jean Ginn Marvin

    Thanks for the tips! We followed a bunch of your suggestions and had a blast! Great ideas!

  6. Jeanmarie

    I am traveling with my 6 yr old daughter after dropping off my 11 yr old at whale camp for a week. Which is the best location to stay at Bar Harbor Regency or Harborside Hotel & Marina? Any suggestion would be appreciated. We cannot wait!

  7. Nate

    Great article! Gives me a lot of great ideas about our stay this coming July. We have camped in the White Mountains a bunch but want to broaden our perspective. What campground would you recommend a family of four with 2 boys (ages 5 and 2) to stay with our 31 foot travel trailer. We would like to do Cadillac Mountain, sand beach, thunder hole….Hopefully alot of the things your recommended in your article. We would like to be able to “book: the campground so it kind of leaves out Bar Harbor Campground. We don’t want to travel 7 hours to have to turn around! What do you think? thanks!

  8. Jim Meisner

    My wife and I enjoyed reading your tips about Acadia! It’s a rainy day today so we may check out a couple of your museum suggestions. We didn’t have a chance to do the island hopping suggestions, but we did take the boat ride to Baker Island which we would highly recommend as well. It’s an outpost of Acadia NP that relatively few people visit and the boat ride takes you past lots of interesting sights. The history of Baker Island (as explained by our knowledgeable guide David Doonan) is fascinating as well. We did a lot of hiking and bike riding on the trails and carriage trails. If you check out the lighthouse at Bass Harbor be sure you take the short easy hike on the Ship Harbor Nature Trail which provides access to some spectacular shoreline and there were very few other people there, at least when we were there. There are so many special places around here it is impossible to choose the top ten!

  9. Lori Carrick

    Hilary, Thanks so much for your advice! We left VA on Tuesday and headed right to Kennebunkport. We spent 3 days at the wonderful Captain Jefferds Inn, a must for anyone visiting there! We spend the next two days driving around to York (great family spot), Ogunquit (my fave!); the Rose Cove restaurant has the BEST lobster bisque anywhere! A trip on the schooner “The Gift” was awesome, although we did not see anything jump out of the ocean. From there we spent an hour or so at Cape Neddick (Nubble) lighthouse. I added another lighthouse to my collection! We arrived in Rockland for the Maine Lobster Festival yesterday, and I cannot eat any more Lobstah right now. This evening, we are sitting by the water, overlooking W. Penobscot Bay at the Oakland Seashore Motel & Cabins. You suggested this in your Cheap Sleeps, and it is a gem! Someone actually canoed to an outer island and set off fireworks this evening. Tomorrow, on to Bar Harbor and Acadia! Any must see’s, let us know!

  10. kate

    Looking for awesome sunset spots, other than top of Cadillac Mountain. This info will determine where we stay. Any and all specific spots info welcome. IDEALLY, on the beach sunsets!!!

  11. Carolyn

    We are heading near to Bar Harbor ME for a family vacation the first week of June of this year. We are excited to be with our 2 kids and 7 grandkids. What suggestions might you have specifically for that time of year and for the ages of the kids (9-15 years of age)? Of course we will do Acadia (one of our favorite spots). We have been to the area twice before but the families have not.

  12. teresa

    we are heading to mount desert campgound this weekend and was wondering if you knew of any places to go horseback riding. i am having trouble finding a guided trail. we are willing to travel about an hour or so, but not too much farther. thanks!

  13. Ginny

    Hi Hilary,
    We are traveling to Acadia in June 2015. I am looking for a good guide which includes distances/elevations/difficulty for walking and biking the carriage roads in the park. Any suggestions? Love you suggestions for this area!


  14. Randi Kaplan

    Thank you for the great article. We will surely try a lot of your ideas. We are planning a trip to Acadia this August for our family. Our kids are ages 8, 11 and 15. We also plan on bringing our well-behaved dog. Is there any neighborhood you would suggest we try to rent a house in? Or is there a hotel you recommend? We would like to be oceanfront, if possible.

  15. Tim

    Hi Hilary. I found this article helpful and can’t wait to read more on your site. I arrived here via the Moon.Com website and glad I did. I internet search like I explore on my adventures, something like…”I wonder where this will take me”. I will be spending 10 days traveling the coast of Maine in July, doing a photo shoot/blog/vacation, so all your info and tips will be a wonderful resource. I begin at the Whaleback light and end at the Whitlock Mill light, staying at fine establishments such as The Travelers Inn, the Claddagh Motel, the Seawall Motel and the Blueberry patch! I so look forward to photographing lighthouses, fishing villages and Puffins 🙂
    Well, I better get back to reading your site. Thanks again for the info.

  16. Alex

    Hi Hilary,

    I am traveling alone to Acadia National Park for 5 days in the first week in September 2015. I am bringing my bike and intend on camping on Mount Desert for some much needed R&R. Do you have any recommendations on food (particularly lobster) near the park? Also, should I bring food and keep in a cooler for several days or try to go out and buy food for every day to cook over stove/campfire. This is my first solo camping trip, while I have all the supplies, any advice would be weclome. Thank you very much!

  17. Jim

    Would like to visit Maine this fall. Is the traffic unbearable at peak foliage time due to leaf peepers for Acadia and the coast and should we visit a different t(earlier) time?

  18. Clare

    Hi, We are coming to Maine for the first time (from Germany) and want to spend 3 days in or near Acadia. We are 2 adults and 3 very active teenagers. We would like to move about mostly on foot or by bike (presuming we can rent bikes). Where would you recommend that we base ourselves? Bar Harbor seems pricey compared to WInter Harbor for example.

  19. Kay

    Hillary, Thanks so much for this web site. Is there somewhere, like a viewpoint, that offers great night sky viewing on the island (Mt. Desert).

  20. Pam Solomon

    Great ideas! I plan to visit the area this autumn.

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