National Park Getaway: Acadia National Park

By: Lynne Dominy, Chief of Interpretation, Acadia National Park
Updated on May 10, 2018
Sun setting over open water with rocks in the foreground and trees in the distance.
Acadia National Park offers stunning vistas and panoramic views along Maine's Atlantic coast.

NPS photo

In Maine’s Acadia National Park, you can experience in one day what some people won’t in a lifetime: a cruise on a boat to a lushly forested island; a ride in a horse-drawn carriage over historic, broken stone roads; and a sight-seeing stop atop Cadillac Mountain—the highest point on the North Atlantic seaboard. Mount Desert Island is where rugged mountains meet a majestic sea—an archipelago of luxurious landscapes filled with unique flora and fauna and linked by pristine waterways. For thousands of years this island’s bounty and beauty has attracted people: fisherfolk and farmers, scientists and artists, tourists and transplants. Come to our island paradise to see what you’ve been missing.

From the breathtaking, panoramic views atop Cadillac Mountain to the charm and mystique of the outer islands, Acadia National Park has something for everyone. Carved by glaciers then sculpted by crashing waves, our granite cliffs attract photographers from around the world. Hikers and bikers experience sweeping vistas from hand-forged carriage roads and bridges, built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family in the 1900s. Travel these roads as Rockefeller did in a horse-drawn carriage to the Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers or to the top of Day Mountain for a scenic seascape.

People sitting on a boat, looking out at open water and a small island.
Visitors can try a boat trip to see the park from a different view.

NPS photo

For a different perspective on this unique landscape, you can slip on your sailor’s hat and join a national park ranger for a porpoise’s perspective of Acadia’s mountains at a distance. Take a boat trip around Frenchman Bay—the waterway that, for thousands of years, transported generations of fisherfolk and seafarers to the coasts of nearby off-shore islands. From the quiet charm of Islesford to the remote beauty of Baker Island or Isle au Haut, you can dock and experience the history of generations of families who have made these islands into homes.

For wildlife enthusiasts, there are countless opportunities for intimate experiences with the natural world. White-tailed deer, moose, porpoises, harbor seals, and even humpback whales all call Acadia “home” at different times of the year. If you are a bird watcher, bring your “life list” and have a pen poised—ospreys, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons soar and swoop over Acadia’s granite cliffs.

Dog walking on a leash on pavement.
Bring your four-legged friends to explore 100 miles of dog-friendly trails.

NPS photo

Mount Desert Island’s seaside villages offer visitor amenities that rival larger resort communities. Whether you seek a quaint bed and breakfast, a hotel with spa services, or a restaurant showcasing local seafood, the villages of Mount Desert Island have much to offer. Our communities are absolutely “dog-friendly.” If you can’t stand the idea of leaving your canine companion at home, bring them along on leashes to stroll the roads and trails at your side. Some people refer to Bar Harbor as “Bark” Harbor—with dog water dishes and treats in many a store-front door, Acadia welcomes visits from our loyal, four-legged friends.

Whether you spend the day strolling ocean paths or the evening listening to the lullabies of loons, Acadia National Park will captivate you. Discover Acadia today—it is Maine in all its glory.

Last updated: May 11, 2018