Thing to Do

Stargazing at Sand Beach

Saturn, Jupiter and Milky Way viewed from Sand Beach

Great location for viewing the northern constellations and Milky Way as well as views of the planets and constellations along the ecliptic.
Pets are not allowed on Sand Beach from June 15th through September 8th. All pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times when they are allowed.
Although this activity is free, a park entrance pass is required for all areas of the park from May 1 through October 31.

Access Sand Beach via the Park Loop Road. It is approximately 15 minutes from Bar Harbor.

  • By private vehicle: After passing through the Sand Beach Entrance Station, find parking either in the right hand lane or in the Sand Beach Parking Lot. The Park Loop Road is closed from Mid-December to Mid-April.

Spring, Summer, Fall
Time of Day
Accessibility Information
Sand Beach is not accessible. There is a large staircase leading down to the beach from the parking lot.

There are accessible restrooms located next to the parking lot.

Acadia National Park

Planets and Milky Way over Otter Point
Night sky view from Sand Beach

NPS Photo/Sardius S. Stalker

Enjoy gazing up into the cosmos nestled comfortably on a blanket on Acadia’s only and very popular sandy beach. Visitors may explore Sand Beach at night, but camping or parking overnight are not allowed.

Sand Beach offers a comfortable night sky viewing experience with plenty of room to spread out and peacefully enjoy your stargazing. The view from the beach looks out at Old Soaker with Great Head on the left and Otter Cliffs on the right. In addition to enjoying the night sky, keep an eye out for bioluminescent plankton in the crashing waves.

For those interested in night sky photography, Sand Beach offers an incredible backdrop for photos of the Milky Way, Jupiter, Saturn, and more.

Safety First

  • Careful when navigating in the dark, especially when traveling over uneven or rocky surfaces.

  • Careful when stargazing on beaches or coastlines and avoid going in the water at night.

  • Nighttime in Acadia can get colder than you might expect, so bring layers to stay warm.

  • Mosquitos are common during summer months near water sources. Come prepared with proper clothing or insect repellant for the most comfortable experience.

Last updated: September 7, 2020