Best Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Posted by TripMapper | 28th March 2023

Acadia National Park in Maine is a stunning natural wonder along the Atlantic coastline of the United States. With its rocky granite cliffs, unspoiled beaches, and lush forested paths, this park perfectly blends the beauty of land and sea. Watch the sunrise over Cadillac Mountain or the waves crash against the picturesque Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. Hike through the park's network of trails that wind through lush valleys and ascend majestic peaks, offering awe-inspiring views. From serene lakes to thundering waterfalls, there is little wonder that Acadia National Park is one of the top 10 most-visited national parks in the United States.

Products or services (including apps) featured in this blog are independently selected by the TripMapper team. However, when you buy something through our retail affiliate links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Best Things to Do in Acadia National Park

Your visit to Acadia will be an unforgettable experience and well worth the visit! There are many incredible things to see and do in Acadia National Park:

  • Hike the Precipice Trail which offers stunning views of the park's rugged coastline and is known for its challenging rock scrambles.
  • Drive the scenic 27-mile Park Loop Road that takes you through the park's highlights, including Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond.
  • Enjoy a leisurely walk around the pristine Jordan Pond, known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Take a bike ride along the historic carriage roads, which wind through forests, around lakes, and offer a unique way to explore the park's beauty.
  • Discover the park's coastal beauty by paddling along the shoreline, where you can explore hidden coves, secluded beaches and observe marine wildlife.
  • Relax at Sand beach, Acadia's only sandy ocean beach.
  • Capture the iconic image of Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse perched on the rocky coastline.
  • Experience Acadia's beauty from the water by taking a boat tour, which allows you to see the park's coastal cliffs, wildlife, and remote islands.
  • Witness breathtaking sunrise or sunset views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard of the U.S..
Seasons in Acadia National Park

April to June: Witness blooming wildflowers, cascading waterfalls, and migrating birds.

July to August: Summer temperatures can vary from 45 degrees to 90. Be prepared for quick weather changes from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. Be prepared for crowds!

September to October: Admire the stunning foliage as the park's trees turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. It's a beautiful time to visit, but be aware of variable weather.

November to March: Experience a quieter and more serene Acadia with snowy landscapes and opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Some facilities and roads may be closed during this time.

The park has something to offer every month of the year so the best time to visit Acadia varies depending on what you want to do and your personal preferences. The park's peak season is from June to September when the weather is mild, and facilities and roads are open. Visit in winter, spring, or late fall, to experience Acadia at its most peaceful.

Image by James Coffman on Unsplash
Travelling Around Acadia National Park

With 60 miles of coastline, 33 miles of scenic motor roads, 45 miles of carriage roads, and more than 158 miles of hiking trails, there are numerous ways to explore the park.

Car: The most convenient way to explore the park is by car. The Park Loop Road provides access to various attractions, while the Island Explorer shuttle system operates during the summer, offering free transportation within the park and surrounding communities.

Biking: Acadia is cyclist-friendly. Bicycles can be rented in nearby towns, and the carriage roads offer scenic routes.

Hiking: Hiking opportunities at Acadia are seemingly endless. Immerse yourself in forests, take a leisurely stroll along the rocky coastline or around a lake, or do a more challenging climb from sea level to summits.

Boating: Exploring the coastal areas and nearby islands is best done by boat. Kayaks, canoes, and guided boat tours are available for rent, providing a unique perspective of Acadia National Park.

Best hikes in Acadia National Park

There are 158 miles of trails to explore if you want to experience the park's natural beauty by foot. Want to find the best trails or easiest hikes in Acadia National Park? We recommend checking out the official National Park Service website or AllTrails where you can find the perfect trail for your next trip to Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park entrance fee

The cost to visit Acadia National Park depends on the type of entrance pass or ticket you choose, the mode of transportation, the duration of your visit, and the activities you plan to do.

Acadia National Park charges an entrance fee that grants you access to the park for a certain number of days. As of May 2023, the entrance fees were as follows:

  • Private vehicle - $35.00. Valid for 7 days.
  • Motorcycle - $30.00. Valid for 7 days.
  • Individual (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian) - $20.00. Valid for 7 days.

Check the official National Park Service website for more detailed information on fees. There may be additional charges for specific activities within the park.

Depending on your trip plans, an annual 'America the Beautiful' interagency pass can be great value. As of May 2023, the annual pass cost $80 for US citizens between 16-62 or international visitors. Each pass covers entrance fees at lands managed by the National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service and also standard amenity fees (day use fees) at lands managed by the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers the pass owner and all occupants in a personal vehicle at sites that charge per vehicle or, the pass owner and up to three additional adults (16 and over) at sites that charge per person. Children ages 15 or under are admitted free.

Plan your trip to Acadia National Park

Before you visit Acadia National Park, we recommend checking the official National Park Service website for the most up-to-date information to confirm operating hours, weather, passes and fees, and any restrictions on road access, services and activities.

Make Maine your destination, not only Acadia. Plan your trip using TripMapper, a travel itinerary app that also calculates your vacation budget - the perfect travel planning app! Start planning your trip to Acadia today!

If you're unsure about what to bring for your trip to Acadia National Park, take a look at our packing list for national parks. It should help you prepare for your Acadia adventure!

AFFILIATE LINKS: Products (including apps) or services featured in this blog are independently selected by the TripMapper team. However, when you buy something through our affiliate links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

We think you will also like:

Getting excited about travel?

Sign up for the best travel planning & budgeting app, available on web and mobile.

Get started for free