The Basics for Visiting the Acadia National Park

The Basics for Visiting the Acadia National Park

Off the coast of the state of Maine, the 49,000 acres of Acadia National Park give visitors the opportunity to be mesmerized by nature’s beauty. It changes its look every season, making it a must-visit all year round. This isolated paradise brings unforgettable memories to last a lifetime.

Considered as the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast”, the park’s natural beauty was a product of the area’s rich cultural heritage. Join the over 3.5 million people visiting the Acadia National Park, and here are the things you should know before you go.

Location

the Rugged Coast of Acadia National Park Acadia National Park travel guide
the Rugged Coast of Acadia National Park

With the technology-driven world, search on the GPS on your smart device for its two most common entry points – Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula. This will take you in the right direction when traveling by land while proceeding with caution as some roads are one way. However, some roads might be closed during winter. If coming by plane, there are direct flights from Boston’s Logan Airport to Hancock County Airport which is 10 miles from the park. Car rentals are also available at the airport, while some areas near the park offer shuttle rides.

Weather

the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park
the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park

The peak visitor season is during summer, from late June to September. The temperature may range from 7 to 32 degrees Celsius (45 to 90 degrees in Fahrenheit), but there could be weather changes during this period, especially on the park’s different mountain peaks. Those who would like to see the colorful plants and trees can visit during October (fall season).

Accommodation

Holiday Inn Bar Harbor Regency Hotel
Holiday Inn Bar Harbor Regency Hotel

Since it is a tourist attraction, there are different accommodations available in the area, especially in Bar Harbor. There are popular hotel chains like Holiday Inn and Wyndham, holiday homes, bed and breakfasts, and even glamping tents. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from, including the popular fresh Maine lobsters from the sea available in the docks.

Activities

Osprey fishing in Acadia National Park, Maine
Osprey fishing in Acadia National Park, Maine

The park is full of serene areas, but it is not short of fun activities. This includes biking, water activities, swimming, tide pooling, and boating. On the other hand, relaxing activities include stargazing at the beautiful night sky of Acadia and watching different bird species such as bald eagles and warblers (An American naturist one referred to an island in the park to be the “warblers capital of the world”). It is important to note that some of these activities may require permits and might not be free for all.

Permits

 National Park Service app in iOS
National Park Service app in iOS

Not all of the park areas are open to anyone visiting. Some areas require a permit that should be submitted not less than 14 days before coming. For example, vehicle reservations are required for a specific period in the Cadillac Summit. Activities like climbing and special events (like weddings, filming, or some events of over 20 participants) require Special Use Permits.

If something is unclear or need assistance, you can visit the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. There are self-serve maps, park rangers, and information to help you get started. However, the visitor center is operating seasonally. There is a National Park Service app available for Android and iOS devices to provide more information for the timings, including some self-help guides to getting started.

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