Planning a trip to Acadia National Park? Be warned: it’s an easy place to fall in love with! Acadia has incredible scenery, and it’s surrounded by charming coastal villages. It has 125 miles of hiking trails and a rich history of philanthropy. And, it has one of the most explosively colorful autumns that I’ve ever seen.
To make your next trip to Acadia just perfect, here are some highlights from Acadia and the surrounding coastal towns:
Catch sunrise from the peak of Cadillac.
Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak on the Atlantic coast. It’s also the earliest sunrise in the United States.
Alternatively, you can drive to the top of Cadillac and walk .15 miles to the summit. If you decide to catch sunrise this way during peak summer season, make sure you get there early! Catching the sunrise on Cadillac is popular, and parking can get crazy if you arrive late.
Pop into The Asticou for a popover.
The Asticou Inn is in Northeast Harbor, and their popovers are well worth the short drive from Acadia.
In case you’ve never had a popover before (like me), they’re basically super fluffy, muffin-shaped scones. And The Asticou serves them with whipped butter and blueberry or strawberry jam. For $2 extra you can also add premium toppings, like Maine maple pecan butter or Blueberry jam and lemon curd.
The Asticou’s restaurant has indoor/outdoor seating that looks out onto the harbor, and it’s also a great place to stop by for dinner. I’d recommend the crab cakes!
Take a canoe out on Long Pond.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the weather and peaceful scenery in Acadia is from a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. You can rent one quite cheaply, around $35 for a half day.
It’s a gorgeous way to spend the afternoon. Just make sure you check the weather first! The lakes around Acadia can get quite windy some days.
If you’re scared of hikes, I’d recommend skipping Precipice. But of the hikes I’ve done in Acadia, it was easily the most memorable!
It’s only one mile (one way), but the warning signs aren’t kidding! You literally will be scrambling up an exposed cliff face, using metal rungs.
Since it’s so steep, it’s recommended that you don’t try and descend the Precipice Trail. Instead, you can take the Champlain North Ridge Trail to the Orange & Black Path, which will take you back to the Precipice Trail parking lot.
Hang out in downtown Bar Harbor.
When you get tuckered out from exploring Acadia, there’s a fair amount to do in the neighboring town of Bar Harbor.
Check out Fiore for olive oil tasting! They have toothpicks, tiny crusts of bread, and dozens of artisan olive oils and vinegars that you can sample.
I particularly liked their Maine Wild Blueberry Balsamic. But their more classic EVOOs will also impress you. It’s tough to walk out without buying anything!
At night, check out ImprovAcadia, the local comedy group. They’re impressively creative and funny!
As a final note, a trip to Acadia will be beautiful any time of the year. But if you visit after mid-October, many of the surrounding businesses close for the season. For the best possible trip, I’d recommend late September or early October to catch the gorgeous fall colors.
Have a great time in Acadia!
And if you’re planning on doing some remote work while you’re in the area, check out this list of the best places to work near Acadia.