USA Travel

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Acadia National Park

Hannah Pinkerton
May 15, 2024

If you’re traveling to Acadia National Park, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of all the amazing things to do in that area!  The area around Acadia offers incredible hikes, picturesque camping sites, and some of the freshest seafood in the US! Maine has some very unique things to offer that can’t be found in other parts of the United States, so this is a trip you won’t want to miss.

Great Hikes 

With so many beautiful landscapes, mountains, and lakes to be found in Acadia National Park, you really can't go wrong when choosing a hiking trail. We love the All Trails app for finding some great hikes., but we have also prepared this list of some of our favorites within Acadia National Park. The views and landscape are just incredible. You can find hikes of varying difficulty and length, and for a variety of skill levels. There's something for everyone.

Fresh Seafood

First on the list, and rightly so, is the fresh seafood. You'll find delicious seafood all over Maine, from Portland to Bar Harbor and beyond. Some of the classics include:

  • Lobster roll sandwich: If you aren't familiar with this tasty meal, it is a sandwich native to New England and also popular in the Canadian Maritimes. It is made of lobster meat served on a grilled hot dog-style bun with the opening on the top rather than the side. 
  • Clam chowder: In case you have never tried clam chowder before, it is a soup containing clams and broth or milk. In addition to clams, common ingredients include diced potatoes, salt pork, onions, and celery. Other vegetables are not typically used.
  • Crab dip: This delicious appetizer is a thick, creamy dip that is typically prepared from cream cheese and lump crab meat. Other primary ingredients such as mayonnaise may be used. Various types of crab preparations, species and superfamilies are used, as are a variety of added ingredients.
  • Clams: Whether raw, steamed, grilled, stuffed, over salad, in soup, or on pizza, clams are a New England specialty.
  • Scallops: These tasty morsels are often served up seared or grilled, in a variety of dishes. No matter how you eat them, they are sure to be delicious.
  • Oysters: Whether raw, grilled, fried, in stew, or wrapped in bacon, you can bet they will be tasty. While not very visually appealing, oysters are low in calories yet loaded with nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Mussels: These delicacies might be found in soup, with pasta, broiled, steamed, baked, with cheese, with curry, or so many other ways!
  • Fish: This seafood staple is fresh and plentiful in Maine! You might find oven baked fish or even fish chowder at your local restaurant.

Nearness to other coastal cities

Another great reason to visit Acadia National Park is its proximity to other cool coastal towns in Maine.

  • Southwest Harbor and Tremont- Located on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, known to locals as "the quiet side.” Part of these towns lies within Acadia National Park. Here you can visit the Butterfly Park or go sailing!
  • Mount Desert- This is the largest island off the coast of Maine. The island is home to numerous well-known summer colonies such as Northeast Harbor and Bar Harbor and is just a few miles away from the park. There are some neat trails to hike, or you can visit the public library, go on a lobster cruise, fishing tour, or rent bicycles and explore. 
  • Ellsworth- Ellsworth was Maine's fastest growing city from 2000–2010. Named after United States Founding Father Oliver Ellsworth, it contains historic buildings and other points of interest, including the nearby Acadia National Park. Ellsworth is located just 15 miles from Acadia National Park. In Ellsworth, you can visit the Homestead Museum and Bird Sanctuary, the Telephone Museum, the Downeast Scenic Railroad, LL Bean Ellsworth, or the local artisan gallery.
  • Trenton- Hancock County- Bar Harbor Airport is located in Trenton. In January 1969, town voters defeated an attempt to build a nuclear power plant and aluminum refinery in Trenton. Trenton is just 7 miles outside of Acadia National Park. In Trenton, you can visit the Kisma Preserve and interact with wolves, take a scenic flight tour, or visit Wild Acadia Fun Park. 

Interested in exploring other parks in the region?  Check out our 22 Must-see Parks in the Northeastern United States

Water Activities 

Not only can you hike along the waterfront, but you can also enjoy some amazing water activities like boating, swimming (temperatures permitting), stand up paddle boarding, sea kayaking, and wildlife boat tours. There are also two lifeguard staffed beaches that permit swimming in the summer months. travelers on our Portland & Acadia trip thought the sea kayaking was epic! 

Great Views 

Besides the hikes in Acadia, you can also catch some amazing views at the overlooks throughout the park! Many places within the park are drivable, which makes Acadia National Park accessible to people of a variety of abilities. We loved driving to Cadillac Mountain and watching the sunrise, wrapped in our sleeping bags, and drinking hot tea and coffee.

We recommend driving the park loop road and taking advantage of the frequent scenic pull offs. The park’s two-lane road is one-way along its coastal sections; the right-hand lane is set aside for parking, so you can stop wherever you'd like to admire the vistas and take lots of photos.

Finally, you can’t miss the Visitor’s Center. You’ll want to snap a picture of the Acadia National Park sign for an epic memory of your trip. You can also check out the gift shop, get a snack, or use the bathroom.

Further Reading:  The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Maine

For more great travel guides and all of our best content make sure you are signed up to our travel blog newsletter

Hannah Pinkerton
Hannah enjoys spreading love in the world through travel, blogging, and teaching Spanish. Her hobbies include exploring in nature, taking naps, and spoiling her two dogs. She is proud to use her organizational and list making skills as an Executive Assistant for U30X.


last minute deals


As Seen In...