Acadia National Park Top 5 Attractions

Maine’s scenic national park is a favorite among many. And with all of its natural beauty, small town charm, and opportunities for adventure, it’s no wonder. Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park feels like the perfect place for a quiet getaway. Whether you come in the fall to enjoy the stunning foliage ​or visit in the summer to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, Maine is a beautiful area to tour. Before you plan your trip, check out the top things to do in Acadia National Park, so you don’t miss a thing!

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    Cadillac Mountain
    ••• Gail Shotlander / Getty Images

    Bursting into the sky at 1,530 feet high, Cadillac is the highest mountain on the east coast north of Brazil. It is the perfect place to bring a blanket and head up to the top, accessible by car or foot, to catch the sunrise for an amazing view of the coast.

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    Acadia National Park. Maine. USA. Horse & cart on historic carriage trail in autumn. Mt. Desert Island.
    ••• Scott Smith / Getty Images

    While the park offers 125 miles of historic hiking trails, one of the most unique ways to explore the park is by taking a horse-drawn carriage tour or bike ride of the park's scenic 45-mile carriage road system. A variety of carriage tours are offered from mid-June to early October. If you’re interested, check out the tours and prices online before you travel, as reservations are recommended.

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    Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine, New England, United States of America, North America
    ••• Alan Copson / Getty Images

    Say what? Leef peeping is the technical term for those seeking the beauty of fall foliage. Acadia is one of the most spectacular places to visit in the fall due to an explosion of color in the park’s forests. Thanks to a fire in 1947, more than 17,000 acres of Mount Desert Island burned making room for deciduous trees, which change to rich shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall. Peak color varies from year to year, though in general, it happens in mid-October, so check online for foliage reports.

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    Tide pool with mussels, periwinkles, and rockweed along the Atlantic coast in Acadia National Park, Maine. | Location: Wonderland Nature Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine, USA.
    ••• Raymond Gehman/Getty Images

    Sure, we can advise you the usual: camping, hiking, and biking, but Acadia offers unique opportunities, one of which is tidepooling. Exploring the area where the ocean meets land is a surprisingly fascinating way to spend some time. Grab the kids and explore things like barnacles, mussels, sea stars, anemones, and sometimes even crabs or young lobsters. It’s pretty cool to see another aspect of wildlife that you never really think about.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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    The Town Of Bar Harbor,Maine,USA
    ••• Peter Unger / Getty Images

    Technically, this quaint town may not be an official section of the park, but it is a must-see for all visitors. Part of Acadia’s charm is that you feel like you stepped into a small town where strangers say, “Good morning,” children are eating ice cream, and elderly couples are sharing a laugh on a bench. Sounds adorable, right? Whether you want to go whale watching or shop for antiques, this town is just plain delightful. Oh, and be sure to try the lobster ice cream. (Warning: It tastes like lobster and ice cream.)

Acadia National Park is one of the best national parks you will ever visit mainly because it offers everything you want out of a vacation: opportunities to camp, hike and bike, oceans to swim in, horseback riding, as well as a town to pick up antiques or an ice cream cone. There’s a lot of beauty to see, whether you visit in the summer or fall, so bring your camera and a good pair of shoes!