MDI & Acadia National Park

MDI & Acadia National Park

The towns of Mount Desert Island are entwined with Acadia National Park, making it easy to enjoy community amenities—lodgings, shopping, eateries, excursions, and the like—as well as to get into the park for its many recreational and scenic opportunities.

For the most convenience, ditch your car at your lodging and hop on the Island Explorer, a free, seasonal shuttle bus that serves MDI, Acadia, and neighboring communities on the mainland. You can flag it down wherever you are; it even takes bikes. Be sure to explore not only downtown and waterfront Bar Harbor, the hub of visitor activity, but the quieter communities of Southwest Harbor, Tremont, and Northeast Harbor.

Acadia’ features are near-endless. A climb up Cadillac Mountain beckons for a view of its glacier-formed slopes and the Porcupine Islands in the distance. Traveling along the Park Loop Road, you come to iconic spots like Thunder Hole, producing a sharp boom with the rolling waves; Sand Beach and Great Head, featuring spreads of wild roses; and the famous 110-foot-high Otter Cliffs, its weathered granite set ablaze by the rising sun. Forty-five miles of crushed-stone carriage roads are perfect for walking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

In Bar Harbor, learn about the native Wabanaki Nations at the Abbe Museum, itself an architectural gem. Then roam elsewhere on MDI for the Seal Cove Auto Museum, featuring Brass Era automobiles and motorcycles; and Thuya and Asticou Gardens, gorgeous creations of the early to mid-20th century. Then relax at Jordan Pond House and sample popovers, a summer tradition dating back to the 1890s.