Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

Only A Day

Acadia’s compact size makes it easy to take in many of the park’s highlights in one day. To make the most of your time, begin your day before 9 a.m. During the summer, the park is busiest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Don’t try to crowd too much into your day. See what you can, see it well, and make plans for a return trip.

Visitor Center

Hulls Cove Visitor Center opens at 8 a.m. during the summer. A 15-minute show will acquaint you with the park’s history and its mountains-meet-the-sea character. You can also pick up a free map and other park literature here.

Park Loop Road

Acadia’s Park Loop Road is an ideal day trip. This 27-mile loop takes in much of the eastern half of Acadia, winding along the rocky coast past Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs. It then swings inland through the park’s wooded interior, past Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake and past a series of mountain peaks. There are frequent turnouts where you can stop to admire the views. On a clear day, you can see Schoodic Point from Otter Cliffs. At the South Bubble turnout, look for the large boulder on the mountaintop that was left behind by a receding glacier. 

If time and weather permit, park your car and sample some of Acadia on foot. Some short but scenic walks include the dramatic Ocean Path along Frenchman Bay, the hike up Gorham Mountain and the self-guided nature walk on the shores of Jordan Pond. Stop by the Jordan Pond House for warm popovers and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

The Park Loop Road culminates with the drive to the summit of 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain. From here, you’ll be able to survey all of Acadia and the surrounding bays—a view that is especially spectacular at day’s end, when the setting sun suffuses the landscape with its warm light.

Mount Desert Island

To finish off your day in Acadia, spend your evening strolling among the shops and restaurants of one of Mount Desert Island’s quaint communities. You can also take a sunset or moonlight sail on Frenchman Bay. Should you decide to stay the night, choose among the island’s many inns, hotels and bed-and-breakfasts.