Acadia National Park: Celebrating 100 Years of Natural Beauty

You blinked and summer is gone.

Do you feel like vacation season slipped out of reach before you could plan one of your own? Are you scrambling to savor those last warm days with a weekend getaway? We have the perfect place for you: Bar Harbor, Maine. More specifically, Acadia National Park, which is celebrating their Centennial throughout 2016. Easy to access via a fast Cape Air flight from Boston to Bar Harbor, spectacular scenery, and activities for all ages and interests makes this national park a must-see. Read on for the top 5 attractions at Acadia National Park!


1. The Cadillac of Mountains

Cadillac Mountain towers above the park at 1530 feet and is the highest point along the Atlantic seaboard. It’s also the first place to see the sunrise in the US between October and March. It’s one of many mountains on Mount Desert Island (MDI) that were formed by volcanic and tectonic forces millions of years ago. The peak can be accessed by car via Summit Road with several scenic observation points along the way, or by hiking one of several trails of varying difficulty. Enjoy the breathtaking views along the way!

Photo credit: Julia Walker Thomas, Friends of Acadia

2. Hit the Beach

On a warm day or after a long hike, the beach is a welcome reprieve. You can pick from two beaches within Acadia depending on your preferences. Looking for a quaint cove and a cool dip in the ocean? Sand Beach is your best best with its fragmented shell base, views of the wide open sea, and cozy location between two granite barriers. Prefer something more secluded? Try the freshwater Echo Lake Beach for its perspective of the Beech Mountain cliffs and warmer water temperature.

Photo credit: Friends of Acadia

3. Wander the Carriage Roads

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was inspired by his desire to drive throughout MDI without encountering disruptive motor vehicles. He created nearly 57 miles of roads that were made to withstand Maine’s coastal climate and aligned them with the natural contours and highlights of the existing land. Today these roads are ideal for a leisurely bike ride or a quiet walk amongst the wilderness.

Photo credit: Friends of Acadia

4. Brace Yourself at Thunder Hole

The power of Acadia’s rugged coast is accurately captured by Thunder Hole: a small, cavernous inlet that erupts in a thunderous roar when a wave and air hits it just right. Kids and adults alike love the intensity of this natural phenomenon. Beware: the water is likely to spout as high as 40 feet, so bring your raincoat!

Photo credit: Friends of Acadia

5. A Cliff to Remember

Otter Cliff, located less than a mile past Thunder Hole, is one of the most breathtaking sights in Acadia. Sitting at 110 feet high, the cliff is popular for painters and photgraphers as the views are second to none. The cliff is accessible via a small path off Park Loop Road. You’ll notice thousands of weather boulders as you approach the cliff. These have been eroded by centuries of pounding ocean waves and exist today as a reminder of the ever-changing landscape of Acadia. Tip: You can check out Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff by walking the Ocean Path, which contains a wide perspective of spectacular views.

Photo credit: Friends of Acadia

Ready to go?

Now it’s time to book your Cape Air flight and pack your suitcase. Beautiful Acadia is waiting for you!


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