Explore the Mount Desert Peninsula: Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park & Surrounding Areas
Road Trip Travel
Acadia National Park is the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline. Situated on Mount Desert Island, Isle au Haut, Schoodic Peninsula and 17 other coastal islands, this park is extremely unique. The popular town of Bar Harbor offers amazing food, featuring free seafood including famous Maine lobster rolls!
The Fora Difference
Book with Alanna to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay in Mount Desert
The Bayview Hotel
This rustic and romantic Bar Harbor hotel has 26 accommodations all located directly on the ocean with private decks.
Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor - Acadia Natl Park, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor - Acadia Natl Park, an IHG Hotel, is a premier coastal getaway that seamlessly blends relaxation, adventure, and comfort, making it the perfect destination for exploring the beauty of Acadia National Park.
Bar Harbor Inn & Spa
Iconic coastal Maine hotel with quintessential New England style.
Unlock perks by contacting Alanna to book your trip.
Things to do in Mount Desert
Traveling by car to the park will be the easiest mode of transportation. Once in the park, however, the Island Explorer Bus Shuttles are fare-free busses that run late June through mid-October within the park and the surrounding communities. While in the main section of the park on Mount Desert Island, take time to drive the Park Loop Road and stopping for the fantastic views of the coast. Cadillac Summit Road does require vehicle reservations and there is no bus service. You can also hike to the top if you do not have a car. Check out the sunrise here if possible!
Trails found here include:
Great Head Trail (easy to moderate and includes the sandy beach)
Beehive Trail (hard trail including rock scrambles and metal rung climbs)
Precipice Trail (hardest trail in the park with steep elevation with rock scrambles and metal rung climbs). If you are not afraid of heights, the views are worth it.
Jordan Pond Path along with any of the Bubbles (moderate hike with a wide view of the park).
Both 1.5 hours before and after low tide, walk the Bar Island Land Bridge from Bar Harbor. Just be certain not to get caught on the island. A water taxi back can cost $150!
Be sure to visit Thunder Hole via parking lot or Ocean Path (easy walking trail along the coast) 1.5-2 hours before high tide to experience the sea against the shore. Pack a raincoat or stand back as you may get very wet!
On Bass Harbor, walk the easy Ship Harbor trail and visit the Bass Harbor Lighthouse, which is also gorgeous during sunrise or sunset.
The Flying Mountain Trail and St.
Sauveur Mountain trails are moderate trails that you pass driving from Mount Desert that are fun if time allows. Same with Beech Mountain!
If time permits, take a ferry to either Isle au Haut or the Schoodic Peninsula for more trails and views of the park!
Do not forget to leave yourself at least a half day to explore the town of Bar Harbor and all it has to offer!
National parks require permits that must be purchased and printed beforehand and left on the dashboard of your vehicle. As always, remember to leave the park as you found it!
Places to eat & drink in Mount Desert
Outside Bar Harbor
Jordan Pond House (Within the park!)
Claremont (Cannot go wrong with any of the places on the property - Little Fern or Batson River Fish Camp.)
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Jennifer McGuire guide, Bar Harbor, Maine: A Multigenerational Family Travel Guide.
Get in touch with Alanna
Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.
You can normally expect a response from Alanna within a business day or so. You'll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).
This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Maine.