There is such a abundance of things to do and see, eat and buy, hike and climb in Acadia, that your best bet would be to have a look at their websites listed above.
You might check the cruise ship schedule that will be hanging on the fridge in Kill Kare prior to going so you can time your visit to avoid those days that cruise ships are in port. Acadia is busy enough during the summer months without adding ship passengers to the mix!
Below are just a few of the things that we like to do in Acadia.
We suggest that you stop at the Information Center which is located on the right just after you cross the bridge onto the island from Trenton (pictured at top left of the map). Knowledgeable park staff will have maps, an abundance of things to suggest you do and see and be able to answer your questions. There are also public restrooms here.
Jordan Pond House: Acadia National Park – near the Bubbles, Park Loop Road – about 20 miles from Bar Harbor. 207-276-3316, http://acadiajordanpondhouse.com/. An absolute must for afternoon tea and their legendary popovers and strawberry jam. Reservations for tea are strongly recommended unless you don’t mind waiting in line. Don’t miss the gift shop! And, there is a lovely walk around the Pond for the more adventurous types.
Enjoy lunch under the festive yellow umbrellas at the Terrace Grille overlooking Frenchman Bay. The Grille opens at 11:30 and remains open as long as weather permits – sometimes into the night. They serve drinks and lite fare as well as selections from their Reading Room full menu and our always popular Downeast Lobster Bake. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Walk off your lunch by taking the scenic Cliffside Walk that starts right at the Terrace Grill.
Asticou Inn: 15 Peabody Drive, Northeast Harbor, Maine 04662, 800-258-3373, 207-276-3344, www.asticou.com (Serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in their harbor side dining room or outside deck) The Acadia Corporation has entered into a collaboration with the Asticou Inn & Restaurant in Northeast Harbor. They will be bringing the best of the Jordan Pond House menu from their tenure at Jordan Pond to the Asticou Inn. The Asticou has a beautiful deck that overlooks scenic Northeast Harbor. It will be a perfect spot for Tea & Popovers, lobster stew, seafood chowder and our homemade premium ice cream.
The Asticou Gardens: “Adjacent to The Asticou Inn, The Asticou Azalea Garden is an elegant and priceless garden filled with wonderful visual delights that will stimulate the soul. The design is fluid allowing interlacing discoveries that will bring delightful pause as you meander through the pathways that are bordered with charm. Sit and reflect on the many benches provided while you breathe in the aroma. This is one of the wonderful jewels of Mount Desert Island in Maine.” (From their website)
Thuya Gardens: Peabody Drive, Northeast Harbor, Maine, www.gardenpreserve.org. 207-276-5130. “The Thuya Garden and surrounding land is a wonderful blend of semi-formal English border beds and indigenous eastern Maine woodlands situated on a granite hillside overlooking Northeast Harbor.” (From their website) A real gem. One can either walk or drive up to the gardens). A must for gardeners!
The Holmes Store: 114 Main Street, Northeast Harbor, Maine 04662, 207-276-3273 (Clothing Retailers – Vineyard Vines, Bill’s Khaki’s, foul weather gear, pants with little red lobsters embroidered on them…you’ve just got to go home with a pair of those!)
Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream: 7 Firefly Lane and 325 Main Street, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, 207-460-5515, www.mdiic.com, extraordinarily good home-made ice cream with flavors like “Girl Scouts Gone Wild” – and even a flavor for your favorite four-legged friend!
Diver Ed: 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine (College of the Atlantic), 1-800-979-3370 for tickets, www.divered.com This is highly recommended by a repeat renter with kids and grandchildren!
Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theater is a 2-hour scenic boat ride out into Frenchman Bay in Acadia National Park, where Diver Ed & his sidekick “Mini Ed” dive down to the ocean floor with real-time video and sound equipment, allowing you to see and hear the ocean floor from the comfort of the deck. Captain Evil remains topside to interpret and explain, until Diver Ed resurfaces… with critters in tow! Touch tanks allow you to see, feel, and even kiss the actual animals themselves before returning them to their habitat and returning home.
Trips on the Starfish Enterprise depart from the pier at College of the Atlantic, 105 Eden St., Bar Harbor (map). Meet up at the Dorr Museum. Parking at the North lot, or take the Island Explorer bus.
“…please accept my thanks for an experience that has been recounted to more relatives & friends by our boys than any other experience from our New England trip…I’ve heard of other such trips that friends have done in other places, but none of them had a Diver Ed with a GREAT sense of humor! The experience made the sea creatures truly memorable, real, & part of the boys’ world by learning about them & touching them. We all need to keep working on making all learning that much fun & that real. Bravo!” (From their website)
Climb the Beehive and have a refreshing (read “brisk”) swim at Sand Beach – one of the few sand beaches on the coast of Maine. Or, check out some of the other hiking trails in Acadia – listed according to difficulty.