Tag Archives: things-to-see-and-do

5 tips to beat the crowds while visiting Acadia National Park

UPDATE 5/20/2017: See updated “7 ways for a stress-free visit to Acadia National Park”

With Memorial Day weekend around the corner and this being the park’s Centennial year, more crowds than usual are expected to be visiting Acadia National Park in 2016 – possibly even more than last year’s 2.8 million visitors.

crowds in acadia

Crowds in Acadia can make for an unpleasant experience as seen here on the Park Loop Road and Ocean Path. (NPS photo)

Here are 5 tips to avoid long lines, frustration of finding parking, and other aspects of what can be a maddening crowd. Yes, visiting Acadia National Park during peak times can be stress-free. Why line up behind dozens of other people to pay for a pass, or ask a ranger “Where’s a good place to hike?”

1) Buy your Acadia National Park pass online, go early or late to the main Hulls Cove Visitor Center, or get the pass at one of the other local sites. This is the first year that visitors can buy the usual 7-day pass – and even the annual pass – online. If you’re age 62 or older, you can buy the lifetime Senior Pass for $10 in advance at a participating federal recreation site near home, or via mail. Hulls Cove is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in May, June, September and October, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. July and August. And there are plenty of other local sites you can buy a pass at, as listed on the park’s Web site:

acadia national park pass

For the first time this year you can buy Acadia National Park passes online, whether the  annual pass for $50, or the 7-day passenger vehicle pass for $25. If you buy online, the pass is e-mailed to you for printout. (NPS image)

  • Park headquarters – ME 233 (Eagle Lake Road) – passes sold 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Bar Harbor Village Green Information Center – late May to Columbus Day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thompson Island Information Center – early May to mid-October, hours vary
  • Sand Beach Entrance Station
  • Blackwoods Campground
  • Schoodic Woods Campground
  • Seawall Campground
  • Cadillac Mountain Gift Shop
  • Jordan Pond Gift Shop
  • Mount Desert Town Office
  • Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
  • Southwest Harbor / Tremont Chamber of Commerce
  • L. L. Bean in Freeport, ME

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Warm your valentine’s heart: Finding romance in Acadia

Cozy up in front of a fire this chilly Valentine’s Day, and instead of the usual chocolates, roses or champagne, why not propose a romantic vacation, camping trip – or even wedding – in Acadia National Park?

romantic acadia

As a Facebook friend posted this morning from Mount Desert Island, “Roses are red, violets are blue, happy Valentine’s Day, from snowy Maine to you.” (Photo courtesy of Linda Thayer)

From catching the sunrise on Cadillac, to taking a horse-drawn carriage ride along “Mr. Rockefeller’s roads,” from camping out with a view at the new Schoodic Woods campground to enjoying a candlelit dinner, it’s easy to find romance in Acadia National Park and surrounding communities.

As part of our Ask Acadia on My Mind! series, we’ve answered a couple of questions about romantic things to see and do in Acadia National Park.

Last July, we helped Q pick some romantic settings for engagement photos. And in October, we assisted Aaron from Cleveland plan a camping trip in the fall to celebrate an anniversary with his girlfriend.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some other resources for looking for a little romance in Acadia National Park: Continue reading