Acadia National Park in Maine, New England was the first to be created on the East Coast of the USA, and it’s not difficult to see why.
Driving north along the coast of Maine, you’re treated to picturesque New England towns that charm you with their softly-coloured wooden houses and dozens of lobster pounds dotting the roads. Then, as you enter Acadia, the first thing that strikes you is that the scenery just got even more stunning! Large stretches of water, towering mountain peaks tipped with snow in the background, lush vegetation (at this time of year anyway). We knew we’d be spoilt for choice when looking for things to do here with our little boy, so we tried to make the most of our time!
If you’re planning a trip to Acadia, here are our top 5 things to do with kids in Acadia:
Bike Around the Park Loop
We LOVED our cycle around the mountain, the car-free carriage roads are perfect for cycling or hiking, and are even suitable for strollers if you’d rather walk the stretch. Take in the shady woods, while you gaze over Eagle Lake and Jordan’s Pond crystal clear waters. Sadly you’re not allowed to swim or paddle in the lakes as they are a key water source for nearby Bar Harbour. We rented bikes from Acadia Bikes – they were really helpful and friendly, and when one of our bikes had a problem halfway round, they send someone out with a replacement straightaway. find out more about our experience here.
Walk/Drive Up Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak in Acadia, and offers epic views over the park, the ocean and its islands. There are a few small trails you can do up the mountain, which I can’t recommend enough – you’ve made it this high, so make sure you explore as much as possible! Lovely spot for a picnic if you don’t mind a bit of wind.
Get an Ice Cream & Explore Bar Harbour
Acadia’s main town, Bar Harbour is a hub of what is so great about Maine – good food, hospitable people, wonderful scenery and a relaxed-small town vibe. We had a scrumptious ice-cream at Ben & Bill’s (look out for the giant lobster at the door) and a similarly memorable late breakfast at Jeannie’s Great Maine Café.
Visit the Bass Harbour Lighthouse
The less-visited roads of Mount Desert Island beg a visit, and while there you must go to the Bass Harbour Lighthouse, the only one on the island. This quiet setting is perfect for a bit of relaxing, or if you’re in the mood for some walking, there are also trails originating at the lighthouse.
Seal Harbour & Beach
At the southeastern end of the island, you’ll find Seal Harbour, a quaint little town with a sandy and pebbly beach, which was great for our little one to play around. The views are once again stupendous, and you can’t beat the atmosphere – with the mix of the views, docking lobster boats, and if you’re lucky, gloomy weather (kidding, not kidding) you can’t get much more Maine than this!
Have you been to Acadia National Park? Is there something you think is an absolute must and we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!