Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park


Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park

While planning our recent trip to Acadia National Park, we are so glad we found the Getaway Cabin in Ellsworth.  This cozy cabin tucked away in the woods was the perfect place to stay while exploring Acadia National Park for the week.  The cabin truly felt like home to us and had everything we needed.  Here is a breakdown of why we found the Getaway Cabin to be the perfect place to stay near Acadia National Park.  

Perfect House in the Woods

This cabin was exactly the cozy forest escape we were looking to stay at during our trip to Acadia. With a stunning enclosed patio in the trees, you literally feel like you are in the woods while cozied up next to the fireplace.  We loved spending our morning on this patio drinking coffee and tea while our babies played and we watched the leaves fall (we were visiting late Autumn).  Relaxing on this patio truly was restorative. 

Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park

Beautiful Outdoor Area

Beyond the stunning wood nestled patio, the very private backyard was a really nice place to relax and walk around. We enjoyed sitting in the backyard in the afternoons while our toddler played in the leaves.  She also really enjoyed finding all the different cute frog, rabbit and turtle figures throughout the yard.  Our daughter had to say hi to each one every time we went outside. Further, there is a fire pit in the yard with plenty of seating around it, perfect for a family bonfire and some s’mores. 

Family Friendly 

The Getaway Cabin is SO family friendly.  This was our first ‘big’ trip as a family of 4.  The cabin truly had everything we needed for our 3 month old (including a baby bath, changing table, tummy time blankets, etc.) and 2 year old (including toys, coloring supplies, fun hooded towel, bath toys, etc.).  The cabin also has TWO pack n plays which was HUGE for us.  We did not have to worry about packing and transporting a pack n play for either of our kids which allowed us to travel lighter. 

When we arrived after a long travel day with our two littles, it was so comforting to arrive at a place where we did not have to worry about having everything the kids needed. Some other notable amenities are a washer/dryer (very helpful with two messy little ones) and a full kitchen (very nice to be able to prepare most meals ourselves). 

Close to Activities yet Tucked Away from Hustle and Bustle

The cabin is nestled in the woods outside of the downtown area of Ellsworth and is about 35 minutes outside of Acadia National Park.  We liked being a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the National Park as it is quieter and more relaxing.  With the pretty views on the way into Mount Desert and Acadia National Park from the cabin, this drive went by fast everyday.  Also, being outside of Bar Harbor made accessing different parts of the park easier as many of the roads in Acadia are one-way.  Further, even though the cabin is tucked away in the woods, you are conveniently less than 5 minutes from local Ellsworth restaurants, unique shops (very cute downtown area), gas stations and supermarkets. 

Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park

Fantastic Hosts

Joy and Dave truly went above and beyond.  They made sure we had everything we needed during our stay.  And we mean EVERYTHING.  All supplies were fully stocked (laundry detergent, toilet paper, ample clean towels, etc).   They also seemed to anticipate our needs more than we even did.  We had forgotten our daughter’s toothbrush and toothpaste at home and when we arrived, without telling Joy or Dave, there was a new fun kids toothbrush and new kids toothpaste for us to use.  Also, when we had an issue with our car, Joy was quick to find us a place (on a Sunday) to help us take care of it.  And those are just a couple examples. We cannot say enough nice things about them.  We’ve stayed at over 30 Airbnbs and these are by far the best hosts we have ever had. 

We hope this guide helps you plan where to stay near Acadia National Park.   We can’t wait to visit again.  Visit the Getaway Cabin Airbnb listing to check availability and book your stay.  Joy, one of the hosts, is a great resource while visiting the area and during your stay as well.  She is a fantastic host, always available for questions and will go the extra mile to make sure you have everything you need. 


Planning a trip to Acadia National Park? See our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park and our Top 5 What to do Acadia National Park posts for more helpful information on visiting Acadia.


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What to do Acadia National Park: Top 5


What to do Acadia National Park

Nestled into the northeast coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is home to majestic forests, tranquil ponds, stunning mountains and scenic coastline.  Acadia is also home to over 40 species of animals (including moose, black bears and coyotes) and is the only National Park in New England.  We loved our time in Acadia National Park (and the surrounding area) and would rank Acadia in our top 5 favorite National Parks.  After spending a week in the park, here are our Top 5 What to Do Acadia National Park recommendations. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!

Note: This post is written off a trip taken late October when fall colors were near peak. Also, see our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park and our Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park posts for more helpful information on visiting Acadia.


#1 What to do Acadia National Park: Hike

What to do Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park has so many unique and picturesque hiking trails.  From easy flat wooded and coastline walks to more challenging cliff exposed summit climbs (that utilize metal rungs and ladders), there really is a hiking trail to suit everyone’s hiking abilities in Acadia.  

Further, many of the hiking trails in Acadia National Park intersect and there are many different ways to hike to the same spot.  We loved the ‘choose your own route’ hiking options in Acadia.  These allow you to optimize your time in the park and see many more trails through hiking loop routes rather than exclusive out and back trails.  These build your own options also allow you to opt in or out of more technically challenging paths (ladders, metal rungs, rock scrambling, etc) while still getting to the same summit.  

We spent a week hiking in Acadia National Park and hiked as many of the trails as possible.  See our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park post for more information on all our favorite hikes in the park. Here is a quick rundown of some of the trails in the park. 

  • Best Family Hikes 
    • Jordan Pond
    • Ocean Path
    • Jessup Trail
  • Best Thrill Seeker Hikes
    • Jordan Cliffs Trail
    • Precipice Trail
    • Beehive Trail
  • Best Moderate Hikes
    • South Bubble Trail
    • Beech Cliffs Loop Trail
    • Gorham Mountain

#2 What to do Acadia National Park: Visit Jordan Pond

We loved the Jordan Pond area. Jordan Pond itself is stunning (first picture in post) and you can see some other stunning views from hikes that start here too. You can hike the flat trail around the lake or one of the more challenging hikes for some stunning elevated views of the pond (above).  Further, you can stop in the Pond House, which has been around since the 1890s, for some tasty popovers (puffy bread) and tea after your hike. 

What to do Acadia National Park

See our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park for more on hiking Jordan Cliffs, South Bubble and Jordan Pond.

Tip: Arrive Early for Parking During High Season

We were told by many other travelers that parking is a bit of a mess here during busy season and to arrive as early as possible to get parking. We had no issues parking at the Jordan Pond House during our visit but we were visiting after peak season.


#3: Visit Echo Lake Area

What to do Acadia National Park

The Echo Lake area is somewhat of a hidden gem in the park as it is on the less busy side of the park but has equally pretty views. When we visited, we only saw less than 5 other cars in the parking lot. The beach here was so serene and one of our favorite hikes up Beech cliff was here too. 

See our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park for more on hiking Beech Cliff, Beech Cliff Loop and Canada Cliffs


#4 What to do Acadia National Park: Visit the Oceanarium 

We had one rainy day when we were in Acadia, and we were actually glad we did because we probably would have not come here had we not had a rainy day. The Oceanarium was really cool!  It is located about 10 minutes outside the park entrance along Highway 3 in Mount Desert on your way into the park.  Here, we got to see several naturally uniquely colored lobsters including a very rare blue lobster, tangerine lobster and a half blue/half red lobster. Our daughter also got to touch starfish and sea cucumbers in a touch tank here which she thought was pretty neat. Further, there was a replica lobster boat our daughter enjoyed playing on. Definitely do this if you have littles. And even if you don’t have littles, Sam and I learned a lot about lobsters and enjoyed visiting here too. 


#5 What to do Acadia National Park: Eat a Lobster Roll 

These are so yummy! Lobster rolls consist of rich lobster dressed with a butter or mayonnaise based sauce inside a hot-dog style bun, served hot or cold.  They are pricey but get at least one while you are here. We had a fun experience at Downeast Lobster (a bit North of the park) where we actually got to hold our Lobster before it was cooked. There are many places to try out different style rolls in the greater Acadia area. In our opinion, the Lobster rolls are much tastier than the plain lobster itself (and a lot less work to eat). 


Honorable What to do Acadia National Park Mentions

  1. Bike Carriage Roads–The carriage roads were built by John D. Rockfeller Jr. in the early 1900s as a way to travel the valleys and mountains of Acadia on motor-free byways via horse and carriage. The roads give different expansive and close-up views throughout the park.  If we did not have two very little travelers in tow, we would have biked these roads. 
  2. Visit Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse–This is a very pretty and picturesque spot (picture above). We’d recommend coming here to watch the sunrise or sunset on the rocks (Note: not safe for young children though).  Otherwise, there is not much to do here other than view the lighthouse.
  3. Lobster Boat Tour–For a classic Maine activity, take the Lulu Lobster Boat.  This is the only lobster boat tour in Bar Harbor. 
  4. Sunrise at Cadillac Mountain–Seeing sunrise at Cadillac Mountain is a classic Acadia activity.  It is very popular as it is one of the first spots in the US to see the sunrise and you can drive here.  This is a great option to get panoramic and high up coastline views without hiking.  We honestly think you get better views hiking throughout the park though and would skip this one if you are able to hike.  Important note, you typically need to make a reservation for this prior to visit (we did not need these as we were visiting after October 15th).  Check recreation.gov for the most uptodate information on need for reservations. 

Acadia National Park FAQs

Where to stay near Acadia National Park? 

We LOVED our stay at the Getaway Cabin a bit outside of Acadia in Ellsworth.  This cozy cabin nestled in the woods was the perfect escape and place to relax after days spent exploring the park.  This cabin truly felt like home.  For more on our stay, see our Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park post. 

Best time to visit Acadia National Park?

If able, visit Acadia during fall colors as it’s stunning and less busy than the summer season.  We visited about a week after ‘typical’ peak fall colors and loved how we had most of the trails to ourselves (other than around the very popular Beehive/Sand Beach).  At this time, we did not need reservations for Cadillac Mountain sunrise either.  Although fall timeframe would always be our first choice, you really cannot go wrong visiting Acadia during any season.

How does Acadia compare to other National Parks? 

Acadia is the only National Park in New England.  It is unique in that it has coastline, ponds, forests and mountains all within one park.  This is also the only National Park where we have ever used metal rungs and ladders on our hikes.   We loved our time in Acadia (and the surrounding area) and think it is a gem.  We’d rank Acadia in our top 5 favorite National Parks.

Planning a trip to Acadia? Please see our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park and our Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park posts for more helpful information on visiting the park.


We hope this guide helps you plan what to do in Acadia National Park.  Anything you’d add to our guide?  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

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Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park


Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park has so many unique and picturesque hiking trails. We are so glad we had the opportunity to hike so many of the trails here to determine our best hikes in Acadia National Park list.  From easy flat wooded and coastline walks to more challenging cliff exposed summit climbs (that utilize metal rungs and ladders), there really is a hiking trail to suit everyone’s hiking abilities in Acadia. 

Further, many of the hiking trails in Acadia National Park intersect and there are many different ways to hike to the same spot.  We loved the ‘choose your own route’ hiking options in Acadia.  These allow you to optimize your time in the park and see many more trails through hiking loop routes rather than exclusive out and back trails.  These build your own options also allow you to opt in or out of more technically challenging paths (ladders, metal rungs, rock scrambling, etc) while still getting to the same summit. 

We spent a week hiking in Acadia National Park and after hiking many of the trails, here is our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park list. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Note: This post is written off a trip taken late October when fall colors were near peak. Also, see our Top 5 What to do Acadia National Park and our Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park posts for more helpful information on visiting Acadia.


#1 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park: Jordan Cliffs, South Bubble & Jordan Pond Loop

This was our favorite hike in the park and wins the spot as #1 for the Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park.  The variety we saw on this loop trail made it stand out from the others.  We started this hike midmorning at the Jordan Pond House with stunning lighting and stillness over Jordan Pond at the beginning of the trail at this time (see picture above). 

We then headed clockwise to the Jordan Cliffs Trail (view shown in first picture in post) and hiked along the exposed cliffs overlooking the pond.  The Jordan Cliffs Trail was unique in that it not only had cliff exposure but also had metal rungs and challenging rock scrambles.  This route was a bit more challenging than we anticipated and we had to hike it very slowly but felt safe doing so. 

You then will turn and hike on the Bubbles Divide Trail to hike up to the South Bubble.  The views to the north (see picture below) and over Jordan Pond are really stunning, some of our favorites from the trip.  Then you head back to the Jordan Pond House on the flat Jordan Pond Path.  

Logistics: 4.8 Miles, 1200 feet of elevation gain, loop

Hike Spring Trail from Jordan Pond House → Jordan Cliffs Trail → Bubbles Divide Trail → South Bubble Trail → Jordan Pond Path to Jordan Pond House

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Tip: Hike Jordan Cliffs, South Bubble and Jordan Pond Loop Clockwise 

The Jordan Cliffs Trail has some particularly challenging rock scrambles and metal rungs to hike.  These are much easier to conquer clockwise (up) than counterclockwise (down).  We were advised by park rangers and other hikers to not attempt the route counterclockwise (down) and are glad we listened. 

This trail was harder than we anticipated but we were able to safely hike it slowly.  However, if you are new to hiking, hesitant with baby wearing or afraid of heights, we would not recommend the Jordan Cliffs Trail to you.  Instead, you may prefer to hike the easier flat and not technically challenging Jordan Pond Trail to the Bubbles Divide Trail.  You will not get the stunning cliff views of the Jordan Cliffs Trail but will still get some really nice elevated views of Jordan Pond from the South Bubble.  This hike reminded us of hiking around Devil’s Lake with slightly more cliff exposure. 

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Tip: Eat Popovers at Jordan Pond House After Hiking 

The perfect treat after your hike! Popovers are a large fluffy bread that are in the shape of a large muffin but very airy and not sweet. Our best comparison is a creme puff without the creme.  They are served with butter and jam.  Afternoon tea and popovers were the perfect treat after a long hike on a chilly fall day.  The Jordan Pond House has been serving popovers and tea since the 1890s. 


#2 Best Hikes in Acadia: Beech Cliff Ladder, Beech Cliff Loop & Canada Cliff 

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

This hike nearly ties with the first as our favorite hike in Acadia. It is a great bang for your buck hike as you get stunning lake and coastline views (that are especially colorful in fall) relatively quickly.  This hike has a little bit of everything when it comes to reaching the summit–exposed cliff walks, ladders, metal rungs and rock scrambles.  However, that being said, we did not find this hike technically challenging. 

Tip: Hike Beech Cliff Trail and Canada Cliffs Loop Counterclockwise

We highly recommend hiking this trail counterclockwise so that you climb up the ladders rather than down them.  Here you first hike up the Beech Cliff Trail to the Beech Cliff Summit.  This is the only part of the hike that involves any metal rungs or ladders. Then, after reaching the top of the Beech Cliff Trail, be sure to turn to the right and continue onto the short Beech Cliff Loop offshoot (easy to miss).  The views on the Beech Cliff Loop are truly the highlight of this trail.  After walking on the stunning Beech Cliff Loop, you will head along the exposed cliffs before making your descent slowly back through the woods on the Canada Cliffs Trail. 

Logistics: 2.2 Miles, 500 feet elevation gain, loop

Hike Beech Cliff Ladder Trail from Echo Lake Beach Entrance→ Beech Cliff Loop (be sure to add this as the views here are the highlight of the hike) → Canada Cliff Trail 

Tip: If looking to escape crowds, hike Beech Cliff and visit Echo Lake

We saw less than 5 cars in the parking lot here (Echo Lake) on our weekday fall hike.  We encountered less people here than on any of our other hikes.  This area of the park was so peaceful and serene.  Echo lake is so pretty too! However, it may be more busy during warm summer months with people swimming at the beach.


#3 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park: Beehive/Bowl/Gorham

The Beehive is probably the most well-known and popular trail in Acadia. It has many steep cliff exposures and ladders, making it a unique challenge. Also, it is only 1.5 miles round trip if hiked alone.  It further offers impressive views of the coastline and foliage, especially in the fall, at the summit. 

Note: Two Ways to Reach the Beehive Summit

You start this trail (as a loop like we did or as a stand alone hike) at the Sand Beach parking lot.  There are two ways to hike to the Beehive Summit. One on a shorter more technically challenging path and one on a longer but less technically demanding path. Since we were both baby/toddler wearing, we opted for the longer, less technically challenging route. This route is nicknamed the ‘back door to Beehive’ which is very fitting. On this route, you pass by a pretty lake, the Bowl. You do retrace your steps coming back on the Bowl Trail before meeting up with Gorham Mountain Trail (or getting back to the parking lot if hiking as stand alone trail)

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Gorham Mountain and Ocean Path to Finish Loop

Gorham Mountain (above view) also offers very pretty views over the coast as well as panoramic views further into the park at the summit. We only saw two other people at the summit of Gorham whereas we saw dozens at the summit of the Beehive, so this was a nice retreat from the people. After hiking to the Gorham Summit, you head back down to meet up with the Ocean Path. Once on the Ocean Path, you get pretty ocean views (parallel park loop road) before arriving back at the Sand Beach parking lot.  Be sure to spend some time at Sand Beach as it is one of the few areas in the park where you can walk directly along the ocean.  We visited two different times during our trip. 

Note: The Beehive Part of this Hike is Busy and Slippery When Wet! 

We rank this hike lower than most other hikers. The Beehive is very busy, maybe too busy, and we found it less peaceful than other trails.  We also hiked this route after recent rain and even without hiking the more technically challenging Beehive route, we had to be very careful with our footing as it was still quite slippery. We would not recommend hiking Beehive itself after any sort of rain given how slippery the easier and safer option was after recent rain. 

Logistics: 

  • Combination of Beehive, Gorham and part of Ocean Path—3.5 Miles, 750 feet of elevation gain hike, loop (hiking via the Bowl adds about a mile onto the route) 
  • Beehive alone—1.5 Miles, 500 feet of elevation gain, loop
  • Gorham Mountain alone—1.8 miles, 500 feet of elevation gain, loop

From the parking lot at Sand Beach, hike the Bowl Trail to summit Beehive → then back on Bowl Trail→  Gorham Mountain Trail → Gorham Mountain Summit → get to Gorham parking lot/Ocean Path by taking the Cadillac Cliffs Trail (more exposed) or Gorham Mountain Trail → meet up with the Ocean path (parallels Park Loop Road, cross street from Gorham Mountain parking lot) to get back to the Sand Beach parking lot.


#4 Best Hikes in Acadia: Dorr Mountain via Ladder Trail & Cannon Brook Trail

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Looking for a stair-master workout? Well this climb is for you! The hike to the top of Dorr Mountain is about a mile and very steep. However, we really liked this route as you got a lot of variety in scenery and it was so serene (we only saw one other person and one coyote). 

You hike the steep ladder trail to the summit of Dorr Mountain first.  This has 3 ladders to climb but we found them to be easy without any cliff exposure and with stable placement.  The trail is mostly steep rock steps. Note, there is one narrow rock passage to walk through that may be an issue if you have a really wide backpack carrier (ours fit).  Once at Dorr Mountain Summit, you take the Dorr Ridge South Trail down the mountain while enjoying stunning coastline views that are very pretty in fall.  You will then meet up with the Canon Brook Trail that is mainly flat and easy.  The fall colors on the Canon Brook Trail were very stunning.  We saw a coyote from a distance on this trail too. 

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Logistics: 3.4 Miles, 1200 feet of elevation gain, loop

Hike Ladder Trail→ summit of Dorr Mountain→ take Dorr Ridge South Trail to enjoy coastline views → then Canon Brook Trail (it is flat, easy and beautiful in the fall) → brings you back to beginning of Ladder Trail


#5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park: Ocean Path

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

The Ocean Path is an easy and beautiful coastline hike, landing it a spot in our Top 5 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park list.  We found the second half of this hike (after the Gorham Mountain parking lot on Park Loop Road) to be really serene and beautiful. It was also more of a trail and is tucked a bit away from the road in comparison to the first half. The first half of the hike has very pretty views too but is also directly next to Park Loop Road and very busy with hikers as it is easily accessible for large tour buses.  This is a great hike for anyone not looking for a steep or technical climb but stunning views nonetheless.

Logistics: 4 Miles, 375 feet of elevation gain, Out & Back

Hike at Different Times/Sections

We actually hiked the Ocean Path as two separate hikes as we combined the first half of the trail with hiking to Beehive/Gorham Mountain (outlined above as #3) and then hiked the second half of the hike another day as a separate hike (parked at Gorham Mountain parking lot).  

Note: You can see the highlights of this trail driving/stopping on Park Loop Road but we found it to be nicer/more serene to hike it. You are taking a slower pace walking and can truly take in the scenery.


Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots


We hope this 5 best hikes in Acadia National Park guide helps you plan your hiking in Acadia.  Anything you’d add to our guide?  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!

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