Located on the southeast coast of Maine, Acadia National Park may be small, but it has it all.The region attracts over 3 million visitors each year and is known for its vast forests, stunning coastlines and peaceful hikes.It's most popular in the fall, when rainbow-colored foliage creates the perfect photo backdrop – though we think it's just as beautiful any time of year, especially from Cadillac Mountain.
You can't stay at the park itself (unless you bring a tent), so you'll have to stay in one of the nearby towns.There are many options to choose from, all offering something completely different, so you'll need to do some research before booking your stay.
This is where we come in!We've combined personal experiences with hints and tips from locals and travel experts to bring you the four best places to stay in Acadia National Park.Whether you're looking for a luxury vacation or just a hotel room on a budget, we've got you covered.
So let's dive right in!
Lodging highlights near Acadia National Park
Looking for a specific place to stay?These are my top recommendations for lodging near Acadia National Park.It's sure to be a highlight of your USA backpacking trip, especially your time on the East Coast.
Want to stay in a historic inn, want a heated outdoor pool or just want a super affordable hostel room, we have it all for you!
Historic farmhouse near Acadia National Park: Great Cranberry
Airbnb Plus accommodations are carefully selected for their unique interiors, charming locations, and great guest service.This rustic pied-A-terre is located on Great Cranberry, one of the most remote places in the region.You'll enjoy beautiful views of the national park as well as pristine beaches on the island itself.You'll love these spacious and comfortable guest rooms.
Cozy cabin near Acadia National Park: Blue Hill Farm
Staying in a cabin in Maine is a great way to explore the outdoors.They have a rustic, woodsy feel while still offering all your usual home comforts.This particular cabin is actually located on a working farm, giving you a fascinating glimpse into the local culture.It's a bit cozy, but with room for four, it's great for small families as well as couples.
Beautiful hotel near Acadia National Park: Bar Harbor Inn and Spa
If you're looking to treat yourself, you can't go wrong with this spacious 4-star resort right on the shores of Bar Harbor.On one side of the hotel you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the coast, on the other the beautiful hills of Acadia National Park.Relax after a long day of exploring the natural beauty at the beautiful spa right in the heart of the hotel, which is also not far from the downtown bar port.It's one of the best hotels near Acadia National if you're looking for a mix of action and relaxation.
Acadia National Park Neighborhood Guide
Bangor is the closest city to Acadia National Park, making it a great base for those who prefer urban areas.It's just an hour's drive from the breathtaking scenery of Acadia and has easy access to the rest of New England.
FIRST TIME IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
FIRST TIME IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park and the largest on Mount Desert Island.As a first-time visitor, you'll have direct access to some of the region's most breathtaking scenery.
North of Mount Desert Island, Ellsworth is a typical working-class neighborhood in eastern Maine.With plenty of affordable restaurants, bars, and cafes, this is a fantastic destination for those on a strict budget.
Blue Hill is located directly across from Acadia National Park, about a 40-minute drive in total.While it can get very crowded in the summer (as it does everywhere in the region), it is still one of the most peaceful destinations nearby.
Acadia National Park Top 4 Places to Stay
Although small, Acadia National Park is one of the best national parks in the U.S.The park itself is located on Mount Desert Island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge, but remember you'll need a car to get around.From hiking Cadillac Mountain to kayaking the bay, sampling local beers or indulging in the region's fantastic food, there's plenty to do here.
Bangor is the closest town to Acadia National Park and only an hour away by car.It's an urban area full of fascinating cultural insights and reasonably priced bars.You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Maine Highlands from virtually anywhere in the city.
Bar Harbor is located just outside the national park and is the largest town on Mount Desert Island.This is the best lodging for first-time visitors to the area, who can enjoy unlimited access to the best of Acadia National Park.It's also close to many ferries to the smaller islands, as well as downtown Bar Harbor.
Ellsworth is a working-class town and one of the most affordable places to stay in the region.If you're traveling on a budget, you're guaranteed to find great deals on accommodation, food and drink.Ellsworth is connected to the island by a bridge, so you're only about 20 to 30 minutes from the national park itself.
Last but not least, Blue Hill is directly across from Mount Desert Island.While it can get quite crowded during the summer season, it still maintains a peaceful atmosphere that makes it the perfect family getaway.It has plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained, and it's usually a little quieter in the fall.
Still undecided?Read on for more information about each city below.We've compiled our top picks for lodging, including some of the best hotels near Acadia National, as well as the best things to do in each location to help you plan your itinerary.
Want a good deal?Be sure to get an "America, The Beautiful Pass," it costs $80 and gives you 12 months of access to all the national parks in the U.S., plus a whole lot more!
The 5 best neighborhoods to stay in Acadia National Park
It's time to take a more detailed look at the five best areas to stay in Acadia National Park!It's one of the best places in the US if you want to escape the cities and explore the amazing natural side of America.
In this guide, we've provided you with not only neighborhoods, but also the best hostels, Airbnbs, and hotels near Acadia National.
1. Bangor – Relaxed town near Acadia National Park
Bangor is the closest city to Acadia National Park, making it a great base for those who prefer urban areas.It's just an hour's drive from the breathtaking Acadia countryside and has easy access to the rest of New England.
In terms of nightlife and restaurants, you'll find a lot more to do here than in other areas near the national park.It's also not as touristy as the smaller towns, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet away from the tourist crowds.
This quirky apartment is located right in the heart of Bangor and can accommodate up to three guests.Built during the Civil War, you'll be staying in a little piece of local history.They offer significant discounts on monthly and weekly rates, perfect for long-term stays.
Rustic house in Bangor: smart bungalow in the middle of the city
If you're planning a romantic getaway in Acadia National Park, this is the perfect place to stay for it.With quiet interiors, historic architecture and beautiful nature surrounding the house, this is our first choice for couples in the area.It's a self-contained unit, so you have plenty of privacy, but the local family that owns it is on hand if you need anything.
Quaint Bangor Hotel: Country Inn on the Mall
Right next to Bangor Mall, this is a great place for shopping addicts.This unique Acadia hotel is housed in a typical country inn and offers a traditional atmosphere.The rooms are super spacious and feature sturdy furniture.Bangor City Forest is within walking distance and offers some fantastic hiking trails.It's a little out of the way, but it's super quiet in the evenings.
Things to see and do in Bangor:
- Bangor is a cultural center for Maine – there are several theater groups and orchestras operating in town
- The Thomas Hill Standpipe offers a magnificent view of the city – you'll feel truly enchanted as you gaze at the colorful foliage in autumn
- The nightlife here is a bit more low-key than in larger cities, but still worth a visit – we love Sea Dog Brewing Co especially for its hip atmosphere and quality beer
- Check out the wild and somewhat creepy home of horror author Stephen King.
2.Bar Harbor – Best place to stay in Acadia National Park for a first visit
Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park and the largest on Mount Desert Island.As a first-time visitor, you'll have direct access to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the region.It's popular with tourists, so there are plenty of excursions available to really get to know the beauty of Acadia National Park.
While it's a popular place to stay in the fall, Bar Harbor calms down during the summer and winter seasons.This makes it a charming coastal town this time of year, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, even right in the center of downtown Bar Harbor!
This gorgeous studio sleeps up to four guests and has all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay.The best restaurants and shopping are right outside your front door, and the golden sandy beach is just a four minute walk away.The park is also a 5-minute drive away and there are some great hikes nearby.Guest rooms are super cozy and the village square information center is just around the corner.
Extravagant home near Bar Harbor: Great Cranberry
This is on a different island, but you're just a short ferry ride from downtown Bar Harbor.You can enjoy a completely unspoiled view and still be close to local attractions.This accommodation in Acadia National Park sleeps up to 8 guests and has all the modern amenities you'll ever need, perfect for families traveling to the area.
luxury hotel in Bar Harbor: Bar Harbor Inn and Spa
Every room at this stunning 4-star Acadia hotel has a furnished balcony with coastal or mountain views, yet it's right in the heart of central Bar Harbor.There's a small private golden sand beach and dock where you can sunbathe in the quiet of the hotel, and guests rave about the breakfast offered each morning.If you've been looking for the perfect place to stay in Acadia National Park hotels, this may be just the place for you!
Things to see and do in Bar Harbor:
- Acadia National Park is right outside the front door – head to the tourism office for trail maps, and don't forget to bring a camera.Be sure to drive up to Cadillac Mountain for the best views.
- The Bar Harbor Historical Society runs a small museum in the heart of town where you can learn about local history and culture
- Sailing is a popular activity – rent a boat from Acadia Sailing Company or join a whale watching tour if you're more interested in a guided excursion
- There are many wonderful restaurants along Main Street – we recommend Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes for some truly memorable New England cuisine
- Use the information center in the village square to keep up to date with all the local tourist information, especially before you head out on hikes.
3. Ellsworth – Affordable accommodations near Acadia National Park
North of Mount Desert Island, Ellsworth is a typical working-class neighborhood in eastern Maine.With plenty of affordable restaurants, bars and cafes, this is a fantastic destination for those sticking to a strict budget.If you're coming in the off-season, you'll also find some of the best accommodation deals in Ellsworth.
Surprisingly, Ellsworth is still very busy during the summer season.The town is full of travelers visiting the beautiful scenery in the area.That means that four months out of the year, you'll also find a plethora of tourism companies offering trips to Acadia National Park and beyond.
This is a truly beautiful little hideaway.Built to resemble a log cabin, the interiors are a bit more modern and super spacious.The studio sleeps up to 6 guests in 3 bedrooms and has all the comforts of home.It's just outside of Ellsworth, but you're right next to the Union River, which creates a peaceful environment to wake up to every morning.
Peaceful Escape in Ellsworth: Lamoine Retreat
This beautiful little condo is just a stone's throw from downtown Ellsworth.There is a large deck around the house where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding nature as well as the city center.Interiors are bright and spacious, with small details that add a touch of color and creativity.We also love the super modern kitchen – making it our top choice for self-catering near Acadia National Park.
Budget-friendly hotel in Ellsworth:Ramada by Wyndham
Ramada by Wyndham is known throughout the United States as a reliable, budget-friendly chain.Their hotel in Ellsworth is certainly no exception, offering unbeatable comfort at equally enticing prices.Just a short walk from retail stores, this is a great choice for budget-conscious shopaholics, and the hotel also serves a continental breakfast!A small fitness center and a mountain lodge are also available.If you're looking for the most reliable and solid hotels in Acadia National Park, this is a great choice.
Things to see and do in Ellsworth:
- The Woodlawn Museum is a fantastic destination to learn more about the history of East Maine – there are several authentic and reconstructed exhibits of furniture and vehicles
- Head down to the Grand Auditorium – it hosts major cultural events throughout the year, and the beautiful Art Deco architecture is an attraction in itself
- Take a trip along Route 1 – here you'll discover local and national brands offering clothing, souvenirs and home furnishings at fantastic prices
- The Riverside Cafe is something of a local institution – the lines are huge in the summer, but the food is totally worth the wait
4.Blue Hill – Best area in Acadia National Park for families
Blue Hill is located directly across the street from Acadia National Park, a total of about 40 minutes away by car.Although it can get very crowded in the summer, it is still one of the most peaceful destinations nearby.This makes it a fantastic choice for families who want to avoid the large crowds near the park.
It's also a great adventure destination with outdoor activities and water sports for the whole family.Downtown, you'll discover historic architecture, museums and galleries.A little further south, you'll also find the Brooklin neighborhood, which has an exclusive charm to it.
This quaint bungalow sits on the edge of a private swimming cove and offers gorgeous ocean views.It maintains a secluded atmosphere thanks to the surrounding trees, but is actually only a five-minute walk from the center of Blue Hill.It sleeps 8 guests and is pet friendly, making it the perfect place for a family vacation.
Nice cabin in Blue Hill:Blue Hill Farm
This sweet Maine cottage sleeps 4 and is located on the farm itself!Blue Hill Farm is an important part of the local economy, and you even have the opportunity to experience farm life if you arrange an experience in advance.
Traditional inn in Blue Hill:Barncastle
Barncastle is one of the quirkiest castles we've written about – and we love it!It's a crazy mishmash of styles, but you're sure to feel comfortable throughout your stay.There's wifi, a beer garden and lots of great hikes nearby.
Things to see and do in Blue Hill:
- This stunning sea kayak tour around the Brooklin Islands is well worth the short drive from Blue Hill to the town of Brooklin
- Blue Hill Falls is a truly epic destination where you can go tubing or kayaking through the inner falls
- Arborvitae is one of our best restaurants in the area – it offers brew pub dishes as well as upscale cuisine at reasonable prices
- Check out Rockefeller's Gate lodges from 1913 to 1940 along historic carriage roads.
Don't forget travel insurance for Acadia National Park
Look, I know that buying travel insurance sounds very unexciting.But trust me, you can't plan for everything.Let's face it, when you head out into the wilderness, you need to be protected.
It's good to get lost sometimes, but it's also good not to get too lost.There are people who want you to come home in one piece.
There's a travel insurance provider that The Broke Backpacker trusts with all his wildest shenanigans … World Nomads!
Click the button below to get your insurance quote, or read our in-depth review of coverage from World Nomads.And then … let the shenanigans begin. 😉
Final thoughts on where to stay near Acadia National Park
Despite its small size, Acadia National Park is a diverse region in southeastern Maine that attracts millions of travelers and day-trippers each year.The magical forests, cascading mountains and dramatic cliffs make this a beautiful destination in the U.S. year-round.Nearby towns also have unique cultural attractions that let you experience the history of rural Maine firsthand.
If we had to make one place our favorite, it would be Blue Hill.It's a bit out of the way, but if you want to stay in the fall, you can enjoy some peace and quiet here.The town itself is packed with hikes and adventure activities, with quick connections to the national park across the bridge.
That being said, all of the areas mentioned in this guide have their advantages.Now all you have to do is pick your destination, grab your hiking boots and get going!
Did we miss anything?Let us know in the comments.
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