Quote Originally Posted by jent View Post
I know there are past threads about Acadia because we went 2 years ago, and are actually going again later this summer but I haven't planned anything yet either. But, I do have my notes saved from 2 years ago. I think these are copy-pasted from old threads, but they could also be from TripAdvisor or emails from friends who have been there.

Looking over this list, we did Ed's Dive-in theater (awesome for kids), walked the land bridge to Bar Island, biked the carriage trails, and did a lot of hiking. It was all fantastic and we felt like there was so much more we could have done (hence the return trip this year!)

Really, it's ok to just grab the park map and info about the ranger programs when you arrive, and then plan day by day. You can't go wrong.

Here are my notes:

Acadia National Park.

Just go into the visitor center the first day and get a list. The horse drawn carriage rides are great. We hike the mountains, bike all the carriage trails, hang out on the beaches and walk the rocky shores. Every day we look at the park map, pick a spot and explore. We eat lobsters on the beaches. It is such a nice trip. We go every summer for 8 days. You can rent kayaks and paddle in the sound. Jordon Pond House has great popovers.

You can take your bikes on the mail boat the Cranberry Islands and bike around all day. We spend an entire day biking a 2 mile island and exploring the beaches, throwing rocks in the waves and just hanging out. It was amazing.

If you are there long enough- you can take a boat for drive over to Schoodic Peninsula (the other half of Acadia) and hike around there.

This year we are making the trek up to Campobello Island to see FDR's house and show the girls.
I love Maine, especially the area in and around Acadia! We've been a few times and are going back this summer. Some things we've loved, in no particular order:

1) Dan Falt's workshop in NE Harbor. Falt is an artist/sculptor who opens his workshop up to kids in the summer. They can hang out, explore, create art, etc. It's a really cool place, and a really different way to spend an hour or two.
2) Common Good soup kitchen popovers in SW Harbor. Pay by donation only, and the popovers are just as good, if not better, than Jordan Pond House. My kids love it b/c they can eat as many as they want! You sit outside in a cute patio area. Coffee is great, and the usually have oatmeal, too. (Jordan Pond House is definitely worth a trip, too.)
3) Thurston's lobster pound. Absolutely perfect setting in a small, working harbor + amazing lobster and mussels.
4) Driving up to the top of Cadillac Mountain and then finding the "true" summit.
5) Lunch & dessert at the Quietside Cafe in SW Harbor.
6) Diver Ed's Dive-In Theater cruise
7) Walking the "land bridge" to Bar Island
8) hiking! and biking the carriage roads (Though I can't do the Beehive b/c I'm afraid of heights. My husband and boys have done it.) I like this book.
9) The little museum (has a touch tank) at the College of the Atlantic. (Diver Ed usually leaves from here, so you could pop in to the museum before/after that trip.)
10) Kayaking. We once rented a house on the mainland, across from MDI and we spent hours upon hours on the water.
11) I'm odd but I also love going to the local grocery stores and picking up things we can only get in Maine (Moxie soda, weird red hot dogs, local beer, ployes mix, Gifford ice cream, blueberries, whoopie pies, etc). (Apparently we eat a lot of junk in Maine!)

Atlantic Brewing Company: beer (and soda) tasting!- no dogs; Mainely meat restaurant- outdoor, dogs allowed, playground


Editing to add that I just found info about the "Acadia Quest" on the Acadia NP website-- looks like a challenge to hit a few different spots in Acadia. If you complete the challenge you'll be entered in a raffle to win prizes such as a park pass: https://friendsofacadia.org/events/acadia-quest/
This is great. Thank you. I had not come across a lot of them before, so I'm making a good list now! I was starting to worry I'd have complaining kids because they only want to hike so long. But this will make things a lot better!