Acadia National Park Cabins Have So Much To Offer Waterfront Woodsy Rustic Contemporary And Are Great Places To Stay While Enjoying A National Park Adventure
If youve ever explored New England, youre probably familiar with Acadia National Park in Maine. Established in 1916, its the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi River and one of the most popular, welcoming more than 2.5 million visitors each year. And just like the parks many recreational offerings, there are a wide range of Acadia National Park cabins, hotels, inns, and campsites to suit every stay.
Bass Harbor Head Light in Acadia National Park.
Acadia National Park is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike, with its woodlands, lakes, mountains, and ocean shoreline. And with just under 50,000 acres of land, theres more than enough to explore from more than 2,000 coastal acres on Isle au Haut to beautiful sunsets on Cadillac Mountain. For those who love wildlife, plants, greenery, and adventure, Acadia National Park is unquestionably a great place to check out. And with so many special things to see, theres no reason your accommodations shouldnt be, too! For a rustic wilderness experience thats a step up from camping, here are some of our favorite Acadia National Park cabins for rent in close proximity to all the hiking, biking, kayaking, and exploring you can imagine.
Where To Stay In Acadia National Park And Bar Harbor
Posted on Last updated: August 3, 2022
Were going to show you the best hotels and exactly where to stay near Acadia National Park for your budget. Will it be high-end Bar Harbor or a more relaxing and affordable small town on Mount Desert Island? Lets find out!
Unlike many popular US national parks, there are no park run lodges inside the park boundaries at Acadia. So, you along with every other visitor to Acadia are left with a choice between one of three major campgrounds or finding a hotel nearby.
The result is a very competitive market with incredibly high demand and surging prices in peak seasons. Dont forget, Acadia has two peak seasons Summer goes without saying but also in Fall when autumnal colors are spectacular throughout the park.
Bar Harbor is the first place you think of when considering where to stay near Acadia, right? It is the quintessential New England coastal town and Summer home to many famous celebrities.
However, you wont be surprised to hear about how expensive accommodation here can be, particularly if you dont book a long way in advance and you visit in peak season.
We planned a last minute trip to Acadia in October and our 3 night stay in a Bar Harbor hotel came with an eye watering price tag. But it turns out there are plenty of other options spanning the budget range if you dont stay in Bar Harbor.
Lets get stuck into where to stay at Acadia National Park!
Historic Farmhouse Near Acadia National Park: Great Cranberry
Airbnb Plus properties are hand-selected for their unique interiors, charming locations and great guest service. This rustic pied-à-Terre is located on Great Cranberry, one of the most secluded places in the region. Youll get to enjoy beautiful views of the national park, as well as unspoiled beaches on the island itself. Youll love these spacious and comfy guest rooms.
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Peaceful Escape In Ellsworth: Lamoine Retreat
This gorgeous little apartment is a stones throw away from central Ellsworth. Theres a large deck surrounding the house where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding nature, as well as towards the town centre. The interiors are bright and spacious, with small details that add a touch of colour and creativity. We also love the super-modern kitchen making it our top pick for self-catering guests near Acadia National Park.
Best Hotels For Acadia National Park
The Acadia National Park is an incredibly special part of the Maine coast: breathtakingly beautifully for its natural rocky headlands and islands, its also just southwest of Bar Harbor, a picturesque village in the classic Maine style. So you have a wonderful juxtaposition of spectacular scenery and charming creature comforts. Walk, sail, canoe, cycle, climb, kayak, fish and ride horses in the park by day, then come nightfall relax in one of our cosy recommendations for the best hotels for Acadia National Park. Our Gurus’ picks include the best family hotels for Acadia National Park, but also a good collection of historic B& Bs converted from charming, Maine style, mansions, water-view resorts, and beautiful luxury properties.
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About Acadia National Park
Picturesque seascapes, rocky beaches, rolling mountain trails, historic carriage roads, and welcoming villages define Acadia National Park and its surroundings. Hop on the Park Loop Road to take in popular sites like Sieur de Monts, Thunder Hole, Otter Point, and Cadillac Mountain. Get out of the car to ride bikes along the Carriage Roads, have tea and popovers at Jordan Pond, go swimming at Sand Beach, hike the Acadia Mountain Trail, stroll around the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, or go on a whale watching tour. Other nearby must-dos include the Asticou Azalea Gardens, the Abbe Museum, a sunset cruise on Frenchmans Bay, and strolling along the Shore Path in Bar Harbor. Get off the beaten path to explore sites like the Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut.
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Best Places To Stay In Bar Harbor Maine
Before we dig into my recommendations on where to stay in Bar Harbor, I have 1 crucial tip to consider: BOOK EARLY!
Bar Harbor is super popular and books up fast. Its not unheard of for places to book up for the Summer and early Fall at the beginning of the year.
Given this, if you have your heart set on a specific property, book as soon as you can.
Most places will open up reservations in January, prior to the Summer season, or even keep reservations open year round.
There are some places that dont take reservations at all, as well as places that stagger when people can book to give more of a fair chance.
So if you strike out on finding a place to stay, keep trying!
But, by and large, most places in Bar Harbor book up before the ground starts to thaw in the Spring.
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Other Activities In Acadia National Park
Sea kayaking, rock climbing, wandering around Sand Beach, a visit to Jordan Pond for scenic walks and popovers at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant, or a stop at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse are all popular Acadia activities.
You cant travel to Bar Harbor without stopping to hear the thunderous clap of waves crashing into the rocky inlet known as Thunder Hole. Dont forget to grab a cheeky souvenir magnet or hilarious postcard from the nearby gift shop.
And it wouldnt be a visit to a national park without seeing wildlife. Watch for harbor seals, peregrine falcons and other raptors and a variety of seabirds, herons, dolphins, whales and other marine mammals. There are also smaller, easy-to-miss wildlife such as salamanders and other amphibians.
During low tide, you can even walk out across a sand bar from downtown Bar Harbor to Bar Island. Be sure to watch for barnacles, scurrying hermit crabs and starfish in the tidepools.
Youll also have the chance to see otters, foxes and, if youre lucky, even a moose during your trip to Acadia National Park.
Bar Harbor Where To Stay In Acadia National Park For The First Time
Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park and the largest on Mount Desert Island, in other words, the best choice for first-time visitors! Being the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River and just a 3-hour drive from Portland, Maine, Acadia National Park will offer you incredible views from your car, walking paths, hikes, and wildlife at every turn, including the majestic bald eagles!
Thanks to its location on the island itself, Bar Harbor is a great choice as you can avoid the traffic jams that occur each day due to the fact that there is only one road onto Mount Desert Island.
Being pretty touristic, Bar Harbor will give you easy access to lots of excursions to stunning places in the region, plenty of restaurants, and even a beautiful beach to enjoy especially during summer. The Sand Beach is situated in a snug little ocean cove, but at 55 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, I only recommend a dip for those of you who dare!
But one of the best experiences you can have here is taking an unforgettable boat trip to watch the spectacular whales in their natural habitat. And if whales werent enough for you, there are more marine animals you can enjoy in Bar Harbor, seals watching tours and lobster fishing are also very popular!
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Best For Families: Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor
With children staying and eating for free , the Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor is one of the best hotels in the area to accommodate traveling families. Overlooking their private marina set in the waters of Frenchmans Bay, you can admire stunning views from the oceanfront lounge, the large outdoor pool, or from the surrounding gardens. The resort also has an outdoor whirlpool and two tennis courts. Accommodations come in a variety of sizes, with spacious ocean-view suites comprising kitchen and living areas in addition to a private outdoor deck.
Free cribs or infant beds can be supplied for families with young children. Connecting or adjoining rooms allow for larger families to stay together. The hotel also provides on-site children’s activities to keep young ones entertained. Dining options at the resort include casual snacks and refreshing drinks at the Splash pool bar, the Mediterranean-inspired fare at La Bella Vita and the trattoria-style dining at Encota. For a truly authentic regional seafood experience, the New England clam chowder and lobster bisque at the oceanfront Stewmans Lobster Pound are must-haves.
Itching to go to Acadia National Park? Check out our guide to the best things to do at this national park.
And For The Claremonts Next Act
A road trip up to Mount Desert Island is an essential part of any summer visit to Maine, as the massive island is home to a range of quintessential must-sees: Acadia National Park, the only national park in the northeast the charming town of Bar Harbor Cadillac Mountain, the tallest seaside mountain on the eastern seaboard north of Rio de Janeiro Somes Sound, the only fjord on the east coast as well as all the usual Maine attractions, namely, lobster, ice cream, and whoopie pies. When you’re here, it’s easy to understand why this has been a popular summer destination since the 1870s.
M.D.I.’s appeal is the proximity of history and nature everywhere you turn. But as can often be the case with historic destinations the hotel scene on M.D.I. has been a bit lacking. Until recently, there was no greater symbol of this than The Claremont. Located on the island’s town of Southwest Harbor, the 137-year-old grand hotel harkened back to the earlier days of Maine tourism, when elite Bostonians and New Yorkers would travel here to take advantage of the fresh air and ocean breezes. The property, known for its bucolic croquet greens, waterfront boathouse bar, and for occupying a prime piece of real estate overlooking Somes Sound, had, by any measure, seen better days.
“People were very worried that we’d get rid of the croquet,” says Harrington. “Trust me, there will always be croquet and cocktails at The Claremont.”
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Where To Stay Near Acadia National Park
Unfortunately, you cant actually stay in Acadia National Park. On the plus side, the beautiful coastal town of Bar Harbor is just a 5-minute drive away. So it makes sense that the majority of hotels near Acadia National Park are sprinkled around Bar Harbor.
Bar Harbor is a blissfully small town so not only is it a convenient home base for visiting the park but you can easily explore the town on foot. The downtown area boasts a stunning waterfront location and is home to over 100 restaurants, bars, and shops. So its a wonderful spot to base yourself if you want to be in the heart of the action.
If you prefer a more secluded location, there are quite a few hotels located within a couple of miles of downtown Bar Harbor. Youre still just a short drive from one of the parks entrances but chances are youll be surrounded by nature and be able to take in stunning views of the mountains, Frenchman Bay and, the Atlantics island-studded waters directly from your hotel room. Expect to find quintessential New England-style inns and cozy B& Bs in these parts of town!
North Mt Desert Island Where To Stay In Acadia National Park
As you enter Mt Desert Island on ME-3 from the mainland, Bar Harbor is around a 10 mile drive. But you will find at least a dozen accommodation options on the way there.
From Eden to Salisbury Cove and Hulls Cove there are plenty of options spanning the price range for you to consider.
Eden in particular also has a small selection of highly rated places to eat, which could be useful for those who want to avoid Bra Harbor crowds and prices.
On the other hand, you lose convenience to Acadia and you will have to drive between your accommodation and Bar Harbor for a more lively nightlife scene.
But you will find on average that prices are more affordable in the Northern parts of Mt Desert Island.
One thing to note is that this part of the ME-3 is fast and busy. When we visited, cars were slamming on brakes regularly because they didnt expect people to be turning off a fast road onto a tiny drive way.
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Things To See And Do In Ellsworth:
- The Woodlawn Museum is a fantastic destination to learn about East Maines history there are multiple authentic and reconstructed exhibits of furnishings and vehicles
- Head down to the Grand Auditorium they host major cultural events throughout the year, and the gorgeous art deco architecture is an attraction in itself
- Take a trip down Route 1 here you will discover local and national brands offering clothing, souvenirs and furnishings at fantastic prices
- Riverside Café is something of a local institution the queues are huge during the summer, but the food is totally worth the wait
For A Peaceful Escape
- The Harbor Cottage Inn is another private Victorian-built house turned B& B. The eleven pretty rooms have pastel walls, floral fabrics and homely quilts the best have sea views, whirlpool tubs and private decks too. The big, landscaped lawn has water views. Cosy and romantic.
- The Ullikana Inn is a carefully converted Tudor Revival style house with beautiful mature gardens, turned tranquil, 11 room inn. Expect 19th century antiques, floral prints and pastel colours, all just a short walk from the sea.
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Best Hotels Near Acadia National Park
Located just one mile from Acadia National Park, Inn on Mount Desert is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring one of Maines most popular natural gems. This historic inn was recently renovated and opened its doors in 2018 so expect the perfect blend of New England charm and modern amenities. Theres a good reason this beautiful inn has quickly become known as one of the best boutique hotels near Acadia National Park!
Youll love the rooms which boast modern furniture, nautical decor, and deluxe ensuites with specialty handmade soap. The coffee makers, mini-fridges, and microwaves are useful amenities. Upgraded rooms feature private terraces and balconies where you can sip your morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine.
The hearty complimentary continental breakfast is perfect for fueling up for a day of hiking in Acadia National Park or whale watching in Bar Harbor. The amazingly friendly innkeepers also put out free coffee, fresh lemonade, and hot tea 24/7. And be sure to snag some freshly baked goods and fruit in the lobby in the afternoons!
The inn is just a 10-minute walk to the waterfront, Village Green square, and the free shuttle to Acadia National Park. Plus, all of the quaint boutiques and excellent eateries of Bar Harbor are just a short stroll away.
If you want to go for a swim, work out, or get a massage, there is a heated outdoor pool, a fully outfitted gym, and an on-site spa!
Hotels Near Acadia National Park: Highbrook Motel
This charming, red boutique motel is perched up on a hill surrounded by towering lush green trees. Highbrook Motel is located on Mount Desert Island in the coastal town of Bar Harbor, Maine. Guests will appreciate the motels close proximity to downtown Bar Harbor where they can explore historic museums, dine at waterfront restaurants, and shop at boutique stores. Guests will be able to enjoy area attractions that include Acadia National Park, Turrets Seaside Garden, and Thunder Hole. The rooms are spacious and airy, rustic in design, and feature classic furnishings. Room amenities include private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
94 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME, Phone: 800-338-9688
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