If you wanted to drive around the entirety of Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island, you could probably manage it in about two hours. However, we would recommend taking a lot longer than that, since you’ll want to relax and take in the natural beauty of the island.
The main attraction on Mount Desert Island is Acadia National Park, which covers about half of the island. Acadia is the only national park in the entire New England area and is popular for its serene hikes and rugged natural beauty. We would recommend starting out by driving around the Park Loop, but be prepared to stop at trailheads and overlooks to explore the park a little bit; you won’t regret it.
Mount Desert Island is more than just a national park, however. The biggest town on the island is Bar Harbor, a seaside community that once held summer homes for prominent families like the Rockefellers and Astors. Today, the town is still popular among affluent locals, including Martha Stewart, who keeps a home there. Bar Harbor has several museums and restaurants, making it the perfect spot for a little relaxation by the shore.
Gearheads may want to take the trip out to the western shore of Mount Desert Island for the Seal Cove Auto Museum, featuring a collection of cars from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We also recommend checking out the Land & Garden Preserve in the northeastern section of the island, between Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor. Some other outdoor attractions on the island include the Carroll Homestead, the Rhoades Butterfly Garden, and the Bass Harbor Head Light Station, famous for its appearance on an America the Beautiful quarter.
To make the most of your trip to Mount Desert Island, check out our Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor Self-Guided Walking and Driving Tour, or you can sign up for Action+ to gain access to over 100 tours for a single yearly price.