An Under Canvas Travel Guide to Acadia National Park

Known as the “Crown Jewel” of the North Atlantic Coast, Acadia National Park is a bucket-list worthy spot every traveler should explore. With over 120 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage roads, and 3.5 million visits each year…it’s among the top 10 most-visited national parks in the United States for good reason.

From Thunder Hole and Sand Beach to Bubble Rock and Cadillac Mountain, the park is full of incredible natural beauty. Open to explore through the seasons, the stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage of Maine’s only national park make it an epic outdoor playground, just 35 minutes from Under Canvas Acadia.

Things to See Around Acadia

Cadillac Mountain

One of the very first spots to see the sun rise in the United States, this is an absolute must-see in Acadia National Park. Wake bright and early, grab your coffee from Under Canvas Acadia’s coffee cart, and head out to catch the sweeping views from this mountaintop spot! Just be sure to pack plenty of layers to keep warm once you’re sitting at 1,530 feet of elevation.

Sand Beach

This small but stunning beach is tucked in between the rocky shores and mountain coastline of Mount Desert Island. Accessed via the famous Park Loop Road, it’s a beautiful and unique slice of heaven within the national park—whether you want to sunbathe in the summertime or stop for the views in the fall.

Thunder Hole

Another hotspot along Park Loop Road, Thunder Hole, is one of Maine’s best awe-inspiring natural wonders. Visit midday between low and high tide to hear the famous, thunderous boom—caused by the waves hitting the coastal rocks along the cavernous inlet. Plus, you’ll catch epic views of Otter Cliff and Sand Beach.

Jordan Pond

This pristine lake offers incredible mountain scenery within Acadia National Park. With sparkling waters and views of The Bubbles in the distance, it’s also an iconic spot for a photo opp. After exploring the nearby carriage roads, you can stop here to explore, canoe, kayak, or even try the famous popovers at Jordan Pond House.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Iconically “Maine”, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is a must-see. The 19th century light station sits 56 feet above the water, atop a rocky cliff overlooking the sea. Surrounded by tall pines, it’s a photo-worthy spot that every Acadia traveler should have on their bucket list.

Things To Do Around Acadia

From hiking and exploring around Acadia National Park to kayaking, lobstering, and stargazing—there are endless outdoor adventures to be had during your stay at Under Canvas including:

Guided Acadia Hiking

Expert guides make choosing which hikes to do around Acadia a laid-back, fun experience that’s tailored to your needs. With more than 120 miles of hiking trails, there’s a variety of paths that zigzag through the park—from strenuous endeavors to easy-going strolls.. Plan your guided hike along well-known trails like the 1.6 mile Beehive Loop for summit views or the easier Wonderland Trail which casually brings you through the forest to the ocean.

Lobstering

If you’re looking for something a bit more niche and local to the area, why not learn about local lobstering? Spend a few hours out on the water with Captain Linda Greenlaw and her crew for an exciting tour all about lobster fishing. The Lobster 101 tour covers everything you need to know about this local activity, from the biology of lobster, fishing regulations, bait, gear, and more. You’ll gain an entirely new perspective on the area, this time seeing it from the ocean.

Sunset Cruise

For a relaxing experience on the water, enjoy a private sunset cruise. Your chilled-out evening on the water will teach you all about local culture and folklore. Bookable through our Adventure Concierge, you can cruise through the beautiful seas surrounding the stunning Acadia area while taking in its beautiful and unique sights before heading back to Under Canvas Acadia.

Astronomy Cruise

Learn all about the night sky with a local astronomer who will guide you through stars and planets as well as some local folklore and history. If you have not seen the night sky from offshore during your time in Acadia, you’re missing out! If you’re lucky and you’re visiting during a full moon, you can even watch the full moon rise over Mount Desert Island for an unforgettable experience!

Kayak Tour

No matter your skill level, a guided kayak tour is a perfect excursion for beginners and pros alike. Join an intimate group as you experience the beauty of the sea in Castine, Maine’s beautiful, serene, island-speckled bay. Together you will observe seals, eagles, geology and explore the area’s rich historical past in double or single kayaks. Plus, you just might learn a new kayaking skill or technique along the way!

Bioluminescent Tour

Did you know Maine has its very own bioluminescent bay?! Paddle through Castine Harbor under a blanket of stars and in the midst of bioluminescent organisms of the water that swirl and light up with every stroke of your paddle! This unique ecosystem creates an incredible natural phenomenon that you won’t forget.
When you’re done paddling through the glow-in-the-dark waters, you can return to your furnished Stargazer tent to observe some more magic. This time it will be the sparkling stars—from the comfort of the viewing window above your bed. Like most of our tents, it also has a wood-burning stove, an ensuite bathroom with a hot-water sink and shower, and a plush king-size bed. Read more about our tent options here.

See Our Tents

Where to Eat Around Acadia

Under Canvas Acadia offers a wide variety of breakfast and dinner options, from locally sourced seafood to seasonal blueberry jam burgers, plus local wine and beer. Our Food and Beverage Director, Nick Pappas, grew up outside of Acadia National Park in a small town along Maine’s coastline. Creating the dining program at Under Canvas Acadia, he knows his stuff, especially so when it comes to local grub, lobster rolls, and craft brews! He even shared a few of his greatest insider tips with Condé Nast Traveler in his recent “Day Off Diaries”.

For Lunch

Silivia’s
While the Under Canvas Acadia kitchen serves delicious breakfast and dinner, lunchtime is a great opportunity to explore local eats outside of camp. Nick suggests Silvia’s in Ellsworth—just a 20-minute drive from Mount Desert Island. A local’s favorite for a low-key cafe, he suggests the burritos!

Enjoy Something Sweet

Blueberry Hill
According to Nick, this Ellsworth ice cream spot hasn’t changed their ice cream in forever. He visited as a kid and now takes his son for a sweet treat. If you want to feel like a true local, stop by for a scoop!

Pugnuts
This adorable ice cream is just minutes away from Under Canvas Acadia, making it a great pit-stop on your way out or after a long day of adventuring. Choose from flavors like Black Raspberry and Salted Caramel to Lemon, Mint Chocolate Chip, and other flavorful seasonal flavors like White Chocolate Peppermint.

Lobster & Libations

Ted’s Takeout
You can’t leave without Maine without indulging in the area’s famed lobster rolls! Ted’s Takeout, a food truck found in the Northeast Harbor Marina, is Nick’s all-time favorite spot for lobster rolls in the area. Try the blueberry lemonade!

Finn’s
As Nick puts it, this is a go-to bar for most locals in the area! Stop by for a casual, post-adventure drink.

Fogtown Brewing
With locations in both Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, this brewery offers a wide variety of beer on draft, from farmhouse ales and sours to IPA, craft hard seltzers and hard cider! All brewed in their original brewhouse in Ellsworth, the ever-changing brew list is unique and a good spot to try new beers you’ll likely never have the chance to try again!

Your Acadia Glamping Vacation

Dedicated to enhancing access to the outdoors, Under Canvas Acadia offers upscale, safari-style lodging without forgoing the comforts of home. Enjoy on-site dining, coffee cart, complimentary camp programming, and so much more!
Our Guest Experience Coordinators are always available to answer your questions and guide you with their suggestions on what to experience during your stay.

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