Locals List: Acadia

Acadia National Park and the surrounding coastal towns of Maine are a haven for local gems. From small locally owned restaurants and coffee shops to less frequented recreation areas to local-centric events and venues there are a million ways to explore Maine like a local. Make Under Canvas your coastal basecamp in Maine to explore Acadia National Park along with some locals favorite spots in Maine.

Maine-centric Spots to See:

Blue Hill Mountain

This hiking area just outside of Blue Hill, ME offers trails for every skill level from easy to challenging with breathtaking views of the surrounding region from the top. Many locals like to hike here as an alternative to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park as it typically has fewer crowds and offers stunning views of the bay and national park itself. Grab a coffee and head out to this locals favorite hike, or enjoy a picnic lunch from the top.

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point on the Schoodic Point Peninsula is part of Acadia National Park, but is accessed via a different entrance than the park’s main entrance, making it a locals hotspot due to fewer crowds. This area offers a very short hike, less than a mile, to the coastline, offering stunning views of Maine’s rocky shore. Enjoy the Schoodic National Scenic Byway as you drive to and from Schoodic Point.

Upper and Lower Hadlock Ponds in Acadia National Park

These two ponds are located in Acadia National Park and offer wooded hiking trails that can be enjoyed from many different routes. The ponds feed public water supply so swimming, kayaking, and boating are not allowed, preserving the pristine natural setting and glass-like water. These trails can be difficult to locate, which makes this a locals favorite hike in the national park. Be sure to ask the concierge at Under Canvas Acadia for directions and trail directions before you head out from camp.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

This iconic lighthouse is located close to Under Canvas Acadia, set upon a rocky cliffside surrounded by pine trees. This historic landmark was built in 1858 and marks the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay. While located in Acadia National Park and frequented often during the day due to its picturesque setting, locals love visiting after the sun goes down for spectacular night sky scenes.

Newbury Neck Beach

Newbury Neck Beach is a rock beach located just across the bay from Under Canvas Acadia in Surry, ME. This beach sits on the thinnest part of the Surry peninsula and offers stunning views of Mount Desert Island. This beach is a locals favorite in the area due to its wonderful nature observation opportunities and its quiet nature. After a morning strolling the beach, skipping rocks, check out a local restaurant for the freshest lobster rolls around.

Local’s Favorite Events in Acadia:

Blue Hill Farmer’s Market

The original farmer’s market in the region, the Blue Hills Farmers Market has been locally frequented for more than 47 years. Acadia is a region rich in local agriculture and coastal farming. Think fresh Maine blueberries, pure maple syrup, fresh cut flower bouquets. Plus, shop from local artisans while enjoying live music from live bands. The farmers market is open throughout the summer on Saturdays 9am-11:30am.

Surry Art and Events Barn

This local venue is an important mainstay in the Surry community, featuring international music festivals, and a wide range of musical performances. This historic property was a very active farm in the community for many years and the now renovated barn space provides a very intimate venue for live music of all kinds. The barn is located just 10 minutes from Under Canvas Acadia, providing the perfect evening activity before returning to camp to sit around the fire.

Acadia Restaurants and Cafes:

Bucklyn Coffee

Located in Blue Hill, ME, Bucklyn Coffee is a locals favorite, housed in a small carriage-house connected to a home and offers some of the best coffee and homemade baked goods in all of Maine. Not only will you find good coffee here, but good conversation from the local owners as well. Many say “it’s not just coffee, it’s an experience”.

Coffee Matter

This combination coffee bar and sandwich/snack shop located on Mount Desert Island, ME is known for its made from scratch lunch items and baked goods. Enjoy your coffee from their outdoor seating in a quintessential Maine neighborhood, or take it to go. This little spot is considered a hidden gem and one you should definitely check out on your way to or from Acadia National Park.

Tinder Hearth

Tinder Hearth is a wood-fired bread bakery by day and a wood-fired pizza joint by night with a stunning outdoor space for dining. Open Wednesday – Saturday during the day and Tuesday – Friday at night during the summer season, this local hotspot is known for its stunning garden space and “some of the best pizza you will ever have”.

Provender Kitchen + Bar

This modern bistro is located in the town of Ellsworth, ME, very close to Under Canvas Acadia. The historic building sets the atmosphere for the elevated dining experience while the menu is very approachable. This locals favorite spot is perfect for lunch after a day of recreation or dinner in town.

Perry’s Lobster Shack

This small, family run seafood restaurant offers a quintessential Maine lobster shack environment and top rated lobster rolls in Surry, ME, just minutes from Under Canvas Acadia. Thought of by locals as a true Maine lobster shack, this is a cannot miss favorite that is sure to please. Winter storms recently caused extensive damage to this local favorite, causing them to rebuild in 2024…even more reason to support this local mainstay.

Pugnuts Ice Cream

Need the perfect (non-S’more) sweet treat before heading back to Under Canvas Acadia? Check out Surry’s local ice cream shop featuring sorbet, gelato and ice cream sourced locally from New England. Known as a coastal Maine experience, Pugnuts is sure to give you small town hospitality and satisfy your ice cream craving.

Explore our guide to dining in Bar Harbour, ME, for more local restaurant recommendations near Acadia.

Under Canvas Acadia offers unique outdoor accommodations near Surry, ME. Enjoy waterfront, safari-inspired tents featuring king-size beds and ensuite bathrooms along with a private coastal restaurant and daily programming. The surrounding Maine region is a haven for outdoor recreation, locally-owned and operated restaurants and stores and quintessentially New England events. Explore the beauty of Acadia National Park and the surrounding region with a stay at Under Canvas Acadia.


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