With towering seaside cliffs, picturesque lighthouses, and endless scenic landscape, Acadia National Park is easily one of the most Instagram-worthy national parks in the country. Under Canvas Acadia is the perfect base camp for a photo-worthy getaway on the coast of Maine. Our luxury glamping accommodations are just steps from the water and only 30-minutes from Acadia National Park, making it easy to explore one of Mother Nature’s most inspiring masterpieces. We recommend driving the 27-mile Park Loop Road where you’ll discover many of the best things to do in Acadia National Park and places to snap stunning photos during your adventure.
#1 Cadillac Mountain Sunrise
Catching an Acadia National Park sunrise from Cadillac Mountain Summit is a bucket list activity for those who want to be among the first to see the sunrise from the highest point on the east coast of the U.S. From the top, you can lay eyes on the seemingly endless glaciated coastal landscape dotted with small islands that glow from the golden rays of first light. Four hiking trails lead to the top, or you can opt to drive up the Cadillac Summit Road to give yourself plenty of time to line up the perfect shot.
#2 Thunder Hole & Otter Cliff
Experience the thunderous sound and visual display of waves crashing against the rocky shores of Maine. Thunder Hole is a small inlet, naturally carved out of the rocks, where the waves rush in and force air out creating a thunder-like clap. The water can spout as high as 40-feet, putting on a great show.
Follow the road for 0.7-miles to reach nearby Otter Cliff. At 110-feet high, Otter Cliff is one of the most dramatic viewpoints along the North Atlantic Seaboard. The rugged pink granite cliffs hovering above crystal blue water are nothing short of breathtaking. But, this epic scenery isn’t just for looks, it’s the most popular rock climbing spot in Maine. There are several outfitters in Bar Harbor where beginner to expert level climbers can embark on an unforgettable experience of climbing Otter Cliffs and capture the moment for the ‘gram.
#3 Jordan Pond
Glacier-formed mountain vistas, crystalline water, and the fresh scent of spruce and pine make Jordan Pond a picture-perfect place to explore. Here, you can cruise along the water in a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard that can be rented by the hour. For on-foot adventures, consider hiking the Jordan Pond Trail. This easy 0.8-mile nature trail hike is perfect for all skill levels and offers a close-up view of the pond. For a longer trek, take the Jordan Pond Path 3.3-mile loop trail that traces along the shoreline and is considered one of the best hikes in Acadia National Park. Treat yourself by continuing the late-1800’s tradition of enjoying afternoon tea and popovers, a New England favorite, on the lawn of The Jordan Pond House while soaking in spectacular views.
#4 Carriage Roads
Step back in time with a horse-drawn carriage ride along the Carriage Roads in Acadia. This elaborate, 57-mile stretch of rustic roads was commissioned in 1915 by J.D. Rockefeller remains motor-free to this day so pedestrians can enjoy sweeping vistas and up-close views of the landscape at their leisure. Visitors can choose to walk, hike, bike, or horseback ride the Carriage Road system where you’ll find beautiful, stone-faced bridges, streams, waterfalls, and cliff sides. Fall is the most spectacular time to experience this timeless beauty as the leaves turn to orange and red hues. You can stop by the Acadia National Park Visitor Center to pick up an Acadia Carriage Roads map and find out more information.
#5 Bass Harbor Lighthouse
Nestled on a sea cliff, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is a vision of quintessential coastal beauty and one of the most photographed lighthouses in New England. Built in 1858, its beacon played an important role in seafaring for centuries and stood the test of time to join the list of 65 lighthouses that are iconic to coastal Maine.