Highlights of Maine’s Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park

Emily Goodheart August 12, 2021 0

Nat Hab’s Maine Coastal Explorer tour takes travelers on an idyllic journey from Portland to Acadia National Park. Here are five highlights visitors will experience during their stay on Mount Desert Island, the largest of Maine’s 4,600 coastal islands.

Sunrise from Cadillac Mountain

The summit of Cadillac Mountain overlooks the shimmering Atlantic Ocean and the coastal landscape of Acadia National Park. It is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place in the U.S. to see the sunrise. Hikers will be greeted by panoramic views from atop the mountain, the pink dawn melding with lilac, tangerine and lemon yellow and finally, sky blue. This kaleidoscope of colors is matched with the autumnal scene below, as the water reflects the sky and montane forests showcase spectacularly colored leaves in shades of crimson, persimmon and golden bronze. You’ll be able to spot Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, the Gulf of Maine and myriad islands from this vantage point—be sure to pack a camera so you can take the sights back home with you.

Sunrise from the Summit of Mount Cadillac in Fall | Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

Sunrise from the summit of Mount Cadillac.

Cruise the Coast Aboard a Lobster Boat

Nothing is as quintessentially Maine as lobster. For a true taste of this coastal state, hop aboard a working lobster boat and cruise through picturesque harbors and bays. As seabirds fly overhead, we’ll pass lighthouses, lobster shacks, sandy beaches and granite and spruce islands. In the evening, we’ll sit down to a dinner showcasing the state’s seafood specialties.

Lobster buoys in Bar Harbor Maine

Lobster buoys in Bar Harbor, Maine. Each color of buoy is representative of a specific lobsterman. While lobster is the primary focus of Maine’s fishing industry, species such as alewife, bass, bluefish, clams, crabs, mussels, oysters, scallops and sea cucumbers are also harvested.

Explore Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor has been a resort town since the 19th century when America’s wealthiest families began building summer estates to escape the city heat. At this time, painters and journalists flocked to the island to depict its rugged coastlines and mountains, which helped popularize Mount Desert Island as a vacation destination for the likes of the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies and the Rockefellers. Conservation-minded citizens, led by George B. Dorr, donated land to create Acadia National Park, the first national park established east of the Mississippi River. Another influential figure was John D. Rockefeller Jr., who created a forty-five-mile stretch of scenic carriage roads and stone bridges to showcase the beauty of the area. We’ll learn more about Mount Desert Island’s fascinating history during our stay at a waterfront hotel in Bar Habor, the base of our explorations.

Rocky coast and view of boats in the harbor at Bar Harbor, Maine.

The rocky coast of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Fall Foliage on a Scenic Drive through Acadia National Park

The 27-mile Park Loop Road provides remarkable views during a drive that connects Acadia’s mountains, lakes, seashores and forests of fir, spruce, beech, maple and oak. Acadia National Park is 47,000 acres in total, and we’ll explore the secret corners of this glorious protected area. There will be ample photography opportunities, from cliffs overlooking the ocean to trees in full autumnal glory. Travelers will visit Thunder Hole, where waves crash with a thunderous clap through a cavern and seafoam flies as high as 40 feet. We’ll stop for luncheon at Jordan Pond House, a restaurant that has been serving its mouthwatering popovers and tea since 1893—a time-old tradition for summer vacationers.

Fall foliage in Acadia National Park, Maine

Fall foliage in Acadia National Park.

Historic Lighthouses

Maine’s many lighthouses rise from craggy slopes, their beacons of light a welcome sight for weary fishermen navigating rocky inlets and ferocious tides. Sixty-seven historic lighthouses dot the coast of Maine, drawing travelers from afar and offering a captivating peek into the nautical history of the area.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse by the ocean in Acadia National Park, Maine

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park.

These are just some of the exciting excursions travelers will have on their maritime adventure. Experience Maine’s magic to the fullest on a fall foliage tour with Natural Habitat Adventures.

Leave A Response »