01/28/2011

Why Visit Acadia National Park?

In continuation of my Top Ten series I’d like to list the top ten reasons to visit Acadia National Park this year. You may have many destinations to consider for your vacation; it’s a big world out there.

Bar Harbor from the top of Cadillac Mountain

  1. It’s beautiful. There’s not much more I can add except to suggest watching the Jack Perkins video here. Otherwise, I’d use up all the space for this post just on this one topic. This video is the real deal, it really looks like that here.
  2. Escape the heat. I put this toward the top because so many visitors come here for this reason. Even parts of the country nearby are much hotter in summer. This is because Mount Desert Island sticks out into the North Atlantic and is bathed in a cool ocean breeze throughout the summer. Imagine going to another park and not wanting to get out of your air-conditioned car. If you want to see the raw data, go here.
  3. Affordability. Travel+Leisure Magazine rated our island at #1 for best island to visit in North America, and one of their 5 criteria was value. Accommodations are reasonable (especially here in Lamoine), activities are free or nearly so and restaurants are affordable.
  4. Leave your car behind. The park is committed to reducing vehicular traffic and has a free shuttle bus service making it possible to get anywhere at almost anytime without a car. Also, the park’s 40+ miles of carriage paths are ideal for bicycling. Remember, you won’t need the car for air-conditioning, so why not give it a rest?
  5. Nice people. Ever been to a travel destination where if you lay down your camera and look away it will be gone? Maine has the fourth lowest property crime rate in the country. Our folks are pleasant and helpful and our low-stress lifestyle makes them that way.
  6. Get out on the water. Maine has a lot of shoreline, 3478 miles of it (more than California)  and you are missing out is you don’t enjoy it. Take the mail boat to Cranberry Island, rent a kayak or go out for a sail. See the seals and porpoises, puffins or blue whales. It’s all here on Mount Desert Island.
  7. Exercise. While it’s possible to have a great visit to Acadia National Park without taking a hike, it is especially suited for physical activity. Even Martha Stewart wrote an article about it. Bicycling, horseback riding and kayaking are all available. Our breezy cool climate makes exercise a joy.
  8. Culture and history. Acadia was the original vacation destination on the east coast and interesting people have been visiting and living here for centuries. Local museums cover the natural history and Native Americans, and guided walks feature the neighborhoods of wealthy summer residents. There’s a lot to learn about our history, so it’s best to read up before you come.
  9. Andrew Zimmern from discovery.com

    Seafood. How could we forget? Maine lobster is know the world over and this is the place to eat it. But there’s lots more: crab, clams, scallops, mussels, haddock, mackerel and shrimp. You can buy it fresh, have it at a restaurant or in some cases, harvest it yourself.

  10. Nearness. Most folks considering a trip to Maine know that we are close to Boston (5 hours by car) and NY City (8-1/2 hours).  If you live on the east coast you will be within one or two day’s drive. If you are in Canada you will find us right on the way to Atlantic Canada from Montreal or Toronto. The Bangor International Airport, an hour away, has  non-stop flight to Detroit, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

So when you decide about where to go this summer, keep this list handy and use it to compare with other places. We think we stack up pretty good. If you want some ideas about what to do when you get here, visit my Top Ten Things To Do In Acadia.

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