Acadia National Park

Old Apr 28th, 2016, 05:57 PM
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Acadia National Park

Hello, our family of 5 (3 kids age 17 -22) will be traveling from Mystic, CT to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park end of July. We are planning to stop by Portsmouth, Ogunquit, & will stay over at Portland on Sunday night. Then we will go to Camden on Monday & will stay overnight at a very nice cabin in Northport. Then we will drive to Bar Harbor, & will stay there for 3 nights in a hotel.
1. From what I had read, some people suggested that Bar Harbor is very touristy & one gets the same views & ambiance at Camden area. Then should we stay 2 nights in Northport (15 minutes from Camden) instead?
2. What are the must-to-do/ see in Acadia National Park?
Thank you,
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 06:12 PM
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Well, Acadia is a National Park for a reason...

As I said in your other post, Acadia is about being outdoors--it's not about Bar Harbor, although I like BH, and really only find it to be crowded during the day.

Camden is nice enough, but doesn't have the gorgeous, iconic, rocky coast you would see in Acadia.
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 06:24 PM
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Thank you, Elberko for reminding me that there is Acadia on top of Bar Harbor! Got your point! Then we will just stick to our original plan then!
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 03:30 AM
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I like the view from Mt Battie better than Cadillac but that's something you can do on your way through Camden. It's a fun spot for a picnic overlooking Camden harbor. Sometimes you see windjammers coming along the coast. Camden is also very touristy and doesn't have the carriage roads and scenic drive that Acadia/Mount Desert Island has.

On your way north to Acadia via Rt 1, stop at the Chicken Barn for reading material (used books and antiques).
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 05:00 AM
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We will visit Camden but stay at a cabin at PointLookout in Northport, overlooking Penobscot Bay. The picture seems very nice & relaxing so we are looking forward to it. And that is why I was wondering whether to stay there 2 nights or not.

Thanks for the Mt Battie tip!
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 05:07 AM
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Having done the trip from Mystic to Maine about a million times (slight exaggeration), I can tell you that unless you are going early on Sunday morning, the alternate route given by Google maps is much easier/faster than the first one they give (up 95 north).

from Mystic: 95 south (about 5 miles) to 32 north to 395 north which turns into 290 north to 495 north to 95 north.

Getting through tolls in NH and ME will be easier if you have a transponder for tolls that is linked to a credit card. We got one from the Massachusetts DOT and they mailed it to us, you call with appropriate information.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 05:11 AM
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We really enjoyed the Park, but we purposely brought our bikes to ride the carriage roads in the Park, which was a highlight. We also did a sea kayaking tour out of Bar Harbor and rented kayaks on Long Pond for the better part of the day, too. There's a lot more to the area than just Bar Harbor and the Park.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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It is true that the TOWN of Bar Harbor can be busy during the day with day-trippers. That being said, we always enjoy staying in town (at the Bar Harbor Inn). We find that during the day we are off exploring various parts of the park so the town crowds have no impact on us. In the evening, back in town, we love being able to walk to various restaurants / shops. We are very rarely in town during the day.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 10:36 AM
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That's why I prefer to stay in/near Bar Harbor, too, Bette.

Because of the age of Family_5's sons, staying in town means they could walk to places themselves--hard to do on the rest of MDI.
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 05:08 AM
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Hello emalloy, does your suggested road pass through Porstmouth & Ogunquit on the way to Portland, Maine?

We plan to leave Mystic around 1 pm (had to do brunch with the large family first), & want to visit some nice little towns along the coast there, before stopping over Sunday night in Portland, Maine.

Thank you
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 05:13 AM
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Hello Indyhiker, you mentioned that you did a sea kayaking tour out of Bar Harbor. Whom did you book with? Did you do any other tour or suggest any tour for us, since this is our first trip to the Park and we have 2 1/2 days in Bar Harbor/ Acadia Park.

Yes, due to our kids'ages, we think that staying in town would be more fun for them.

What are the must-do activities for Acadia?

Thank you
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 05:37 AM
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There are 3-4 kayak and bike rental places on Cottage St. I don't think it matters which you use, though. We've used various ones over the years, depending on availability, price, and length of tour.

As many times as I've been there, I still like to drive the loop road at least once, stopping at scenic points along the way. Stop at the visitors center just before you get to BH for a park map.

So you can choose what interests your family: hiking, sea-kayaking, biking on the carriage roads, maybe a ranger led hike.

If you are there on a night that a star watch is offered on Sand beach, and it's a clear day, GO! If, like most of us, you don't live in a light-free area, you will be entralled.
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 05:39 AM
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I assume you have had a look at the website:
https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 05:44 AM
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We used National Park Sea Kayak Tours. We had a great time.
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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Yes, emallay's suggested route I95 goes right thru Portsmouth. I95 roughly parallels US Rt 1 but Rt 1 is pretty much a two-4 lane local hwy. You will have to get off I95 and onto Rt 1 for Ogunquit but do not take Rt 1 thru Kittey (across the river from Portsmouth) since it goes thru outlet he!! for several miles.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 06:56 PM
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Thank you all for the tips!
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