Best time to visit Acadia?

Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Best time to visit Acadia?

We visited the Rockland/Camden area of Maine last summer and would like to go back sometime in the summer of 2007 to see Acadia. Would the week around 4th of July be too filled with other tourists? Would we be better off waiting until August? Or, should we get there early and go in May?
Shopping is NOT important to us, short hikes, maybe some boat trips to see wildlife and the outer islands.
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Old Jan 4th, 2007, 03:16 AM
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We still think that the best time to visit is September.After Labor day.Paul
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Old Jan 4th, 2007, 03:25 AM
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We haven't been to Acadia for a couple of years but last year visited the Wiscasset/Bath area for 4th of July week, including venturing into Boothbay. First, all you have to do is be aware of when and where the crowds are. For example, downtown Boothbay is mobbed, but there were only a few people at the newly opened Maine Coastal Gardens nearby (nice place for a walk thru gardens, forest, along edge of ocean). Bath had a crowded but wonderful 4th of July parade and fair. It was a great time to visit Monhegan Island with a picnic lunch and binnoculars. As you know, downtown Camden is very crowded most of the time but nearby Mt Battie is not except the time we drove up (mid-June) to find most of the parking places filled by model T cars (there was a convention). We've been to Acadia in late June. Downtown Boothbay is crowded. The rest of the island didn't seem to be. If you go mid-June you can also visit the lupine festival on the Blue Hill Peninsula just before you get to Mt Desert. Whenever we go to Maine we plot our path around crowds and crowded times. The bridge on Rt 1 in Wiscasset is always crowded with traffic backed up during commuting hours but worse on Friday evenings (esp 4th of July weekend). Our usual rule of thumb is areas with nice shops are always crowded. We did visit Ellsworth during 4th of July week but its downtown isn't as popular at Bar Harbor is. Visit the popular restaurants at an off time or skip then entirely. Expect traffic to be heavy on Friday evening and avoid it. Early July is a great time to go so you can find a lobster place serving rhubarb pie! But August is nice too when there are trucks along route 1 selling blueberries. I think May is too early because some things won't be open. Even mid-June was very chilly for a boat ride. The crew passed out blankets. (We were going Belfast to Stonington). Keep in mind my husband HATES crowds and traffic. Another reason that 4th of July week is great is the farmers markets are open with some nice produce like fresh strawberries.
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Old Jan 4th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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Hello. If you are looking for fewer people, avoid late July and early August - the last week in August is good because folks are thinking about getting back to school. Narrated boat trips might not be available before Mem Day in May but there are always ferries running to Swans Island, Frenchboro or the Cranberry Islands and there is always hiking. July 4 is busy and September *generally* has great weather. If you stay on the 'quietside' of Mount Desert Island, you can hike in high season and not see anyone else. Hope this helps and Happy Planning.
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Old Jan 12th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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We love 4th of July in the Acadia region, but avoid places like downtown Bar Harbor during midday when cruise ships are in port. The fireworks over the water in Bar Harbor on 4th of July is an enjoyable event.

In the various sections of Acadia National Park, you can avoid the crowds. Sand Beach is too crowded during nice weather on weekends. You'd want to call ahead to Jordan Pond House and go on Monday instead of Saturday or Sunday.

Have you considered staying on the Schoodic Peninsula? Winter Harbor has a little excursion ferry that travels between Winter Harbor and the Bar Harbor Inn pier during the day. You'll pass lighthouses, granite shore, islands.

Or you can drive between Winter Harbor and Bar Harbor in less than an hour, seeing some incredible views along Rt. 1 in Sullivan, Hancock and Gouldsboro.

The Schoodic Point section of Acadia National Park is the best kept secret of Acadia region - no crowds, but enough dramatic scenery and hiking trails to keep you happy during your stay.

There are good restaurants in Winter Harbor and Birch Harbor. So do check out the Schoodic Peninsula.

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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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We've been there in July, in August, and in September. NEVER had a bad time, but like September best for weather, and lack of mosquitoes. Only minus I can think of is that the blueberries are done by then.

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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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July 2000: no mosquitoes, not at all crowded (well, in comparison to CA national parks!), and would go back in a heartbeat. The restaurants at Jordan Pond in the early evening is a special memory.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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restaurant -- singular, sorry
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Jumping in here: We're going to be on the coast at the very end of May and early June. Can't change our dates because it's in comibnation with the Colby graduation. Given that particular time frame, I'm hoping that knowledgeable downeasters can advise us which things would be especially good to do at that time, which things we should probably avoid. Thanks very much.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 03:29 PM
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Just after labor day is best, usually great weather & crowds are gone but everything's still up and running. (but let's keep Sept our little secret, paul!)

May can be iffy...maybe wait until 2nd & 3rd weeks of June, just before school is out up there. Weather should warm up a bit and room rates won't skyrocket until the schools are out.
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