A pampered vacation to Acadia National Park

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of March 26-April 1, 1998
Looking for a challenging NW cycle tour
Camping out in the Florida Keys
Backpacking in the Yukon's Kluane National Park
A pampered vacation to Acadia National Park

A pampered vacation to Acadia National Park
Question: My wife and I are 38 years old and enjoy hiking and outdoor sports. We want to go to Maine and are looking for some vacation package ideas. As much as my wife likes the outdoors, she also wants to be pampered with excellent accommodations and gourmet food. We are looking to go in June or July for about seven days. We don't mind staying at a couple of locations. Can you help?

Stephan Lowy
Ocean, New Jersey

There's plenty of primo lodging on Acadia's Mount Desert Island
Adventure Adviser: Given your outdoor interests and desire for first-rate accommodations, I would suggest a visit to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. Lodging ranges from elegant inns to cozy bed-and-breakfasts, and the cuisine spans from hand-crafted at George's in Bar Harbor to rough-and-dirty at the island's many lobster pounds. In Acadia, you can hike to your heart's content, bike along the winding carriage roads hailing from Rockefeller days, or check out seals at Otter Cliffs. Don't miss the scrumptious popovers and fresh lemonade at the Jordan Pond House — the perfect resting spot after a long hike within the park. Warm days, cool nights, and blooming lupine make late June an ideal time to visit.

Because Mount Desert Island is easy to navigate on your own, I recommend piecing together your own vacation package. Plan on spending three nights in either Northeast or Southwest Harbor, and three in Bar Harbor. Keep in mind that Maine during the summer is extremely popular, so act quickly to secure reservations. Canoes, kayaks, and bikes can all be rented from the National Park Outdoor Activities Center (207-288-0342) in Bar Harbor.

Overlooking Northeast Harbor, the historic Asticou Inn is an elegant, 115-year-old mansion or "summer cottage," in Mount Desert-speak. From any of the 46 rooms, you can walk right onto Acadia's trails. A 15-minute ocean jaunt will take you to Northeast Harbor, where you can catch a mail boat out to one of the Cranberry Islands. The Asticou also has a clay tennis court and heated pool and is walking distance from the Japanese-inspired Rockefeller gardens. With the New England Culinary Institute overseeing the kitchen, I'm sure your wife will enjoy the food. Call 1-800-258-3373 for reservations. Rates begin at $250, including breakfast; a modified meal plan is also available.

Just down the road in Southwest Harbor is the Claremont Hotel (1-800-244-5036). This ocean compound has a grand yellow-shingled hotel, flanked by guest houses and cottages. You can play afternoon croquet on the front lawn, row a boat into the harbor, or pedal a bike to town. Until July 1, double rooms with breakfast are $95 a night, or $140 including dinner. During peak season, a waterside room with two meals runs $200 a night.

Located on eight-acres of ocean-front property, The Bar Harbor Inn (800-248-3351) is a quick walk to town and less than a mile to the park entrance. There are numerous room categories, and prices change by the week during the summer, but multi-night stays are available at a 25-percent savings. An example: during June 19-25, the Spring Fling package costs from $185-265 per person and includes a two-night stay, both breakfasts, one dinner, a lobster bake, and your choice of a park tour or harbor cruise. When not exploring town, you can enjoy the pool, hot tub, and fitness center.

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!