Acadia has crowds, sure—but it also provides access and options that can’t be beat anywhere on the East Coast. Base yourself in Bar Harbor, entry point for the 35,000-acre park, where there’s always someplace that’s downwind, sheltered, or at least out of the fog to paddle. Get a room at the Harborside Hotel on the water in Bar Harbor (doubles, $279) and rent a board and—if you need it—a guide from Thorfinn Expeditions (daylong rentals, $60; guided trips from $65). Warm up with a mellow cruise down Long Pond, located on the west side of the park (seven-day pass, $20). Day two: Take on dramatic, fjordlike Somes Sound. Launch in the village of Somesville, paddle 3.5 miles south to Valley Cove, then hang out and watch the falcons until the wind starts to funnel through the sound. Then rip a downwind return back to town. Day three: Opt for a sailboat-supported exploration of the rugged Porcupine Islands. For $55 per person, Thorfinn will send a 30-foot boat to accompany you on the two-mile paddle across Frenchman Bay. After gliding around the Porcupines beneath 100-foot cliffs, hop a ride back on the boat.
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