Driving along the north Atlantic coast is a visual delight. Craggy coastlines, windswept shores and screeching gulls are some of the many sights to see. But visiting Acadia National Park was a standout experience on our highlight reel of the Northeast.
Upon entering the park, we steered the RV to Park Loop Road. It’s a 27-mile road that, you guessed it, forms a big loop on the Bar Harbor side of Mount Desert Island. There are numerous turnouts along the road, and when the road is one-way, you can park along the right-hand lane, which is great for RVs. Be aware, however, that there are 4 bridges along the loop with low clearance that may pose a problem for bigger vehicles. One bridge had a clearance of 10′ 4″.
It’s fun traveling down Park Loop Road taking in all the leafy green scenery and stopping at various points of interest along the way: Beehive trail (a fun ladder trail), Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond, the network of carriage trails and the town of Bar Harbor. The road would be beautiful in the fall.
Mount Desert Island is split by Somes Sound into the eastern Bar Harbor (busier) side and the western (less touristy) side. Most of the lodging, dining and shopping opportunities are available in Bar Harbor. We decided to stay on both sides to get a better feel for the island.
Besides stopping in a number of shops and restaurants, a fun thing to do while exploring Bar Harbor is to cross to Bar Island during low tide. There’s a trail that’s over a mile long that ends in views of the island and the docked cruise ships. But don’t misjudge the tide – a water taxi or tow can be pricey!
RV/Oversized vehicle parking: Camping is available at Blackwoods campground, located south of Bar Harbor. There are no hookups.
Definitely quieter than the eastern side with just as many gems to explore. The less crowded town of Southwest Harbor is still worth a stroll if only for a quick bite. There’s also the Bass Harbor Head lighthouse.
RV/Oversized vehicle parking: Seawall campground is a few miles south of Southwest Harbor and is also a dry campground.
Honorable mention: Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, ME
For the love of lobster, I made sure we passed through Wiscasset both to and from Acadia National Park. Each time, we stopped at Red’s Eats roadside shack for a delicious lobster roll and side of onion rings. The lightly toasted roll is piled high with the sweet and tasty crustacean. You can get it with butter or mayo on the side. People swear by both so I tried them to see which is best. Winner: me! They were both yummy. 😝