All park visitors are required to pay an entrance fee to Acadia National Park upon entry May through October. Passes can be purchased at the Sand Beach Entrance Station (along the Park Loop Road), the Visitor Center at Hulls Cove, at the Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds, as well as the Bar Harbor Village Green, and the Thompson Island Information Center. Credit cards are accepted at all locations. Acadia National Park passes are now also available online from the Your Pass Now service. As of 2021, the various passes and fees are:
Tourist season in Acadia National Park is typically June through August with the extended tourist season running through October for fall foliage tours. While summer is the time of year when most people visit Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is actually open year-round, although amenities and access are more limited during the winter months. A few notes on dates:
Average monthly temperatures for Bar Harbor are listed below. Temperatures can be much colder on top of the exposed peaks.
|Temp (F)||Daily High||Daily Low|
There is a plethora of lodging options on Mount Desert Island, from affordable motels to more luxurious resorts. Also a good option for families are vacation home and cottage rentals. Lodging is mostly centered around the bustling Bar Harbor area, but good options also exist in Northeast Harbor, in Southwest Harbor on the "quiet side," and in other areas of the island. Those looking for a quieter experience will appreciate staying on the west side of Mount Desert Island. Cheaper lodging can also be found back in Ellsworth on the mainland.
Restaurants are also quite numerous in Bar Harbor as well as some of the other towns, but most restaurants are seasonal, opening in May or June and closing in October as the tourist season dwindles. Roadside lobster pounds are also a fun and easy way to enjoy lobster and other seafood treats without the cost or time of a full sit-down meal. Some of my personal favorite places to eat are Stewman's Lobster Pound (restaurant in Bar Harbor), Jordan's Restaurant (family restaurant in Bar Harbor), Thurston's Lobster Pound (lobster pound/restaurant in Bernard, on the "quiet side" near Bass Harbor), Beal's Lobster Pier (lobster pound in Southwest Harbor), and Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound (roadside lobster pound in Southwest Harbor).
Acadia National Park has three main campgrounds: Blackwoods Campground (located off of Route 3, 5 miles south of Bar Harbor near the southeastern coast), Seawall Campground (located 4 miles south of Southwest Harbor on the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island), and Schoodic Woods Campground (located on the Schoodic Peninsula near Winter Harbor on the mainland). These campgrounds are open from May to October with Blackwoods Campground open year-round with limited capacity. Camping is also available at Duck Harbor Campground on Isle au Haut. See the NPS camping page for exact dates and fees.
There are also several good private campgrounds on Mount Desert Island. IMPORTANT: Random backpacking is not permitted along the trails or beaches of Acadia National Park.