Road tripping from Boston to Acadia National Park: A Guide to Scenic Adventures

Boston to Acadia road trip

Table Of Contents

Are you ready to hit the road and explore the picturesque landscapes of the Northeastern US? A road trip from Boston to Acadia National Park is a perfect way to discover stunning coastlines, charming towns, and unforgettable experiences. In this guide, we will provide you with everything you need to know to plan your trip, from the best time to visit the top attractions to see along the way. 

1,642 miles
about 26 hours 28 minutes of driving
about 4 days
about $287.31 of fuel

Planning your Boston to Acadia road trip

The best time to visit Boston is from late spring to early fall when the weather is warm and the city has outdoor events and festivals. Before hitting the road, plan your trip to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. This section covers everything from choosing the right time of year to mapping out your itinerary and booking accommodation.

 July and August are the most pleasant months for warm weather, but the changing seasons in September and October bring various colors. Peak season is June through October. If you are not driving, check the Bus route to see step-by-step directions with maps, line arrival times, and updated time schedules—rent from a wide range of models, including luxury and sports cars. 

A car is more convenient for road trips. When you reach the airport, there are signs all over for car rental companies. The top stops from Boston to Acadia National Park are Salem Witch Museum, The House of the Seven Gables, Hampton Beach State Park, Canobie Lake Park, The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial, and Peabody Essex Museum. 

See The Scenic Route Map

Exploring Boston

Boston is a vibrant city with rich history, iconic landmarks, and delicious cuisine. Take some time to explore the city before hitting the road and heading north. Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts and a destination for art, history, and culture. From the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill to the famous Freedom Trail, Boston is a dream destination for several visitors. 

Walking along the Freedom Trail is one of the best things to do in Boston. Look at historic sites like the Old North Church and the USS Constitution Museum. Use a tour guide for a more in-depth experience.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum allows visitors to relive the events leading up to the American Revolution. Visitors can participate in a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party and explore the museum’s interactive exhibits. Boston offers numerous options in arts, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Both museums showcase world-renowned artwork from different eras and cultures.

Boston’s best places to eat and drink are Cafe Bonjour, Mario’s Restaurant, Theo’s Cozy Corner Restaurant, Sorellina, Union Oyster House, Abigail’s Tea Room, and Jacob Wirth Restaurant. The best accommodation in Boston is Four Points by Sheraton Boston Newton, The Farrington Inn, Boston Homestel, Hilton Boston Back Bay, The Godfrey Hotel Boston, Four Seasons Boston, Seaport Hotel, Boston Marriott Long Wharf, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Discovering the Maine coast

The Maine coast is renowned for its stunning scenery, quaint coastal towns, and fresh seafood. This section will cover the top places to visit and things to do as you make your way up the coast toward Acadia National Park.

Portland is well known for its food, art, and scenic beauty ( There is a vast food court, clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and beautiful scenery. Catch the Portland Saturday Market, Mount Hood, and the Columbia River Gorg.

Mid-coast Maine is known for lighthouses, lobster, and seaside charm. It has charming harbor towns and quaint country villages. Try a lobster roll made from the fresh daily catch. Hike the trails in the Northeast’s only National Park to witness the first sunrise in the country.

Bar Harbor is the gateway to Acadia National Park. It is also the largest community on Mount Desert Island. The direct drive from Bar Harbor to Acadia National Park is 11.8 min, approximately 26 min. Bar Harbor has endless activities and scenic drives. Acadia National Park is the only national park in Bar Harbor. Sharpen your hiking skills on miles of trails like The Precipice ( If you ever have one meal in Bar Harbor, it has to be fresh Maine lobster with a blueberry beer.

Other coastal towns in Maine are Belfast, Rockland, Camden, Castine, Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta,  Stonington, Camden, and Blue Hill. Outdoor activities on the Maine coast are hiking, kayaking, whale watching, and more.

Exploring Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is the crown jewel of the Northeastern US, offering breathtaking views, diverse wildlife, and unforgettable outdoor adventures. This section covers everything you need to know to explore the park and make the most of your visit.

Must-see sights in Acadia National Park include Cadillac Mountain, Park Loop Road, Champlain Mountain & Beehive Loop Trail, Carriage Roads, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond, and the Bar Harbor Head Lighthouse. The hiking trails offer the best hikes for all skill levels. The best hikes in Acadia are Precipice Trail, Beehive Trail, Ocean Path Distance, Cadillac Summit Loop Trail, South Bubble Trail, Jordan Pond Path, Dorr Mountain via the Ladder Trail, and the Beech Cliff Ladder Trail.

Wildlife watching in the park includes potting moose and whales. For camping and lodging, you can stay in and around the park. Inside Acadia, you can stay at two Acadia National Park campgrounds on Mount Desert Island (Blackwoods and Seawall), one campground on the Schoodic Peninsula, and five lean-to shelters on Isle au Haut. Outside Acadia, you can stay at The Schoodic Woods Campground, Hadley’s Point Campground, or any other lodge. Dining options in and around the park include The Nor’Easter Pound & Market, Copita, Havana, Reading Room Restaurant at The Bar Harbor Inn, or Jordan Pond House Restaurant.


A. What is the distance from Boston to Acadia National Park?

The distance is 275 miles. 

B. How long does driving from Boston to Acadia National Park take?

The driving time from Boston to Acadia National Park is approximately 5 hours, but it may vary depending on traffic and your route. It’s recommended to plan for extra time for rest stops and sightseeing along the way.

C. What are some scenic routes to take to Acadia National Park?

Some scenic routes to take to Acadia National Park include the Schoodic National Scenic Byway, the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, and the Acadia Byway. These routes offer stunning views of coastal Maine, charming towns, and beautiful forests.

D. What are the best places to stop for food and drinks on the way to Acadia National Park?

The best places to stop for food and drinks on the way to Acadia National Park are Jordan Pond House Restaurant, Thirsty Whale Tavern, and many more. Travelers might consider stopping at Chase’s Daily in Belfast, Maine, for farm-to-table vegetarian cuisine or the Atlantic Brewing Company in Bar Harbor for craft beer and local snacks.


In conclusion, a road trip from Boston to Acadia National Park is a scenic adventure that offers stunning views, charming towns, and unforgettable experiences. With this guide, you have all the information you need to plan your trip, explore the Maine coast, and discover the beauty of Acadia National Park. So, pack your bags, and hit the road, for an epic adventure!

What are the best things to do in Acadia National Park?

The best things to do in Acadia National Park are  Horseback rides on the 45-mile Carriage Roads, observing the marine life in the park’s tidepools, ocean kayaking on Mount Desert Island, and watching the sunrise or sunset from Cadillac Mountain.

What are the best hiking trails in Acadia National Park?

These are The Beehive Loop Trail, Jordan Pond Path, Gorham Mountain Loop, and Cadillac North Ridge Trail. Some other popular hiking trails in Acadia National Park include:

These trails offer different levels of difficulty and scenic views of the park. Visitors can choose the trail that suits their interests and fitness level.

When is the best time to see fall foliage in Acadia National Park?

The best time to see fall foliage in Acadia National Park is mid-October. 

How can I avoid the crowds in Acadia National Park?

Avoid crowds by visiting Acadia early morning or late afternoon to find less-crowded experiences. Also, visit in winter, spring, or late fall.

What are some alternative routes to Acadia National Park?

Continue on I-95 north to Bangor, Maine, then take Route 1A east to Ellsworth.

What are some budget-friendly options for a road trip from Boston to Acadia National Park?

Some budget-friendly options for a road trip from Boston to Acadia National Park include camping at the Blackwoods or Seawall campgrounds in the park, visiting the free attractions in Bar Harbor, such as the Abbe Museum or the Shore Path, and taking advantage of the many hiking trails in the park. Other budget-friendly options include packing a picnic lunch and enjoying it at one of the park’s picnic areas or taking a scenic drive along the Park Loop Road. Additionally, staying in nearby towns like Ellsworth or Trenton can provide more affordable lodging options. [1]

Are there any beaches near Acadia National Park?

There are beaches like  Seal Harbour Beach, Sand Beach, Echo Lake Beach, and Little Hunters Beach. [1]. These beaches offer different experiences ranging from rocky coastlines to sandy shores, and some offer scenic views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Visitors can enjoy swimming, hiking, picnicking, and watching wildlife at these beaches.

Can I bring my pets to Acadia National Park?

Yes, you can bring them, but there are restrictions. According to the official National Park Service website, pets are allowed in certain park areas but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Owners must also clean up after their pets. 

What are some must-try seafood dishes in Maine?

Try lobster, mussels, sea scallops, shrimp, and oysters.

What are some hidden gems to visit in Maine?

Some hidden gems in Maine are the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Mount Battie and Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse. Other hidden gems in Maine are:

  1. Acadia National Park – is a stunning park with diverse landscapes, including mountains, forests, and lakes.
  2. Portland Head Light – a historic lighthouse with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  3. Moosehead Lake – the largest lake in Maine, with opportunities for fishing, hiking, and kayaking.
  4. Fort Knox State Historic Site – a well-preserved fort from the mid-19th century.
  5. Reid State Park – a quiet and secluded beach with rocky coastlines and dunes.
  6. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway – a scenic drive through the mountains and lakes of western Maine.
  7. Maine Maritime Museum – a fascinating museum dedicated to Maine’s rich maritime history.
  8. Popham Beach State Park – a picturesque beach with views of a historic fort and nearby islands.
  9. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village – a unique and historic village that preserves the traditions of the Shaker community.
  10. Schoodic Peninsula – a quieter and less crowded section of Acadia National Park with stunning coastal views.

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