Discover Acadia National Park
by Kathi MacNaughton
My daughters, Jenn and Sarah, at Thunder Hole in Acadia NP
When I was raising my 2 daughters as a single mother, we enjoyed taking affordable vacations that got us away from our home area, southern NJ, outside Philadelphia. In 1992, we discovered Acadia National Park on an island off the coast of Maine and it instantly became our favorite family vacation spot!
In fact, we loved it there so much, we went back every second year for 5 more times... and we'd go again in an instant if all 3 of us hadn't moved so far away (my girls live in Austin, TX and I'm in Boise, ID). We do hope to return there as a family one day, perhaps even organizing a big family reunion there.
We love Acadia so much we even built our own SBI website about it: http://www.discover-acadia.com
So what is it that makes Acadia such a great family vacation spot? Well, I think the biggest thing it has going for it is that there is so darn much to do there, no matter what your age, physical ability or preferences.
If you like the outdoors, you can hike on flat, rolling or mountainous trails and see rocks, ocean, streams, lakes and waterfalls. Or you can ride bicycles on no-cars-allowed carriage trails. The carriage trails are an intertwining system that allow both short and long jaunts. Or go rock climbing... or canoeing... or sea kayaking.
Don't like to exert yourself? That's OK... you can drive the Park Loop Road and see the varied terrain that is Acadia, from rocky mountaintops to ocean cliffs with crashing waves to peaceful, deep forests with clear, quiet lakes. Or go on a whale watching or birdwatching cruise to see wildlife up close.
Acadia and its neighboring towns of Bar Harbor, etc. also offer shopping, movie theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums. Lots of kid-friendly activities like mini golf and go karts in the area too.
Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor are also rich in history and the people there are friendly. You can stay in a variety of lodgings, from rustic camping to luxurious hotels. Your choice.
Even on our 6th trip, we found new things to do and were never bored, even though we stayed there for 2 weeks at a pop. I can't recommend Acadia National Park more highly as a superlative family vacation spot!