4 Days in Acadia

Travel Planner

One could easily spend a week or more in Acadia and still not have enough time to see and do everything that this glorious place has to offer. If you’re a nature lover and outdoor adventurer, you will certainly fall in love. Not only is Acadia home to one of the most popular national parks in the country, but this island paradise is also considered one of the top 100 places in the world you must see before you die. We thought it might be helpful to offer you a 4-day itinerary to help make the most of your time while staying at The Harbour Cottage Inn.

Day 1

  • Check in at the Harbour Cottage Inn and settle into your comfortable home for the next few days.
  • Take a stroll around the surrounding gardens and check out the sailing yachts and lobster boats in the harbor.
  • Explore Southwest Harbor and have dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.

Day 2

  • After a great night’s sleep, start your day with a lovingly prepared breakfast.
  • Stop by the front desk for a detailed map of the island before heading out for the day.
  • Take a beautiful drive up and around Somes Sound to the main Acadia visitors center where you will purchase your park pass and please take the time to see a short film about the area, collect all the details of activities available, and even talk to the park rangers ready to help you and answer your questions.
  • Either by car or free island shuttle, head over to the Park Loop Road, a 27 mile drive through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery you will ever see. Stop at Sand Beach and Thunder Hole.
  • Continue on to the Jordan Pond House for lunch. They are famous for their popovers and lobster stew and the restaurant is set beside Jordan Pond and the Bubble Rocks.
  • After lunch, there is a great hike around the pond that should not be missed.
  • Get back in your car or grab a shuttle and continue on to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the east coast of the United States.
  • If time permits, take a stroll through the shops of Bar Harbor or head back to the Harbor Cottage Inn in Southwest Harbor for some relaxation before dinner.
  • For dinner, we suggest Beal’s Lobster Pier for one of the best lobster dinners you will ever have and it’s just a two-minute walk from the Inn.
  • Early to bed because Day 3 is a busy one.

Day 3

  • Rise and shine for organic coffee and a great breakfast at the Harbour Cottage Inn either on our beautiful front porch or colorful dining room.
  • Choose to make this a day of hiking or biking or both depending on the level of activity you prefer.
  • Get fully outfitted at Southwest Cycle just down the street. Grab a picnic lunch and a hiking map and head over to the Carriage Roads for a day of biking and/or hiking. These activities can completely fill your day or if you prefer, spend the afternoon shopping in Bar Harbor and visit the area museums and other attractions.
  • After all that, it’s time for rest at the Inn and a glass of wine or two before walking to one of the area’s finest restaurants. There are several just minutes away and we will be happy to recommend some favorites based on your preferences.
  • Enjoy after-dinner drinks back at the Inn or at one of our local watering holes, often offering live music for your evening’s entertainment.

Day 4

  • Rise and shine for another wonderful breakfast and get ready to explore “The Quiet Side” of Acadia, which surrounds Southwest Harbor.
  • Drive out to a fantastic easy hike on the Wonderland Trail and visit Seawall, both minutes away from the inn.
  • Continue over to Flying Mountain or Beech Mountain for some of the most glorious views of the mountains and ocean in the area. Best of all, there are no crowds! Some of the most beautiful parts of the park are here on “The Quiet Side.” Enjoy!
  • Grab lunch at a local Southwest Harbor eatery before taking a beautiful afternoon or sunset sail up Somes Sound and around the islands with Downeast Friendship Sloop.
  • Sail on an antique lobster boat that only takes six people. Advance reservations will be required.
  • Dinner in Southwest Harbor or Bar Harbor completes your day.
  • Have a good night’s sleep. We will see you in the morning for breakfast and a warm bon voyage as you leave us until the next time!

Have more time? Extend your stay and we will be happy to help you make the most out of this beautiful area. 

September visit to Acadia. The Inn is a great jumping off spot. The hosts and all the help were gracious and extremely helpful in guiding us to things to do and places to eat. The room was bright and comfortable. The breakfast, delicious. We will return. - Lon L., TripAdvisor.com