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So You Want to Explore Nature Without Camping

Why Acadia National Park Should Be Your Next Destination

By: Hipmunk + Save to a List

Sometimes you want to explore mother nature without jumping into bed with her. We get it. The high likelihood for encountering bugs, fungi, large mammals and rain when camping is definitely a downside of sleeping outdoors. That being said, there are ways to spend the day traversing the wild, lighting a campfire (safely) and 'gramming nature at her best. If you are thinking “Hey, that’s my ideal vacation,” buckle up and head to Acadia National Park. White capped waves meet soaring forestland here and the neighboring town of Bar Harbor is full of great places to stay. Here are our top 3 picks for Acadian explorers.

Photo: Jonathan Elsner

1. Bar Harbor Inn

Well loved by its owners of 26 years and Acadia visitors, The Bar Harbor Inn is a 5 minute drive from the camp grounds and offers New England charm and comfort at an affordable price. At night, cozy up by the fire after a long day out on the trails and wake up refreshed and ready to hit the Acadia beachside (after a glorious, buffet breakfast of course).
Insider Tip: Check out the Newport Building for high quality hospitality at an even low price.

2. Bar Harbor Motel

Keeping the budget low but wanting a convenient location are often opposing wishes? Not at the Bar Harbor Motel. Immediately adjacent to park grounds, Bar Harbor Motel offers guests a way to maximize their time in the park on a minimal budget. Get refreshed from your long day hiking with a dip in the pool and a chill session on the patio. Don’t let budget and time constrain your Acadia plans; stay at the Bar Harbor Motel and go explore.
Insider Tip: The complimentary Island Shuttle into town which stops right outside the motel if the need to revisit civilization overwhelms you.

3. Bar Harbor Manor

First time hikers should prioritize Bar Harbor Manor as their place to stay if the newbie nerves are causing trailside worries. Bar Harbor Manor offers tours of Acadia Park so getting lost a la Cheryl Strayed won’t be a concern. After a long day of hikes, relax tired muscles in the manor jacuzzi and relax the day away while strolling through quaint Bar Harbor.
Insider Tip: Request a room with a kitchen to save money on sustenance for tomorrow’s hike.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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