What to do in Acadia National Park while on a Budget?

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Acadia National Park is an amazing place that everyone needs to experience. The magical and goodness that is there is unbelievable. I am originally from the midwest and you already know that travel tiny and it has been my goal to go to Acadia National Park up in Maine for a long time. It is such a good feeling to knock it off my bucket list and still travel on a budget there. We want to share with you six things to do in Acadia National Park while on a budget because you are to live your life and enjoy the journey!

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1. Staying at Mount Desert Campground

Here you can stay with a tent or a rv or trailer that is less than 20’.  It only cost $37 to $55 depending if you want a regular spot or you want waterfront view. We heard only good things about the campground and it is nice to be on site if you are going to be hanging out in Acadia National Park the entire time. 

Where did we stay at when we went?

We have a 32’ RV so we were not able to stay at Mount Desert Campground, which we were sad because we really did want to stay there. We ended up finding a spot at Hadley’s Point Campground.  They were super friendly and even escorted us to our spot.  They had a quick check in process because you can do it all via your phone before you get there! It was nice for the two nights we stayed.  

We spent $100 for two nights and it was in the middle of a field, so I did not take a photo of the spot.  I was not that impressed, but we were only staying there to basically sleep since we were either in Bar Harbor or Acadia the entire time.  They did have the free shuttle service stop here which was a bonus and the location of the campground I thought was perfect!  Not too far, but not too close to the hustle. 

We would stay here again when we come up to Acadia National Park again.

2. Bar Harbor, Maine

The town of Bar Harbor, Maine which is very close to Acadia was amazing! It was where we spent our first evening.  You get to see the sunset glare off the water and they had a good amount of green space to sit and enjoy watching people or letting the little ones run!  They even had music playing while we were there and they were good! Our daughter loved playing in the rocks by the ocean! We couldn’t keep her away from the rocks or the water.

While you are in the green space, you can see the “land bridge” We didn’t physically walk to it because it was during the middle of the tide and not during low tide but you could definitely see where it started! It was pretty cool!

3. Put EXTRA In Your Budget if you plan to eat Lobster

This is one area, where we underestimated on our budget.  We went out twice for lobster while we were there.  Hello it is Maine and you are only there a few times or only once in a life time! We spent easily $100 on dinner each night so be cautious when I say put extra in your budget if you plan to eat lobster! 😉 

Here are our favorite hiking boots. I have the grey ones of this brand and love them! They are comfy and great for hiking!

4. Shops in Bar Habor, Maine 

The shops were fabulous there.  A lot of tourist items so go to them all to find the best deals!  I found a shirt for $5 and my husband found a long sleeve for $9!  Can you say great survinour for a great price! Be sure you don’t want to return something as most shops won’t let you return items. We learned this when we saw a better deal and wanted to return one of them.  Luckily, I have a charm and the lady let me return it.

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5. Fall Foliage

We went there several weeks before the fall foliage peak, but we still got to see the fall foliage.  It was beautiful!  If you can, definitely plan your trip to see the fall foliage but be ready for cold nights!  The bus driver was telling us it get chilly and it gets really crowded at Acadia National Park. (It was busy when we were there during a Sunday at the end of August, so I could not imagine how much busier it could get)

6. Bus Shuttle

Take advantage of the free bus shuttle.  It goes all over the park and then you do not have to worry about your car and trying to find impossible parking!  The parking if you do not get there early.  (We got there at 7:30 AM and there were plenty of people already there). 

We took advantage of the bus shuttle at the end of Ocean Path by Otter Cliff.  That way we did not have to back track on the trail, which I am glad we did because the trail was super busy when we got back to our car around 3:00 PM. We took the shuttle bus to Jordan Pond and had our packed lunch.  It is the place to be for lunch and dinner so just know that Jordan Pond!  It was an amazing view though for lunch! The clear water so gorgeous!

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