Coastal Drive to Cadillac Mountain
Acadia National Park, Maine
A scenic coastal drive in Acadia leading to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast, is not just a summer adventure. But leave the drop top at home for this one. "Snow changes everything," says Acadia’s Lead Ranger Kathy Grant. "The mountains are snow-capped and the ocean is beautiful as always. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking." The drive through Bar Harbor (along Schooner Head Road, Otter Cliff Road, and Route 233) spans beaches, cliffs, streams, forest, waterfalls, and 17 stone-faced bridges on the park roadways. A mile-long stretch of the Park Loop Road south of Sand Beach stays open 365 days a year — even when the rest of the loop and park roads are closed — so you still get the best coastline driving this side of the Appalachian Trail. When you are ready to stretch your legs, the park has 45 miles of carriage roads offering the perfect terrain for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.
Fly: The Bangor International and Portland airports are the closest to Acadia, but offer deals on tickets. Southwest offers notoriously cheaper airfares into Manchester, New Hampshire, a four-hour drive to Acadia.
Stay: The Acadia Hotel is a quaint and authentic inn located in downtown Bar Harbor and open year round. Rooms start at $69 per night, and booking includes free downtown parking and a pass to the historic Abbe Museum. [acadiahotel.com]