1. Acadia National Park (Maine)Get More Info
One of the best things about Acadia—the spot where the sun rises first in the U.S.— is that you can have your fill of pretty much any outdoor activity. For all the hikers out there, Becky Lomax, author of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 59 Parks, says to trek the Beehive Trail bright and early in the a.m., where you’ll traverse iron ladders, granite steps, and switchbacks. “It’s short, but a fun route along cliffs for those who have no fear of heights,” she says.
If you’d rather climb those rocks than walk on them, book a lesson with one of the climbing schools in the area, like Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School or Atlantic Climbing School. “Many popular climbing routes are on sea cliffs, with tremendous views of the ocean,” Lomax says. To round it out, if you prefer pedaling to strolling or sending, Lomax suggests doing the Park Loop Road, either super early in the morning to avoid cars or in the evening before it gets dark. You’ll cover 27 miles of rolling hills, with plenty of awe-inspiring sights as your background.
You’ll have to pay a fee to get into the park, but you can hike and bike for free (rentals are available at Bar Harbor). Note: Climbing requires a reservation.Back to top