7 Hidden Gem Small Towns Near Acadia National Park

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team



Acadia National Park is like Maine’s prized gem, surrounded by a cluster of delightful towns that offer a peaceful escape. Nestled along Maine’s rugged coastline, these towns capture the essence of a quintessential fishing village with lobster shacks, iconic lighthouses, and charming historic cottages, reflecting the state’s rich maritime history and natural beauty.

Known as the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” Acadia National Park holds a special place not just in Maine but across the United States, drawing millions of visitors each year.

In the midst of this natural wonder, you’ll find lesser-known yet equally enchanting towns that serve as ideal bases for exploring Acadia’s granite islands and spruce forests. Here’s a curated selection of hidden gem small towns near Acadia National Park that promise an unforgettable Maine experience.

Blue Hill

Just a scenic 43-minute drive (29.6 miles) from Acadia, Blue Hill captivates with its coastal panoramas overlooking Blue Hill Bay. This hidden gem boasts a vibrant art scene showcased in local galleries and a lively Farmers’ Market brimming with fresh produce and artisan crafts.

Whether you’re hiking through tranquil forests or exploring the peninsula, Blue Hill seamlessly blends natural beauty with artistic inspiration.


A short 25-minute drive (15.4 miles) from Acadia, Ellsworth beckons with its historic architecture and coastal charm. Named after Oliver Ellsworth, a founding father of the United States, this town boasts a bustling downtown adorned with shops and galleries.

Visitors can immerse themselves in wildlife observation, hiking, and kayaking amidst the picturesque landscape, serving as a perfect gateway to Acadia’s wonders.


Just a 12-minute drive (7.2 miles) from Acadia, Trenton serves as a picturesque starting point for exploring the park’s natural splendor.

As the gateway to Mount Desert Island, Trenton offers a taste of Maine’s farming and lobstering heritage, complemented by delightful seafood dining experiences. Its close proximity to Acadia makes it an ideal stopover for travelers en route to iconic spots like Cadillac Mountain and the rugged coastal trails.


Bordering Southwest Harbor and Mount Desert, Tremont rests on Mount Desert Island’s serene side, a mere 9-minute drive (4.3 miles) from Acadia. This town provides a tranquil base for exploring Acadia’s quieter corners, including Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and pristine nature trails.

With its peaceful ambiance and easy access to Acadia’s wildlife and mountain views, Tremont offers a serene retreat off the beaten path.

Southwest Harbor

Just a quick 3-minute drive (1.6 miles) from Acadia, Southwest Harbor charms with its waterfront vistas and quaint village atmosphere.

Travelers can indulge in local delights such as lobster rolls at Beal’s Lobster Pier, leisurely strolls along Main Street’s boutiques and galleries, or scenic lobster cruises aboard classic wooden boats. Southwest Harbor blends coastal beauty with a laid-back charm, all within reach of Acadia’s rugged trails.

Bar Harbor

Nestled along Frenchman Bay on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a mere 4-minute drive (1.3 miles) from Acadia. Renowned for its picturesque setting and diverse attractions, Bar Harbor offers everything from cozy B&Bs to woodland camping, waterfront dining, and unique local shops.

As the largest town on the island, it serves as a vibrant gateway to Acadia’s scenic wonders, ensuring a memorable stay for every type of traveler.

Mount Desert

Located just a brief 2-minute drive (1.1 miles) from Acadia, Mount Desert spans New England’s largest island, boasting panoramic mountain vistas and rugged coastlines.

Whether exploring the Park Loop Road, stargazing atop Cadillac Mountain, or discovering cultural landmarks, Mount Desert provides an immersive experience amidst Acadia’s natural splendor and historical richness.

These hidden gem small towns near Acadia National Park invite travelers to uncover Maine’s coastal allure and natural wonders away from the crowds, promising an unforgettable journey through one of America’s most cherished landscapes.

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