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Maine Coast: Purely Acadia

National ParksCarved by glaciers, the sea-swept coast of Downeast Maine is alive with crashing surf, wheeling birds, and invigorating breezes. We’ll experience a traditional New England way of life as we bike around Bar Harbor and in Acadia National Park on its car-free carriage roads and meet the hardy people who call Mt. Desert Island home.

  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 13 - 26 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 1/2 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Ideal for energetic beginners to more experienced riders.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Maine Coast: Purely Acadia

Jagged granite rocks, aromatic pines and cobble beaches dot the shores of what explorer Samuel de Champlain first referred to as “île des Monts Déserts” or “island of the bare mountains.” Join VBT and discover Mount Desert Island in all its glory from the eastern seaboard’s tallest peak to the glacially carved fjard, Somes sound. Find the treasures of Acadia National Park by way of peaceful, car-free carriage trails by day and stay in historic, coastal inns by night. Along the way we’ll learn about the “down-east Maine” way of life from local fisherman and peruse the downtown shops and restaurants of the quintessential summer community, Bar Harbor—once frequented by the likes of the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Astors.

Cultural Highlights

  • Cycle on Acadia National Park’s car-free carriage roads
  • Delight in lovely views of Cadillac Mountain
  • Have the opportunity to sea kayak and take a sunset cruise
  • Ride along the Park Loop Road to Sand Beach
  • Browse Bar Harbor’s colorful shops and boutiques
  • Explore the serene side of Mount Desert Island
  • Bike ferry across Frenchman Bay and cycle Schoodic Peninsula
  • Relax and renew with 5 nights at historic inns
  • Board a local lobster boat bound for Little Cranberry Island
  • Have free time to visit Azalea and Thuya Gardens

What to Expect

This tour offers a full range of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance with the hills.

Average Daily Mileage: 13 – 26 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 4 1/2 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Bar Harbor
May 65°/45°  Jun 74°/54°  Jul 79°/59°  Aug 78°/59°  Sep 70°/52°  Oct 59°/42°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Bar Harbor
May 4.6  Jun 4.1  Jul 3.5  Aug 3.3  Sep 4.5 Oct 5.3

What’s Included:

  • 5 nights in historic inns
  • 11 meals – 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • Transfers
  • Boat transfer to Little Cranberry Island and visit to the Isleford Historical Museum
  • Round trip bike ferry to Schoodic Peninsula
  • Admission to Acadia National Park
  • Special Good Buy Discount
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation. See details.

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Land Only Single Supplement: $545

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Arrive Bar Harbor

Make your own arrangements for travel to Bar Harbor. If you’re flying to Maine, VBT will offer a shuttle from Bangor International Airport. The shuttle works on a “show and go” basis and will make its only departure from the airport to the inn at 1:00 p.m. Shuttle reservations are not required or available. Upon arrival at the airport, please exit the doors in front of the escalators and cross the street to the Four Point Sheraton to await the transfer. Your shuttle bus will carry “West Bus Service” titles, and the driver will be holding a VBT sign. If you are arriving after this shuttle departs or your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach the Bar Harbor Inn.

Guests driving to the tour may leave their car in the Bar Harbor Inn’s parking lot, without charge, for the duration of the tour.

Your group meets at the Bar Harbor Inn. After settling in, explore this lovely seaport town until mid-afternoon. At 3:00 p.m., join your VBT Trip Leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a short warm-up ride. At 5:00 p.m., meet up with the group for a tour orientation and welcome reception before your 7:00 p.m. lobster bake dinner at the inn.

Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn
Meals: D
Daily Options: 7 miles

DAY 2: Cycle carriage trails to Jordan Pond

Today, you’ll cycle on Acadia’s famed car-free carriage roads, which were established by John D. Rockefeller. Your loop takes you around Eagle Lake to Jordan Pond before enjoying lunch on your own. Consider stopping at Jordan Pond House for elegant fare, including their famous lobster stew and golden, lighter-than-air popovers. The afternoon ride offers exceptional views of Bubble Pond and Cadillac Mountain, the first place to view the sunrise in North America for most of the year. You’ll enjoy dinner on your own this evening and perhaps attend a free concert often held on the Town Green.

Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn
Meals: B
Daily Options: 15 or 26 miles

DAY 3: Cycle to Sand Beach / Optional sea kayaking, whale watching or a sunset cruise

Spend the morning riding on the Park Loop Road to Sand Beach, where you can relax on the shore or participate in a short hike. After lunch at the Fabbri Memorial Picnic Area, cycle back to Bar Harbor or, for additional miles, continue on the Park Loop Road past Cadillac Mountain Summit Road. This afternoon, you may choose among optional activities (at your own expense): guided sea kayaking in Frenchman Bay, a whale-watching excursion or a sunset cruise on the schooner Margaret Todd. You may also choose to browse Bar Harbor’s charming gift shops and boutiques. For dinner on your own, enjoy one of the fine restaurants in town.

Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 15 or 23 miles

DAY 4: Explore Schoodnic Peninsula

After breakfast, we cycle one mile to catch a mid-morning bike ferry (45 minutes) across Frenchman Bay to Schoodic Peninsula, the only section of the park on mainland Maine. A local’s favorite, you will ride along the shoreline through classic Down East fishing villages. View sea birds, crashing surf and working lobster boats as you ride to our lunch spot. Enjoy the peace and serenity of Schoodic Point before riding back to Winter Harbor for our return ferry. Once back in Bar Harbor, we will shuttle (30-45 minutes) to our inn. In Northeast Harbor, you’ll find attractive boutiques, galleries, gardens, and eateries. Your accommodation here, Asticou Inn, overlooks a beautiful protected harbor full of sailboats and luxury yachts. Take advantage of the inn’s amenities, which include a clay tennis court and a heated outdoor swimming pool. Dinner will be at a local restaurant tonight.

Hotel: Asticou Inn
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 21 miles

DAY 5: Non-riding Day / Explore Little Cranberry Island and Northeast Harbor

Your exploration today is done both by boat and on foot. After a leisurely breakfast at the inn, you’ll board a lobster boat to Little Cranberry Island. This pristine hamlet hosts a year-round community of lobstermen, boat builders, craftsmen, and “rusticators” (those happy few who opt for country living). You’ll visit the Islesford Historical Museum before boarding the boat back to Northeast Harbor (a 30-minute ride). Enjoy an optional visit to the Azalea and Thuya Gardens before your final farewell celebration dinner at the inn.

Hotel: Asticou Inn
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: Non-cycling day (opportunities for independent riding in the afternoon)

DAY 6: Enjoy the Carriage Trails before departing

This morning, you will cycle up to Acadia National Park and cruise along the carriage trails one last time, enjoying the views on the west side of Jordan Pond on your way back to Bar Harbor. As you and your fellow travelers bid adieu, you’ll agree with the state’s motto that this is truly “the way life should be.”

VBT has arranged facilities for you to use between noon and 2:00 p.m. to shower and change before leaving. The innkeepers of the Bar Harbor Inn ask that you depart by 2:00 p.m. A return shuttle to Bangor International Airport will depart the Bar Harbor Inn at 1:00 p.m. (travel time approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes). For this reason, we suggest a flight departing no earlier than 4:15 p.m.

Meals: B
Daily Options: 13 miles

Acadia Bike Tour Map

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Accommodations

Bar Harbor Inn

Built in 1887, the inn is close to all of Bar Harbor’s attractions. Take in views of Frenchman Bay through the dining room’s picture window. The inn’s luxury spa opened in spring 2006.
Free WiFi Included

Asticou Inn

Established in 1883, this historic inn overlooks the placid waters of Northeast Harbor and is adjacent to Acadia National Park. It has 48 rooms—31 in the four-story Main Inn and 17 in four smaller buildings known collectively as the “Asticou Cottages”—and features fully modern amenities, including a heated swimming pool and a clay tennis court. The inn is also home to Peabody’s, an elegant harborside restaurant serving local and regional favorites such as lobster bisque, New England clam chowder, and Napoleons made with fresh Maine blueberries. The beautifully landscaped Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden are within easy walking distance. Both are wonderful destinations.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

VBT Acadia Maine Photo Gallery
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