Spot a manatee... hike down a canyon... see how early Native Americans lived... go deep inside a vast cave... just plain get away from it all, with great adventures in 10 of America’s best national parks.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Best for watching wild waves and serene sunsets
Toward sunset, a long line of cars roll up to the summit of 1,530-feet-high Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s coast-hugging Acadia National Park, where visitors traditionally gather to toast the setting sun (champagne preferred). Acadia is a gracious, gentlemanly national park, created on land donated by John D. Rockefeller, who also paid for construction of more than 50 miles of carriage roads, part of a larger network of 125 miles of park paths. If you have to pick one, the six-mile bike trail around Eagle Lake, dotted with colorful canoes and kayaks, is lovely. Save time for lunch at pretty Jordan Pond House, circa 1870, and famous for its creamy lobster stew and popovers. Book a park-ranger-narrated boat cruise. Head to Bass Harbor, also part of the park, on Mount Desert (the locals pronounce it “dessert”) Island’s southwest shore, for great lighthouse photos. Watch the lobster boats roll in. Campsites sell out far in advance, but Bar Harbor, the island’s biggest town, offers rooms at a wide range of prices. The Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina ranks high for luxury.