A Travel Price Comparison for Maine Acadia National Park vs. Portland, Maine for Beaches, Hiking, Families, and Food

Should you visit Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a scenic, picturesque, and beautiful national park. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include beaches and hiking.

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a scenic, picturesque, and seaside coastal town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Portland, Maine. Although Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine are popular destinations, Portland, Maine has more sights and attractions for tourists. Portland, Maine is very popular for its food, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Acadia National Park attracts visitors for its museums and hiking. Acadia National Park is more touristy than Portland, Maine and is popular for its scenic drives, beautiful fall foliage, and cross country skiing in the winter. Portland, Maine is famous for its seafood restaurants, scenic lighthouse, and coastal walks. It is also well known for The Portland Head Light.

How is Acadia National Park different from Portland, Maine?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park is a national park with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Portland, Maine does not have museums and landmarks.

Acadia National Park offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There are educational centers and Ranger Programs at the visitor centers in the park.

Portland, Maine does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a nice place to visit for its restaurants. However, Acadia National Park is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Portland, Maine is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The town has grown into a foodie destination that takes advantage of its waterfront setting. Many restaurants make use of the fresh seafood with lobster rolls and oysters on the half shell being popular. You'll also find a lot of dishes that use haddock and whole lobsters.

Acadia National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There's one restaurant in the park, the Jordan Pond House Restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner between mid-May and October. Many visitors prefer to bring their own food and enjoy meals at one of the six picnic areas.

Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Nightlife?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a nice place to visit for its evening party scene. However, Acadia National Park is lacking in good options for nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Portland, Maine. The city has many microbreweries, wine bars, taverns, and pubs. You'll find many places concentrated in the Old Port, which has a charming and fun atmosphere.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Acadia National Park. The park is more about sunsets and stargazing than lively nightlife parties.

Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Beaches?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a very popular place for the beach. Also, Acadia National Park is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Portland, Maine. It has many sandy and calm beaches. The water may be too cold to swim, but the beaches are perfect for flying a kite or hanging out with family.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Acadia National Park. There is one oceanside beach in the park, Sand Beach, as well as two lakefront beaches, Echo Lake Beach and Lake Wood. Many visitors enjoy swimming during the warmer months.


Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Hiking?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park is well known for its hiking experiences. Also, Portland, Maine is still popular, but not quite as popular for hiking.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Acadia National Park. With 158 miles of hiking trails, this is a favorite activity for visitors to the park. There are diverse habitats that trails pass through including forests, estuaries, and coastal settings.

Many people include a hike when visiting Portland, Maine. In addition to bike trails, there are several good hikes in the area.

Is the Shopping Better in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a nice place to visit for its shopping areas. However, Acadia National Park is lacking in good options for shopping.

Portland, Maine has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The town has many nice local boutiques to explore. Head downtown for the best local venues and the most interesting shopping opportunities.

Acadia National Park has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There are several park stores near visitor centers and campgrounds.

Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Christmas?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a decent place to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Acadia National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

Many enjoy the Christmas activities while in Portland, Maine. Watch the Christmas tree lighting or listen to the symphony at Christmas time.

Acadia National Park does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Families?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Portland, Maine is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Acadia National Park is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. There are campgrounds and games that kids will enjoy. There are also Ranger Programs and hiking trails that are great for kids of all ages.

Portland, Maine offers lots of family activities. It is a charming town with a number of kid-friendly museums, walks, and waterfront activities. You can visit the Portland Observatory, Bug Light Park, or grab ice cream in the Old Port. There are also children's museums such as the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine.

Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Couples?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine are both nice to visit as a couple.

Acadia National Park is a good national park for couples to visit. The natural beauty and scenic trails make this a romantic destination for couples.

Portland, Maine is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy the beautiful waterfront setting, the fine dining restaurants, and everything that the city has to offer. Head to the Old Port for romantic restaurants and a great atmosphere or catch a show at Portland Stage.

Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park is a popular place for backpackers. However, Portland, Maine is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Acadia National Park. There are campgrounds and hiking trails that attracts hikers and backpackers who enjoy the beautiful natural setting.

Portland, Maine is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It isn't so much a backpacker destination, but there are some budget accommodation options around town.


Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park is a national park with a few options for its public transit. However, Portland, Maine is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Acadia National Park. The Island Explorer Shuttle Bus operates between late June and early October.

Public transit is quite limited in Portland, Maine. There is a very basic bus system but you really must have a car to explore the city.

Is Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine a more walkable city?

Acadia National Park
Portland, Maine

Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine are reasonable when it comes to walkability.

Acadia National Park is generally not a very walkable national park. There are countless hiking trails, but having a car allows more efficient access to everything that the park has to offer.

Portland, Maine is generally not very walkable. Downtown is very walkable but if you want to travel to other areas you'll need a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Acadia National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Portland, Maine Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portland, Maine or Acadia National Park?

How long in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Acadia National Park, and 2-3 days is enough time in Portland, Maine.

Families should spend more time in Acadia National Park than Portland, Maine. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Acadia National Park, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Portland, Maine than Acadia National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Portland, Maine that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Acadia National Park than Portland, Maine if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Acadia National Park.


  • How many days in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine? Ideal Length of Stay
    Acadia National Park 1-3 
    Portland, Maine 2-3

One day in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

The scenic destination of Acadia National Park offers . Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the beautiful destination of Portland, Maine. Most people come for the beaches. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.


A weekend in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

The national park of Acadia National Park offers . Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

Portland, Maine is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal town has to offer. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Acadia National Park is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. This national park offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people visit Portland, Maine for five days. You'll find shopping and nightlife around the beautiful coastal town of Portland, Maine. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Many people enjoy the when visiting Acadia National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

The laid-back destination of Portland, Maine offers nightlife and food. It's also a great beach destination, too. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Portland, Maine or Acadia National Park?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Acadia National Park is $173, while the average daily cost in Portland, Maine is $192. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Acadia National Park $96
    Portland, Maine $115
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Acadia National Park $192
    Portland, Maine $230
Compare Hotels in Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine

Looking for a hotel in Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Acadia National Park


Hotels in Portland, Maine


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Portland, Maine Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Acadia National Park $46
    Portland, Maine $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland, Maine

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portland, Maine:

  • Private Transfer from Portland city to Portland Cruise Port: $41
  • Private Transfer from Portland Port to Portland Jetport (PWM): $41
  • Private Transfer from Portland Jetport (PWM) to Portland Port: $41
  • Private Transfer from Portland Cruise Port to Portland city: $41
  • Portland to Portland Jetport (PWM) - Departure Private Transfer: $81
  • Portland Jetport (PWM) to Portland - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $163
  • Portland Jetport (PWM) to Portland - Arrival Private Transfer: $81

Is it cheaper to fly into Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Prices for flights to both Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Acadia National Park $45
    Portland, Maine $48
Typical Food Prices in Acadia National Park

For Acadia National Park, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for 2
    $32

Typical Food Prices in Portland, Maine

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Portland, Maine:


  • Breakfast for 2
    $17
  • Dinner for 2
    $30

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Acadia National Park $33
    Portland, Maine $39

Tours and Activities in Portland, Maine

Here are a few actual costs in Portland, Maine for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Hours | Portland, Maine Black History Walking Tour: $49
  • 2 Hours | Portland, Maine Hidden Histories Walking Tour: $49
  • A Walk Through Time Tour in Portland: $49
  • Around The Peninsula Bike Tour: $79
  • Audio Guided Walking Tour from Old Port of Portland, Maine: $6.75
  • Casco Bay Half-Day Sea Kayak Tour: $75
  • Central Coastal Maine Private Day Tour: $250
  • Discover Portland City and Lighthouse Tour: $48
  • Donut Tasting Walking Tour in Portland’s Old Port: $48
  • Downtown Portland In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00
  • Downtown Portland, Maine City and Lighthouse Tour-2.5 hour Land Tour: $70
  • Guided RIB Boat Adventure of Casco Bay: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Acadia National Park $11
    Portland, Maine $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland, Maine

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Portland, Maine:

  • Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $89
  • Local Brewery & Spirits Bus Tour: $99


When comparing the travel costs between Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine, we can see that Portland, Maine is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Acadia National Park Expensive? and Is Portland, Maine Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine in the Summer?

Both Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Acadia National Park in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Portland, Maine for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Acadia National Park is around the same temperature as Portland, Maine in the summer. The daily temperature in Acadia National Park averages around 69°F (21°C) in July, and Portland, Maine fluctuates around 69°F (20°C).

Acadia National Park usually gets more rain in July than Portland, Maine. Acadia National Park gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Acadia National Park 69°F (21°C) 
    Portland, Maine 69°F (20°C)

Should I visit Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Acadia National Park and Portland, Maine. Most visitors come to Acadia National Park for the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Portland, Maine because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Acadia National Park is around the same temperature as Portland, Maine. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Acadia National Park in October average around 48°F (9°C), and Portland, Maine averages at about 49°F (9°C).

In October, Acadia National Park usually receives around the same amount of rain as Portland, Maine. Acadia National Park gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Acadia National Park 48°F (9°C) 
    Portland, Maine 49°F (9°C)

Should I visit Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Acadia National Park as well as Portland, Maine. The winter months attract visitors to Acadia National Park because of the museums and the cuisine. Also, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Portland, Maine this time of year.

It's quite cold in Portland, Maine in the winter. The weather in Acadia National Park can be very cold. In January, Acadia National Park is generally cooler than Portland, Maine. Daily temperatures in Acadia National Park average around 18°F (-8°C), and Portland, Maine fluctuates around 21°F (-6°C).

Acadia National Park usually gets less rain in January than Portland, Maine. Acadia National Park gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Acadia National Park 18°F (-8°C) 
    Portland, Maine 21°F (-6°C)

Should I visit Acadia National Park or Portland, Maine in the Spring?

Both Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Acadia National Park this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Portland, Maine for the beaches and the natural beauty.

Acadia National Park is around the same temperature as Portland, Maine in the spring. The daily temperature in Acadia National Park averages around 43°F (6°C) in April, and Portland, Maine fluctuates around 43°F (6°C).

In April, Acadia National Park usually receives around the same amount of rain as Portland, Maine. Acadia National Park gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Acadia National Park 43°F (6°C) 
    Portland, Maine 43°F (6°C)

Typical Weather for Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park Portland, Maine
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 18°F (-8°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 21°F (-6°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Feb 20°F (-6°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 24°F (-5°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Mar 31°F (-1°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Apr 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
May 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jul 69°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 69°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Aug 67°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 67°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Sep 59°F (15°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Oct 48°F (9°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 37°F (3°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 39°F (4°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Dec 24°F (-5°C) 4 inches (100 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)