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You're going to need a reservation to drive in Acadia National Park

Feb. 18, 2020
4 min read
You're going to need a reservation to drive in Acadia National Park
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Peak season for visiting national parks in the U.S. will be here before you know it, and we know many of you are counting down the days. And you should. They're some of the most beautiful places on Earth, and ideal destinations for a summer vacation.

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If Acadia National Park in Maine is on your list, you'll want to pay close attention. The park is going to introduce a timed entry reservation system to combat some of the congestion, Outside reports. The hope is that it will lead to a safer, more enjoyable experience for visitors.

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Back in 2018, Acadia introduced a long-term transportation plan to clear up traffic and gridlock for visitors -- and this is just the latest development.

“This plan is a blueprint for everyone’s future so that we can sustainably accommodate future increases in visitation and still provide a high-quality experience," said Christie Anastasia, a public affairs specialist for Acadia, according to Outside.

The new reservation system will begin testing in October, but it won't go into effect for visitors until next summer.

So, if you're visiting Acadia in 2021 or later, you'll need to make reservations for the ride up Cadillac Mountain, the drive along scenic Ocean Drive parking in Jordan Pond. It's not yet clear what it will cost, but visitors should expect to pay an additional fee on top of the $30 park entrance. This rule won't apply to pedestrians or cyclists.

The exact timeframe for testing in October hasn't been set yet, so you'll want to keep an eye on Acadia's website if you're planning on visiting during the busy fall-foliage-viewing season. Officials are expecting the test to last for two or three weeks.

When it becomes official, reservations will be available between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day, with the exception of Cadillac Mountain. Because the summit is so popular — especially at sunrise and sunset — it will have different rules, although those details are still being finalized. There won't be any restrictions on the amount of time you can stay there, though there will be a window of time during which you're allowed to park your car.

Related: 18 national parks to visit on a cross-country road trip.

Acadia is following in the footsteps of other national parks, such as Haleakala National Park in Hawaii, which has a similar timed-entry reservation system. Similarly, Alaska's Denali National Park has a road lottery, and Yosemite announced a parking reservation system back in 2016. If you're traveling to Muir Woods National Park, you'll have to reserve a permit before driving into the park altogether.

Want to get the most value out of a trip to Acadia? Grab an $80 annual national park pass, rather than pay the $30 entry fee, and be sure to visit at least a few more parks. Travelers can also explore more of Acadia on foot. You might need to leave camp between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. to see the first sunrise from the highest point on the North Atlantic coast, but there's no better reward for an early morning hike. Plus, that way, you won't have to worry about paying for a reservation to drive up and park at the summit.

Featured image by Getty Images

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases