Thunder Hole

#8 in Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park
Thunder Hole
A. J. Whitney/Getty Images

Key Info

Park Loop Road

Price & Hours

24/7 daily


Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

A raucous natural phenomenon, this semi-submerged cave booms an hour or two before high tide. Waves fill the cave in such a way that the slapping is as loud as a thunderstorm — hence the name — and water can spray as far as 40 feet, so wear a poncho if you want to stay dry.

To catch the big boom, there's an element of luck, as well as timing. Recent travelers said the best time to visit is when the tides are changing. Visitors also warned that it can be difficult for those with mobility issues to enjoy since the rocks can be uneven. If you venture outside of the viewing platform (which includes a railing and level steps), walk carefully; the rocks will likely be wet and slippery. When you're not admiring the spectacular show, take a moment to take in the views: you'll spot Schoodic Peninsula in the distance, Sand Beach to left and Otter Cliff to the east.

Thunder Hole is on Park Loop Road, just south of Sand Beach. This is one of the park's more notorious attractions, and it can get crowded, especially in the summer. If you don't want to drive, you can hop on the Island Explorer shuttle (take Route No. 3), or you can hike. Starting at the Sand Beach parking, there's a nearly 2-mile-long trail called Ocean Path that hugs the coastline, bringing you south toward Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff.

See all Hotels in Acadia National Park »

More Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park

Cadillac Mountain
Park Loop Road
Time to Spend
1 of 8
#1 Cadillac Mountain

Standing about 1,530 feet in height, Cadillac Mountain wins a lot of superlatives. Not only is it the tallest mountain in the park, but it's the tallest mountain on the North Atlantic seaboard and the first point of the United States to greet the rising sun's rays from Oct. 6

Read more
Kristi rugg/National Park Service
See full list of Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park »

Explore More of Acadia National Park


The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019