Bar Harbor is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
The entire town, sitting along Frenchman’s Bay, smells like saltwater and pine trees, a welcoming scent that will make you wish you lived there your whole life. A few miles from Bar Harbor lies Acadia National Park, one of the biggest hiking sites on the East coast, filled with acres of trees, tiny beaches, and lookout peaks. Every second here is an adventure.
HOW TO GET THERE
Spending about a week at Bar Harbor is perfect! There are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs within Bar Harbor, and most are a short drive from Acadia National Park. It’s easy to drive to Acadia National Park and pay for parking at the entrance. A popular shuttle service is Island Explorer, a free service for Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, with drop off and pick up locations throughout the park, nearby hotels, and downtown Bar Harbor. Various hotels have this shuttle stop right in their parking lots, so this is super convenient if you don’t feel like driving and looking for parking in town!
The place to be is Acadia National Park! Picking a new trail every day was the most exciting part of the trip, and the beauty of the park is unparalleled. The best spot is Cadillac Mountain, known to be the highest point on the East coast. It’s easily accessible by car and is the best spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. I remember getting there early with my family, so early that we played card games in the car until it was time for sunset. As the sun began to set, many other families and we chased it to find the best view and stood in awe.
At the peak of Cadillac Mountain, you do feel as if you’re above the clouds watching the sun slip down over a world you can’t see. Sandy Beach is also a beautiful and somewhat hidden spot to go on a day trip in Acadia as for hiking destinations. While rocks surround many of the trails, this cove has the perfect mini-beach and delicate waves. There’s lots of signs in the park, so don’t worry, you can’t miss it!
The food in Bar Harbor fits perfectly with the energy I felt while I was there. Downtown is filled with fun breakfast places and diners. Nothing tastes better than a hearty breakfast before or after a long day of hiking! Luckily, Jordan’s Restaurant serves breakfast all day and includes the state fruit of blueberries in their menu items. Their mouthwatering blueberry muffin is the perfect side for any omelet or sandwich. 2 Cats is another unique place to eat. The cute indoor and outdoor seating makes you feel welcomed immediately. Their freshly baked biscuits and sweet lattes were a comfort on rainy days that couldn’t have been spent hiking. There are plenty of restaurants down by the water, mainly serving seafood, to visit for dinner. A few even have live musicians playing while you enjoy your meal!
Bar Harbor, Maine might not sound as glamorous as other vacation destinations, but that’s the point! It will ground you, make you excited to explore in nature and give you time to look within yourself.