We just returned from a fabulous week in Maine and I’m so excited to share it all with you! I’ve always wanted to visit Maine, not just for its beautiful rocky coastline but also as you probably guessed, the lobster! For our week long vacation we decided to fly into Portland, rent a car, and head north where we would explore Mt. Desert Island. Pronounced “dessert” because the island is French, Mt. Desert Island is home to many scenic and popular spots including Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
Once we were settled in we made a promise to each other to eat as much lobster as possible, I mean it is lobster season after all! A few other seafood items did slip in but for the majority we stayed true to lobster based entrees. Can you tell how excited we were to eat our first lobster meal in Bar Harbor? Our waitress loved it! You can find my sweater here and Brian’s shirt here. If you’re curious about what all we ate don’t worry, my next blog post is going to be entirely dedicated to the amazing food we ate in Bar Harbor and the surrounding area.
For this trip we stayed at the Bluenose Inn, a charming hillside place with panoramic views of the ocean and islands. The sun rises early on the east coast so most mornings we were up at around 4:30 am drinking coffee to watch the sun from our balcony. Watching the sun create a beautiful orange glow onto the water was an unforgettable experience and totally worth waking up early for.
In Bar Harbor you’ll find dozens of boat rides and other excursions but we wanted to take this trip at a slow pace. We’ve had trips before where we were nonstop going, and for this vacation we wanted to relax and just wander. Action packed trips are amazing but slower ones without schedules are just as amazing. Besides eating the delicious food probably our favorite thing was just to grab a comfy chair and stare into the sea, watching the boats and the gentle waves.
Being early July we had a mix of sunny warm days and cloudy cool days and surprisingly only one day of rain with Tropical Storm Elsa. Below is the view from Stewman’s Lobster Pound, I highly recommend this restaurant! More on that in my next blog post.
Watching the tides change was a really neat experience as well. During low tide you can see the rocks and pebbles of the ocean floor and even dip your toes in the water in certain places. The water is definitely cold though!
You’ll have no problem finding fresh lobster anywhere on the island, you’ll find everything from upscale restaurants to small roadside places with the most delicious food. I’ve been a lobster fan since I was a child, but to my surprise I learned there is a hard shell lobster and a soft shell lobster. This was my first time holding a soft shell and I definitely felt a difference.
We spent 2 days of our trip exploring Acadia National Park, and it is stunning! To enter the park you’ll need to pay a daily admission or have a National Park Pass like we did. Below is the summit of Cadallic Mountain and as of now July 2021 it is a timed-reservation system with a 30 minute entry window and a separate admission price.
It a gorgeous drive to the top with curves and steep drop offs. Living near Rocky Mountain National Park I’m used to steep mountain roads but I can see how some might find this drive to the top a little scary!
The scenic Park Loop Drive was my favorite, this one-way road takes you along the scenic views of the coastline, to the sand beach, the famous Thunder Hole, and many other popular spots!
With any National Park in the summer time you’ll find high crowds. The first day we came to the park at 11 am and it was already packed with no parking and traffic jams everywhere. The next day we arrived at 5 am and it was pure bliss! We enjoyed many popular spots like Sand Beach and Thunder Hole all to ourselves! We did see other people here and there but for the majority of the early morning the park was quiet.
The entire trip was a dream and I was tearful when it was time to fly home. We are definitely planning on returning to Bar Harbor and Acadia in the future to explore other activities. In this blog post I wanted to focus on the simple beauty of the land on Mt. Desert Island in Maine and keep the food separate so it wouldn’t overshadow the beauty, but I’m so excited to share with you our delicious eats! Maine has so many wonderful things to eat besides lobster!