Come along for our visit to Bar Harbor, Maine, our first stop on our 10 day vacation in New England. We hit the highlights and that’s what I’ll share with you today. We spent 2 nights in 5 different locations and I’ll be blogging them all and sharing what we saw and what we ate. Eating is such an important part of vacation, isn’t it? We sure enjoying sampling the local cuisine, especially when it involves lob-stah! It’s been 5 years since we went to Cape Cod (me for the first time) and the lobster definitely got my attention. We ate it almost every day we were there this time and our trip was amazing.
I planned this trip myself after we mapped out the route we wanted to take. We decided to fly into Portland, Maine and rent a car, heading to Bar Harbor first and then to Kennebunkport, then to Woodstock, VT, and Newport RI. We ended our trip on Cape Cod and flew home from Boston. I’ll separate the posts into each location so you can get a flavor of our trip and what all we did. Two days is not a long time to do it all, but I feel like we did hit the important highlights. I booked bed and breakfast inns for every stop. Some were better than others, so I’ll share that info too, in case you are looking to take a trip to New England too. There are so many places to stay and things to do and we usually opt for scenic drives and being outside for our entertainment.
In Bar Harbor, I booked the Thornhedge Inn, a pretty B&B in the downtown area of Bar Harbor. It was in walking distance to downtown, which was great. Thornhedge is a beautiful historic home and rooms inside the original house and there’s also an annex add on building in the back of the house that has several rooms. Our room was back there and it was just so-so. I would recommend staying inside the house for a better room experience. They could stand to do some upgrades on mattresses and linens to give an even better inn experience in the rooms that are in the annex. It’s a very pleasant place to stay though and we had no complaints about location or breakfast, it was filling and hearty both mornings we were there and we sat around a big dining room table and interacted with other guests. Andrew, the owner also does a wine and cheese hour in the afternoon, which brought out guests to the living room area for chatting. He’s very personable and gave us recommendations for lunch. Overall, a really nice B&B and I would recommend. Just stay inside the house in one of those rooms.
We got in mid afternoon on our first day in Maine and we had local friends (Pat and Mike) who were up that way so we met them at a restaurant that is well known on the way to Bar Harbor, Young’s Lobster Pound.
It’s very authentic on the docks kind of place, no frills. We had no idea what to expect, but Mark was looking for a lobster roll and not a whole lobster, so that’s what he ordered. Unfortunately, he was very disappointed in that one, it had little lobster, wasn’t warm at all and was on a hamburger bun, a big no-no for a lobster roll. So he wasn’t happy for his first meal in Maine. Luckily, it got better after that meal!
I did get a whole lobster for my meal and it was delicious with drawn butter. But, the rest of what they offer is not that great. They have chips, cole slaw and corn on the cob, I think. I got chips and cole slaw, which was just ok. We both tried their blueberry pie, which was also disappointing. It looked like grocery store pie. So, Young’s for us even though it might be famous was just so-so. If you go, stick to the whole lobster, that part was great. We were definitely looking forward to more lobster meals on our vacation and we were not disappointed after this one.
We did catch the sunset over the bay though so that was nice.
Acadia National Park
I have heard about Acadia National park for many years now and it was a must see in Bar Harbor, so if you head that way do not miss the park. The park encompasses 48,000 acres and after reading up on driving to the top of the mountain requiring a pass and reservation, I did both before we left, getting a Cadillac Mountain pass and park pass online so that made it easy to just show up and go. Our reservation for the top of the mountain road was 10:30 a.m. Unfortunately, we had some drizzly and cloudy weather, making the mountain a complete fog out. We couldn’t see a thing up there.
The drive into the park is beautiful. Surrounded by the bay water, the trees were beautiful too. We hit New England at a really good time and were there October 15-25. You never know how the leaf season is going to go up there or here for that matter, so it’s a guessing game. But we were really happy with the amount of fall color we saw all through our journey to New England.
Here’s a windy shot from the top of Cadillac Mountain, just to document the fog. I’m sure it’s gorgeous up there, but we didn’t get to see it this trip. Down below was much better as you will see from the following pics. October is also pretty crowded in Maine and New England. We did notice that in the park, but shouldn’t be surprised as so many people like to go and see the leaves no matter which state they’re in.
Maine is a gorgeous state and since it was my first time there, I was loving all the picture opportunities and I took a lot.
I knew that the Maine coastline was very rocky in many areas and it’s really breath taking.
Inside the park is a dream with so much beautiful scenery to take in. We did the loop road and stopped along the way taking pictures and walking a few trails along the coastline.
There were plenty of people doing the same thing as well as tour buses.
Enjoy all of these pics from Acadia National Park, I took a lot!
This area is called Thunder Hole. There were a lot of people down there, so we didn’t try to get down to the water.
There was one area where people went across some rocks (to the right where the lady in pink is standing) to get further out on the lookout and we had a good laugh as the waves crashed through here every few seconds and people got soaked. It would have been a chilly day after that. No thanks!
Even though the day was cloudy, it was still beautiful and I got some great pics. Of course, sunshine always shows up fall leaves better but this is what we had that day.
I loved this bridge in the park.
This is the carriage house, they rent horses in here too. It was so pretty in stone. We heard about Jordan Pond and getting popovers in there, but unfortunately the parking lot was completely packed and we couldn’t find one parking space. People were driving around looking for spaces so we just left. Neither of us like fighting crowds.
The scenery sure was magnificent though!
Bar Harbor Congregational church
The quaint town of Bar Harbor. We walked in a few shops and also walked to Bar Harbor Inn for lunch.
This would probably be a great place to stay too. The inn is situated on the water with a gorgeous view.
I took so many pics of the hydrangeas that were this color, they were gorgeous and all over Maine.
We sat here and had a great view of the harbor.
As I mentioned, we ate our fill in lobster and lobster rolls were consumed several times. This one was delicious and we both loved them. Buttery lobster on a soft hot bun with a side of potatoes.
A wonderful lunch by the water.
They really celebrate fall in New England, with pumpkins everywhere. It’s so pretty!
And more of the hydrangeas I loved.
We so enjoyed our short(ish) stay in Bar Harbor. Acadia National Park is definitely the highlight. We lamented the fact that we could only eat so much in a day and after eating lobster rolls for lunch, we went to a little place downtown for dinner and had lobster bisque and clam chowder for dinner, which was a perfect way to end the day.
That’s my tour of Bar Harbor! Again, we such a short stay in each location, we only hit the highlights and I’m sure there is a lot more to see of Bar Harbor and surrounding areas, but we were very happy with what we saw and experienced. All the scenery was fantastic and we got a great glimpse of fall in New England!
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