We started this trip by staying a few days in Boston, but we definitely need to go back. It rained most of the time we were there, and I didn’t get a chance to explore all of the historical sites I was hoping to see. We were there over July 4, so most of the art museums and the indoor activities were closed for the holiday, too.
From Boston, we headed north and stopped in Portland, ME for lunch. We had been there before, and we already knew it was a great small coastal city. After getting lunch, we happened to pass by Holy Donut, which makes donuts out of mashed potatoes, apparently a local tradition. It was Mike’s birthday, and we celebrated with “birthday donuts.” He got maple and I got lemon.
Then we got on Route 1 to take the scenic route to Bar Harbor, and we got there by late afternoon. We stayed a little outside of the town, and even though there are free shuttles that take you all around Mount Desert Island, I regret not staying in the town. When we go back – because we are definitely going back – I would stay in Bar Harbor.
The first day we took the shuttle to Bar Harbor and got our park passes and maps, and then we took another shuttle to Sand Beach. We walked down the Ocean Path to Otter Point. The trail was easy and level for the most part, except for all of the scenic detours we took.
On one rocky outcropping, we passed a small wedding overlooking the ocean. Besides the young couple, there were only four older women, one of them the officiant. The bride wore a silver, sparkling headband, and she cried through the ceremony.
We tried stand-up paddling for the first time on one of the ponds. Mike did very well, and I never even got to the stand-up part. The best part was we saw a family of loons – a mom, dad, and two baby loons. All of the locals present told us that it is very rare to see baby loons.
The day after that, we hiked the Jordan Pond path loop, and got the traditional popovers at the Jordan Pond House Restaurant afterwards.
We went to visit Bass Harbor lighthouse, and hiked along the shoreline near there.
We also walked across the sandbar at low tide and hiked on Bar Island. We drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain on a very windy day, but I can’t remember which day that was.
We went in early July and the weather was beautiful. We were advised that we had come at a good time, that later in July and August is insanely busy, and September is beautiful but no one comes then.
We were in Bar Harbor for five full days, and of all of the places we have been, this was one of my favorites. I definitely want to go back.
We didn’t have an easy time finding vegetarian food in this lobster and seafood town. Shoutouts to some of the delicious restaurants we ate at:
Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast
Route 66 Diner
Side Street Cafe
Two Cats Cafe
Not a restaurant, but we drank it the whole time we were there: Down East Cider.
An amazing restaurant we stopped at in Portsmouth, NH on the way back: The Friendly Toast