I had been trying to get my family on this trip to Maine for years now, but you know how life happens and things get pushed aside. Well, we finally made it!
Getting there was the longest and most chaotic trip for us! All of our flights were canceled! Our alternate flight brought us 3 hours away from our destination and the gates kept changing – making us run from one side of the airport to the other; then TSA was apparently having a training day, so my bags were pulled for an inspection! But once we arrived, the weather made up for the crazy day at the airport! The original forecast called for 50’s and rain, but we lucked out with almost a week of 70’s and sun! Unbeknownst to us, we also arrived just as Acadia was celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary, so that was a fun coincidence!
I’ve done a quick roundup of our trip, highlighting some of our favorite spots, things to do and places to eat. If you’re looking for what I consider to be a low-key National Park to bring your family, I think this would be a great addition to your bucket list! I plan to head back in the future for fall colors, because I know it would be even better!
Acadia National Park
We spent 5 days at Acadia. Driving, hiking and exploring the 27-mile loop every day.
Cadillac Mountain – Incredible views – feels like you are in the clouds! It’s known for being the viewing spot of the first sunrise in the US, while you are standing on the highest point on the North Atlantic. It’s an easy drive up the mountain and despite its height, you never feel “on edge”. From my understanding, it gets very busy in the summer months, so try going during the off season! We lucked out and basically had the park to ourselves in early June.
Jordan Pond – I will be forever grateful for our time at Jordan Pond. As we started our trek, we didn’t realize this was close to a 4-mile hike around (I did not bring any carrier for my daughter either!) Both the beginning and end of this trail are dirt and gravel, but in the middle, it becomes wooden planks, along with some large rocks to climb. Somehow my daughter managed to walk 99% of this path on her own! (She has never hiked that long!) Midway through, she just stopped to look around and say “Wow, this is so beautiful. This is good nature!” My heart just melted and I couldn’t believe it.
The trees, the crystal clear water, the views – all so peaceful!
Thunder Hole – This is a really fun spot where the waves crash in between the naturally formed rocks and it sounds like thunder. There are stairs that lead down to a viewing area – but you might get hit with that wave, so use caution with children. You also get some incredible views of the ocean by sitting on top of the rocks.
Sand Beach – This sandy beach is in the middle of the mountains, surrounded by rocky shores is such a nice spot to relax! Maybe even dip your feet in that cold 50 degree Atlantic Ocean!
Echo Lake Beach- We loved Echo Lake! It’s calm, the water is warmer, and it’s not as populated as Sand Beach. Bring a snack, sit in the sand or at the picnic table and just chill out here for a bit!
Eagle Lake – I think this was my favorite part of Acadia. The trails are wide – easy to walk and bike ride; it’s so peacefully quiet and the views are just spectacular! We spent a few hours here walking around, searching for wildlife. Great place to use those binoculars and look for birds and turtles!
Downtown Bar Harbor
Walk along the ocean, watch the lobster boats come and go, check out all of the little shops and grab a bite to eat! This quaint downtown area is a great way to spend a day!
Bar Harbor Whale and Puffin Boat Tour – A boat tour is a must!! Get the opportunity to see a variety of lighthouses, whales, seals, lobster and seabirds! Bring your camera, binoculars, and extra layer – it gets chilly. If you’re prone to seasickness, I’d recommend Dramamine or a Sea Band because it did get quite choppy further out at sea.
(I felt like a little kid when I saw the puffins in person! I’ve loved them since visiting Maine back when I was my daughter’s age! You won’t see them anywhere else in the US, so it was an exciting experience to see them in their natural habitat!)
The Travelin’ Lobster – This is voted one of the best places for Lobster in Maine. They really loaded that meat on and it came in at the best price for the amount of food that you got.
Stewmans Lobster Pound – A fun family spot, where you can sit outside on the deck overlooking the ocean. (P.S. If you take the Whale & Puffin tour, you receive 10% off your bill when you eat here!)
West Street Cafe – I am still obsessing over the vibe of this restaurant. Its bright, airy, modern, nautical decor with pops of botanicals throughout instantly made it a favorite on my list. We went for the lunch specials and let me tell ya, the Au Gratin was amazing!
Jordan Pond Ice Cream Shop and Udder Heaven I have never eaten as much ice cream as I did in Maine. Honestly, it was probably the best that I’ve ever had! The blueberry ice creams were so creamy and sweet. I’m not sure another blueberry ice cream will ever live up to these!
Calling All Horror Movie Fans!
We are huge horror movie fans! We like to take fun detours on each vacation to check out a filming location or a spooky spot! On our way back to the airport in Bangor, we stopped by the legendary Stephen King’s house! You can also take a haunted tour and see where a large number of his movies are filmed. (IT & Pet Semetary are some of my personal favorites!)
I hope that this gives inspires you to visit Acadia!