Acadia National Park is a one of a kind Maine treasure that spreads across nearly half of Mount Desert Island on the Atlantic coast. The park features rocky beaches, pine forests, mountains, and expansive views of the ocean.
Acadia is a perfect weekend destination, its only a 3-hour trip from Portland and offers plenty to do. With a wide range of activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking, rock-climbing, and swimming, its no surprise that the park draws millions of visitors each year. Check out some of the things we did while we were there in late September!
The carriage trails were funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. from 1914-1940. With 45 miles of crushed-stone trails, you can hike, bike or horseback ride to your heart's content. Biking the carriage trails is always a must-do whenever we visit!
I'll be honest, the trails aren't easy, so be prepared to get a workout! Bring a water bottle and if you don't mind packing your camera, bring that too. You will find plenty of scenic places for photos along the way, such as Jordan Pond and the Bubble Mountains.
Jordan Pond House
After you work off some of those calories at the carriage trails, head over to the Jordan Pond House for lunch or an afternoon snack. The restaurant has been serving tea and popovers since the 1800s and is the only full-service restaurant within the park.
It wasn't until my third trip to Acadia that we finally ate here since we came at a time where the wait wasn't ridiculously long. You might want to call ahead and reserve a table to avoid the wait. If the weather allows for it, make sure you sit outside so you can look out over Jordan Pond and enjoy the park's beautiful surroundings.
The popovers are really worth the hype. They are warm, airy, and flaky and if our waitress brought over another basket of them I would have happily eaten another. We were happy to see some healthy options on the menu as well, especially since you may want something light after a bike ride. Pictured below are my vegetable hummus wrap and whole-grain salad.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse
The Bass Harbor Lighthouse is situated on the rocky cliff-side of the southwest coast. Unfortunately, you can't get very close to the lighthouse since most of the grounds are private. After you park, you have to walk down a short path and wooden staircase down to the granite boulders below the lighthouse. The viewpoint isn't the best, so if you have to travel too far I wouldn't suggest making the trip. Nevertheless, I'm glad I finally saw the lighthouse for myself and have the pictures to show for it!
Downtown Bar Harbor
The town of Bar Harbor is located next to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Visitors can find plenty of restaurants and shops to explore in this quaint seaside village. Go shopping, get dinner and then finish it off with an ice cream cone!
Some of my favorite shops:
In the Woods - a two-storied shop of all wooden products.
Seaside Art Gallery - a gallery with unique canvas paintings.
The Rock and Art Shop - a place for rocks, fossils, jewelry, and home goods.
Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast
One of the most notable meals of our weekend was breakfast at Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast, a small diner in downtown Bar Harbor. I was beyond excited to see their fall special: 2 large pumpkin pancakes stuffed with cream cheese, topped with homemade apple sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Yum!
If you're looking for a Bar Harbor souvenir, get a jar of Jeannie's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam!
Thanks for reading!