Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor Me
At the end of last summer I was feeling a bit restless, so I decided to take a few days road trip up to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Me. While I've lived in Massachusetts for many years and have traveled quite a bit in New Hampshire, I've spent little time in Maine. So it was a nice little trip to some place close by that I've never actually been before.
I got very lucky with the weather and managed a couple of beautiful days to drive the Park Loop Road at Acadia National Park and I also spent some time wandering around Bar Harbor, Maine, checking out the shops and stopping to get something to eat. It's a cute little town, a bit touristy, but well worth a visit for a few days, especially if you enjoy visiting National Parks. Acadia is really a must visit destination..
Naturally I took lots of photos. So now that we are at the start of a new summer I thought I would share some of them here and give a little information about planning your own trip in case you would like to plan a fun Maine Coast road trip of your own.
If you do decide to visit Acadia National Park, be sure to stop at the Jordon Pond House Restaurant for some of their delicious popovers :)
Getting to Bar Harbor, ME
First off, if you are driving to Bar Harbor from other parts of New England located south of Bar Harbor there are two routes you can choose from. The fast route is to just take the Maine Turnpike, aka I-95. That will get you most of the way there, but the drive itself will be pretty boring and you will pay tolls. It is fast however, so if you don't have much time and you want to maximize your time in Bar Harbor and at Acadia NP, then that is probably the way to go.
Alternatively, for a more interesting drive that passes through all sorts of small Maine towns you could take Route 1 North instead, which also is a lot closer to the shore so there are some lovely beach towns to pass through, such as Ogunquit (on the other hand, if you are driving on a summer weekend, you may want to avoid Rte 1 because of traffic.).
So how you go really depends on the type of trip you want -- do you want to enjoy a road trip or do you just want more time in the national park?
For flyers -- Bar Harbor has its own airport, but it will probably be cheaper to fly into Bangor, ME instead which is about 50 miles away. Alternatively, consider flying into Boston and spending a day or two in this great city (my hometown) and then drive to Bar Harbor from Boston or take the shuttle flight from Logan to the Bar Harbor airport.
If you want to fly into Bangor, ME, you can take a shuttle bus to Bar Harbor. I personally think you will enjoy Bar Harbor more by renting a car, but other visitors to the area say it is better to use the available bus services in town and at Acadia. There's a coach that does the Park Loop Drive, but I elected to drive on my own and did not find the traffic tough at all. Although I suppose it depends on what time during the summer you go. July 4th weekend? Probably very busy!
Links you Need
- Jordan Pond House Restaurant
The Jordan Pond House Restaurant, located in Acadia National Park.
- Acadia National Park - Home (U.S. National Park Service)
Official Website of Acadia National Park.
- Bar Harbor to Bangor, Maine Shuttle Bus
- Bangor International Airport - Fly Bangor
- The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport
Where I Stayed
I wasn't looking to spend a lot of money this trip and Bar Harbor can be expensive, particularly in the summer. There aren't many chain hotels or motels here, but there are tons of cute cottages. I stayed at a cottage one night and then moved to an inexpensive motel for the next two nights.
If you are looking for a cheap and clean place to stay, Robbins Motel is a great option and they have free wi-fi too.
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