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NFT: 3 day exploratory trip to Bar Harbor, Maine

Sec 103 : 6/11/2021 11:57 am
Mid week next week, going solo.
Suggestions?
TIA
Acadia National Park  
Seventh Spiel : 6/11/2021 12:01 pm : link
is one of my favorite places in the world.
...  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 6/11/2021 12:06 pm : link
Acadia for sure.
Besides Acadia  
pjcas18 : 6/11/2021 12:09 pm : link
you have to go through Portland, ME to get there and if you like IPA's/Craft beer Portland is sort of a hot bed for it - so many breweries - they have brewery bus tours.

Also maybe stop in Kennebunkport - which is a cool little Maine coastal town - see President Bush's (HW) house there which is kind of cool and eat at Mabel's (I saw the former President leaving there once) and get a lobster roll the traditional way - warm with butter, not cold with mayo.

Absolutely get to Acadia  
Jimmy Googs : 6/11/2021 12:15 pm : link
Its a gem.

Thirsty Whale Pub for good beers, lobster rolls and chowda'. Couple of other lobster shacks on the main road are fabulous as well.

jealous...
As usual the wealth of info on this site is awesome  
Sec 103 : 6/11/2021 12:30 pm : link
Thank you all
IF you're passing through from portland  
BigRoss71 : 6/11/2021 12:36 pm : link
and want to take the scenic route using historic route 1, definitely make a stop in Rockland. Nice coastal town about halfway between Portland and Bar Harbor. Home Kitchen cafe is one of the best breakfast places in America.
Driving or flying in?  
Simms11 : 6/11/2021 12:39 pm : link
If driving and have the time take the Coastal Route, it’s a beautiful coastline and there’s many towns to stop along the way and have a drink, food or just take in the sights. My favorite spot along the coast is Camden. You can drive to the top of Mount Battie and it overlooks Camden and the whole Penobscot Bay, beautiful sight. Poems were written about it! If just going to Bar Harbor, or Bah Hahbor, Acadia is a must. The town is a extremely popular tourist spot and so I would expect it to be crowded, especially now, even mid-week!
Towns  
GF1080 : 6/11/2021 12:43 pm : link
Portsmouth, NH and Kittery and Ogunquitt, ME are also good stops on the way up. Kennebunkport as well as someone else mentioned.
If you take route 1  
pjcas18 : 6/11/2021 12:48 pm : link
from Portland, there is a place in Wicasset, ME called Sea Basket, and they have a lobster stew that is so good I ordered it and had it shipped.

I haven't been a while but it's probably worth a stop - it's between Portland and Rockland.

Also Freeport may be worth a stop - it's where the LL Bean flagship store is located and a lot of other retail there - though if you're like me and don't have others then retail may not be interesting.

And someone mentioned Portsmouth, NH.

Not sure how old you are, but I was there recently on a weekend night and it was like a mini Boston, all the bars were packed, lines to get in, bouncers and velvet ropes, I thought WTF? I guess this is what happened to Portsmouth. Some great bars and restaurants - though I felt like the dad who takes their kid to a concert and needs to kill time until it's over. In my mid-late 40's i was practically the oldest person in every bar I went to. lol.

...  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 6/11/2021 12:49 pm : link
Yeah, I second checking out Portsmouth if driving up. That's a gem of a place. I'd move there tomorrow if I could.
RE: If you take route 1  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 6/11/2021 12:51 pm : link
In comment 15284633 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
from Portland, there is a place in Wicasset, ME called Sea Basket, and they have a lobster stew that is so good I ordered it and had it shipped.

I haven't been a while but it's probably worth a stop - it's between Portland and Rockland.

Also Freeport may be worth a stop - it's where the LL Bean flagship store is located and a lot of other retail there - though if you're like me and don't have others then retail may not be interesting.

And someone mentioned Portsmouth, NH.

Not sure how old you are, but I was there recently on a weekend night and it was like a mini Boston, all the bars were packed, lines to get in, bouncers and velvet ropes, I thought WTF? I guess this is what happened to Portsmouth. Some great bars and restaurants - though I felt like the dad who takes their kid to a concert and needs to kill time until it's over. In my mid-late 40's i was practically the oldest person in every bar I went to. lol.


Well, it's not too far from Durham/UNH. My favorite bar in Portsmouth is The Press Room, though I wasn't a fan of their remodeling they did in say the last couple of years. I swung by that place last fall.
RE: Driving or flying in?  
Sec 103 : 6/11/2021 1:18 pm : link
In comment 15284626 Simms11 said:
Quote:
If driving and have the time take the Coastal Route, it’s a beautiful coastline and there’s many towns to stop along the way and have a drink, food or just take in the sights. My favorite spot along the coast is Camden. You can drive to the top of Mount Battie and it overlooks Camden and the whole Penobscot Bay, beautiful sight. Poems were written about it! If just going to Bar Harbor, or Bah Hahbor, Acadia is a must. The town is a extremely popular tourist spot and so I would expect it to be crowded, especially now, even mid-week!

Driving and yes the coast is definitely the route I'm taking...
Thank you
I saw Meatloaf in Portsmouth NH, on some bar near the beach  
PatersonPlank : 6/11/2021 1:26 pm : link
.
Don't know if you have kids, but York ME has an animal farm  
PatersonPlank : 6/11/2021 1:29 pm : link
its called York Animal Kingdom. We used to take the kids there, and then go down to the beach for homemade ice cream and taffy. Plus they have an old style, boardwalk arcade there.
RE: RE: If you take route 1  
pjcas18 : 6/11/2021 1:31 pm : link
In comment 15284636 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Quote:
In comment 15284633 pjcas18 said:


Quote:


from Portland, there is a place in Wicasset, ME called Sea Basket, and they have a lobster stew that is so good I ordered it and had it shipped.

I haven't been a while but it's probably worth a stop - it's between Portland and Rockland.

Also Freeport may be worth a stop - it's where the LL Bean flagship store is located and a lot of other retail there - though if you're like me and don't have others then retail may not be interesting.

And someone mentioned Portsmouth, NH.

Not sure how old you are, but I was there recently on a weekend night and it was like a mini Boston, all the bars were packed, lines to get in, bouncers and velvet ropes, I thought WTF? I guess this is what happened to Portsmouth. Some great bars and restaurants - though I felt like the dad who takes their kid to a concert and needs to kill time until it's over. In my mid-late 40's i was practically the oldest person in every bar I went to. lol.




Well, it's not too far from Durham/UNH. My favorite bar in Portsmouth is The Press Room, though I wasn't a fan of their remodeling they did in say the last couple of years. I swung by that place last fall.


I know it's close to UNH but it was summer. I just didn't expect it - I hadn't been to Portsmouth in about 10 years and it's changed so much.

Kind of a small cosmopolitan downtown area.
Assuming your staying on Mt Desert  
AnnapolisMike : 6/11/2021 1:43 pm : link
You will need vehicle reservations if you want to go up to the top of Cadillac Mt. I guess there was a huge storm a few days ago which damaged the carriage roads...many are closed.

Do a hike to the top of one of the mountains. The Bee Hive trail is a fun shorter hike. Hike to and around the Bubbles.

Best advice is to go really early if you want to hike. Parking is a mess. Or better yet use the shuttle system to get around.

RE: Assuming your staying on Mt Desert  
Johnny5 : 6/11/2021 3:05 pm : link
In comment 15284686 AnnapolisMike said:
Quote:
You will need vehicle reservations if you want to go up to the top of Cadillac Mt. I guess there was a huge storm a few days ago which damaged the carriage roads...many are closed.

Do a hike to the top of one of the mountains. The Bee Hive trail is a fun shorter hike. Hike to and around the Bubbles.

Best advice is to go really early if you want to hike. Parking is a mess. Or better yet use the shuttle system to get around.

For sure. So many great things to do there and along the way... but you must - absolutely MUST - catch at least one sunrise at the top of Cadillac mountain. It is surreal. Jordan Pond House is also pretty cool for the scones.
Bar Harbor used to be kind of cheesey and touristy...  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/11/2021 3:07 pm : link
...but it's really improved in the last 10 years or so.

Sure it has its share of touristy stuff (cruise ships stop their so of course it does) but the foodie/craft brew scene from Portland has sort of spilled up Bar Harbor, so to speak. There are some great restaurants and bars there now.

Bar Harbor is small enough that you can just walk around and see what you like.

And if you have a car, do the Acadia park loop. Stop at Otter Cliffs (right near Thunder Hole and Sand Beach) for amazing views on rugged, beautiful granite cliffs. Of course go to the top of Mt. Cadillac.

All of MDI is drive-able so consider Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor (still a working class lobster port more that NEH and SWH).

Oh, and if you only want to make one stop on the way I'd recommend Portland ME over Portsmouth NH.

Otter Cliffs:

Haven't been there in a while, but jealous !!  
LehighValleyFan : 6/11/2021 3:19 pm : link
Acadia is a must - great hiking. If you're driving, Old Orchard is right over the border - nice shore town with a minor league ball park (where they also do concerts!). In Bar Harbor, great restaurants, and you MUST tour Atlantic Brewing Co. - great blueberry ale. They also have a ginger beer that I recall being terrific. If you have room in the trunk, I'll gladly pay you for a few cases (provided you are near Easton PA!)/ Enjoy!
Well  
mushroom : 6/11/2021 3:24 pm : link
If this is an exploratory quick trip before a longer trip enjoy Bar Harbor now and on your longer trip skip the crowds and jump on the ferry to Nova Scotia(once covid restrictions are lifted) Nova Scotia has all the charm of Maine with much fewer people particularly when you get away from Halifax . Cape Breton island is stunning.
avoid Portland  
uconngiant : 6/11/2021 3:37 pm : link
yuppy haven drive up the coast and enjoy the nice little out of the way places for good food and great scenario
I graduated from Maine Maritime Academy  
ATL_Giants : 6/11/2021 4:08 pm : link
in Castine, ME. So Bar Harbor & Bangor were relatively close bye. Another hand raised to Acadia National Park, I did a 1/2 marathon there, freakin' gorgeous.

Hard to go wrong there, don't be averse to stopping at small shops and talking to shop-owners about their town. Most Maine'rs love Maine.

Fair winds and following seas.
Yes, Acadia is a great park (for the East)  
fkap : 6/11/2021 8:35 pm : link
Lots of great architecture in town.
Otherwise, Bar Harbor is basically one tourist gift shop after another. If you're a middle aged woman (or older), it should be right up your alley.
Was just there yesterday.
My favorite place to go  
Giantimistic : 6/12/2021 9:29 am : link
As others have said, if you have time to take the scenic route, I would go up the cost with stops in Portsmouth, Freeport (Haraseeket Lunch and Lobster), Wicasett if you want a giant lobster roll at Reds, Camden and then Bar Harbor. Great food all the way up. The trick is to drive at off hours/days in the summer to avoid the traffic. Some of the coastal route is one lane traffic jams at the wrong time. The final 30 miles or so into Bar Harbor can be tough too.

Acadia and Cadillac mountain is a must. I enjoyed Kayaking as well. Nothing like a hike with a stop off at Jordan Pond house.

I always enjoy staying at the more cabin/cottage like accommodations:

https://www.visitbarharbor.com/list/category/camping-cottages-97

I have stayed a lot at the Hutchins Mountain View Cottage. Nothing fancy but nice.

Also, a great pet friendly one is Ryan Estates for week long rentals and it allows you to walk right into Acadia.


The town is very touristy in a new england sort of way, but I still enjoy. There is some amazing food as well and some tourist trap restaurants.
RE: Yes, Acadia is a great park (for the East)  
sb from NYT Forum : 6/12/2021 1:25 pm : link
In comment 15285014 fkap said:
Quote:
Lots of great architecture in town.
Otherwise, Bar Harbor is basically one tourist gift shop after another. If you're a middle aged woman (or older), it should be right up your alley.
Was just there yesterday.


I live in Bar Harbor  
mpinmaine : 6/13/2021 10:08 pm : link
Cafe this way for breakfast
Side st cafe for lunch
Galyns prime rib for dinner

Jordan pond house and hike
Hunters beach if you can find it
Giant slide trail if you want a full hike up sargeant mountain

Lots of good bars if you like to drink..
Bar Harbor..a small drinking village with a fishing problem
RE: Yes, Acadia is a great park (for the East)  
Greg from LI : 6/13/2021 10:36 pm : link
In comment 15285014 fkap said:
Quote:
Lots of great architecture in town.
Otherwise, Bar Harbor is basically one tourist gift shop after another. If you're a middle aged woman (or older), it should be right up your alley.
Was just there yesterday.


Acadia is a great park for anywhere
RE: I live in Bar Harbor  
ATL_Giants : 6/14/2021 10:40 am : link
In comment 15285954 mpinmaine said:
Quote:
Bar Harbor..a small drinking village with a fishing problem

that wins it.
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