After New Haven and our two days in Boston, we again hopped in the truck and headed north. It was only a 4.5 hour drive to get to the adorable little town of Bar Harbor, ME, right next to Acadia National Park.
We stayed in a super unique rental situated right at the edge of town, allowing us to walk everywhere, which was incredibly convenient. The rental itself is a historic building, a former convent circa 1908 converted to a 7 bedroom, 3 story vacation home. It was creaky, of course, but beautifully updated and clean. Plus, the kids were spoiled to all have their own sleeping spaces, which worked out really well for maximized quality sleep for the week we were there.
We arrived late afternoon, meeting my brother and his family who drove in from Canada, as they were in the middle of a big summer road trip themselves! We all unpacked our things, changed, and walked the .2 miles into town to our first night’s reservation at McKay’s Public House.
I had heard that dinner spots can be hard to get into in summer and to make reservations ahead of time if possible. The only places that take reservations are the nicer restaurants, so while dinner was very good and the kids did fine, I would file this under “date night” category, not necessarily kid friendly. Though the kids did enjoy their mussels and lobster bisque, despite me trying to steer them towards the kids menu.
True to Stathas style, we kicked things off with a martini, then I enjoyed one of the best seafood pastas of my life thanks to the hearty ratio of seafood to homemade pasta. We walked home after, set the kids up with a movie and communications, then the adults went to find the coast. Again, less than a half mile away, we enjoyed the misty, foggy conditions of a summer evening in Maine.
We woke up Sunday to a drizzly day and the joy of nothing being planned. After road-tripping, a day of just exploring the town sounded nice. The early crew (David, my mom, and myself) wandered into town in search of coffee first thing. We found a coffee shop/bakery called The Stadium. Not only is their staff bright and bubbly, their coffee drinks were excellent, as were their baked goods- the blueberry donut is a must!
We walked the town then rejoined our whole crew to go to breakfast. We walked to the recommended Cafe This Way in the morning drizzle. After a short wait, we were seated and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of egg scrambles, blueberry pancakes, and lobster benedict (when in Maine…). We spent the rest of the morning exploring town.
That afternoon, when low tide came, we hiked Bar Island Trail. It’s a path that leads from town across to Bar Island that can only be accessed during low tide. It’s a neat phenomenon and the kids loved looking in tide pools, then hiking up the mountainous little island on the other side to look back over at the little town of Bar Harbor.
We crossed back over in search of dinner, which we found at a little spot called The Thirsty Whale Tavern. The kids got their own table, which they thought was the bees knees, and the adults enjoyed burgers, wraps, and local beers.
The next morning we were ready to head into Acadia National Park! We walked to breakfast first at 2 Cats Cafe, then loaded up and drove in search of the Jordan Pond Path. The 3.3 mile loop around Jordan Pond is a popular one and with good reason. It’s flat but offers great views around the lake, some adventurous stepping over tiny tributaries, and a boardwalk section, too. It was quite misty and muddy for us, but we loved the adventure. Afterwards we put our name in at Jordan Pond House for lunch and spent the hour wait exploring the gift shop and local river area.
The food was very good, as were the popovers that they are famous for! We all perked up with a little food in our bellies, and went to hike Jordan Stream Path, which proved to be a ton of fun! With all the rain, the river was raging and in some spots you had no choice but to walk right through it. It culminated with a beautiful bridge on a carriage road.
That evening we again walked to town for dinner, this time at Project Social, a very cute and delicious small plates spot. It would make a great date night spot and the food was fantastic, but for our hungry and tried kid crew, it wasn’t the best fit. There weren’t nearly enough mussels to fill them up so we kept ordering plates of pita bread-ha!
Tuesday was our early morning! We had won the lottery spot for the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, so we set our alarms for 3:15 and were all walking out the door by 4:00 AM to take the drive in the dark up Cadillac Mountain, which was only a 15 minute drive from our rental house.
It was such a neat experience to head out onto the rocky mountain with so many others, looking for a place to perch and hoping to get a glimpse of the first sunrise the US sees! Per usual, it was quite misty and foggy as the day slowly dawned, and though there was no glorious sunrise moment, a glowing orange ball did eventually appear with it’s own sort of magical appeal! I’m glad we did it.
Being that we were int he park so early, we decided to beat the crowds and head over to one of the most popular hikes, The Beehive Trail. It’s known to be a bit of a challenge with it’s iron rungs and steep spots, and it ended up being a ton of fun! I was so proud of our whole crew for tackling it and proud of the kids for taking it seriously enough to understand the risk and how to stay safe. They LOVED it.
After Beehive we were all feeling hungry, so we headed back into Bar Harbor and down to the water front to get crepes and coffees from Sunrise Cafe. Kaitlyn decided to refuel herself with straight up chocolate and regrets nothing.
Afterwards we headed back into the park to walk Ocean Path and check out Sand Beach. We stopped to check out Thunder Hole and loved walking around on the gorgeous cliffs that border the park and the ocean. It was a relaxed afternoon.
That evening we went in search of an easy dinner that would fill us all up. We decided on a funky little spot called Route66. The vintage decor was fun, but seeing that we could walk right in should have been a warning sign.
I had onion rings, a burger, and fries. The waitress was a little snarky, my niece found a hair in her mashed potatoes… and I found myself violently ill a few hours later. No doubt, I had food poisoning from the spot and I can’t remember the last night I felt so sick. There was a moment or two I thought for sure I was dying. I know no other word to describe it but violent. Needless to say, I don’t recommend putting this restaurant on your list. Just seeing exterior in this picture still makes my stomach turn… TO BE CONTINUED.