Acadia National Park

Once we made our way into Maine, one of our first stops was the Portland Head Light.  We had spent a lot of time in the car up to this point, and had debated stopping here or just going straight to the Airbnb.  Ultimately, we made the decision to stop, and by chance we made it just in time for sunset.  This was seriously such a breathtaking view, and I would highly recommend stopping if you’re even remotely close to the area. 

After enjoying the sunset, we headed to our Airbnb in Windham, Maine.  Typically, we book Airbnb’s where we either have the entire place to ourselves or at least a separate entrance/guest suite, but to save money, this time we decided to take a risk and book a spare room in a family’s home.  We just needed a place to sleep for the night, so the $40 seemed very reasonable.  In the end it worked out great, and the family was very sweet and accomodating.  The next morning, we were up early on our way to Acadia National Park!

Acadia National Park was the first park established east of the Mississippi River.  The park is comprised of granite-domed mountains, forests, lakes, ponds, and rocky, ocean shorelines.  The variety of landscapes, plus the fun gateway city of Bar Harbor helped secure Acadia a place in my top 3 favorite National Parks!

Once we arrived, we checked out the visitor’s center and drove the scenic park loop road. Prior to the trip, I had picked out a few trails I wanted to hike on our first day, one of them being the Beehive Trail.  My friend didn’t know too much about this hike, which is probably a good thing because I don’t think she would’ve otherwise obliged 😉.  The Beehive trail is an iconic, well-known trail in Acadia.  The trail is somewhat short, but very steep, and includes granite steps, climbing of iron rungs, and several exposed cliff areas… therefore, it is not recommended for anybody with a significant fear of heights.  It is best done early in the morning or later in the afternoon, basically at times when you won’t be rushed by fellow hikers.  After finishing the Beehive portion, we extended our hike via the Bowl Loop before eventually making our way back down.  Even though the hike was challenging, the views were spectacular and it was well worth it!

Our next stop was the coast, where we walked along the Ocean Path to the Thunder Hole.  The Thunder Hole is a place in the park where you can experience the “thunder of the sea” against the rocky shores of Maine.  This is a cool area, but make sure you time it appropriately with the tide so you’re able to hear the “thunder”.

The last stop of our day was Sand Beach.  Honestly, I loved everything about Acadia National Park, but this was probably one of my favorite areas.  I’ve always felt at home by the water, so to be in a National Park, in Maine, have my feet in the sand, and be looking out at gorgeous coastal views, I felt almost like it was heaven on earth.  We sat on the beach for about an hour, or rather until our stomachs started growling, before heading back to Bar Harbor for the evening.

After gathering some restaurant suggestions from the lady at the front desk of our hotel, we settled on Sidestreet Café, and it did not disappoint!  Following dinner, we walked around some local shops and before watching the sunset on the Waterfront. Bar Harbor is such a fun gateway city, and I wish we would’ve had more than one night there!

Everything we had read about Acadia prior to making the trip suggested viewing the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain.  However, to do this you need to wake up around 3:30 in the morning and battle continuous crowds.  Knowing we had another afternoon full of driving the next day, this didn’t sound so appealing, so we opted out.  I think if we had an extra day we might have considered it. Instead, we slept in a bit and then explored the Jordan Pond area of the park.  We hiked around Jordan Pond and then had popovers and tea at the Jordan Pond House.  I highly recommend it, but make sure to get there early because it fills up FAST and the wait can be long.

Once the afternoon was upon us, we said our goodbyes to Acadia and began our trek down to Boston so we could catch our flight the following morning back to Salt Lake City.  Overall, this was an amazing trip that had so much variety to it!

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