Acadia National Park, Maine
I had seen photographs of the coastline featuring beautiful sunsets and lighthouses, so I decided I wanted to see it for myself. My dad let me borrow his car and I drove from Northern Ohio along I-90 East to Boston then I-95 North to Portland. It took about 13 hours to drive and my lodging didn't begin until the following night near Acadia. I stayed near Freeport so I could shop at the L. L. Bean Outlet. This is where I had my first (of several) lobster roll.
After shopping and lunch in Freeport, I finished the drive into the Acadia area (about 16 hours total) on the A1A and Rte. 1 along the coastline.
The Two Sides of Acadia
Most people aren't aware there are 2 separate locations included in Acadia National Park. Looking at a map, there are "fingers" of peninsulas that drop down into the Atlantic. Acadia "proper" includes the area on Mt. Desert Island and near the city Bar Harbor. This is the area people usually visit when going to Acadia.
The second side of Acadia is known as 'the quiet side' of Acadia. That description is why I decided to go there first. It's located on the next 'finger' to the East on Winter Harbor at Schoodic Point. It's much less crowded and full of fishing/lobster boats, lighthouses, and wildlife.
From Schoodic Point with a clear sky, the long range view includes Cadillac Mountain (in Acadia NP on Mt. Desert Island.) It's important to note the mosquitos will carry you off when there isn't a breeze to keep them at bay. The next several photographs were taken at Acadia National Park, quiet side.
Where to Stay...
My favorite lodging accommodations of the whole trip were at Acadia Oceanside Meadows Inn. In 2013, the Oceanside Meadows was the only place to stay on the ocean. I stayed in 'The Rose Room' upstairs in the old farmhouse and loved the experience. The wallpaper reminded me of my childhood bedroom and sleeping with the window open was another flashback to simpler times. The property has several acres open to exploration, and just across the old country road was the only sand beach on the peninsula. The breakfasts were INCREDIBLE! Also worth mentioning, Maine blueberries were featured each morning whether it was scones, pancakes, waffles, syrup, or freshly squeezed blueberry juice. There were always fresh cut flowers in my room and throughout the Inn. The common areas were so inviting and I met several other travelers from around the world. There was a fire pit out back with live music in the evenings. I can't say enough good things about this place. It's one of those places that you never forget!
Exploring the Area...
The wildlife experienced in the area was mostly aquatic. I found a boating excursion out of Milbridge, Maine and enjoyed several hours of wildlife sightings, lighthouses, historical lessons, and we set/checked real lobster traps. If you're ever in the area and want to check it out, I highly recommend it. Check out Robertson Sea Tours! The next several photographs were captured from the tour.
Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor
After several nights on the quiet side, it was time to tackle Bar Harbor. My trip encompassed Independence Day/July 4th Holiday, so it was VERY crowded. The hotel in Bar Harbor wasn't anything to worth of mentioning and was very difficult to even find (think last room in town!) The downtown Bar Harbor area was charming despite being very crowded. I didn't have any trouble finding dining options, and here is where I was introduced to one of my all-time favorite breweries (Allagash Brewing), specifically, Allagash White beer. Surprisingly, I was able to find it back home in Asheville!
The following photographs were taken in Bar Harbor or the main part of Acadia National Park. My favorite part of Acadia's main side was sunset on top of Cadillac Mountain. The lighthouse pictured below is the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. It involved some risky rock climbing to photograph, but worth it! The bridge shot was from the Desert Island Historical Society Museum and Gardens. The Southwest Harbor area was relatively uneventful and was the area where I spent my last night in Maine.
The weather held out very nicely during my trip, but on the last day a storm came in. The fog was thick and removed any chance of going back up the mountain or going back out to sea. With that, I ended up leaving a day early and traveled the interior of Maine hoping to see moose. No such luck!
Traveling across New Hampshire and Vermont was incredible. I crossed the White Mountain range and stopped outside of Woodstock. I visited the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park and saw the Lincoln Historic Covered Bridge, built in 1872 (pictured below.)
Lastly, I found a working Maple Syrup farm with a gift shop and tour. Likely one of the most lucrative stops of the trip! Yum!
The drive home was broken up into several days since I ended up with an extra day to play with. I've concluded New Hampshire and Vermont are full of covered bridges. New York is the red barn capitol with beautiful red barns dotted all across the state. I didn't track mileage, but I'm pretty sure I drove about 35 hours total.
Thanks for reading! Check out my other Photo Trips: Lisa Hale Photos Blog