How to spend a day in Acadia National Park


Coastline of Acadia National Park

Acadia is a gorgeous national park set on the coast of Maine.    I think the best times to go are in the fall where you can see the leaves change color.   That is also a popular time in the park so plan your travel arrangements ahead of time.   There are several nice hotels in Bar Harbor, but if you want to stay in the park you will be camping.   Blackwoods Campground is a nice convenient location and is where I stayed during my last visit.   On previous visits, I had used hotel points to stay in Bar Harbor.


View from the top of the Precipice Trail

Start your day early with quick exhilarating hikes at Precipice Trail and Beehive Trail.   They are both on the east side and more heavily traveled part of the island.   The views from the tops of these trails are amazing.   Go from there to see the waves crash at Thunder Hole (if you catch the tides right you will hear why it is called Thunder Hole) and then a short distance to the magnificent views from Otter Point.

Grab brunch and those delicious popovers and jam at Jordan Pond and then shoot over to the less traveled west side of the island.   Go straight to the Perpendicular Trail to test your endurance and be rewarded with a bird’s eye view over the west side of the island.   You can also see the Cranberry Islands off the coast.   From there it is a quick drive to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse.    By this time, you should be ready for a late lunch of lobster rolls at Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound.   This is a road side shack between Bass Harbor and Seawall.


Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Drive back across the island now to Bar Harbor and at low tide cross over to Bar Island.   During low tide a path to this island emerges from the ocean.   A quick hike to the peak of Bar Island overlooks the town of Bar Harbor where you can try and spot where you want to get dinner that night.   You have only about a 3-hour window to get across and back, but that is plenty of time.   Finish the afternoon with some shopping in Bar Harbor and dinner at Paddy’s Irish Pub or one of the other great restaurants in town.   Finish the day with a couple Mexican Hot Chocolate’s to go from Choco-Latte and a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain to see the stars come out.


View of Bar Harbor from Bar Island at Low Tide

You should sleep well and probably late after that busy day.   Before leaving Acadia the next morning, grab a late breakfast at Two Cats.   I recommend the lobster omelet there.   I hope you enjoy your trip.



Acadia National Park near Thunder Hole




The Maine ways to eat lobster


As I sit here pondering and blogging from a coffee shop in Portland Maine, I couldn’t help but think of all the different ways to eat lobster up here.   As you know, part of the travel experience is eating all the local food you can.   Sometimes that can be hidden local gems or an iconic tourist trap.   It’s all good.   So to sum up, here is a list of lobster filled dishes I have tried in Maine (with a few notes on each).

  • Lobster Roll with butter – the best way to eat lobster in my opinion.   Eat @ Red’s.
  • Lobster Roll with mayo – some folks think this is the best, but they are wrong. Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound near Southwest Harbor ME does it well though.
  • Lobster Bisque – with real lobster chunks from Sea Dog Brewery in Bangor.
  • Lobster Tacos – Jalapenos in Bar Harbor, the lobster is subtle.
  • Lobster Quesadillas – also from Jalapenos.   It’s very rich.
  • Lobster Pot Pie – at the beautiful Kennebunk Inn in Kennebunkport.   And yes, it is delicious.
  • Lobster Ice Cream – not the best way to eat lobster.
  • Whole Steamed Lobster – classic.
  • Lazy Man’s Lobster – Testa’s in Bar Harbor, yummy and buttery.
  • Lobster Mac n Cheese – lobster and cheese!!!!!!
  • Lobster Omelets – Two Cats also in Bar Harbor.
  • Lobster Egg Benedict – umm yeah……. Two Cats

The picture at the top is from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset.   This was my favorite in Maine for value, setting, and sheer quantity of lobster.   It is iconic Maine to get lobster from a shack near the ocean, then eating at a picnic table under a sunny sky watching the lobster boats.  The fact that the huge lobster roll is huge, has so much lobster you can’t see the bread, and is dripping butter is amazing and tasty.  If in Maine, make time for Red’s in Wiscasset.