Here is your chance to advise fellow Trailmixers on where to go if they are in a travelling mood.
My recommendation: Maine’s Acadia National Park & the adjacent town of Bar Harbor.
Acadia Park: One of the best scenic drives in the USA winds along a rugged coastline with more than a dozen places to stop and take extraordinary photos. For the physically fit, there are many hiking trails with breathtaking ocean views. If you are lazy but don’t mind getting up early, you can drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain (which is only 800 feet tall) and see the sunrise. Although this is a hotly disputed issue, the top of Cadillac Mountain is believed by many to be the first spot in the USA that is hit by the rising sun at dawn. Spectators often applaud when the sun comes up. If you return at dusk and rotate 180 degrees, the view at sunset is even better; this is a popular place to go before having dinner in nearby Bar Harbor.
Bar Harbor: Pronounced “Bah Hahbah” by locals, this is a pleasant little combination of a working fishing village and classic tourist trap. If you go down to the public pier at 5:00 AM you can watch lobster boats going out for the daily catch, gunning their engines as they pass a little too close to the luxury sailboats that their New York investment banker owners anchored there last night. Bar Harbor is chock full of motels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, bars (with live Jazz), and retailers of quality souvenirs: porcelain lighthouses, sea captain’s hats, and a wide selection of plastic moose. For the more culturally sophisticated, there is a small but really good Native American (Wabnaki) history museum, and one of the local churches has free classical music concerts in the evening.
In my opinion, this is the best place to visit in Maine, and one of the top ten places to visit in all of New England. I recommend staying at a bed and breakfast near the center of Bar Harbor because parking can be a problem at dinner time and on Saturdays. If you stay at a B&B you can walk to everything; Bar Harbor isn’t very big. The entire downtown is smaller than one Manhattan city block.
This video has a little too much “marketing” flavor for my taste, but it’s short and covers the key points.
Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor
– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor