I’m back on and finally had a chance to share my experience on our road trip from Portland to Acadia National Park last fall. Before I start, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t already know this, but Maine is a treasure. This post will cover the best things to do when traveling from Portland, Maine to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
Portland is is approximately 3 hours from Acadia National Park and I can honestly say this is now one of my favorite cities. Craft beer, lobster rolls, timeless nooks and crannies- this is only part of what made me fall in love. Portland is any foodie’s dream come true so here is a list of my favorite eats:
Run, don’t walk to this place and be sure to get the lobster roll, it’s unlike any other.
In addition to eating, which always comes first with me, there are plenty of other things to do in Portland. Here are some of my top recommendations for things to do and places to stay.
Best Places to Stay
- Portland Harbor Hotel
- Location cannot be beat, and this hotel offers a modern, cozy vibe.
- The Pres Hotel Autograph Collection
- Location also a winner, also offers modern luxury.
- The Inn on Peaks Island
- If you don’t mind jumping on the ferry, this is also a great option that’s a little quieter.
Things to Do
- Shopping, Coffee and Lunch in Old Port
- Craft Beer Tasting through Brews Crews
- Visit Peaks Island (If you aren’t already staying there)
- Tour some Lighthouses (Portland Breakwater, Ram Island, Spring Point)
The second stop on our road trip from Portland to Acadia NP was Camden. Camden is a small town on the coast, smack dab between Portland and Bar Harbor- so it’s the perfect place to stop for the day or overnight. We just stopped for the day but there are quite a few bed and breakfast options that would be great for an overnight.
When visiting, plan to wear comfy shoes and walk everywhere so you can take it all in- the adoring scenery is hard to beat.
Best Things to do in Camden
- Grab Coffee at Owl and Turtle Bookshop Café
- Shop at SeaBags
- Take in the views at Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park
- Eat at the Waterfront
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park
Finally, the main destination, Bar Harbor and of course Acadia National Park. Other than camping in the park, the best place to stay in my opinion is Bar Harbor. We opt to stay at the Bar Harbor Inn and Spa and we will definitely be back. This resort is right on the water, located conveniently downtown and most sailboats and charters leave from right from the resort.
Plan to have at least 2 days to visit Acadia and be sure to buy your pass prior to coming to the park, otherwise, you will have to go to the visitor’s center and likely wait in line. I also recommend bringing a sack lunch and plenty of water and other drinks.
The first day at Acadia we planned to see the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain- this is the first place the sun hits the US. However, you must leave extremely early to get parking and obviously get there before the sun rises, so we missed this. I still recommend this though, as it’s a one-of-a-kind experience- so I’m told by my parents who actually witnessed it.
Since we missed the sunrise, we grabbed breakfast and still headed to the park pretty early to start some hikes. Pretty much all hikes in the part of worth doing but here are some of my favorites.
- Beehive or Precipice Hike
- Both offer amazing views, but I would not recommend for small children or for those afraid of heights.
- Jordan Pond Loop and South Bubble Mountain
- Cadillac North or South Ridge Trails
Other than hiking, there are tons of other activities to do in the park.
- Bike the Carriage Roads
- Relax at Sand Beach
- Eat/Drink at Jordan’s Pond House (Enjoy the popovers)
- Visit the Schoodic Peninsula- while not part of Mount Dessert Island, you can jump on a ferry in Bar Harbor that will take you right to the Schoodic Penensula.
While our time in Maine ended quickly, we will defiantly be back soon. As I shared before, Maine has so much to offer and we could not have had a better time on this trip. I hope this post is helpful for you as you plan your own trip. Happy Traveling!