Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Our Getaway to Bar Harbor, Maine

Last week the Mr. and I were able to sneak away on a little getaway to Bar Harbor, Maine!  It was a work related trip, but lots of fun mixed in and we had the best time.  If give the chance I almost always pick a tropical location for a trip so this was not something I would have normally picked, but I'm so glad that we went because it was beautiful!!!  

We flew from Atlanta to New York and then to Bangor, Maine and made the quick 1 hour, 20 minute drive to Bar Harbor.  The day we arrived it was kind of cloudy and overcast, which I had been warned about.  We made a pit stop for lunch at Acadia Lobster and BBQ Company and it was exactly like you would expect from a local, side of the road, amazing food spot. So good!  

We stayed at West Street Hotel and when we arrived I wasn't sure what I had been expecting, but it was everything we could have hoped for and more!  It was tastefully decorated with a nautical theme, overlooked the harbor, and was within walking distance to everywhere downtown.  

The view from our room was amazing! 

We had several planned outings and excursions while we were there and also some down time to explore on our own so it was the perfect mix.  One day we took a whale watching tour in the hopes of seeing some whales.  It was a very long 50 miles offshore and we had been warned about getting sea sick.  The boat was huge though and I knew we wouldn't need to worry, but the others around us weren't so lucky.  People were dropping like flies and it felt like close to half of the boat wasn't feeling the seas.  Just when we thought we were going to have to turn back and head to shore without seeing any whales a few were spotted and we spent the next half hour watching a humpback whale mother and her calf swim around and feed.  

There were marine biologist on the boat sharing lots of details and information about these animals so it was extremely informative and so interesting to learn about.  The humpback whales were so graceful in the water and it almost looked as if they were swimming in slow motion.  It was a full 5 hours on the boat, but worth it to see the whales up close and personal! It was really cold out on the water and I was jealous of the people in pants and fleece jackets.  If you do something similar be sure to dress warmly. 

Another scheduled tour we had was a bus tour of Acadia National Park. We opted for the 2.5 hour tour which include stops at the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the Sieur de Mont's Springs and Thunder Hole. Our guide was excellent and shared so much history about the park with us.  It was a great way to hit the highlights, get some pictures, and decide which parts of the park we wanted to come back to on our own to explore.  

On top of Cadillac Mountain 

Thunder Hole 

The cliffs beside Thunder Hole. The views were amazing! 

Speaking of heading back to Acadia, we decided to go back and follow some of the trails. What started as a scenic walk turned into a full blown hike climbing over boulders, climbing up steep rocky stairs, and getting a crazy workout.  

We climbed all the way up there! Didn't make it to the top of the mountain before deciding to turn around, but my legs certainly felt it the next day! 

We kept laughing because earlier in the week we overheard a mom telling her kids who didn't want to cross the sandbar, "It's not a hike, it's just a walk" and I was certain something similar had happened to that family.  Despite the rough terrain we had fun! 

So strong! Haha! 

One free afternoon we followed the signs in town to the sandbar. It's a short few blocks right outside of downtown and at low tide you can walk all the way across the sandbar from Bar Harbor to Harbor Island.  There is about a 3 hour window every twelve hours that you can make the crossing so you just have to be sure to time it right so you don't get stranded. Once you get across there is a 2 mile loop with a walking trail around the island.  We didn't do the entire loop because we were short on time, but it was fun to say we did it and see the views of Bar Harbor from the island. 

Another fun thing to do in our downtime was walk the shore path.  It's a nice leisurely stroll around the rocky shoreline of the harbor and has some incredible views with beautiful flowers along the way.  We walked it a few times in the morning and then again in the evenings after dinner. 

I can't talk about Maine without sharing about the food!  So much lobster...lobster rolls, lobster ravioli, lobster bisque and whole lobsters!  Everywhere we went had the most amazing food and we were happy to feast on it all. 

I didn't realize Maine was also known for their blueberries until we arrived.  Blueberry cocktails, blueberry pancakes, and blueberry pie were abundant and definitely worth the calories! I didn't even think I liked blueberry pie until I had this amazing version of it one night. 

A few restaurants we loved were Stewman's (right on the water),  Cherry Stones (a short walk further in downtown), and La Bella Vita (overlooking the bay...the outdoor seating made it feel like sitting on the coast of Italy!). 

La Bella Vita - Sitting outside for lunch on a sunny day is a must! 

All of the restaurants seemed like family owned operations and had a great local feel to them.  The majority of them had outdoor seating, which we enjoyed.  It was difficult to get reservations ahead of time at some spots, but we didn't run into too many long wait times.  After dinner ice cream shops were found every few blocks and so many people would grab ice cream, go sit on one of the town greens, watch the beautiful sunsets and just enjoy the evening. 

I will say the time of year that we went was their busy season and it was incredibly crowded. I was expecting it to be more of a sleepy town feel and it was the opposite of that.  Downtown was bustling with people.  Another thing I wasn't expecting was the amount of families vacationing there.  Lastly, you could tell the national park brought a lot of outdoor enthusiasts to the area.  Lots of campers, hikers, bikers, and lovers of nature.  It was also a super dog-friendly town. Everyone seemed to have their dogs with them and all of the restaurants were accommodating to the furry friends. 

The weather was in the mid-seventies and just perfect, but the mornings and nights when the sun went down felt chilly.  Originally I was planning on denim shorts and cute tops for most of the days until the Mr. informed me we would be doing lots of outdoor activities so I quickly had to switch up my suitcase and opt for athletic clothes during the day.  I grabbed a few new tops at Target and loved them! 

Cropped Tank (Comes in a few different colors! Size up for a longer fit.)

Lightweight Hooded Sweatshirt (So glad I grabbed this at the last minute!)

Slub Tank (Comes in several colors and has cute pleating at the shoulders!) // Spanx Skort 

All of our dinner spots were also very casual and kind of anything goes, but it was fun to dress up on our last night in this dress from Willow Park. 

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