This is definately where you want to go to get away from it all. There are miles upon miles of hiking trails and breathtaking scenery. Believe it or not, it only costs $5 US to enter the park, as compared to $20 US to enter Yellowstone. Daylight breaks at 4:45 AM and the sun is up by 5:15. Nearby, there is a ferry called the CAT that takes you over to Nova Scotia, Canada.
It's spectacular! Definitely one of my favorite parts of Maine. While you will find a few bluffs here and there up and down the US Atlantic Coast, I think the Maine coastline is certainly the most dramatic. You see pictures of it--the rocky cliffs, the little lighthouse, the waves pounding on the beaches, but still, it must be seen to fully appreciate it. In a way, it reminded me of Alaska. Well, not just in one way, but in many ways. Tree covered islands dotting the ocean, incredible views from the sheer cliffs, rocky beaches...But, unless you're in southest Alaska during the herring spawn, the color of the water in Maine throws off my whole comparison. If you saw a picture of the water alone, you're first guess would be the Caribbean--it's that shade of blue and clear as anything.
Funny story really...we went to Acadia in the middle of the week and the weather was TERRIBLE (see "warnings or dangers" tip) So, we decided to go well out of our way to come back during the weekend. What a completely different place. We laughed at all of the things we weren't able to see the 1st time around. Returning to the park was definitely the right thing to do...it's an incredible place. Most US National Parks...with the exception of those in Alaska and Hawaii don't have beautiful moutains and then a striking coastline a short distance away. Combined with the flora and fauna, the trails and the hidden ponds, Acadia has it all. Particulars will be explained in other tips as this place truly encompasses Maine.
What a cute town:) I know it's a very touristy place, but it still has charm. There are some incredible houses, B & Bs and hotels. Also, wonderful places to eat--lobster at all of these places, of course; great bars, some with live music and even cute gift shops. Bar Harbor somehow maintains the identity of a close knit community while catering to a major tourist industy. At night, it's great to walk up and down the streets, sit on the bench at the water or go out to a bar. Additionally, there are many trips to you can take to go whale and puffin watching or fishing. While some places close up in the winter, there are plenty of things open all year--which is very different from many oceanside communities from North Carolina northward. This is the only place we left and then a few days later came back to because we liked it so much--I would love to go back yet again. However, we weren't here in the height of the tourist season--I can imagine it gets pretty crazy with the crowds. Of course, Acadia National Park is right here and then a couple other communties that make up Mt. Desert Island.
Portland is the largest city in Maine, on the southern end of the state. It may be a city but don't let that keep you away.
Probably my most favorite small city in the United States....it is built on a slight hill that goes down to the waterfront with a shipping and fishing industry that keeps it alive and well. The city is full of life with great architecture, history, cultural events, wonderful sculptures through the streets and squares, old hotels and two great museums.
Not only that but the waterfront area called the "Old Port" has been re-vitalized with renovations of the original old stone and brick buildings, many smart shops and cafes and restaurants. Fun just to walk along both sides of Commercial St. with it's many cobble stone streets that shoot off of it, with narrow charming places to explore.
The tourist and fishing industry abide side by side in this wonderful quaint envirement. Seaguls, ocean air, smell of fish, hot sun, cool breeze, boats and ships......so much to do and see.
You must also go to the Casco Bay Ferry Lines on Commerial St. and take a ferry ride all around the beautiful islands of Casco Bay.
You can also catch "Whale Watching" trips also.
Prepare to spend a couple of days here, it will give you a mixture of both worlds.
Since I was a kid I loved tidal pools. There are so many animals and plants in them. The ecology of tidal pools can tell us a lot about living with other animals in the world. Acadia has great tidal pools in the park.
The Casco Bay Ferry Lines on Commercial St. on the waterfront of Portland, Maine in the Old Port offers tours through the Casco Bay and around the many islands. It is a beautiful ride....smooth sailing with the bay, ships, boats, lobster fishing, and island life to see and enjoy.
I really recommend this trip.....it is worth it. Parking is at the terminal, and tickets are easy to acquire, while you wait for the next ferry, you can wander around the Old Port and enjoy the shops, cafes, and restaurants, also the mixture of the tourist and the lobster fishing industry.
Get to Portland off Route 95, to Route 295, then the Franklin St. exit, turn left up a hill, and then straight on down the hill to the terminal.
There are many, many light houses alog this coast, but Pemaquid point is the one you find on most photographs and drawings etc.
It is a quite typical light house but elsewhere not really special.
What is more interesting are the stone formations on the beach.
Just be careful, obviously there are higher waves from time to time and some tourists have been washed out in the sea...
A walk on the Marginal Way from Perkins Cove is a great way to enjoy the ocean view and the rocky coast of Ogunquit.
Even in the off season (early Winter), it's not lacking in tourists on a clear day but that and the cold shouldn't deter you from a nice hike.
Touristy all year round but even more so in the summer when all the shops and restaurants are closed, Perkins Cove in Ogunquit is one of the places I like to visit.
We go for a walk around the little village and usually stop at the candy store where they sell saltwater taffy.
We could just about roll down the hill in the morning to the little beach and dock where the kids and dog had loads of fun. There are several kinds of boats to play with.
There was only one TV and that was in the main lodge. It was a black and white. You had to dress to take your meals in the main lodge every day. No bare chests, or feet, or bathing suits, or shorts. Every meal was a treat. We ate so well on that trip. Always hungry from the wonderful brisk air of Maine.
When you visit Weld, Maine, you must be ready to relax. There are mountain roads, pine woods, the lake, and a small general store in the center of town. Back then, there was an operator who connected all your phone calls for you....from a room located in the general store and gas station!! That was pretty out of date even when we were there. It provided a little laugh. We found a few antique shops and a look out station with a view. Everybody had to just "cool out". and we all loved it.
Maine has many outstanding features, many of which involve the great outdoors but Acadia National Park is perhaps its most sparkling asset. Though primarily noted for its rugged coastline, this 47,633 acre park encompasses lakes and granite mountains as well. It was the first National Park west of the Mississippi and is home to a great array of wildlife along with a history of native man's presence some 5000 years ago.
Bar Harbor is an admittedly touristy town but one that still retains a bit of New England just the same. It remains a cute and romantic port and with its close proximity to Acadia National Park, it is accordingly popular. Try to visit in the offseason as to not be too put off by the busloads that pour in here in the summer and peak foliage times
Big city Portland shows just how relaxed a state it is. Though it has the amenities of a big city, it retains a small town feel. It is a fun place to re-charge your batteries after doing some outdoors activity and a joy to wander the narrow streets enjoying the early 1900s architecture. With lots of places to eat, drink and shop, you'll be ready for your next adventure in no time.
Worst experience ever !!! We booked Hilton Honors reward reservation- a non-smoking room with double...more
Our family has stayed here several times over the past 25 years, usually in the Ocean Front Lodge....more
Only one of 2 campgrounds actually in Acadia National Park, Blackwoods is really in the middle of it...more