Bar None Beautiful: Bar Harbor, Maine
We arrived after midnight. The charming streets I’d heard so much about were a ghostland. Despite the pleasant mood and amusing accent (to my southern ear) of the night staff at our hotel, I went to sleep not feeling as wicked thrilled as I thought I’d be about Baa-haa-baa. The next morning we permitted ourselves to sleep in before realizing that we were, indeed, sleeping away our vacation. We caught the hotel’s breakfast just before it closed and spent the better half of the morning strolling along the harbor. My concerns were instantly lifted as I confirmed the rumors were indeed true – Bar Harbor is nothing short of idyllic.
After the town pier devoured my lens cap, we took a long stroll along the shore path that wraps the coast. Back at the hotel we gathered our belongings and, as became our daily ritual, jetted off into the depths of Acadia National Park. Acadia is essentially a wonderland of outdoor activities and accessible to all ages. Groomed bike trails weave through the park’s rolling hills and crystal clear lakes. Be sure not to miss popovers and blueberry crisp at the Jordan Pond House, in the heart of the park.
Back in town, boutiques offer everything from nautical wear, to kitschy knickknacks and gorgeous artwork. The winner for the best shop name? ‘Bark Harbor’ which caters to four-legged fur babies. Brilliant, right? For dinner we loved Finback Alehouse for their farm-to-table and sea-to-table offerings. We successfully maintained a fish taco per day regimen and have no regrets about it.
Perhaps most memorable though was our sunset tour around ‘The Quiet Side’ with Maine State Kayak out of Southwest Harbor. Admittedly, Dan had to do a little convincing to get me to join what ended up being was an absolutely surreal experience. For two hours we paddled amongst osprey, seal and porpoise. Our guide, Corky, was one of the best I’ve ever had as he continued to paint the scene before us: “Overhead we have an osprey with a 5 foot wingspan on the hunt. At 11 o’clock you’ll see a loon about to dive up to 200 feet…” It added a whole new perspective to our time on the sea and made me conscious of aquatic and birdlife in a way that I never had before.
All and all, I’d put Bar Harbor up there beside Savannah and Charleston as a great long weekend destination. Truly gorgeous scenery, lots to eat, see and do. What’s missing in nightlife is made up by the fact that if you rise early enough you can be the first in the US to see the sunrise. Unfortunately for us though, the morning we rose pre-crack of dawn to see the spectacle the island was totally shrouded a clouds. That said, we’ll be back!
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Up early to see the sunrise… or, not. 😉