Our Getaway to Bar Harbor Maine

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Some of you have asked me to share the details of our Bar Harbor trip we took back in May. To be honest, I was on the fence about it because despite Bar Harbor being amazing, it was not the easiest of trips. While my husband was on his way to play a music fesitval (part of the reason we decided to go in the first place), our Jeep Grand Cherokee broke down an hour and half away from the hotel. Then, after Brian managed to get to the festival the band’s time slot got cancelled due to electrical problems and they did not get to play their set. Despite all of that, it has been a month and a half now, we bought a new car, and I can now laugh about the mishaps and remember that we did in fact have a great time!

Everything we were celebrating…

This past May I turned 31 years old! In addition to it being my birthday month, May is the month of celebratory things for our family. Brian and I started officially dating in May 2011, we were engaged in May 2015, and married in May 2017. It also marks another year of being a stepmom! In honor of our multiple anniversaries, and my birthday, we decided to take this trip (oh and the music festival that didn’t really happen, sorry dear!).

The end of May is a great time to visit Maine if you are looking for an early summer getaway for roughly 50% less than what you would ordinarily spend in July and August. The reason being that the weather can be much less predictable (but if you are heading there this month, you probably picked the best time to go). We lucked out in that it did not rain, but it was much cooler than we are use to for springtime in Massachusetts. The temperature ranged from low 40s at night to high 60s during the day.

When looking for places to stay I needed to find a place that was dog friendly, and kid friendly. I wanted us to stay close to Acadia National Park, but also near downtown Bar Harbor so we could walk everywhere for dinning and activities.

I decided to book the Harborside Hotel & Spa

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I was very pleased with our experience and stay. The hotel is walking distance to all restaurants and shops. Next door to the hotel is the dock for all whale watching tours, harbor cruises, and bicycle rentals. The hotel has a large pool and hot tub that overlook the harbor. The rooms were gorgeous and newly renovated; each room has its own terrace to sit outside too. Our room was spacious and had a large king size bed with a pull out couch for my stepson to sleep. The room also had all hardwood floors which is the best if you are staying with pets, (they provide you with dog beds and bowls upon request too). The only downside is the cost to have your pet stay with you. It is $75 dollars per day, per dog which is significantly higher than most hotels that are pet friendly!

Activities…

Bar Island

Bar Island is apart of Acadia National park. It is a somewhat isolated island that is located across the harbor from where we stayed. There is a section in between our hotel and the island where the tide goes down low enough to where you can actually walk over by foot. There are trails and wildlife, it is beautiful. The only downside is if you are not planning on camping there overnight, you will have to watch the time, as the tide goes back up after so many hours! If you get stuck there are signs that tell you what to do! Luckily that did not happen to us! :)

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We went on the Puffin and Whale Watch tour. This was our 3rd time going whale watching in New England, and for the first time we did not see any whales. It turns out we were a bit too early for them. The whales migrate south in the winter and come back up north in the summer. If you are banking on seeing the whales, you must go July - August!

Despite the whales being a no show, we saw a ton of puffins, and seals so it was still fun! Side note: The duration is roughly 4 1/2 hours round trip. The water can be extremely rough, so if you are planning to go but have a sensitive stomach, take dramamine! They make it for kids too! We took it and did not get sea sick at all, others were not as lucky!

Acadia National Park

Acadia was my favorite part of Maine! We did not see a moose, but we spent several hours hiking and visiting different locations! The park was only 4 minutes from our hotel. The first thing we did when we arrived was purchase a pass. It is $30 per car, and it is valid for a week. I recommend buying a map ahead of time, you can buy one at Cadillac Sports in town, as it helps to pre-plan all the areas you are looking to hike. There are shops, information centers, bathrooms, and food, so you won’t be in complete wilderness upon entering the park!

We drove up to the peak point of Cadillac Mountain, then went onto the Jordan Pond area, and hiked the perimeter of the pond. It was peaceful, relaxing and great exercise. The hike was roughly 3.2 miles around. Because my stepson is 10 and pretty atheletic, he was able to handle the entire hike. I wouldn’t recommend this trail for children under 8, as they might get tired of walking, and there are sections of the trail where you have to walk on rocks and woodend planks.

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Restaurants

Here is a list of restaurants were we ate, all of which were very good!

  • Eagles Nest - Casual restaurant on the water where you can order burgers, steak, seafood and lobster (photo pictured below).

  • Paddy’s Irish Pub- Irish restuarant and bar, we ate here for lunch it was very good!

  • Jordan’s Pond Ice cream & Fudge - Possibly the best ice cream we have ever had (seriously).

  • La Bella Vita Restauarnt - This was by far our favorite restaurant, great Italian food. It is located at the Harborside Hotel where we stayed.

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Overall, Bar Harbor is an amazing place, and perfect if you are looking for a relaxing getaway as a couple or with the kids. Despite some of the issues we had during the trip it was still fun, and I think we will definitely be back again!