Matt and I recently got back from a long weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine! It was so gorgeous and would go back tomorrow if I could! There was so much nature to see and the air smelled amazing (fresh – you know, compared to city air). Nearly everything about the weekend was absolute perfection!
You can fly directly into Bar Harbor airport if you don’t mind a layover and the cost. Matt and I chose to fly into Bangor airport because a) it was more affordable and b) we were renting a car anyway. There’s also the option of flying into Boston, renting a car, and taking a day to explore the coast before reaching Bar Harbor.
We rented our car through Enterprise which is not at the airport but they do provide a shuttle from their lot to the airport and back. The drive from Bangor to Bar Harbor is a little over an hour on pretty much one road so it’s not too bad!
Matt’s parents generously covered our hotel stay using their timeshare swaps. Or something like that. I’m not entirely sure how timeshares work so we’ll go with that. So, we ended up staying at The Hampton Inn which was great! It’s got everything you need: a great breakfast spread (waffles, eggs, pastries, fruit!), internet, a nice gym, 2 pools (indoor and outdoor) and it’s in a great location! If luxury is more your style, then the Bar Harbor Inn & Spa will be right up your alley.
And if hotels aren’t your thing, there are a ton of affordable(!) listings on AirBnB and VRBO. Matt’s oldest brother and his family rented half of a home right off of Main Street.
There are so many small restaurants located within the downtown area. And pretty much every restaurant has outdoor dining so you can soak in the fresh New England air. A few standout meals for me: lobster tacos at Testa’s, breakfast burrito at Thrive Juice Bar, Chicken and Quinoa Salad at Paddy’s Irish Pub, and the ice cream at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream. Ooh, Matt and I also split a Blueberry Latte from The Independent Cafe — I give it a solid 12/10 rating!
Maine has a ton of local breweries and while I don’t drink often, I do make a point to try a local beer or two when I’m in a new place. I’m a big fan of the Blueberry Ale brewed by Atlantic Brewing Company and the Honey Blonde by Baxter Brewing.
There is a lot of shopping to be had in Bar Harbor. If you’re familiar with Lake Geneva, Wisconsin it’s like that but… waaaay better. People are nicer (both pedestrians and drivers) and the shops aren’t crazy expensive. And while every shop pretty much sells the same stuff, it’s fun to walk in and look at everything. There are art shops, souvenir shops, coffee shops, and even a pet shop called Bark Harbor! How cute! (And if shopping isn’t your thing, take a stroll along the shore path and look at all of the beautiful flowers and older homes.)
Matt’s parents arranged for the entire gang to do a trolley tour through Acadia National Park via Oli’s Trolleys. Matt and I were a bit distracted with his niece and nephew but everyone else highly recommends the tour! There were 3-15 minute stops (Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond House, and Cadillac Mountain) with lots of trivia in between. In all, the tour was a little over 2 hours long.
We ended up going back to Acadia twice – once with Matt’s parents for a nature walk (the Jesup Trail) and once with Matt’s brother Joey, and his wife, Allison, to hike up. Matt found for the Gorham Mountain Trail which was about a mile up and 500+ feet elevation. Shhewwww.
There are also several gorgeous golf courses in Bar Harbor and I would’ve loved to have had a chance to hit the links just once. Maybe next time 😉
We had such a great time in Bar Harbor and it was the perfect little getaway!