Why You Need To Spend 24 Hours in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.
With the surprise of the pandemic changing everyone’s international travel plans, one of the best things that came out of it this year for us is discovering the less talked about (but equal to some European counterparts) east coast states. We always wanted to visit Maine, and a trip there would not be complete without a trip to Bar Harbor. Maine is the northeasternmost U.S. state and is generally known for its rocky coastline, lighthouses, and nature areas like the granite and spruce islands of Acadia National Park.
About a 3-hour drive from Portland, Maine, Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island along Maine’s Frenchman Bay. It serves as a gateway to the mountains and cliffs of neighboring Acadia National Park. It is definitely worth visiting if you are a fan of great views, great eclectic food, and lots of crafts and artsy souvenirs!
Start your day at Acadia National Park
One of the most beautiful hikes in America that we ever went on was in Acadia National Park. Actually, it almost compares to our hike overlooking a beach near Muir Woods in San Francisco! Being here reminded us of why the east coast is so great to be around in the summer! We hiked the Great Head Trail which is rated as “moderate” and loops around the north-east side of Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. This is a great hike, for any hour of the day, one that the whole family can experience (with caution of course). We even brought our energetic terrier pup along for the hike as dogs are allowed on the trails here! This starts as a leisurely climb leading to some beautiful pink granite cliffs and then turns into a moderate climb through the rocks with great views of the Sand Beach, The Beehive, and other beautiful views of Maine’s coast. Most crowds were on Sand Beach and there were hardly any people on the trail late morning to mid-afternoon so most people may not even be aware of the beauty of this trail. A trails map app, lots of water, and wearing some good hiking boots are highly recommended as the paths were quite uneven and rocky at times.
Head to Bar Harbor Waterfront
Head into the town of Bar Harbor once you are done with Acadia sights for some wonderful outdoor lunch choices and beautifully crafted local souvenirs by local artists. We found a place called Project Social which had some eclectic options for lunch, after a few days in Maine we got tired of lobster and wanted to find something more appetizing. I especially adored their tapas-style menu options and the first thing we got were the oysters! I believe we got oysters almost every day in Maine! They are the most delicious oysters we have ever tried! Their Nutella strawberry crepes reminded me of some Europe style crepes I had in Italy and Greece! Right next to this restaurant, we found a really cute souvenir store where we found some really cool hand-carved and painted wooden buoys to take home to decorate our place with. Another cool place to eat dinner next door was Cafe This Way which had really nice pop-up menus and cottages surrounding ambiance! We also picked up some locally packaged tea from Bar Harbor Tea Company which had an array of flavors to choose from including blueberry, maple, and some cute tea kettles and pots. There are tons of stores to roam in around this area!