Hi all! This post is about 6 months late but was still worth sharing. Last June, 3daughters took our first ever summer trip to Maine. We had been 3 times before to ski but summer is a totally different experience.
Our trip started out a little sideways. We had planned to change planes in Philly and land in Bangor, 30 minutes from our first stop. Well while in flight on our first leg, our second leg was cancelled and the earliest American could rebook us was 3 days later. UNACCEPTABLE. We ended up booking a flight to Boston 8 hours later that day. Since I LOVE Philly and lived there in my 20s, we decided to make the best of the day and visit Old City.
By the time we got to Boston it was after 8 so we grabbed a hotel for the night and decided to drive the 5 hours early the next morning to our first stop, Under Canvas Acadia.
Where to Stay
Our first 3, ahem 2, nights were Glamping at Under Canvas Acadia. We were traveling with 9 kids and it was the perfect location for them to run free.
Glamping is not camping, it is bougie. We grabbed a stargazer tent that had a queen bed, fireplace, full bathroom, and starlit views from bed. It also has a kid tent right outside with 2 twin beds. Perfect for our family.
While the food at Under Canvas was great, our absolute best meal of the trip, probably of the whole summer, was the lobster bake. Since we had 20 people, my sister in law organized a local company to deliver a full lobster bake to our campground. We set a pretty table with wildflowers and gorged on fresh caught lobsters, potatoes, corn, coleslaw, rolls, and fresh baked Maine Blueberry pie. I have never in my life eaten 2 whole lobster but when in Maine…
For the last 2 nights of our trip, we booked at the Harborside Resort and Marina in Bar Harbor. While Under Canvas was stunning and so much fun, I knew I would want a shower and AC for the final couple nights.
We booked the kid suite which had a king sized bed plus a small bunk bed room. The bunk room was tiny but had a TV so my kids didn’t mind.
The hotel had a beautiful bar with an awesome drink menu. The hubs and I definitely indulged. But the best part of the hotel was the location. It is on Frenchman Bay right in downtown Bar Harbor and we did not touch our car the rest of the trip. It is also located right next to the land bridge that is only accessible a few hours a day to walk out to Bar Island.
Where to Eat
When you’re in Maine, there’s only one answer to what to eat… LOBSTER. Make sure to check out a roadside shack. Perrys Lobster Shack did not disappoint after our 5 hour drive from Boston. In addition to the huge fresh caught lobsters, my middle daughter loved the little neck clams.
After a fun lobster charter boat, we were craving more seafood with a waterfront view. You can’t miss the yellow umbrellas of the Terrace Grille at the Bar Harbor Inn. They had the most delicious New England Clam Chowder and the beer just tastes better with this amazing view.
If you’re not yet sick of Lobster, check out Stewman’s Lobster Pound in Bar Harbor. It is very kitschy with buoys hanging everywhere but the food was delicious and the open deck was perfect for my energetic girls to roam. By this point in the trip I need something other than seafood and this Steak salad was everything.
Things to Do
We are a family of outdoor lovers so we knew hiking and exploring Acadia National Park was high on our list. We explored both Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks earlier this year so also knew our girls had about an hour or 2 miles in them before the whining began. With that in mind, we chose 3 beginner level hikes.
As I mentioned, the Harborside Resort & Marina is located right on Frenchmans bay. Twice a day during low tide, a land bridge appears that allows you to walk out to Bar Island. On the island, there is a hike so easy my husband and I completed it in our swimsuits and flip flops while the girls stacked stones on the beach. Just make sure you pay attention to tide times. If you get stuck out there, you’ll have to call for an emergency water taxi that can run you over $100.
Heading into the heart of Acadia National Forrest, one of the more popular hikes is the Ocean Path. This runs along the coastline giving you incredible views for miles. It is fairly flat and easy for kids.
Another favorite is Jordan Pond House. This is actually a restaurant in Acadia that is known for it’s Popovers. There are also plenty of hiking trails leading from this site. We chose the Jordan Spring Path which took us through the woods along a Spring. There were cute photo ops under bridges and some harder climbing challenges if you so choose.
If you visit Bar Harbor, you need to go out on the water at least once. Since we were a large group, we chartered our own Lobster Boat to take us out into Frenchman Bay. Even if its summer and warm, pack a thick jacket. We visited in June, wore gloves and hats and the kids were still cold.
The driver and guide were super knowledgable and showed the kids both how they collect the lobster traps and let them throw them back in. We grabbed 3 lobster traps during our outting and caught both lobsters and crabs. My kids also learned how to gender check Lobsters. so fun!
There was so much to do in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. 5 days was not enough and will definitely be back to visit. Maybe next time in Fall to enjoy the beautiful foliage. I took about 300 photos while there and have so much more to say so please reach out with any questions.