National Parks: Acadia
Let me start this off by telling you that regret starting our national park journey with Acadia. Once you see the pictures, you’ll understand why. We set the bar too high and we were expecting and are sort of still expecting every national park to hit the mark and sadly, it’s going to happen . But you guys, it was just SO beautiful. I feel good about saying it was thee most beautiful place I have seen in my 24-year old life. We have a lot of parks left on our list but Acadia National Park will always hold a special place in my heart as the one that started it all. I pray you get the chance to visit sometime and when you do, I laid out all the details of our trip for you here.
Travel Time: 14-days
We took two weeks to drive from Cleveland, Ohio to our most northern port of Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine. In a nutshell, it looked like this:
-Cleveland. OH—>Lamar, PA / we stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn for one night
-Lamar, PA—>New York City, New York / we stayed with my cousin (Hey Mad!) for three nights
-NYC—>Stratford, CT / we drove out of the city late at night and stayed here at a Homewood Suites for one night
-Stratford, CT—>Cape Elizabeth, ME / we drove through Portsmouth, NH and arrived to Cape Elizabeth and stayed at the cutest Airbnb for two nights
-Cape Elizabeth, ME—>Bar Harbor, ME / we drove up Route 1 and stayed in Bar Harbor for three nights
-Bar Harbor, ME—>Boothbay Harbor, ME / we drove back down to Boothbay for one night to do a whale watching tour
-Boothbay Harbor, ME—>Provincetown, MA / we drove through Cape Cod and stayed in Provincetown for two nights
-Provincetown, MA—>Penn Yan, NY / we drove to a good stopping place between MA and home and stayed here for one night
-Penn Yan, NY—>Cleveland, OH
Where we stayed & what we did along the way:
I’ll focus on the places we stayed for more than one night, the non-chain places we ate and the main parts of our journey:
CAPE ELIZABETH, MAINE / PORTLAND, MAINE
Where we stayed: This Airbnb (if you want a $40 coupon off your first Airbnb trip, use this link) // it was our first experience staying in an Airbnb that wasn’t totally private and it was awesome! The hosts were really wonderful people, had the best recommendations, and the location of Cape Elizabeth was peaceful, close to everything we wanted to do and a literal 5-minute drive into downtown Portland.
What we did and where we ate:
The Portland Headlight // one of the oldest lighthouses EVER
Crescent Beach State Park // beautiful, relaxing, and you could walk from our Airbnb
The Porthole // dive bar, cheap lobster, just ok-service but it’s what we were looking for
Holy Donut // a must go, best donuts ever? maybe.
Lincoln’s // a hidden gem, literally - we can’t tell you more because they literally ask you not to but it’s the most memorable bar we went to on our entire trip
On our way up to Bar Harbor, we stopped at Sarah’s Cafe per our airbnb host’s recommendation and it was AMAZING
BAR HARBOR, MAINE / ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Where we stayed:
For one night — Maples Inn // I’m not being dramatic when I say it was the best hotel and bed breakfast that I have EVER stayed in. When we booked it, there was only one night available and I would of stayed all three had it been possible. It’s a) affordable b) they make you feel like you are paying MUCH more than you are c) the breakfast was amazing and as gourmet as you can get
For two nights - this Airbnb (get a $40 coupon here!) // This cottage was super clean and cute. The service was great and I’d stay there again. Coming from the Maples Inn, it was a bit more like cottage/camping then I prefer but Nic loved it and it definitely gave us the Maine vibes we wanted
What we did:
Acadia National Park // we spent the bulk on the time in the park and if you are going here and enjoy being outside, I’d advise you do the same. It was the point of our entire two week trip and really started us on a lifelong goal of seeing as many parks as we can. Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, hiking Beehive, hiking Gorham Trail, and Thunder Hole were our favorite parts. The park is amazing and I really cannot wait to return.
We ate at a few good restraunts but we aren’t foodies and weren’t looking to eat anywhere super nice on this part of the trip. Some of the restaurants we had good meals and good service at were: Jordan’s, The Finback Whale House, and Blaze
BOOTHBAY HARBOR, MAINE
Where we stayed: The Topside Inn // super pretty bed and breakfast, on the pricer side, good food, very clean / i’m not sure if we would stay here again only because of the price but I’m happy we stayed the first time
What we did: the only reason we stopped in Boothbay was to do one of the more renowned whale watching tours in Maine // it was awesome, we say a ton of whales, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was worth the stop in Boothbay and the every penny. We didn’t love any of the other food there so you’re on your own!
Where we stayed: The 8 Dyer Inn // another little b&b and if I am being quite honest with you, it was my least favorite along the way
What we did: The National Seashore was amazing but you don’t need to go to Provincetown to see it. You can see it at most points along Cape Cod! We explored, walked a lot, and really enjoyed getting drinks at Harbor Lounge but all in all, I don’t feel the need to go back to Provincetown
PENN YAN, MA
Where we stayed: The Steamboat Castle Inn // amazing bed and breakfast, especially because we picked Penn Yan only because it was a good mid point on our drive all the way from Cape Cod to Cleveland. This place was huge, had amazing breakfast, was on a gorgeous lake, filled with wonderful people, and affordable. I’d go back just for a weekend trip. We didn’t do much other than head to town to catch the Indians game at a dive bar and we had a fine time but we spent less than 24 hours in this place all together :)