Portland & Bah Habah
Last August, my parents set their sights on exploring some of the Maine coast, and you bet your bottom dollar I got the invite too. Yes, I am 23 years old. Yes, I still beg my parents to take me on their vacations. We exist.
Whatta cute little town! We flew into Portland and stayed over one night to check it out. It has really cool shops, architecture, history, and all the lobster you can fit in your belly. Honestly, no matter where you go in Maine, you're gonna get super fresh, tasty lobster. Here are my faves:
I will start by saying this restaurant is on the pricey side, but my oh my, is it worth it. I had the best lobster everrrr here. I'm partial to steamed lobster (dipped in warm butter shooooowee)! They also have the option to order it pan roasted, which I'm sure would be delicious too.
A potato donut! I didn't think it could be done, but then they went and did it, and it's delish. We ordered a bunch of great flavors, but my favorite were Classic Glazed and Pomegranate.
Prior to my trip, I heard this diner had the best lobster omelet in town, so I had to taste it for myself. It was awesome. It was VERY savory, and stuffed to the brim with big lobster chunks, so if you're a huge lobster fan, you would love it. I'll be
honest witchya and say it was probably a bit *too* lobster-y for me, but I'm glad I tried it!
Dang, Bar Harbor was the bomb. I still think about it a lot and would go back in a heartbeat. It is the perfect mix of mountains and ocean and seafood and blueberries (did you know Maine has famously tasty blueberries?)! It's so charming I could just pinch its lil cheeks.
The best restaurant in Bar Harbor! My parents and I were in Bar Harbor for a week and I think we ate here at least 5 days, and even twice a day once. It has a very casual vibe, the BEST baked crab dip and THE BEST drink I have ever had (it was a fresh blueberry margarita and I still dream of the day I will have it again). They have a great selection of local beers, a great atmosphere, and really REALLY good food. I can't say enough good things about it.
The perfect patio for a nice lunch. I had a very yummy & fresh fish tacos with deeeelicious elote (Mexican street corn, if ya don't know) on the side.
A wonderful spot for breakfast or brunch. They have a really good salmon eggs benedict and AMAZING biscuits. Try em with honey and the blueberry jam, k?
Okay, so, I didn't try the juice but their iced coffee was so good and I got a Maine lobster-avocado-toast type thing there and THAT was amazing. They also have really good açaí bowls and salads.
Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium
Lobster Ice Cream, for the adventurous. Can I just say it's actually really good? Do NOT @ me. Pictured here ----->
If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth and you aren't quite ready for lobster flavored ice cream, this ice cream joint is the place to go. Their ice cream is so fresh and I love it because they have the flavors you can't find in the grocery store. Some might call it "artisanal" but what's so bad about that? I think the flavors are creative and REALLY good. So yeah.
While in Bar Harbor, you gotta stop here for an evening of comedy! They hire people from all over the United States to spend their summers here entertaining all the vacationers. There were a few people I recognized from the comedy community in Chicago and it was so cool! FYI- they do more short-form improvisation here. My fam and I really enjoyed ourselves.
Acadia National Park
My parents and I are big hiking fans, so we wanted to get some really good hikes in while we were so close to one of the best National Parks in the USA! There is a free shuttle bus that will take you in and out of Bar Harbor to Acadia. We took that some days and drove ourself to the park other days. We either did really easy hikes or really strenuous hikes (like, hanging onto iron rungs on the side of a cliff), there was no in-between (whoops).
It is said that one of the most beautiful sunrises can be seen from Cadillac Mountain (it's also the first place the sun rises in the U.S.). However, that happens at like....4am, so although we really wanted to see this magnificent sunset, we could never bring ourselves to wake up that early because we were like, on vacation, or something? Lame. We DID drive up one day and look at the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain (highest on Mount
Desert Island at 1,530 feet) and it was really cool, so I definitely recommend that.
Great Head Trail
This is one of the easy ones I was talking about above. It takes you above sand beach and has some pretty nice views. It's mostly covered by trees and has some nice paths.
This one is one of the strenuous ones, and it's definitely one on which you have to be very careful. This hike involves using metal rungs on the side of the cliff to basically climb up the mountain (pictured to the right). I'm definitely more of a thrill seeker so I loved every minute of it. My mom, who is as cautious as they come, was thoroughly describing every possible way we could die the whole way up. The view at the top was soooo worth it though (pictured below). :)
Jordan Pond & Bubble Rock Trail
Okay first, I gotta give you a #hottip: there is a restaurant called Jordan Pond House Restaurant. They take reservations, but it's hard to get one unless you book way in advance. We did not have a reservation, so we went to the restaurant first and put our name down and they said our table would be ready ~3 hours (wild, but oh well). We were like dope! Let's go hike and then we'll be back to have an awesome meal. It worked out perfectly and this place was SO good. They are known for their popovers and they lived up to the hype.
Now onto the hike: this hike might have been my favorite! If you wanna opt for an easy "hike," you can stroll around the path on the shore of the pond and it's about 3.5 miles. We incorporated this into our hike, and halfway around the pond is Bubble Rock. It's a strenuous hike up to the top of the rock, but involves no rungs, just a lot of stairs and climbing vertically. Bubble Rock was definitely the most rewarding, though, with 360-degree panoramic views at the top. (pictured to the right). We had a little picnic snack at the top, made our way back down the very steep descent, and finished walking around the shore of Jordan Pond!
This hike was definitely the hardest and most strenuous.If you are afraid of heights at all or unsure of your abilities, this hike is not your friend. My mom begged us not to go on this hike but we all challenged ourselves, were extremely careful, communicated, and helped each other. I loved every second. Plus, it rained the night before and the rocks were pretty slippery, so I feel like I gained bragging rights forever. This one was definitely scary at times, but I felt like a bad-ass most of the time cause we were, like, literally, hanging off a cliff with no support. So cute and not at all dangerous (it's very really extremely dangerous)!