Two years ago my husband and I got married and went on our honeymoon in Maine. I have already written about our wedding and the first part of our trip in Portland Maine. Now I am talking about our trip visiting Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor. I had been to Portland before but I could barely remember anything about my trips when I was little. But Bar Harbor was a place I can vividly remember. So I was excited to show the place to Jon.
When we first arrived we settled into our room at a local small hotel. It was privately owned and very nice. It had a small kitchen, making it easy to make our own lunches or breakfast, if we so chose to. Then we went to the local supermarket to pick up some food for lunches and snacks.
We walked around the downtown Bar Harbor area and all the memories flooded back to me. All the cute restaurants, and stores. Oh and the weird novelty lobster soaps. My sister and I loved those things. We came right before the tourist season, so the town was actually pretty dead. This made everything really romantic, so I recommend coming during the off season. Not much is actually closed in Bar Harbor like in Portland, but things do tend to close earlier.
We first started by driving around Acadia National Park. There is a main loop that drives to all the major points for the park. There are other trails, mountains, and points of interests that is part of the park on the western side of the island. But most of popular attractions are clumped together on the eastern side. As we drove all around we saw water from the rain create small water falls on the side of the roads.
We figured we would try the Bubbles Trail since it was fairly short. I mentioned in the previous post how it rained everyday we were there, right? Well, I didn’t take in consideration that it might not be raining hard, but the rain gathers and falls down the mountain. By the end of the trail we were struggling to get a grip, and I managed to slip and scrap myself. My husband was very concerned but this isn’t the first time I scrapped myself while hiking. I use to do it all the time when I was little and all you can do is to keep walking and tend to it later. *Note to self, buy mini first aid kit*
Aside from rain the skies were really foggy. It was pretty cool and we got some cool photos in the process. But it did prevent us from seeing some great views. We drove up Cadillac Mountain but couldn’t see very far which was a bummer because all Jon wanted to do was see the sunrise together. In fact we drove up it twice in hopes we could see the view before we left, the clearest day out the whole trip. Still it was a no-go. I guess it just gives us more incentive to return, right?
By the end of the trip the rain eased up a little, sadly that happened on Memorial Day Weekend. Man what a huge difference! All the sudden the amount of visitors doubled! My husband commented that it wasn’t very nice once all the tourists came out, which made me laugh since it still wasn’t peak season.
But there is something of a gamble by going to Mount Desert Island during May. It could be beautiful, or it could be rainy and foggy. It is really hit or miss. Luckily there are lots of fun things to do on the island that don’t involve hiking. Below is a pretty large list of things to check out, indoor, outdoor, and food wise.
Hannaford Super Market
86 Cottage St Bar Harbor Maine
This is small supermarket but was well stocked with vegan and vegetarian options. The location is great because if you can’t find what you are looking for you are walking distance from A&B Naturals, which may end up having it. We can’t comment on this store since we didn’t check it out, but both places will have plenty for you to stock up on perishable foods and snacks for the next week.
Morning Glory Bakery
39 Rodick Street, Bar Harbor Maine
website | facebook
This cute little bakery is a little hidden on the side roads. I would recommend checking it out since they have some breakfast basics. They have a few vegan options and I found the bagels and hummus my favorite. They even have a vegan sandwich that you can grab on the go. The place was pretty busy whenever we would go, and filled with locals. So go early and don’t expect to get a seat.
Eden Vegetarian Cafe
Super bummed that this excellent restaurant is closed. They featured locally sourced foods, and mentioned whenever possible the specific ingredients that were local. For example my bento box had local tofu, seaweed, and fiddleheads. The food was really amazing, though I remember my cocktail being less than awesome. It was way too sweet. They had a beautiful location that wasn’t in the direct downtown area, but was still a walking distance. Even though the food was amazing, I did think they tried to be a gourmet restaurant, and might not of been that good. Even still, if they were still open, I would of definitely eat there again.
This Way Cafe
14 1/2 Mt. Desert St. Bar Harbor Maine
website | instagram | twitter | facebook
This was probably our favorite restaurant in Bar Harbor. They have lots of vegetarian options for food, and some vegan options as well. Their breakfast has a tofu scramble options, though I had eggs since I was still eating it at the time. I also remember getting their zucchini noodles for dinner, but it seems to change a little from when I ordered it. I remember it tasting awesome though. The restaurant has a very low key campy diner feel, but with some gourmet recipes. Take note that the menu can change by the time you go, but it looks like they have various ways that you can make your meal vegan. Our server was super helpful, and they were insanely fast. So you get your grub and out the door quick to your next hiking adventure.
Reel Pizza Cinerama
33 Kennebec Place, Bar Harbor Maine
I didn’t know where to place Reel Pizza Cinerama. Should it go under places or food? Well, this was a perfect place for us since it rained so much. Pretty much this is a place that serves both pizza and shows movies. These types of movie theater/restaurants are popping up all over the place. This theater is very mom and pop, has a couch in the front, and uses old bingo boards for calling orders. The pizzas are very vegan friendly, offering a soy cheese and nutritional yeast to sprinkle on. Downsides? They only show two movies and are really popular. We got tips from locals about how to visit. Appear an hour to 30 minutes BEFORE doors open. When you get in, sit down first, then have someone order your pizza. We followed these rules, and we were glad we did, the theater was packed (and this was OFF SEASON!) and our pizza was finished just as the movie started. Bonus- they even serve locals beers.
Matsumoto Joe Cafe
5 Firefly Lane, Bar Harbor Maine
After a certain point, I needed a little me time away from my husband. I went for a small walk around town to check out a cute cafe I saw. I’m glad I did. This small cafe had some mangas for people to pick up and read, and some cute little japanese snacks to buy. But the kicker is the amazing coffee. I had gotten some lattes from Morning Glory Bakery, and was disappointed. I got a soy latte here, and was transported to a blissful world. I was mad I didn’t stop here earlier. If you are a big coffee lover, I would check this place out. When I was there they were serving both soy and almond milk, but I am not sure if they stopped offering both.
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor Maine
website | acadia website | facebook | twitter | pinterest | youtube
This museum has two locations. One is located in the downtown Bar Harbor area, the other is nestled in the center of Acadia National Park. If you go to one museum you will get a coupon for a discount at the other location, so it is a good idea to check out both. We ran out of time and only got to see the location in the park. I found this location really interesting because it is full of history. The location in the park centers mostly around Dr. Abbe’s findings in 1920’s. He was one of the first archeologist in Maine, finding many artifacts from the tribes that lived in the area. The museum also sports older dioramas, which were raising money to update. They also just added another exhibit talking about the ever evolving trading of the Wabanaki and the French.
Seal Cove Auto Museum
1414 Tremont Road, Seal Cove Maine
website | facebook
I remember going to this museum when I was a little girl. It was the go-to place to visit if there was a rainy day. I remember it being packed, rows and rows of beautiful vintage cars. The place has gone through a major facelift since then. In the past there were cars from all different time periods, but now the owners decided to stick to early cars, from 1895 to 1920. What makes the exhibit so interesting is that it defies how we think of cars. They sport eco cars (electric models) and lots and lots of different car manufacturers. One thing I took away from the exhibit was that most car companies made more than just cars, like motorcycles and sewing machines. The museum is on the other side of the island so it can be a 45-60 minute drive.
Acadia National Park:
Info on the Official Website
Although we didn’t take any trails up Cadillac Mountain, I have done so several times when I was little. I am fairly certain I have done both the north ridge (listed as moderate), and the south ridge (listed as strenuous) trails. If a little girl can do it, so can you. Even though we didn’t hike up it, I completely recommend driving up it. There is a gift shop on the top, so can pee after your hike! The views are also spectacular. The park always recommend driving up to see the sunrise. There are even sometimes early morning yoga classes up there too!
Info on the Official Website
Jon and I were able to take the Bubbles trail before the rain built up too much on the mountains. It is a fun trail, but unlike some of the mountain trails, there is more up and down since you are going to several peaks, not just one. The trail is pretty short, and connects to others if you want to extend the hike. When we went it was incredibly foggy (see photo above). We can only assume the views were nice.
Info on the Official Website
This path is a great tour of the various points of the park. The path is 3 miles and an easy walk. It starts at the Sand Beach and goes all the way to Otter Cliff. What is nice about the walk is that you can park almost anywhere and pick up in the middle of the walk, easy peasy. It is a great way to visit Thunder Hole during peak hours, park far away and walk over. You will also see a variety of different surroundings, being near cliffs, beaches, and dipping a little in some wooded areas. This trail is perfect for a quick casual walk for the first or last day of your trip. It is also great for days where the weather is less than stellar as slipping and falling isn’t a big issue.
Info on the Official Website
Going to Acadia National Park and not visiting Thunder Hole should be against the law. This was my favorite attraction when I was a kid. The shape of the cliff creates lots of splashing and a loud boom. After a long hot hike it feels great to have water splash on you. It is best to check the official website and ranger stations about the tides, and they will recommend when the best time to visit. I always visit several times, during peak and off hours.