Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park

The morning after my day in Bath I left the Cod Cove Inn and headed towards Bar Harbor after a quick stop at my favorite place for breakfast in Maine, Tim Horton’s.  The tree in front of the Inn may have been one of the most beautiful I saw on the entire trip.  It was raining and dreary but you can still see how pretty it was.  This is why I go to New England in the fall!

Autumn leaves in Maine in October at the Cod Cove  Inn

Instead of the quicker route to Bar Harbor, I opted for the slightly longer route that took me along backroads and rural routes to Acadia National Park, which is about a 3 hour drive from Edgecomb.  I’m glad that I opted for the longer drive as the rain moved out and I was able to stop and take pictures along the routes whenever the views took my breath away.  It was a beautiful drive even if I think I ended up there just a tinge past peak leaf season.  I never seem to time my trips perfectly but any leaves are better than no leaves!

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Eventually after winding my way around mid-Maine, I wound up at Mount Desert Island.  I had no idea it was the same day as the MDI Marathon so that was an adventure to drive around!  It was just about lunchtime and sadly my favorite place on Mount Desert Island, Cap’n Nemo’s, burned down not long after my visit the year before so I followed the signs to the Lighthouse Inn & Restaurant in Seal Harbor for lunch.  The waiter was so nice and the burger hit the spot.  The other guests there were also very kind and everyone was chatting with each other which was nice.  The restaurant got slammed after the race ended and a few people got upset but there was one cook and one waiter and I didn’t mind relaxing while waiting.  I’d definitely visit here again in the future and would recommend it to others!

After lunch I FINALLY entered Acadia National Park.  I was in love as soon as I saw my first carriage road bridge that I didn’t have to trespass to see!

carriage road bridge in acadia national park

I hopped on the Loop Road and stopped at the first place I saw – Jordan Pond House.  The place was busy and I was lucky enough to nab a spot when someone pulled out in the adjacent parking lot.  The skies were a bit ominous and the temps were cool but people were still all over the lawn enjoying the day with kites and picnics.  I spied a few of the famous popovers but since I’d just finished up lunch, I vowed to return the next day to see what that was all about.

Kite flying at Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park

Once I was done exploring a bit of the area around Jordan Pond I hopped back in the car and drove on and up… and up… and up until I was finally on top of Cadillac Mountain!  Another check off the to-see list!  I kept stopping at the various pull offs along the road and every single time I was in awe of the views despite the clouds.  Here you can see downtown Bar Harbor and the Queen Mary 2 to the left – the first is from just below the top and the second is from the top of Cadillac Mountain (note the top is with the iPhone, bottom with the D4).

Queen Mary 2 in Bar Harbor

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Here’s a view of the other side of the mountain facing the cranberry islands.  While it was busy up there, it wasn’t really too packed of people (probably due to the chilly temperatures and winds) and it was nice to not have to fight crowds to see the views or to have a clear shot of the landscape without people.

cadillac-mountain

On the way back down I stopped at a couple pull offs again and turned back to look at my rental car and was laughing at how it looked like an ad for the car so I snapped a shot of it.  On my last trip out I had an Infiniti G37x as a rental which I fell in LOVE with and ended up buying when I got home.  This time I ended up with an Infiniti QX60 and while I enjoyed it, I’m glad that I went with the car instead of another SUV.  If you are looking for an SUV though, I definitely recommend it.  It was fun to drive and had way more pep than most SUVs AND was awesome on gas.

infiniti-qx60

From there I continued around on Loop Road which really is a beauty in itself.  The road was pretty much deserted by this time as the cruise travelers had to head back to their ship and the weather wasn’t so hot so I was able to stop for a few pictures while driving around.

Loop Road in Acadia National Park

My next stop was one I had looked forward to for a while – Thunder Hole.  Since I’d heard from friends that it’s rare to hear the thunder due to conditions having to be JUST right, I wasn’t expecting much but I was surprised to hear the thunder rolling as I crossed the road to the area!  I hung out here for the longest of most of my stops that day just because you keep thinking each wave will be bigger and better.  I also admit, I kept expecting the waves to wash away the people who climbed over the gates and went down below to get better pictures of Thunder Hole.  I also ended up taking some video as well because this is truly a spot where you must see it moving to really appreciate tit.

The entire lower level was closed off due to the active waves like you saw above.  A few years ago a dozen people got swept away while the sea was active due to a storm out at sea and people died so they shut this area down now to prevent this from happening again.

Thunder Hole in Acadia National ParkThunder Hole in Maine

Even though the area was closed there’s always “that guy” who does what he wants.  People kept telling the photographers down there that the area was active and to move but they weren’t listening.  This photographer almost fell in and later fell on the rocks as he was coming back in.  Luckily he was OK but it could have been bad.  Don’t be this guy.

Photographer at Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park

I continued around Loop Road hoping to make it back up Cadillac Mountain for sunset but I ran out of time so I hopped off the road at the next pulloff (I think Hunters Head?) when I saw the skies darkening and while it wasn’t an amazing sunset, it was still pretty. 

Sunset in Acadia National Park at Hunters Head

I continued onto The Bayview which I stayed at two years prior on our route back from Prince Edward Island.  I had loved the little taste of it I had when I was there so I wanted to stay there again (last year they were fully booked) and this time they had an opening for their last night of business in the year.  I originally was going to head out for dinner after getting settled but when I heard they will get food for you to-go at a local restaurant and bring it back for a nominal charge I decided to call it an early night and relax after driving all day.  One of the perks they have at their hotel (beyond amazing views of the bay!) is fresh baked cookies.  The front desk insisted that I take back one of each… and I tried a bite of each one.  Vacation calories don’t count, right?

Fresh baked cookies at The Bayview

I had hoped for another clear night like the year before to play with some astrophotography but the skies were cloudy so I decided to call it a night after dinner in hopes of getting up early to catch the famed sunrise from Cadillac Mountain.  However when I woke up, the temps were quite cold, the winds were wild and I was sleepy so I fired off a shot of the sunrise from my deck overlooking the ocean and climbed back into my lovely bed and slept for a few more hours before getting up for breakfast.  I’m more of a sunset girl anyway…

sunrise from the bayview hotel

When I woke up I was really excited to be greeted with blue skies once again!  The view from my deck is seen below.  I sat here for quite a while waking up and enjoying the views. Have I mentioned how much I adore this hotel?

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After a delicious breakfast at the hotel I headed out to spend the beautiful day in Acadia.  I originally had planned to head straight down to York to my next hotel after breakfast but I decided to change my plans since the day was sunny and also because my nephew would be in town.  He is a cruise director and they just happened to be in town so I couldn’t pass up giving him a hug before I headed off to my next stop.  It worked out beautifully because I got a chance to see a bit more of Acadia in the sunshine.  Blue skies make leaves pop just that much more.

I read up on the places to stop and the first stop for me was Little Hunters Beach which I read about online the night before when doing my research when my plans changed.  The “beach” isn’t your typical sand beach but a bunch of egg shaped rocks.  I started out at the trail above the beach and then climbed down the trail to the rocky beach below.  If I had more time, I would have stayed here much longer.  I’ve also attached a video to this section as the sound of the waves over the rocks is quite a neat sound.

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Little Hunters Beach in Acadia National Park

Before heading back to Jordan Pond House for lunch I decided to pop over to Long Pond where I’d stopped the day before and really enjoyed the beautiful view but the pictures were somewhat meh to me because of the lack of sunlight as the day was fading by that point.  I’m glad that I popped back over because this ended up being one of my favorite images from the day.

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While waiting for the Jordan Pond House to open for lunch, I headed down to Jordan Pond for a few pictures.  I loved how clear the lake was and how inviting it looked.  I was tempted to stick a toe in to see just how cold it was but I resisted the urge.  Not long after I arrived at the pond a bunch of teens arrived and they jumped in the lake and bounced around the rocks.  They had a blast.

jordan-pond-acadia

Eventually I found my way back to the Jordan Pond House for lunch, finally trying one of the famous popovers.  While the popovers were delicious, I don’t recommend getting the soup early in the day.  It was cold and very mediocre.  I don’t know if it’s because they had just opened so the soup hadn’t been on for long or if it’s just not worth getting anytime of day but I wasn’t the only one with the issue. Everyone around me kept sending their soups back (of various kinds) so I think if I’d return I’d stick to just a popover.  I also heard the restaurant is under new management so there may be some bit of a learning curve going on as well.  It was a neat place so I definitely recommend stopping, just not the soup.  This is an iPhone shot so pardon the quality but I wanted to include a visual on what in the heck a popover IS!

jordan-pond-house-popover

After lunch I had just a bit of time left to kill so I decided to head back up Cadillac Mountain since the skies were clear and the temperatures a bit more moderate.  The lack of wind was nice too!  It was much busier this time around – people were everywhere.  Hiking, sitting, relaxing, viewing.  It was nice to see but I was also glad I had gone the day before to get some people-less landscapes.  

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After a spin up and down the mountain I had timed everything just right to be able to get to Bar Harbor and meet up with Drew while he switched busses.  Yay!!!  After giving him a huge hug I headed off on my 4 hour drive towards York and yet another fantastic hotel (with a killer view).

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