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Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
Old 08-07-2017, 09:24 AM   #1
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Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine

Hello Everyone,

Its been one month since I bid farewell to my previous w&rk life and joined my wife in retirement. July 2017 for me, had been about decompressing and now looking forward to visiting National Parks beginning with Acadia.

If you have had experience visiting Bar Harbor, Maine and the Acadia National Park, I would greatly appreciate your recommendations on hotels, restaurants and tours. We are both in shape for walking tours and interested in visiting toward the end of September 2017. Thank so much for your assistance.

Brian
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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Congrats!

I'm not current enough to recommend hotels (we stayed at a B&B near downtown) or restaurants, but we absolutely loved that area, and I hope you do too. We stayed in Bar Harbor for four days and expected to spend a few hours in Acadia. We ended up spending most of three (of four) days in Acadia, just loved it. We also did a whale watch while we were there and recommend that highly, though there may be a 'season' when sightings are more common, you'll have to ask? Lovely little town, though touristy (though not as bad as some coastal Maine towns), lots of decent restaurants and of course lobster was a screaming bargain when we were there! An ice cream shop downtown had lobster ice cream and McDonalds had 'McLobster Rolls' (not kidding).

And we still have our "Cool As A Moose" drink cozies from some store downtown.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:52 AM   #3
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Suggest renting bikes and riding along the carriage trails in Acadia.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:23 AM   #4
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We flew into Boston last April, rented a car, drove to Maine (loved the Marginal Way and Perkins Cove), stayed in Wells, drove one day to the White mountains. Drove back to Boston and took Amtrak home. Beautiful area. Lots of great places to eat,. Did Sunday breakfast fundraiser in Cape Porpoise and met locals.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:29 AM   #5
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I loved Acadia Park for most of my life until my last visit several years ago. Beautiful, raw beauty.

DW and I are avid hikers and could not escape the never ending sound of a car, unless standing on a beach listening to the waves.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:52 PM   #6
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Great stuff everyone! Just need to narrow down the hotel accommodations (in town or just outside).
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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Hi BGold.

Check out TripAdvisor - lots of detailed reviews of most anywhere. Very content rich on lodging and dining.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
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We used to stay here, at The Town Motel. Moseley Cottage Inn & Town Motel

As a kid, we stayed in the motel part twice. As an adult, we stayed in the bigger house,twice with kids, once without. The Moseley name wasn't on the place the last time we were there, IIRC.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:56 PM   #9
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We just returned from our first visit. Stayed at the Bar Harbor Grand and thought it was the nicest of the non waterfront hotels. Reasonable price for Bar Harbor in the summer and a great location to walk to everything. The Ocean Path and Jordan Pond trails were two beautiful and easy hikes. Had a lot of fun on a Lobster boat tour.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
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Thank you for the memory.

Wow we spent our very first vacation as a married couple there in 1976. We stayed someplace along the ocean, didn't go swimming. There were really big cliffs. Seems like whole lobsters were $3.00 each.

On the way home(to the middle of PA) we figured we had 18.82 between us, no credit and needed to spend a night on the road. We almost spent the night on a beach in New Hampshire but found a place for $3.00 a night! It was a real fine establishment. We were married less then a year but somehow the bed wasn't big enough. We spent the night pushing away from each other.

I'm sure those places still exist in some form. I'd guess the price isn't $3.00.

Enjoy your trip, one thing that didn't change was the beauty.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:12 PM   #11
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Suggest renting bikes and riding along the carriage trails in Acadia.
Bicycling was going to be my suggestion as well. (We actually biked from Portland to Acadia since we like biking. But the biking in Acadia is off road and LL Bean has a shuttle for bikes and people if it is still operating at the time).Tea at Jordan Pond. Jordan Pond House Restaurant - Acadia National ParkJordan Pond House | Acadia National Park And while not in Arcadia, and I am not much of a shopper, LL Bean in Freeport might be worth a stop. I thought the rest of Freeport was a shopping mall.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:11 PM   #12
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Hiking trails in the park are wonderful. Some are very easy strolls. Some are demanding climbs that at times require you to trust iron footholds or handholds installed by the park. Read your maps carefully to know what degree of difficulty you might encounter.

Restaurants in downtown are fabulous, even more so after a long day of hiking.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:01 PM   #13
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Spent a week at the Blue Spruce Inn and Resort in Boothbay last month. The highlight of the trip was the Botanical Gardens and a whale watching cruise. We lucked out since our week coincided with the annual Windjammer Festival. So lovely watching the vintage sailing ships cruise the harbor.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:07 AM   #14
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We have spent some nights at Edenbrook Motel, one mile out of the city center. As clean, quiet, friendly as one could wish. Not fancy, but great value for bucks.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:44 AM   #15
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We docked in Bar Harbor (for several hours) approximately 5 years ago when we took a Northeast cruise. Not a bad trip - but the sole for purpose of taking a cruise to the northeast was to minimize hotel costs. Plus, the cruise was port intensive. Anyway, they have lots of local tours at the harbor where the ships come in.

We enjoyed Bar Harbor and took a trolley tour around Acadia. Absolutely gorgeous in the early fall - as the leaves begin to turn.

You can get a very nice jacket (heavy durable with Bar Harbor logo on it) for $20 - $25, as it is the end of season.

We enjoyed - "Notch Bakery," but did not care for the route 66 Diner. We should have known better. Both, were a block or two from the Cruise Port.

Michael
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:49 AM   #16
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Great stuff everyone! Just need to narrow down the hotel accommodations (in town or just outside).
We just made reservations for next week. One night in Freeport and 2 nights in Hancock which is 30 minutes from Acadia

We used Airbnb for the 2 night stay.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:58 AM   #17
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Planning a short trip for early September, so eager to hear your reports.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:54 PM   #18
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Toward the end of September is pretty late in the season, so be aware that rates will be lower, but many things will be closed or on an off-season schedule. That said, it's a great time of year to visit.

Bar Harbor is a great "walking around" town, and the hub for the (free) island bus, so you'll be spending time there for sure. Lots of tourist-trap places, but also some very good gift shops, specialty shops, restaurants and ice cream.

But BH is only one of many great destinations in the area. Acadia National Park is huge, and has expanded off the island now, too. Just visiting all the different parts of the park would be a full-time project for a week or more. And that doesn't even cover all the other great towns in the area.

Make sure you take at least one ferry ride to some of the smaller islands. Little Cranberry is one of my favorites. Make sure you get up close to Somes Sound, North America's fjord. The Valley Cove trail brings you to the base of a 600' cliff that plunges into the water (and one of my favorite anchorages.)

I'm very familiar with that area, actually all of Coastal Maine, so post back when you have some specific questions. As for hotels, that's a pretty personal thing, so TripAdvisor and other travel sites will help you dial in just what you want. Don't worry so much about the location, unless a view is important to you; you'll be driving or taking the bus a lot anyway. You could even stay on the mainland.
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:28 PM   #19
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If you're at least 62 and don't yet have the $10 lifetime senior gold pass for entrance to national parks, including Acadia, and other facilities, consider getting one asap at one of these sites: https://store.usgs.gov/sites/default...suanceList.pdf

Price goes up to $80 on August 29 I believe.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:22 PM   #20
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If you're driving the coastal route (US 1), I recommend stopping for lunch at Young's Lobster Pound in Belfast. An active business buying lobsters in quantity from local lobstermen, storing them in tanks and shipping them out all over.

They will cook a lobster for you on the spot and serve it on a tray with the sides you want. Eat inside or outside if it's nice. A very busy, active business but people come from all over for the experience. It's fun and a bit different from the typical lobster meal.
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