Explore Acadia National Park || My 50th State Visited in my 50th Year
AWWW!! Maine!! Maine was the perfect state for me to complete my list of 50 states visited in my life. This year I turned 50 and what better way to celebrate then to hit 50 at 50!! I surprised myself with how big of a deal I have made this trip. I thought it would just be something that I would think was cool, yeah 50 states completed. But every time I talk to someone about it, I found myself extremely proud. It seems like a pretty rare thing to accomplish. At least no one I know or talked to has done this.
We knew we wanted to see Maine in the Fall season. We looked at our schedule for three nights that would fall in between two busy weeks so that we would really feel like we need a couple days off. We picked Monday, October 2- Thursday, October 6 and decided to head up to Bar Harbor, ME to explore Acadia National Park. And since it is also the National Park Service’s 100th birthday we thought that was a good time to see Acadia NP.
A couple months back we stayed in a cabin at the KOA near the Delaware Water River Gap in Pa. We really enjoyed the cabin there. So after searching the Internet for various pet friendly cabins in the area and Airbnb, I decided to check out the KOA there. I just kept coming back to it. Great location, check! Good price, check! A cabin with all the basic kitchen supplies and towels and such, check! It was perfect.
You may have guessed by now that Al and I love road trips. So of course we decided to drive the 9 hours instead of flying or taking a train! We wanted to see the East Coast in the Fall. And we are so glad we did- the views were spectacular and just what one needs for a quick getaway to refresh! Also- this way we were able to bring Bella. That was super important and she loves to travel with us. She is such a Great Road Dog!
We weren’t sure exactly what should be on our priority list for such a short trip to Acadia. So I took to Facebook! Its always great to reach out to friends and family to get suggestions anywhere you travel. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel!! And we got some great suggestions and that gave us a place to start planning. I laid out a basic outline; driving day, hiking day, sunrise and get out on the water, eat fresh lobster (I’m a pescatarian), and drive home. For hiking spots I took my suggested list and researched those areas and more. We came up for some “must sees”. Jordan Pond loop and pop over in the restaurant, Sand Beach, sunrise at Cadillac Mountain (the place the sun first rises in the United States), and whale watching.
We arrived at the campground after dark and were able to settle in. We did what we always do when we get somewhere new- walk all around and check it out. Be it a hotel or campground, we love to explore and see what it has to offer. And at the Bar Harbor Koa (Waterside) we came upon the most wonderful outdoor kitchen selling fresh lobster and corn. The owner was so nice and stayed open late to cook us up a lobster dinner that we shared- and he even threw in a separate piece of corn so we could each have one! The night sky was filled with SOOO many stars. It was easy to see the milky way and we got our telescope. I took a few shots but didn’t bring a tripod so balanced on a table to try and be as steady as possible. Not spectacular shots but all the same they are a memory to us!
We called it a pretty early night (especially for us) so we could be up early to explore the area in the daylight and then get some hiking in. Our cabin was right on the edge of the water and it was beautiful being able to sit on the wood chairs outside and watch the water birds. We also walked all around talking with folks along the way and saw a spectacular crane.
We began our exploration into Acadia National Park by going to the visitors center and getting some more info, our park pass (because we left our annual pass at home) and buy a magnet (which we collect everywhere we go) and a new pin for our walking sticks. We took the loop road around Mount Desert Island stopping along the way in Bar Harbor where we picked up a few items (a beautiful hand carved wood cutting board, and a lobster catnip toy for the cats that were both made locally). Bella didn’t get a lobster toy since we couldn’t find something locally made. But she got to come with us!!
After grabbing some lunch (and talking to an awesome retired couple from one of the cruise ships) we headed back on the loop road. We hiked around Sand Beach and checked out the pink granite cliffs of Otter Point. We hiked the beautiful loop around Jordan Pond stopping to take photos and video along the way before finishing off the night with dinner at Jordan Pond House for their awesome popover bread. When we got back to the cabin being the geeks we, we are started looking at what we filmed all day!!
We left the cabin around 5 AM to get to Cadillac Mountain for sunrise. When we arrived there were a handful of cars in the parking lot, but we were certainly one of the early birds. Even though we dressed for warmth if was pretty chilly. I was glad I had my travel Star Wars blanket in the car lol!! But it was all worth it. It was AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL! And so cool that’s its the place the sun first rises in the country. We did go back to the cabin and take a short nap. Bella looked so comfy when we left, she didn’t even wake up so we knew she was keeping the bed warm! But we only stayed a short bit as we had a reservation with Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. to go on a 3-4 hour whale watch tour. While we were disappointed we didn’t get to see whales we did see some porpoises and seals and pretty cool giant dead shark floating in the ocean. And if we hold on to our tickets we can use them again in the next three years since we weren’t able to see whales on our adventure. We will definitely have to do that as I’ve had the honor to see whales a couple times but Al has not. The boat was pretty rocky so I was glad I took my Dramamine before and even took another during. It was a Huge help!! We ended our night in Southwest Harbor picking up fresh bread and dinner with fresh lobster from Beal’s Lobster Pier. Did you know there are actually soft shell and hard shell lobster? We didn’t. They said the soft shell ones cant be shipped and that they taste a little sweeter. So we had one of each and split them. They were sooooo good!! (though you know I felt bad for the lobsters!) We ended our night by building a fire and star gazing. Bella loves to just lay outside with us- of course she has to lay on a towel as she doesn’t like the cold ground lol!) Spoiled much!!
But this whole trip made us feel spoiled. It was truly a magical part of the country and made even more special as it completed my list of seeing all the states in the U.S.
Please make sure to check out the full photo gallery see what’s for sale. And leave a comment telling us how many states you have left to see !
To see the full gallery and order prints, canvas wraps, or wall art please go to http://bgproductions.zenfolio.com/acadia-national-park-photography
See more photos from our Main trip!