6 Hours in Bar Harbor, Maine

If you follow me on Instagram (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!), then you probably know that a couple of weeks ago I went on vacation with my Papa to Maine and Canada. While in Maine, I just knew that a visit to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine was a must-see!

From where we were staying at my family’s homestead in the Northern Maine town of Houlton, I knew that going to Bar Harbor would be at least a 3 hour drive each way. Luckily for Papa, he is an early bird so that meant that we could easily make a half a day at Bar Harbor worth our while. For the duration of the half a day, Papa and I focused on the Cadillac Mountain Summit at Acadia National Park and the iconic downtown Bar Harbor, Maine.

Papa and I also brought our dog Rosie to Bar Harbor with us. Bar Harbor is a SUPER dog-friendly town. Acadia National Park offers many places where dogs can go on a leash, including Jordan Pond, Cadillac Mountain Summit, and much more! The only place that was not dog friendly was Sand Beach (sadly – it’s gorgeous there). The downtown of Bar Harbor offers a pet store and outdoor restaurant seating for dogs, too. Bar Harbor also has a stunning town park with a fountain where MANY dogs can go to hang on their leashes with their owners.

As the main Maine planner for this trip, I reserved a timed Cadillac Mountain Summit pass just a few weeks in advance for $6. A special thanks to my Instagram friend Kellie of @classickellie (definitely go give her a follow!!!) for letting me know that this was the case for visiting Cadillac Mountain. With the timed Cadillac Mountain Summit pass, it is one ticket PER CAR and not person – thank goodness! – and each car can enter the summit for as long as they’d like within a half hour of their timed entry pass’s timing. Since Papa and I were coming from 3 hours away, I opted for a 9am pass as opposed to the iconic sunrise which our dog walker for Rosie and her daughter had suggested to us. Personally, I LOVED being able to see the breathtaking views of Acadia National Park’s trees, lakes, mountains, and coastline from up above that it didn’t matter if it was via a sunrise or when I could see it all clearly from up above.

I felt REALLY lucky that we were able to see everything view-wise that Cadillac Mountain Summit had to offer when we went, since it was a pretty clear day. When a car gets to Cadillac Mountain Summit, presents their ticket for their vehicle at the gate, and goes up the summit, there are SEVERAL scenic views to take in on your way to the top. Papa and I stopped at several of them – both of which faced the iconic Jordan Pond where the Roosevelt’s would have tea and the gorgeous coastline filled with arrays of boats and islands. We even met a former Meredith College classmate of mine’s family friend while taking in the scenic views and asking for pictures – what a SMALL world! At the top, there’s A TON of places for parking and *of course* taking in ALLLL the scenic views. I loved that part of it as you felt ON TOP of the world. I really enjoyed see all of the stunning views of Acadia National Park and beyond from up above. Papa did, too. In fact, going to Cadillac Mountain Summit was his favorite part of the trip. Which, for me, was a major WIN-WIN, since I was nervous about being in the car 6+ hours each way just to even see the entrance to Cadillac Mountain Summit.

After going to Cadillac Mountain Summit, Papa and I tried to go to Jordan Pond BUT parking there was more than ridiculous as lines and lines and lines of cars were trying to get in. SO, to downtown Bar Harbor we went! Downtown Bar Harbor was gorgeous and had A LOT more parking opportunities than Jordan Pond or even what felt like the entirety of Acadia National Park, since we went during peak tourist times. Bar Harbor has a ton of shops, restaurants, cafes, and gorgeous colorful buildings. Papa and I went to Testa’s Bar & Grill – located on Main Street – as it was dog-friendly and *EVEN* had a pooch menu for Rosie, lobster, and outdoor seating. While pretty pricey, Papa and I LOVED the experience of getting to enjoy the downtown Bar Harbor atmosphere with Rosie while enjoying some Maine delights.

After lunch, Papa and I enjoyed some local shopping and strolls alongside downtown Bar Harbor’s Main Street. My favorite shop was The Acadia Shops, as it offers local Maine and more specifically Bar Harbor goods. I ended up buying some maple syrup for myself and Papa as well as our neighbor and friend Angela, a blueberry chocolate bar, and a stuffed lobster. Needless to say, I was tempted to buy more, yet proudly refrained from it!! I also really enjoyed browsing through the gorgeous Geddy’s Shop (they also have a restaurant on Main Street!) which carries brands such as SCOUT Bags, Hadley, and local Bar Harbor merchandise. Geddy’s definitely felt like me in a shop – LOL! As for the town park (located on Main Street, too!) where Papa and Rosie spent most of their time, the views are none other than BREATHTAKING.

Although Papa and I were initially hesitant about a visit to Bar Harbor, we were both so glad that we did it and brought Rosie along. This visit was Papa’s first ever to see the Maine coastline, which made it ALLL that more worth it, along with a highlight for us both of the trip. Sometimes, taking that risk and longer-than-preferred day trip is SOOO worth it in the end!

XOXO – Katie <3

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