We headed north to Bar Harbor, Maine for this summer’s family road trip. It was a 10 hour drive from Philadelphia to our rented house in Southwest Harbor. This small quiet coastal town – also called “the jewel” of Mt. Desert Island – is a working harbor filled with lobstermen and their boats. With temperatures that are usually comfortably cool, it has a long history of serving as a summer retreat for the wealthy and well-known. The vibe remains understated however with white painted farmhouses, beach roses, and shops featuring arts, crafts and anything blueberry which is the state fruit of Maine.
Twelve miles away from our home base is Bar Harbor. People come to this village for the shops and galleries, the waterfront, boat tours, restaurants and ice cream shop, and museums.
Best of all, it is surrounded by Acadia National Park – one of the most beloved national parks. With over 100 miles of hiking trails crisscrossing the park, this is a hiking paradise. We hiked Cadillac Mountain (highest point on the East Coast), Jordan Pond, and Beehive. If you time it right, you will see water rushing to experience the thunder of the sea against the rugged coast which is what Thunder Hole is known for.
After all of the hiking, kayaking, shopping, and boat touring, we could not leave Maine without partaking in a coastal tradition – a feast of whole lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes, salad, steamers, and coleslaw.