Bar Harbor, Maine- The Perfect All American Summer Family Vacation
When I think about Bar Harbor I get the biggest smile because we had such a wonderful time! It definitely felt like the ultimate US family vacation spot and it reminded me of something my family would have done when I was little. It was the perfect combination of nature, water, sunshine and lots of ice cream!
Sleep: I think part of the reason I liked Bar Harbor so much was because of our accommodations. We stayed at the most adorable Inn: The Mosely Inn. It’s an old house that dates back to 1880s and its Victorian décor gave the place so much character. I love staying in places that don’t feel like your typical standard hotel and I loved that The Mosely Inn felt like we were staying in someone’s home instead of a hotel. The front entrance always had coffee, tea and little homemade treats like fresh chocolate chip cookies or blueberry/peach scones. The boys loved picking out their cookie when we would return back to the Inn at night. We stayed in the “Bubbles” room, which was very spacious including two twin beds, a Victorian style couch and TV (DVDs available at the front desk). There was a big balcony that was perfect for Matt and I to sit out on and split a bottle of wine while the kids were falling asleep in the room. Breakfast was also included and there was a buffet as well as made to order hot food. The boys gobbled up their blueberry pancakes and Matt and I enjoyed our egg dishes as well. J
Eat: It was recommended for us to eat at Side Street Café right in town and we couldn’t believe how crowded it was! Of course, we wanted to eat outside so we squeezed our family at a small table and quickly ordered our food! J Matt ate fish tacos, I had a kale, sautéed mushroom & goat cheese salad and the boys had mac’n’cheese.
We also stopped during the day at Charlotte's Legend Lobster Pound which was SO fun. Counter service seafood with goats in the back and yard games to play while you wait for your food.
Play: There is so much to do in Bar Harbor that we decided to spend two days to see and do everything we wanted. We could have spent even more time, especially because everything was so packed it took a while to find parking in some places and we did run into a bit of traffic as well. Some of our favorite things to do were the Bass Harbor Light House, Jordan Pond, Sandy Beach, Shore Path to Bar Island, and the top of Cadaliac Mountain in addition to stopping along the road at numerous over looks.
We arrived at Bass Harbor Light House only to find a long line of cars waiting for the next parking spot to become available. The line was pretty long so Christopher and I got out to check it out and we figured Matt and Dylan could go after and then we could just turn around and head to the next thing. Christopher and I walked along a paved path down to the lighthouse, took a picture, and turned around. It was pretty uneventful and I couldn’t believe that cars were waiting in line for THAT. By the time we got back, our car was next in line to park so we decided to all go and check it out together. Little did I realize that there is another way to access the lighthouse, from the other side, by hiking a little trail in the woods and climbing down on rocks by the water to give you a view of the lighthouse. It was so beautiful and the boys LOVED climbing all over the rocks.
Similar to the Light House, Jordan Pond also had a lot of cars and tourists but it was so beautiful and we could see why so many people were there. The boys loved playing on the rocks and it was less dangerous than the big boulders at the lighthouse. We also took a very short hike that ended with all three kids “needing” to be held so we were thankful we didn’t plan to go any farther.
Sandy Beach was by far the boys’ favorite stop! The waves were perfect and the boys loved running up and down the coastline, which was so beautiful!
We also walked some of the Shore Path to Bar Island, however the boys kept stopping to play in the water so we ran out of time and never made it to the Island. People tell me that the island is one of their favorite parts of Bar Harbor, so I was a little bummed to miss seeing it. You can only walk over to the Island during low tide. Be sure to check when that is before you decide to go or you won’t be able to get across- or worse- get back. J
You can hike up to the top of Cadaliac Mountain, this will be a great hike when our kids are older, however it was rainy when we were there and our kids are small so we drove up. I’m sure the view would be fantastic on a clear day!