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anna_moon Acadia National Park - A travel report by Polly
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Acadia National Park,  United States - flag United States -  Maine
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anna_moon's travel reports

Maine – Rt. 1 from York to Calais

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Page: 1 2
Though the rest of my family had been to Canada several times, in North America I’d never been north of Massachusetts. So when they decided to go to Prince Edward Island in March of 2004, I tagged along.


The West Quoddy Head lighthouse
The West Quoddy Head lighthouse
Even though the route is much prettier in the spring and summer when the wildflowers are in bloom (as evidenced by my mother’s photos of past trips), my favorite part of our trip was the Maine coast. Maine has a distinct feel – the little villages, lighthouses, the hilly coastline and rock beaches – all have a sense of history combined with a relaxed attitude hard to find elsewhere in the northeast. We drove the entirety of Rt. 1 from Calais to Kittery, and while the entire route was beautiful, certain things stood out.

Favourite spots:
Close up of a Maine beach
Close up of a Maine beach
Our primary stops were York, Yarmouth, Bar Harbor, Lubec, and Calais. If you’re interested in maps, the DeLorme map store in Yarmouth is a fun stop. The world’s largest rotating globe sits in the lobby, and the gift shop has tons of neat items. Right up the road is L. L. Bean headquarters, though they weren’t open when we passed by. We did, however, have amazing blueberry muffins at a cafe next to the Best Western Inn at Freeport. Bar Harbor deserves an entire entry to itself (see sites). Lubec is the eastern-most town in the United States, while Calais is a crossing point into Canada.

What's really great:
The lighthouse at Cape Neddick
The lighthouse at Cape Neddick
Maine is the place to see lighthouses. There are more than 60 in all, but my favorite two are the first and the last. The Nubbile Lighthouse is located in Cape Neddick, just up the beach from York. We arrived at the perfect time for picture taking – the sun was just setting and casting a beautiful glow on the rocky island the lighthouse sits on. At the northern end of our route (or ‘Down East’, as it’s known in Maine) sits the eastern most lighthouse in the U.S. – West Quoddy Head, near the town of Lubec. We stopped at a grocery store and bought a picnic lunch, which we took to the state park. The lighthouse is very picturesque with its bold red and white stripes. I took loads of pictures, but lost the roll. The surrounding area is fun to explore, from the woods to the rocky beach. We found shells and sea urchins. While we were picnicking, the fog started to roll in, and the lighthouse horn sounded, shaking the ground and leaving our ears ringing.

Sights:
Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park
Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park
Probably the most famous attraction beside Maine’s lighthouses is Acadia National Park, located on Mt. Desert Island. Bar Harbor, the largest town on the island, is slightly ritzier and more typically beachy than most Maine villages. You can see the park’s major sites by following the loop around the island. We started at Cadillac Mountain, which towers above the coastline at 1530 ft (the highest point on the Atlantic coast north of Brazil). The top of the mountain is rocky, but fairly even, and the view of the surrounding water and islands is worth the trip. Next was Sand Beach, a pretty little crescent of sandy beach (as you’d guess). Thunder Hole is a rocky inlet where the tides sometimes produce a unique sound in a cave at sea level. Our last stop was the Bubbles, a pair of rounded mountains that overlook Jordan Pond. It was pretty in the snow, but in the summer, it looks especially beautiful.

Accommodations:
The view outside our room, Bar Harbor
The view outside our room, Bar Harbor
The Anchorage Inn at York Beach separated from the Atlantic by a road and a sandy beach. The night we were there, the full moon was reflecting brilliantly on the water, while a lighthouse beamed in the distance. The hotel itself was pretty average, with a less than average bathroom. At Bar Harbor, we stayed at the Bar Harbor Inn, one of the two nicest hotels in town. While it would have been too expensive for the whole family in the summer, the off-season price was $98 a night. The room there was beautiful, with glass doors that opened out to the bay.

Restaurants:
Two treats that come to mind in Maine are lobster and blueberries. In York, we ate at the Lobster Cove, which had a great view of the ocean. I prefer Chesapeake Bay seafood to lobster, but it’s definitely an experience that can’t be missed. We had lobster again in Bar Harbor at Geddy’s Down Under, which had fun décor and combined a bar atmosphere with a family restaurant. One place that we didn’t get to eat (as it was closed for the season) was Jordan Pond House on the loop in the national park. A friend recommended their blueberry popovers.

Other recommendations:
A place we didn’t visit on this trip that is worth seeing is Kennebunkport (a cute town that’s made headlines for being the Bush family’s vacation spot), and the Portland Head Lighthouse. Aside from the major towns, there’s lots of scenic coastline and villages to be seen (though you often have to leave the road to find them).

Published on Wednesday April 6th, 2005


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Wed, Apr 12 2006 - 03:59 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Nice report

Fri, Apr 08 2005 - 01:04 PM rating by magsalex

A nice piece of reporting

Thu, Apr 07 2005 - 10:02 AM rating by britman

Interesting readable report - Well Done

Thu, Apr 07 2005 - 06:32 AM rating by davidx

Delightfully informative.
David

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