This has been the best time I've had on this trip to Maine as I explored Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain, and Bar Harbor.
Getting to experience this area with Eric and Rachel Wiser playing tour guide in their jeep has allowed me to get out and explore more than I could with the RV due to the difficult parking situations.
I've camped out at the RV resort Mt Desert Narrows RV Resort on Mt Desert Island where Eric and Rachel are work camping for the season.
They have graciously offered to spend several days with me and take me around all the beautiful areas around Acadia National Park and more.
Trust me when I say that those several days were so packed that Lily and I both were exhausted.
I wouldn't change anything at all and I can't wait to go back and explore some more.
Related Blog Posts in Maine:
- Cape Neddick Maine Sightseeing on the Coast & Reid State Park
- Wiser's Story Selling it All & Transitioning to RV Life
7 Amazing Things to Do in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine
While there's plenty more to do then these 7 amazing things, this will keep you busy and get you exploring the area. Each of these 7 must do adventures is explained in further detail in the post and also in the video.
- Jordan Pond trail hike in Acadia National Park
- Taste the lobster rolls and seafood at Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard, Maine (dog-friendly)
- Cadillac Mountain sunrise
- Drive around the Acadia All-American Loop
- Sail on the Margaret Todd schooner boat around the harbor
- Eat popovers at Asticou Inn
- Walk through the Asticou Azalea Garden
Jordan Pond Acadia National Park
Our first stop is Jordan Pond trail loop that's 3 miles long around the lake while traversing the rock field formed by glacial movement and a man-made wooden planks trail over marshy areas.
Lily did an excellent job keeping up with their hound dog Charlie who was determined to lead us all around the lake.
I'm still in awe of this beauty. I somehow always knew I had a connection with this place even though I've never visited.
It seemed to call my name, much like the Pacific Northwest, to visit, explore, and experience life in this historic area.
We were all tired after that nice hike around Jordan Pond Lake with the warmth of the sun. I was sweating and ready for some air conditioning or a nice breeze from the ocean.
Thurston's Lobster Pound
Do you remember how I said I MUST experience another lobster roll to compare against the one I had at Fox's Lobster House in Cape Neddick, Maine? It was lunch time so off to Thurston's in Bernard, Maine, just south of us.
Thurston's had been recommended to me on several occasions not only the flavor of the lobster rolls, but being pet friendly.
We snagged a great spot on the dock overlooking the harbor of fishing boats.
Charlie laid on the dock while Lily sat in my lap. She was cold again from the strong breeze even though she was wearing her bright orange fleece puffy jacket.
I didn't blame her though, I was a little chilly when the sun would hide behind the clouds.
Okay so I have to hand it to Thurston's!
We have a winner on lobster rolls. That lobster roll was spectacular! The flavor was tasty and the bun was slightly toasted with a crunch. I even had a bite of Eric and Rachel's crab cakes and hands down these are the best crab cakes I've ever eaten.
One bite was full of so much flavor and this light crunchiness on the outside. It was heaven on my tongue!
Cadillac Mountain Sunrise in Acadia National Park
Weather called for rain on Thursday, so the next day, on Wednesday, when it was supposed to be a glorious sunny day, we jammed our day full of activities starting at 4 am.
Well, 4:10 am to be precise. I only know this because we were set to leave at 4:15 am to drive up to Cadillac Mountain and watch the sunrise this morning.
I woke up to the sound of Lily ferociously barking at a somebody who was knocking on my door. Who was knocking on my door in the middle of the night?
I stumbled out of bed, groggy from sleep and tired from the day before, threw on some pants and ask, “Who is it?” to which Eric replies, “It's Eric.”
I opened the door and he inquired if I was still wanting to see the sunrise. Why yes I do I'm thinking, but why is he at my door?
“What time is it I say?” Eric explains that it's 4:10 am.
Oh my gawd. My alarm didn't go off!
I told him I'd be out shortly. Thankfully I had gotten most everything prepared the night before so with a quick brush of my teeth, fed Lily, put on my clothes that were laid out, threw on a ball cap, packed up the backpack, grabbed the cameras, and out we went in about 10 minutes.
I was still asleep trying to get into the Jeep with Lily and all my bags. It's a big step up and heave in with the handles.
I kept thinking about how I could have overslept. I didn't, I set the alarm for PST time rather than EST. Doh!
Eric still jokes with me about this because who else would be at my door knocking? Of course they reminded me to bring the dash cam – the Sony Action Cam – with the dash suction cup, however it wouldn't record. I forgot the memory card.
All is well though.
Cadillac Mountain is jammed with people heading to the same spot we are. We ended up having to park on the side of the street and walk up a bit to get to the best spot.
It was all worth it, getting up early even though I was dead tired, hustling to get ready in 10 minutes, walking to the spot and then waiting for the sun to peak over the horizon and shine down on the islands and water.
Inhale fresh mountain air.
Close eyes and feel the energy of this moment.
This spot receives the first sun in the United States and we were able to be witness that beauty on this day.
It's mesmerizing to watch and see everyone else also watching. There was this field of smooth rocks that slopped down hill where you could sit or lay to view the sunrise.
I heard a pop of cork and the flow of Prosecco into glasses and turned my head to see a couple clink glasses and watch the sunrise.
What an amazing moment to watch.
I saw a woman in meditation pose on a large rock looking at the sunrise. I can imagine the peace in her body as she closed her eyes to experience the energy around her.
Whoever started the “Life is Good” company sure got it right. Life is good. I love this life.
Acadia All-American Loop
Later that afternoon it was off to enjoy the Acadia All-American loop around the island.
We stopped off at a sandy beach, Thunder Roll, and around the loop we went. It was a pretty crowded day, but Eric maneuvered that Jeep well throughout the traffic and parking spots.
Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruise
We were scheduled for the Windjammer cruise aboard the Margaret Todd Schooner in Bar Harbor, Maine around 2 pm.
Charlie and Lily were with us as I had found out earlier that this was a dog friendly sailboat – in fact many of the places in Bar Harbor are dog friendly from the Coffee Hound coffee-house to restaurants and stores around.
It's a pretty incredible feeling to be able to bring your fur baby with you. They enjoy this life too!
All around we had such an incredible day sailing on the water.
Though it was in the high 70s on land, the arctic waters around this area with the wind from sailing creates a chill that requires a jacket and hat. Lily girl was still shivering with her fleece coat on so I gave her my scarf and wrapped her up.
Those dogs got so much attention from the passengers – especially Charlie. He's such a big lush with that sweet face. Everybody loves him.
We ended the day with dinner at a local seafood restaurant just off the water drinking adult beverages and eating local seafood fare then a stroll through the Bar Harbor stores.
What a perfect day.
I sincerely want to think Eric and Rachel for being incredible tour guides, giving up their days off to show of this beautiful island to me, and being such amazing friends.
It's hard to believe that before this trip, I had met them once for all of 30 minutes at AM Solar in Eugene, OR to install solar panels where they were getting theirs installed too.
There's something about this RV life that connects us all. Maybe it's the extreme joy we feel from being free to move around where we want, experiencing beautiful places wherever we go, and living a life free from materialism.
It's a simple life.
It's a life I've dreamed of for many years and am so happy to be in this place.
Asticou Popovers and Garden
On my last day in this paradise Eric, Rachel and I had to discover what these “popovers” were all about and ate lunch at Asticou Inn just across the street from the Asticou Azalea Garden.
Okay, so these popovers, when served warm, are divine. We tried all the condiments for popovers which included chocolate sauce, lemon curd, raspberry jam, and maple pecan butter. Let me just say that I indulged this last three days with lobster rolls, seafood, popovers, and some fresh adult beverages.
Bar Harbor doesn't disappoint.
If you want to hike, shop, cruise, see a sunset or sunrise, camp, lay in a park with your love, enjoy coffee by the harbor, take a stroll on the beach, traverse glacial rocks, or read a book on the park bench – this place has it all. Even better, it's very dog friendly.
We took the dogs on the Windjammer cruise, on hikes, to Thurston's, into the Coffee Hound, into Rite Aid, and other stores in town with no issues. Most places even had water bowls and treats for the dogs.
Have you been to Maine? What dog friendly cities have you been to? Leave a comment below I'd love to hear from you.
Related Blog Posts in Maine:
Overnights & Places Visited
- Mt Desert Narrows RV Resort in Mount Desert, Maine / Cost $70 per night for 4 nights
Places Visited/Cost for Maine Sightseeing:
- Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park / $0 with America the Beautiful National Pass
- Jordan Pond Trail in Acadia National Park / $0 with America the Beautiful National Pass
- Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruise through Downeast Windjammer Cruise Lines / $42 per person
- Cadillac Mountain does not allow RVs to travel up the mountain because the traffic is so congested and parking is very tight. Traveling around the Acadia loop is also very tight parking so my suggestion is to rent a passenger vehicle if you aren't already towing one on your RV. Class B vans, like the Sprinter vans or Hymer vans should be fine.
Cell Phone Signal Strength: 2-4 bars at most places
Park Pass: America the Beautiful National Pass
Panasonic Lumix G85 Camera – For most still images and vlogging
Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video
Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.
AllStays app – Use on phone or desktop for finding gas stations, RV parks, campgrounds, propane, and more on your travel route.
Verizon Data Plan – Best nationwide coverage as of this post while traveling.