When I told people I was going to Maine, many of them replied about always wanting to go there. I found it a bit funny at the time because I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Maine other than they have lobster and good water. With expectations that low it’s no wonder I loved my stay in Maine.
The most obvious stop that I had to make was in Acadia National Park. If you’re not familiar with it, Acadia is the only National park in the north east of the United States. The next closest ones are in Ohio and Virginia. The park itself was full of interesting landscape. You had islands, mountains, sandy beeches, and woods. The views were breath-taking and there were plenty of bike baths, boat launches, picnic spots, and hiking trails to keep anyone there for weeks at a time.
One of the most well-known hiking trails, the precipice trail, was closed this time of year and with good reason. Nesting in the cliff was a family of peregrine falcons. We got to see their nests from the ground, but unfortunately they had tucked themselves out of sight for the most part. The rangers explained that sometimes you can see the parents flying by tossing food back and forth. What a sight that must be!
Despite the precipice trail being closed my youngest sister and I (didn’t I mention she joined me?) climbed a similar trail known as the beehive. At times it was a bit intense (mostly when we started free-climbing off the trail only to realize we were going the wrong way) but the views were worth any stress or anxiety from the climb. Iron rungs and sheer drops were the signature marks of this trail. It’s recommended you only climb up it and take a less-strenious trail on the way down. We did do that much right! The only disappointment was that the description of the hike listed a cool pool of water would be waiting for us at the top. Turns out it was all dried up!
We also went to the top of the largest peek in the park, Cadillac Mt. It was a beautiful view and would have made the perfect place to picnic or read a book. You could see out to a number of the islands surrounding the park as well as where the mountain where the beehive trail was. It looked much easier from that distance.
Another one of the parks attractions is the Thunder Hole. It was a quick stop and a great bit of sound tourism. There was something mesmerizing about the waves crashing around in the small grove of rock.
Of course, we ventured out for some culinary tourism as well. I’m not a huge fan of lobster, but I did my best to make sure I was trying some seafood while there. I did have a fantastically good lobster roll from a cafe in Bar Harbor. If only all seafood could taste that good…
I also made sure to visit the ice cream shop in Bar Harbor that Obama had stopped at. (You know it’s a staple of the community if the president stops there…well…unless that community is Rochester, NY.) I got a scoop of blueberry basil sorbet and Maine cream. The Maine cream was very good. The essence of all ice cream, literally. It was just cream, not vanilla or anything like that and it’s simplicity was divine. Now the basil and blueberry was a new flavor. They had just gotten it in and even the clerk at the desk admitted he hadn’t tried it yet. I didn’t realize just how amazing blueberries were until this trip. The blueberries that went into this sorbet aren’ the kind you see in the supermarket. They are incredibly small but pack more flavor than any berry I’ve had to date.
I actually went out of my way to buy up some more blueberry items (wine, pancakes, pastries) just because I could hardly believe my tastebuds. The other unique berry I decided I loved more after visiting Maine was the cranberry. My first meal in Maine was actually a fancy breakfast burrito (it had olives in it!) from a cafe and bakery. They had a bunch of different baked goods, but I felt I needed to try the “local favorite” which was cranberry and ginger. Keep in mind, those are two things I actually don’t really like, but this scone completely changed my feelings about both ingredients! It was probably a blessing that the shop was closed for the duration of my stay otherwise I would have bought one of everything and rolled my way home.