We absolutely love hiking, and Acadia is probably my favorite National Park because they are so dog friendly – Nike was super popular at all the shops and hiking trails.
Although I didn’t plan it intentionally, Acadia/Maine ended up being our “babymoon” trip during my second trimester. It was a much needed vacation after starting a new hospitalist job, taking my internal medicine boards, and hectic fellowship interviews.
Of course we had to enjoy the local favorite eats, notably the fresh lobster. One important thing I did not realize was that most of the shops/restaurants close at the end of the tourism season. We went in late October, and several restaurants I wanted to try were already closed for the season, so make sure you call ahead to check and plan your itinerary.
For brunch we liked Jordan’s Breakfast (blueberry cinnamon bun, Maine blueberry pancakes, and lobster asparagus quiche, which was the quiche of the day) and Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast (Betty’s blueberry pancakes, Pot Roast Delight). Blueberries are Maine’s official state fruit, and Maine’s wild blueberries are smaller and sweeter than the regular blueberries (yet have less sugar).
I’ve never eaten so much lobster in my life, and this is coming from someone who lived in Connecticut for years. The lobster pounds are really cool – you pick your lobster and they will cook it for you! Beal’s Lobster Pound was delicious and our big splurge. You can choose either hard shell and soft shell lobsters – hard shell has firmer meat and more meat per lobster, while soft shell meat is sweeter and more water for “marinating”. We chose the “First Mate” sides – corn, coleslaw, and cornbread and drank the local Old Soaker Blueberry Soda.
We had the Downeast Deli classic lobster roll and lobster stew – fresh although on the pricey side and small portions. At the popular Side Street Cafe, we tried the lobster mac & cheese. At Gayln’s we had the Fisherman’s feast – lobster, grilled scallops, shrimp cocktail, steamed mussels, and crabcakes.
You can’t miss Jordan Pond House for their famous popovers and fresh blueberry lemonade (see first photo on this post). We were so lucky – the wait times can be hours during peak season, but we got seated immediately since it was the very last day they were open. The view around Jordan Pond is magnificent – you can eat outside in the summer, but the outdoor seating was already closed for the season when we went.
For delicious local gifts, go to Fiore. We bought blueberry balsamic vinegar for B’s parents, and enjoyed tasting all the gourmet oils, balsamic vinegar, and dips.
For dessert, try the sour cream blueberry crumble ice cream at Mt Desert Island Ice Cream.
We tried blueberry pie at pretty much every restaurant to compare and the hands down favorite was Mount Dessert Bakery‘s Maine blueberry pie. You can only order a whole pie (not a slice) and you have to order at least one day ahead – we didn’t know this and ended up flying with a whole pie back to Philadelphia, but it was worth it (thankfully no spills)!
We ate a lot of food in our four days here, as our hiking made us super hungry. We will back someday Acadia / Bar Harbor!