Roadtrip to Maine: Accomodations and Activities

Monday, February 22, 2021

We took a road trip from New Jersey to Maine at the end of August last year during the pandemic.  We took all precautions and practiced social distancing.  A road trip to Acadia National Park was a perfect way to travel on our own and spend time outdoors in nature.  On our way to Acadia we stopped one night in Rockport, Massachusetts and on our way back we stopped two nights in Portland and one night in Newport.  I will share where we stayed and some activities we did.  I'll dedicate my next post to the best places to eat at.

Rockland, MA

We decided to stay one night on the way up at the Emerson Inn because I found a travelzoo deal that gave a discount rate with breakfast.  After checking in we took a short drive to explore Halibut Point State Park.  For dinner we went to the nearby town area called Bearskin Neck.  We got our first lobster roll at Roy Moore Lobster Co.  It was nice area to take a stroll. Plenty of local restaurants and shops.  Even though it was during a pandemic, there was a lot of people walking around.  We kept our masks on and kept to ourselves.  Check out other foodie stops we made on the way up to Acadia in my next post.

Acadia National Park

We stayed at Hearthside Inn in Bar Harbor.  Summer is normally high season and everything in Bar Harbor would be booked early.  We wanted to stay in that area for the convenience.  Due to the pandemic there was still a good selection of B&B's available.  We booked about 2 weeks in advance and got a discount rate for August, stay 2 nights get 1 free.  We stayed 4 nights for the price of 3.  I think 3 nights would have been enough for us but I had a lot of time off to use.  Over the span of our stay we picked out a few hikes and restaurants to try.  Will share them in photos below.

Easy Trails: Since it was a little rainy on our first day, we did a short walking hike in the morning nearby called Jesup Trail.  Jordan's Pond is also a nice area for a short stroll and stop by the Jordan Pond House Restaurant for their popular popovers.

If you go to Acadia, you have to go to Cadillac Mountain Summit.  I believe you can hike it but you can also just drive up to the summit for the view.  Most people go during sunrise for the view but you have to go early to get a parking spot.

The Bass Harborhead Lighthouse is a popular lighthouse to visit in the area.  Not really worth going all the way just for the lighthouse but worth checking out if you want to explore the area.  The wonderland trail and ship harbor trail is just a few meters away.

Moderate Trails: Bubble Rock Trail, 1.4 mile loop.  There is actually a large rock wedged on the side of a cliff at the summit that people like to take photos at.

Beach Mountain Trail - Similiar to Bubble rock, this 1.2 loop hike offers beautiful views of Acadia.

Full Day Hike: A fun full day in Acadia would be to start at Sand Beach parking lot and walk the Ocean Path trail all the way down.  You can stop at the Gorham Mountain trail head sign or keep going and turn back around to the sign.  We continued up to the Gorham summit and it leads you back down to enjoy the rest of your day at Sand Beach.  You may want to start you day early because it was pretty hard to find parking.  The beach was also crowded so we didn't stay long.  Views were beautiful and water was surprisingly cold.

Ocean Path trail

Hard Trails: We wanted to take it easy and the views are pretty similar for most of the hikes in Acadia but if you are looking for something more physical then consider the Beehive trail and Precipice Trail.  They don't seem too bad but requires some climbing and scrambling.

Portland, ME

On your way to or from Maine back to New Jersey/New York, you can stay a few days to explore Portland.  We stayed 2 nights and it was more of a foodie trip for us.  You could take a ferry to visit Peak Island and explore.  It was on the day we were leaving we visited a few lighthouses.  We started at Bug Light (Portland Breakwater Lighthouse), moved onto Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse (honestly, I can't remember what it looked like), then to Portland Head Lighthouse where we got lunch at an awesome lobster roll truck, Bite into Maine.  The last lighthouse to visit is Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse (Two Lights State Park) and there is another lobster roll (The Lobster Shack at Two Lights) to try here too.

Stay tuned for my next post, best places to eat in Maine!

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