It was my birthday couple of weeks ago, and my husband surprised me with a weekend getaway to Bar Harbor, Maine. I believe that trips, even if they are just short ones, are the best presents you can ever get because things break or go out of fashion, but memories stay with you forever. So we headed to Bar Harbor, one of the few places in New England we hadn't yet explored since moving to Boston. Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island and home to the largest parts of Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain. 

Where to stay

We stayed at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel, which is located one mile from Acadia National Park and downtown Bar Harbor. Each room at this hotel has a balcony with an amazing ocean view - it's a perfect spot to watch the sunrise. 

Where to eat

Side Street Cafe -  - one of the busiest places in town with a lot of comfort food and a great selection of cocktails. 
Peekytoe Provisions  -  this is a provisions store with a small eating area. If you're looking for a quick lunch, their lobster roll is to die for!​

Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream for the yummiest ice cream in town made with Maine Milk and Cream.


What to do

Explore Acadia National Park.  This is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. And thankfully, we got lucky with the weather – while we were there a thick fog began rolling inland from the ocean, and the fog made everything look so mysterious. Take a drive around the 27-mile Park Loop Road that will take you through some scenic areas where you can get out of the car and explore.


Visit the Bass Harbor Light - one of the most frequently photographed Maine lights and one of the few remaining manned and operational lighthouses in the world. If you love lighthouses as much as I do, definitely check this one out.

Watch sunrise/sunset at the top of Cadillac Mountain. Unfortunately, the day we went to the top of the mountain it was cloudy, so we couldn't see the sunset, but we still enjoyed our time there. You can drive your car to the very top of the mountain, which is a great option for those who don't want to hike but still want to enjoy the gorgeous views.

Unfortunately, we only had one full day there and didn't get to see and do everything we wanted to, but it was still a nice weekend getaway from city life. If you want to escape the crowds, April and May are probably the best months to visit Bar Harbor - it's already not incredibly cold, but still not peak tourist season. I'm already missing our time there and thinking about what other places in New England I should visit next. Any ideas?