BAR HARBOR, MAINE

Coastal Maine has got to be the dreariest place I’ve ever vacationed, but also one of the most beautiful. April, we’d hoped, would replace “too cold” with “somewhat sunny and lively.” We were mistaken, but the sharp edges of the New England coast were soft and welcoming to us, rock hoppers that we are.

Anna and I met up at the airport in Charlotte for the long weekend excursion, landing in Maine before driving our rental to Bar Harbor for the weekend. We rented a little sedan from Turo, and if you’re not into renting from total strangers instead of established car rental places, you need to reconsider. Our host was kind and knowledgable, and our experience smooth and flawless, we were even able to extend our time with the car without an issue.

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Anna’s spiritual gift is selecting the best Airbnbs in existence, so while the details of our sweet studio came as no surprise to me, they were no less exciting and charming. We stayed smack in the middle of tiny Bar Harbor, and in the morning found the only open breakfast place we could see, a pizza joint called Epi’s. No one thinks a pizza place would have a great breakfast, but let me tell you I was fat and happy at the end of this one.

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Because it was still off season, Acadia was mostly closed to visitors. The first few miles of the park were available to hop and hike around, and that was enough for us. We got soaked from the spray, slunk down in caverns we swore we’d never be able to extract ourselves from, and generally dawdled around. Once we couldn’t go any further, we headed back into what quickly became our new favorite place. Bar Harbor is small enough to memorize after one night, and we had two.

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Though there wasn’t much to choose from in the off-season, we enjoyed incredible meals at Side Street Café and Galyn’s (no joke, the best seafood dinner I’ve ever had), sipped some Maine brews at The Barnacle, and ended all of our frigid Acadia frolics with A Slice of Eden.

Highly, highly recommend Bar Harbor, but also highly recommend Bar Harbor in the Spring. May, honestly, two weeks after we went, would have made a world of difference. Either way, we fell in sad, moody love with this coastal town.