Travel & Culture

A Weekend at Acadia National Park

One of my friends and I have a goal of checking out all 59 U.S. National Parks before we turn 59 years old. A few weekends ago, I got to check another one off my list: Acadia National Park in Maine!

I am about to head off to DC for the weekend to explore another national park, so figured it’s about time to share with you guys about my last one!

I went to Acadia National Park with one of my cousins, Cynthia. She flew to Portland, Maine, where I picked up, and we slowly made our way up the coast towards Acadia National Park.

Quick Things to Know about Acadia National Park:

  1. Acadia National Park is mostly donated land from families, like the Rockefellers. That’s why Acadia is not one huge body of land, and is separated into three sections (see image below).
  1. Because it is mostly donated land, it is the only park where there are private houses in the park. It’s kind of weird because you’ll be on a carriage ride through the woods, and still be able to peer in people’s backyards.
  2. Bar Harbor is where you’ll probably be eating your meals. It’s a cute little town! We ate at several spots at Bar Harbor, and we never had a horrible meal. My favorite? Havana! It’s a Latin restaurant that the Obamas visited in 2010 for a date night. There will be a video on my YouTube channel soon, so look out for that!

Things We Did that I Enjoyed the Most:

  • Red’s Eats – On the way from Portland to Acadia National Park, we passed by a town called Wiscasset and ate lunch at Red’s Eats. It is really popular: place opens at 11:30 AM, we got there at 12 PM, and Cynthia and I didn’t eat till 1:15 PM. Like damn yo.
  • Carriage of Acadia – There’s a section of the park of 60 miles or so that you are not allowed to drive on. Instead, we did a 2-hour carriage ride and it was great. Our tour guide Ariana had so many stories to tell, and we learned a lot about the Rockefeller family and their love for nature and animals and Maine. We saw 4 Rockefeller bridges, which are beautiful works of art.
There are two horses here: Reba (L) who is willing to work, and Betty (R) who is willing to let Reba.

Most of Rockefeller’s bridges were made out of granite because stone bridges were really time and money-consuming. The way you can differentiate between Rockefeller bridges and National Park bridges are from the underbelly of the bridge: if it’s all granite, it’s Rockefeller. If it’s cement, it’s from the National Park. Rockefeller Jr. was so genius in architecting the bridges that they barely need any maintenance even after all these years.

  • The Bubbles – Let’s just get it out of the way: they look like boobs. The day was so perfect, warm enough to be in a t-shirt and breezy enough to air out all that sweat. It was so fun climbing up the South Boob and then up the North Boob, and then come back via The Cleavage. The view on the South Boob is insane, and highly recommend all of you guys to go up there to take a look for yourself! There’s an easy way and a hard way to get up there – and the hard way wasn’t even that hard. It was like scaling large rocks.

Juliet’s Vacation Thoughts and Tips:

  • Pack for all kinds of weather. I checked the weather before I left and thought that mid-60s was weather for long pants, but Mother Nature tricked me and made it mid-60s and sunny like we were still in summer! All I can say is that global warming is in full effect, and for those who believe otherwise… (sigh)
  • Backpacks are more convenient than rolling luggages. Currently, I live on top of a hill, and rolling that luggage up and down that hill with other bags was hard. I’m starting to like my traveler’s backpack more and more.
  • Know what’s most important to you on a vacation. Are you a all-inclusive resort kind of person? Or are you authentic experiences kind of person? For me, it’s food and outdoor activities. For my cousin, it was REALLY food and some outdoor activities. Thankfully our interests overlapped, otherwise it would have been much harder to have fun. Also, we both love podcasts so we listened to a bunch while driving.
  • For trips where you may not have good data network, write down all the address of where you’ll stay and where you want to go. Super helpful, and saves time that you’d be spending on waiting for data to work.

I hope you guys enjoyed the post – stay tuned for the video!

-Juliet

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