When my husband and I first started planning a six day adventure up the coast of Maine, many people thought we were nuts to even attempt to travel that far north from Rhode Island in March. The winters can be brutally cold and dump a ton of snow, but this was our chance for a long road trip so we went for it!
I spent a bit of time on the google looking for kid-friendly spots, good eats & luxe accommodations that fit within a beer budget. When it comes to hotels I HATE paying crazy prices for a place we just sleep in. Luckily I found nice accommodations that didn’t force us to eat ramen noodles for the entire trip. Perks of New England in March!
Now, our trip was a year ago and I can’t quite remember if we left on a Friday or a Monday, but we spent a total of six nights in various towns…two nights in each. Yes, I am that far behind in blogging because who knew momming takes up so much time?! 😉
Because we covered a lot in six days I decided to break this post up into three separate posts. You can easily scroll through post #1 for details on our adventures to and in Bar Harbor. Post #2 you’ll read about leaving Bar Harbor, adventures on our way and in Portland. Lastly, post #3 you’ll read about what we discovered on our way to Kittery and our adventures in Portsmouth, NH. Depending on where you may be traveling in Maine you can easily read about yummy eats, coffee stops, kid-friendly adventures and beautiful sites to see!
Ok, so back to the adventures…
All my planning was set, car was packed and we headed out around 4pm to make the trek. For some reason I had the travel time in my head as 3 hours. My plan was to drive for about an hour and a half, stop in Portland for dinner and then head to Bar Harbor. Ha, well my husband who is Mr. Navigator looked at me like I was nuts and said, “You know it’s an almost 6 hour drive?” Uh, nope. Totally miscalculated and clearly we need to work on our communication. haha
At that point the Italian came out in me and I lost it! WTF?!?! It’s 4pm and we’re going to make a six hour drive with a toddler? Are you crazy?!? My husband, who is very levelheaded, go with the flow, simply said we have rooms booked and adventures planned so our option is to get moving!
We drove about three hours to Portland and had a mouth watering dinner at Tandoor Restaurant. It’s in the heart of downtown and although it was really dark the city had such charm that I wanted to come back to.
What I Recommend at Tandoor
Papadam (delish GF crisp)
Chicken Tika Masala
Chicken Mango (our son ate this)
After a quick stop at Starbucks down the street to recharge before another three hours of driving we arrived in Bar Harbor at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel. It was too dark to see anything and I was crosseyed tired, but in the morning let me just say that the view was STUNNING!
I knew New England was stunning, but this was absolutely breathtaking! This hotel was a bit off the path, so if you’re looking for “in town” this is not the place. It took only a few minutes to get into town by car, but walkability to town is not realistic.
We spent two days in Bar Harbor venturing around the town, walking along trails, visiting College of the Atlantic’s museum and of course searching for lighthouses. Here is a list of all the spots we visited in Bar Harbor…
Super yummy almond milk latte for me, mocha for my hubby & breakfast options. Not a ton of gluten free, but they were able to accommodate. (winter hours are only Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Lunch at Side Street Cafe was scrumptious! The service was fabulous and I loved the old house feel. They were very accommodating to kiddos and gluten free. I enjoyed the Roasted Veggie Salad, my son devoured the pulled pork sliders and my husband scarfed down a burger. We all left with full bellies and happy, happy. Ah, and now that I write this I remember an older gentleman talked to my husband about the military and slipped him some moola towards our meal as a thank you for our service. I often forget how much we sacrifice and how often people are grateful for our sacrifices. (closed March 8, 2017 for 2-3 weeks for renovations)
We asked for dinner recommendations and the Thirsty Whale was definitely a name mentioned numerous time. Unfortunately our dinner left a lot to be desired. Service was eh, food was eh, and there wasn’t anything that would draw me back there. Maybe we hit them on a bad night, but the service was so lame that I just have no desire to go back or recommend this place.
Wangs or wings…however you say it, this place has them on lockdown! The hubs and I strolled along a beautiful waterfront path and our little guy fell asleep, so we asked for appetizer recommendations and the majority said Dog and Pony. The two of us stuffed our faces with wings and washed it down with good beer & vino.
Uh, so I wish we would have discovered this place the first day we arrive in Bar Harbor, but such is life. Thrive is right up my tree hugging alley! My son & I, who have food allergies, were able to choose from a plethora of dishes instead of one and the flavors were just phenomenal. The lunch options looks fab, but we only discovered them on our way out, so highly recommend if you are a health nut, like me. (opening in Spring 2017)
Ok, so now that I blabbed about where to fill your belly let’s talk about activities. The weather was sunny, but a bit cold so our options were short walks or indoors. Here is where we ventured…
Activities for little kids & admission is by donation.
Stunning for quintessential Maine pictures & wear hiking boots or sneakers.
Jogging stroller friendly
No words to describe how beautiful & nice spots to picnic if weather is warm.
Bar Harbor was really hard to say farewell to. Like I wrote earlier, I knew that New England had beautiful coastlines, but Bar Harbor just blew me away!
Now off to Portland…read about our adventures HERE!
Cheers | Kate