Maine: Portland and Mount Desert Island

Continuing out of Vermont and further into our tour of New England, Maine was next on the list.  I’m sure now that I’m telling you that we simply drove through New Hampshire, many of you will be tempted to tell me about all the wonderful things we should have done in that state.  Please, try to refrain!  I’m bummed out that we didn’t have more time to stop in the Granite State, but unfortunately with the tick-tock of winter steadily marching toward us, we had to cover as much ground as possible before things get too chilly.  Maybe next time, New Hampshire.  Maybe next time.  But we did stop at a rest stop and eat there, so it counts enough to put a sticker on the map, right?

Our main destination was Mount Desert Island, but it was quite a drive from Vermont.  So we decided to take in a few days in Portland.  There was much debate going into our trip about the level of awesomeness Portland had to offer.  Some people we talked to insisted that Portland had nothing to offer and that we should just breeze straight through.  While others praised Portland for it’s seaside feel and it’s great eats.  We just had to find out for ourselves!!  First off, we stayed at a really nice KOA.  Our site was back in the woods and since we were pretty much at the peak of the fall season, it was really beautiful.

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It just doesn’t get much better than this!

Zac spoke with one of the guys there and he found out that as soon as they close for the season, they are expanding further back with even more sites.  They had a nice store and a pancake house that served breakfast in the mornings.  The playground there was really nice, too.  Playgrounds rate high on our list of important things at a campground, have you noticed?  We would definitely go back if ever in the area.  There were some really fun water parks/amusement parks really close by that would have been great in the summer.

Our first night there we ventured into Saco, the town our KOA was in, to have a lobster dinner.  We went to a little place called Rising Tide which was right on the water.  The food was terrific and the price was to die for: $22 for a lobster dinner for two!  Zac and I each had our own tasty lobster!  The kids had their first taste of lobster… that may have been a mistake.  Now they have a taste for expensive food!

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Get in my belly!

 

The next day we went downtown and walked through some shops.  We are realizing very quickly that it’s not as fun to shop at destinations as it used to be.  We just don’t have room to add much more to our small home!  So, we walk and look and leave.  Kind of unsatisfactory.  But, necessary!  I have really enjoyed buying and sending postcards to our friends and famiy and facebook followers.  If you haven’t received a post card yet and would like to, leave a comment below!

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Shopping in the Old Port

We just had to eat somewhere downtown since we heard it was a foodie city.  We got a few recommendations and settled on eating at Duckfat.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Duckfat.  They fry much of their menu in the quacky lard and serve it up. It is SO good.  At the table we all shared and got a taste of the duck fat fries, a cuban sandwich, a brisket sandwich, and a super good salad with brisket in it.  May have been the best salad I have ever had.  Highly recommend it if you’re ever in Portland.

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“Waitress, more duck fat, please! And keep it coming!”

And then the next morning, there was The Holy Donut.  They offer up the finest potato donuts in the area and also have some  vegan and gluten free donuts as well.  But we stayed with the old fashion gluten-y, animal-y kind.  And I thought they were some of the best donuts I’ve had.  Yes, that was donutS, plural.  I’m not ashamed!  My favorite was the dark chocolate and sea salt.  I must tell you that they were not Zac’s favorite.  But the kids and I really enjoyed them.

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Blessed with donuts.

The next day we ate lunch at Portland Pie Company.  Zac was really in the mood for pizza.  Yes, in this port city with so much amazing seafood around, we had to have pizza.  Gotta love him!  And, I’m glad we did because Zac loved the pizza and got his fix.  I just thought it was ok, but I’m harder to impress when it comes to pizza.

The second day we were in Portland we visited the Portland Head Light.  We went through the small museum they had there and really enjoyed looking at how light houses have changed in the past 2oo years.  The kids even were pretty interested.  And the woman who took our tickets and told us some of the history… I wish I could remember her name because she was great!  She spoke with so much vigor and passion about the light house and it’s history.  She was the real gem of that museum.

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With settings like this it is impossible to take a bad picture.

So, after enjoying Portland, we headed off to Mount Desert Island.  This was one destination that I had really been looking forward to.  This island really has so much to offer and you could easily spend a week there with all there is to do and see.  Between Acadia National Park and all of the cute harbor towns, we were tempted to stay longer than the three days we had planned!

The first day we were there we walked from our campsite at Smuggler’s Den Campground, through part of the park for a mile, and finally made it to Echo Lake.  The water was crystal clear and trust me when I say that it was really beautiful.  You’ll have to trust me because both of our phones died on the way there and we didn’t get a single picture.  It was quite tragic.  But fear not!  Because there was much more beauty in store for us with a full charge!  Bar Harbor was so great and there were so many cute shops up and down the main street.  Unfortunately that whole ‘no room to put stuff in the RV’ thing kicked into gear again.  So, we just browsed.

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Family photo overlooking the harbor

We drove the Acadia park loop and stopped at Sand Beach (wow.  super original name, guys.) and drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain.  We walked across a sand bar from Bar Harbor over to Bar Island (again with the super original names!).  All of it was absolutely stunning and I cannot recommend enough that you make sure you visit Mount Desert Island sometime in your life.

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Taking in the sights atop Cadillac Mountain
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Looking for shells and rocks on the sand bar leading to Bar Island

We ate at two places in Bar Harbor.  The first had really high ratings when I searched for it on google, but we were all disappointed.  The food was not as good as we had anticipated and the service was lacking.  And then Zac and I both got upset stomachs shortly after.  Maybe it was just an off day or we ordered the wrong thing, but I cannot recommend Side Street Cafe.  We also ate at Blaze during our stay and enjoyed that.  Not the best food ever, but pretty decent and we all left full and happy.  And of course there was room for dessert!  Mount Desert Island Ice Cream had a lot of unique flavors, but we stuck with the basics.  Chocolate, cookies and cream, coffee and butterscotch was our order and it was pretty good!  Would like to branch out and try one of their more daring flavors if I were to go again.

When all was said and done, we really enjoyed our two stops in Maine and I hope we can visit again someday.

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We’ll be back, Maine. We’ll be back.

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Maine: Portland and Mount Desert Island

    1. We found one small shell and actually a small piece of green sea glass! The kid’s favorite part was hiking on the mountain.

  1. Ok, I comment on just about everyone and Yet, has Meadow received a post card? Not yet, haha. Hopefully it’ll come tomorrow on her birthday. The pictures are stunning. I can’t pick a favorite one.

    1. We sent it out Monday, so if you didn’t get it today, you should probably get it tomorrow! 🙂 I’ll make sure Caydence calls Meadow tomorrow.

  2. Yes, Vermont and Maine are two of my favorites also. Next planning session think about at least a week in a state especially along the coast. Maybe two weeks ,so much to see,so little time to do it in. Yes,another honeymoon state. Fourth wife.

  3. Love reading your travels through “my neck of the woods”. Glad you ate your way through Portland !

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