Category: Travel (Page 3 of 22)
While planning this trip, the number one thing we wanted to do was a carriage tour of the carriage roads. On our first day in Acadia (Sunday), while we were driving the Park Loop Road, we made a stop at Wildwood Stables to book a carriage tour. The first available tour they had was the following Saturday. We were planning on driving back to New Hampshire that day, but we were able to squeeze in a morning carriage tour before heading south. All week, we called checking for cancellations, but we weren’t able to get in any earlier than Saturday morning.
We chose the Mr. Rockefeller’s bridge tour, a two-hour tour that highlights the picturesque bridges that were planned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. One of the highlights of the tour is Cobblestone (above). Built in 1917, Cobblestone is the oldest bridge on the Carriage Roads and the only one built entirely out of cobblestones. The tour takes a short break so you can get out and explore the bridge. I wish I had more time to photograph here!
The tour was a great way to see the carriage roads and it was much less strenuous than biking. The price ($40 for adults for the 2-hour tours and $24 for the hour-long tours) is reasonable and totally worth it, in my opinion. The biggest downside is how quick tours book up. I wanted to wait until we knew what the weather was going to be like before booking and by doing so, all the tours early in the week were booked up. We were very lucky we stayed so long or we probably wouldn’t have gotten in. The moral of the story, if a tour of the carriage roads is on your must-do list for Acadia, book it as soon as possible to have your choice of tours and hope the weather cooperates.
Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, visit the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
After a week on Mount Desert Island, we returned to our first stop of the trip, the Park Loop Road. It was a good way to bookend our trip with a nice drive along some of the most scenic spots in the park.
Of course, we got out and walked around the top of Cadillac Mountain to take in the panoramic view of the park. Guests are free to get off the path, but are just asked to stay on the granite surfaces not stay off the vegetation. If you are at all surefooted, this is a nice way to get out of the car and stretch your legs. You are already at the top of the mountain, so its pretty flat, but as you can see in the picture to the left, the ground isn’t very even so it can be easy to trip if you are not paying attention.
After heading down the mountain, we were ready for lunch so we headed to the Atlantic Brewing Company. ABC is the only brewery on Mt Desert Island and they have two locations – one downtown Bar Harbor and one not far from the park. I’m not a big beer drinker so I was glad to see they serve ciders in the restaurant. When we finished eating, we got a tour of the brewery. It is a very small brewery and with our small group, the tour only lasted about 20 minutes. Since we did those bourbon tours a few years ago, it was interesting how similar the beermaking process is. If you are looking to kill some time on Mount Desert Island and you like beer, the Atlantic Brewing Company tour is free and includes a tasting. For more information, visit AtlanticBrewing.com.
Thanks for stopping by! To hear more about this trip, visit the Mainely Acadia Trip Report Page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
After spending a week in Southwest Harbor, we headed out to see some of the highlights of the Quietside. As I explained last week, we had about 6 hours with nowhere to call home base, so after visiting the Gilley Museum, we continued around the Quietside, first with a stop at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse (top).
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is probably the most popular photography spot in Acadia National Park. If you want to shoot it at sunset, better get there early because as I wrote about last year, photographers get there early and they will not budge to let you get one quick shot. Luckily, we had some interesting fog on the day of our visit that made for interesting shots even in the middle of the day. What these iconic photos don’t show you, is that to get this shot, you have to stand on jagged rocks. If getting this shot is on your Acadia bucket list, bring sturdy shoes and make sure you are surefooted. You wouldn’t want to damage your camera gear and yourself just trying to get a picture. After the fuss of getting a shot last year, I think this lighthouse is overrated. You want a unique Acadia shot? Getaway from the crowds and do some hiking! You can catch sunrise or sunset from the top of a mountain and unlike Cadillac Mountain, you will have the mountain all to yourself. Hopefully soon, Chris will share some of his early morning hikes in Acadia.
After leaving the Lighthouse, we headed over to the Seawall (left). In Michigan we have seawalls, but they are mostly concrete barriers that keep the water from eroding your lawn. Acadia’s seawall is natural and made of jagged rocks and gravel. Being on the Quietside really makes a difference for the crowds and the seawall is a great spot to capture the crashing waves without the people you will see at Thunder Hole. You may remember, this was a favorite spot of yours on our first trip to Acadia because we stayed at the Seawall Campground and drove past every day.
If you are planning to visit Acadia, make sure to get away from the crowds and spend some time on the Quietside of the island. To read more about this trip, check out the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Have you ever made a stupid mistake when planning a trip? On this trip, even though four people were sitting around the table when we booked it, somehow we managed to book our flights a day later than our house in Southwest Harbor. Luckily, the owner of our house sent us a reminder the day before so we had time to find someplace new to stay. The bad thing was that we had several hours to kill between when we needed to be out of our house in Southwest Harbor and when we could check-in in Northeast Harbor. Luckily, there is plenty to do to kill time on Mount Desert Island.
We started our day at the Common Good Cafe, an interesting coffee shop/breakfast place that is entirely on donations to support the soup kitchen they run in the offseason. We enjoyed popovers and coffee outside on our last full day in Maine while we listened to local musicians. It was a unique dining experience, but it was good to know that you were supporting the local people and the popovers are just as good as Jordan Pond House!
After breakfast, we headed to another Southwest Harbor establishment, The Wendell Gilley Museum. Wendell Gilley was a Mount Desert Island plumber who gained fame for his wooden bird carvings. The museum opened in 1981 and features many of Gilley’s pine and paint bird carvings. The carvings are very intricate and amazingly lifelike. The museum is small and typically features a non-carving exhibit among the many carvings. If you’re in Southwest Harbor with time to kill or looking for something to do a rainy day on Mount Desert Island, The Gilley Museum is not a bad place to check out. They regularly have a carver on hand and it is very interesting to watch them work!
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by next week to see where else we went to kill time on our last full day in Maine. Be sure to read about previous entries in our Mainely Acadia trip, as well. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
On our first trip to Acadia, our biggest disappointment was that we didn’t get a chance to explore the miles of Acadia’s carriage roads. Everything you read about Acadia tells you that you don’t really see the park until you see the carriage roads. So, on a day when we didn’t have anything planned, we rented some bikes and we set out to see the interior of the park.
Since we were staying in Southwest Harbor, we decided to rent bikes from Southwest Cycle. The staff there were very friendly and helpful. They helped us pick the right bikes and get the bike rack on our rental car. If you are staying on the quietside, I highly recommend renting from Southwest Cycle.
After getting our bikes, we headed to the Carriage Roads. Honestly, I was not prepared for the beauty of the carriage roads. There were WAY less people than on the park loop road. It was cool to be able to look down on the Park Loop Road and the Jordan Pond Trail too! After our first trip, if you would have asked me if there were waterfalls in Acadia, I would’ve told you no. But, we saw several on our bike ride through the carriage roads.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the difficulty of the carriage roads. They were all designed to be driven by carriages, so they weren’t mounting biking difficult, but there were some steep hills we had to climb. I am not an avid biker by any means, so I had to take a few breaks during our bike ride. I did enjoy coasting down the big hills, though! Some of the roads are easier than others, so I recommend if you’re a novice bikers like me that you plan a route that you can handle.
The quiet beauty of the carriage roads is something that you have to experience for yourself. Definitely take a day to explore them! If you aren’t a biker, you could pick some of the shorter ones and walk them or you can take a carriage tour, which I will talk about in a later post! You won’t regret getting away from the crowds and seeing the interior of the park!
Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.