I just got back from my long weekend up in Bar Harbor and it was an amazing trip. My dog, Dwayne, and I spent a couple days hiking around Acadia National Park and camping in my car. This was my first solo trip ever and I’m really proud of myself for getting outside my comfort zone. Here is where I stayed, ate, and hiked in Bar Harbor and Acadia.
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At the start of summer I realized I didn’t have any trips planned. I hadn’t traveled anywhere in over a year and the travel bug was strong. It felt like summer was just going to pass by and it got me really sad. I wanted to do something and have something to look forward to. Scrolling through Instagram one day I saw a girl I follow post photos at Acadia National Park. The scenery was absolutely stunning and I knew I had to visit.
This was my first solo trip anywhere, and the first time camping just me and Dwayne. I knew I wanted to go somewhere relatively safe and a national park in Maine fit the bill. Knowing I could take my dog and enjoy the trip with him definitely influenced my decision. Acadia is only 6 hours away by car, so relatively close. I also knew if I hated the trip and wanted to go home I could without any fuss.
Bar Harbor is one of the cutest places I’ve been. It reminds me a lot of Mystic, CT which is near where I live. During the summer it is a big tourist destination so it can get pretty busy in town. If you get into town before 9 AM you will have plenty of parking spaces and will be able to walk around without a lot of crowds. During the dinner rush, I found it pretty challenging to find parking. There are a few metered public lots as well as on street parking so you can circle around until you find something. There are so many great restaurants and little shops. Because I had my dog with me, I wasn’t able to pop into as many shops and explore, but it was still great to walk around.
There are a couple parks, 2 of which overlook the harbor. One night I got take out and had a picnic on the green. There is also a trail that runs along the water for a couple miles that I walked along a bunch.
I decided only a couple months before that I wanted to go to Acadia. Since it was such a short amount of time before the trip, accommodations were limited. I needed somewhere dog friendly, and I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg. Camping seemed like the perfect option. We ended up staying at Blackwoods Campground, which is inside the park.
It was relatively inexpensive at $30 per campsite. I ended up having to book RV spaces as all the less expensive tent sites were taken. There are bathrooms pretty well spread out, but no showers. There is a little shower/laundry place across the street from the campground entrance. You can get ice, firewood, and a hot shower for $3.00. I ended up only staying 2 of the 3 nights I booked because hurricane Henri was on the way. Overall I was very happy with Blackwoods and would stay there again in the future.
I was pretty nervous about sleeping in a tent myself. Luckily I have a small SUV that allowed me the room to sleep in my car. I folded down the backseats and folded a king size mattress topper in half to make my bed. I put a fitted sheet over the mattress topper and added blankets for warmth and comfort. Little did I know, it would be super humid and I wouldn’t end up using any blankets at all. I also had a sleeping pad I used for extra comfort.
I bought these car door screens to go over my back windows. These allowed me to have the windows open all night without letting bugs in. I also ordered this moonroof screen for the same purpose. These worked really well. It was pretty humid both nights I camped and this little rechargeable fan came in super handy. I wish I would have bought two to really help circulate the air around the car. For safety, I also had my taser at the ready just in case.
Hiking Acadia National Park
Pictures do not do Acadia justice, it is absolutely stunning. There are so many trails to explore with a range of difficulty from super easy walks to more challenging hikes. Acadia is also very dog friendly. On the website there is a list of trails that are closed to dogs as well as ones that are not advised to take dogs on. I used the All Trails app to plan which hikes we would do. Our trip got cut a little short so we didn’t get to as many hikes as I would have liked, but that just means I’ll have to go back! My favorite hike was the Great Head Trail hike. It overlooks the ocean for most of the trail and there is some climbing up rocks that was fun and challenging. I definitely recommend going to the top of Cadillac Mountain because the view is incredible. Just make sure you’ve reserved a spot at the top before you go.
Overall I had an amazing trip. If you’re a single lady looking for a safe, but fun adventure check out Acadia. I certainly will be visiting the area again in the future to explore even more of the beautiful national park and surrounding area.