From Maine to Nova Scotia, Quebec and Montreal
Although my blog usually features southern destinations, for the next several weeks I’ll be featuring my travels aboard Holland American’s 7-Day Canada & NE Discovery Trip.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Embarking from Boston, our ship’s only stop in the US was Bar Harbor, Maine. I fell in love with this low-key, beautiful seaport town. Dating back to the 18th century, the port was built on shipbuilding, lumbering and fishing. By the 20th century, Bar Harbor had become the summer playground to America’s wealthy such as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and John D. Rockefeller, all of whom owned “cottages” there. But with World War I, the Great Depression and a devastating fire in 1947 which swept through the town destroying most of the estates, the leisurely class mostly vacated the town.
Today, tourism is Bar Harbor’s main attraction during the months of May through October. More than 25 cruise ships stop in Bar Harbor, but since the port is small, they anchor away from shore and don’t detract too much from the beauty of the idyllic rocky seacoast harbor dotted with pristine white sailboats.
As soon as our tender from the ship landed on shore, I took a walking path that followed the coastline with the ocean on the left and beautiful inns and estates on the right. The path eventually wound back around to the town where I explored several quaint shops that line the main street. But the highlight of the day was lunch at a waterfront restaurant devouring my very first lobster roll ever! I thought $22 was pretty steep until I bit into that sweet lump lobster meat piled high on the role. The beautiful view didn’t hurt either.
Bar Harbor is also home to Arcadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Although our stop in Bar Harbor did not allow time to explore the park, it’s now on my bucket list. A free shuttle bus allows you to hop on and hop off at many campgrounds and locations within the park. However, the free shuttle won’t take you to Cadillac Mountain, which, at 1,532 feet, is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6.
Those of you who have visited Bar Harbor are invited to add your favorite places and experiences by commenting on this post.
Photos by Sandra Chambers ©2015