In mid-October we took a couple days off work and road tripped from Arlington, Virginia up to New England. We went as far north as Bar Harbor and then down to Portland over through New Hampshire and Vermont and then back down to home. We wanted to see the fall foliage and check out Acadia National Park. Our itinerary was pretty aggressive as we only had five days for this trip and we were driving. This was a pseudo last minute trip so accommodations were sparse which went into our itinerary decisions.
We left on a Friday morning very early, around 5:45am. We wanted to miss DC, Baltimore and hopefully New York traffic. Our plan worked, the worst traffic we met was on the freeways outside of Boston, which was late afternoon. We drove up I95 through Maryland, New Jersey turnpike and all the way through Providence, RI. The Rhode Island detour probably added an hour to our trip but we had never been to Rhode Island and figured we couldn’t bypass it. We kept going on 95 until Highway 1A turn off to Bar Harbor. We stopped for a sit down lunch in Connecticut and dinner along with multiple potty stops and leg stops. The whole day took about 14-15 hours. Drive time alone would have been close to 12. It was a long day but we were glad we powered through this day so the rest of the trip didn’t have as much time in the car.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor has limited chain accommodations and this weekend we were only able to get reservations anywhere for Friday and Saturday nights (thus the 15 hour drive day). Eilam really did great on the long trip. He was definitely bored at times but we kept telling him that the next day we could go hiking and play outside which seemed to appease him some. The hotel was very nice with a nice continental breakfast. It was set up on a hill above Bar Harbor view a nice view of the surrounding areas and the water.
Saturday was our Acadia National Park day. We were really lucky with the weather on Saturday. It started out foggy but the sun broke through and it was a beautiful day. The National Park pass is good for 7 days. After purchasing one in the morning at a visitor center, we started on our exploration of the area. We drove the Park Loop Road with many stops at beaches and lookouts along the coast. We went on a hike/walk along the Carriage Roads at Jordan Pond. After a late lunch in Bar Harbor and we went back to the park and drove out to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. We went on another small hike out there and then headed back into town for a lobster roll dinner. The area was beautiful and we would have taken advantage of the numerous hiking trails but many were not kid friendly, or at least preschool age friendly.
Our plan Sunday was to get up, check out and drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. We did do this but unfortunately it was blowing rain so hard that you couldn’t see 10 feet in front of you. We drove along the coast part of the way towards Portland. We stopped at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. It was still raining but not quite as hard, so we wondered around some. Then it was back into the car for the remainder of the drive down to Portland. We didn’t book a room downtown due to cost, so we stayed at the Doubletree out by the mall area. It was still raining so hard, we just headed to the mall to stretch our legs there. Dinner was at Sea Dog Brewing Co where Brian enjoyed a full lobster dinner.
Monday we got up and drove through the downtown area of Portland and then headed on to our trip through New Hampshire and Vermont on the beautiful sunny day. The trees driving through New Hampshire were just beautiful. All of the colors were so brilliant. I never realized how many shades of oranges and red there are out there. Lunch was at Whetstone Station Brewing in Brattleboro, Vermont. After lunch we headed north with a stop at Hamilton Falls. The trail head isn’t very well marked but it was a nice little hike down and a good place to stretch your legs. Our day continued into New Hampshire with a stop at a state park where we were able to run around a big field and a lake. After a break with kept heading south down into New York for the night. This left a short 5-6 hour drive on Tuesday to home.
Overall, the trip was quick but enjoyable. Acadia National Park was beautiful and it was a nice time to be there. The foliage was in peak condition and really breathtaking. The National Forests in this area were quite unlike the National Forests we are used to in the Pacific Northwest (much higher population density). We are glad we were able to make the trip and Eilam was an excellent car traveler.