If you’re planning a trip to New England and haven’t included a few days in the Bar Harbor area of Maine to see Acadia National Park, it’s time to rethink your trip plans. Acadia, the first national park created east of the Mississippi, holds some of the most spectacular and unblemished landscapes in all of New England.
I’ve been to Acadia many times and this place is so huge, so mystical and so visually powerful that it’s almost impossible to describe. And while I will always think of the southwest when it comes to expansive views and far horizons, Acadia can hold its own against any western landscape destination. It’s that incredible.
One of the best ways to see the park is to take the 27-mile park loop (which is often informally called the “30 mile drive”), one of the most extraordinary scenic drives in the East. The ocean views from the high points on the loop are just awe inspiring.
But beware, in high summer on a sunny day, you won’t be the only person on the drive (or anything close to that). And while you won’t have any competition for places to put your tripod, it might take you a few minutes to wrangle a parking spot on the side of the road.
Visit the “photos”  section of the official site and then do some Flickr searches on the park name and you’ll find lots of great photos. There’s lots of fine camping in the park, but if you’re an inn person, there are some wonderful places to stay in Bar Harbor and my favorite (and it’s one of my favorite inns in the world) is the Ledgelawn Inn.
And before you leave Bar Harbor you must visit Cool as a Moose, the most fun t-shirt store in Maine.