Our Road Trip from Asheville to Bar Harbor.
Happy Friday everyone! We have been home from vacation for almost a week and I couldn't wait to share with you our big adventure! This was the first lengthy vacation Andrew and I have really taken together solo. We have either traveled with family or our vacation has been spent going home to Ohio. It was really exciting for me to take the time to plan and make an itinerary beforehand and then see those plans followed through. It really does help planning everything in advance, you spend way less time looking things up or figuring out what to do - which was extra helpful for us since reception was spotty, we had no wifi to use the computer and our phones kept dying! I hope you enjoy, we sure had a blast!
Providence, RI: Our first stop (aside from sleeping in Virginia Thursday night) was Warwick, Rhode Island. We were visiting Warwick for one of Andrew's college buddies' wedding at the Aldrich Mansion. We founded a really cute beach cottage on Airbnb right on the bay in Warwick. Since we had some down time surrounding the wedding festivities we were able to spend a lot of time exploring downtown Providence, and I'm so glad we did! Providence is a really cool city with so many beautiful historic buildings and endless good food. I had some of the best donuts of my life at Knead Doughnuts, the PB&J one was seriously on another level. And Andrew and I had some delicious octopus to snack on at Kleos, a modern Greek restaurant downtown. There was still so much to explore but that's as far as we made it in our 36 hours!
- My dress for wedding old Tracy Reese from Anthropologie
Portland, ME: For our next stop we hit Portland, Maine on Sunday on our way to our destination of Bar Harbor. We actually ended up stopping in Portland a second time on our way back down but wanted to combine the two for easier reading. Both visits to Portland were pretty brief and revolved around two food recommendations I had received prior to from a friend. First up, The Holy Donut (I know, I know donuts again!) - but The Holy Donut is known for it's innovative potato donuts and unique flavors. I tried the chai donut and it was delicious, however for this trip Knead ^ is still my number 1. We also grabbed a small lunch at the Flatbread Company - a flatbread pizza company right along the waterfront that has a minimal menu of wood fired flatbread pizzas and salads. The entire kitchen is open to the restaurant so you can see everything being freshly made with farm to table ingredients. On our way through Portland the 2nd time we stopped for lunch and found some savory Italian goodness at Micucci Grocery; an authentic Italian grocery a couple blocks from the city center that has a hot plate window, where you can grab sandwiches and pizza cafeteria style. If we weren't traveling so light I think Andrew could have had a field day shopping for groceries as well!
Bar Harbor, ME: On Sunday evening we finally made it to our home base for the next few days at the KOA Bar Harbor/Oceanside campground. When we originally started planning our adventure to Maine months ago we weren't aware the the 'season' doesn't technically start in Bar Harbor until Memorial Day weekend, but this totally played in our favor the entire trip, starting with the KOA being pretty empty for the week. The lovely team at the campground upgraded us to what I thought was the best campsite in the house with our own private beach access and fire pit overlooking the water. I think Andrew and I were both a little nervous about what sleeping in the van was going to be like, but it went way better than we could have imagined (way comfier than expected.) The hardest part was packing most of our camping gear up every night and storing it in the van with us. Once again since we were here early in the season a lot of the restaurants weren't open yet either, especially the delicious lobster shacks on the side of the road. I honestly don't have a ton of great food recommendations for Bar Harbor because of this and we also packed lunches most days when hiking as well as cooked over our campfire for dinner!
Acadia National Park Day 1: Our first order of business was to conquer the Beehive Trail - I had remembered this being one of my favorite hikes when I was growing up and couldn't wait to show Andrew what all the hype was about. To be honest it was a little more intense than I had remembered haha! Andrew is a bit afraid of heights so he really tested himself climbing up the iron rungs over looking a cliff's edge. The view is totally worth it though and the easy stroll to the Bowl helps to wind your way back down. After our decent we climbed onto some rocks at Sand Beach and enjoyed a packed lunch overlooking the ocean with a view of the Beehive - a really great way to revel in our previous accomplishment! To wind down our first day in the park we spent a couple of hours doing the entire loop around Jordan Pond - since we were early in the season the Jordan Pond House wasn't open for lunch so I couldn't share with Andrew their delicious popovers, but there's always next time!
Acadia National Park Day 2: Our 2nd full day in the park started with a bang, at 11:00am on May 8th, Andrew and I got married on the side of Otter Cliff inside Acadia. (much more on that later). We spent the rest of the day driving around the park starting with scoping out the breathtaking views on Cadillac Mountain and ending with a visit to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - this was one of the first lighthouses Andrew has seen up close, and it's a little bit of a bummer you can't go up inside it, however the rocks surrounding it are open to climb on and enjoy the view!
Acadia National Park Day 3: Our final full day in Acadia may have been my favorite, we started the day by waking up at 4am and driving from the KOA to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunrise. Seriously if you're spending a few days in the area and are able to do this, DO IT! A once in most lifetimes experience, watching the sun rise above the clouds at one the first points of the United States to see the sun. AMAZING! From there we did a half day hike that took us from the Acadia Mountain parking area to the summit of Acadia Mountain, and St. Sauveur with a hidden waterfall in between. We had almost the entire mountain range to ourselves only passing about 5 people our entire day. We wrapped our final day hanging out at the campground, cooking hotdogs for dinner and preparing for our journey home.
Beacon, NY: We spent Thursday evening and Friday morning in the Beacon, New York area. Since watching season 2 of Master of None, Andrew has had it on his bucket list to make it to the Storm King Art Center. Thursday evening by the time we got to downtown Beacon a lot of the little shops were already closed but we did have dinner at a retro diner on Main Street, the Yankee Clipper diner. Seriously a menu with anything you could possibly imagine, but I had a chicken sandwich and it may have been one of the best in my life! On Friday morning before heading to the museum we stopped in Big Mouth Coffee Roasters for a fresh latte (honestly one of the 1st since being in Rhode Island) to enjoy by the Hudson River. Storm King Art Center was amazing; we only spent a couple of hours there and we opted to just walk the property, but if you were making a day out of it you can pack your lunch and eat basically anywhere you see fit and also rent bikes to explore the property even more. Moseying around the beautiful property was the perfect way to wind down from our whirlwind trip - we were going to stay one more day and spend some time in Roanoke but after we started driving we decided to push it late into the night to get home and reunited with our dog, Divot, but 9 full days on the road was plenty!
I really hope you enjoyed hearing about our trip and that if anyone is traveling up the Eastern coast you find this helpful! If you have any other questions about our travels don't hesitate to ask!