We arrived in Maine for our first time at the beginning of June 2021! Our first stop was Portland, Maine and to our surprise, we liked the city more than we expected. We found parking within minutes on Commercial Street where all the bars, shops and restaurant are located. The streets were very dog friendly and we didn't run into many crowds. Our first stop was a bar with outdoor seating for Canela (the dog) where we enjoyed the weather with a beer in our hand of course.
We did have a famous lobster roll overlooking the water but sadly we didn't get any pictures of it. After dinner, we walked along Fort Allan Park at sunset which was BEUTIFUL! We actually found overnight parking right next to the tennis courts thanks to the iOverlander app but it was a little noisy in the morning from people playing tennis.
After Portland, we drove a few hours north and made our way to Acadia National Park! This was our first National Park of the trip so we were very excited. I'll admit, we didn't do ANY research on the park until we were an hour away but it worked out well :) Let me tell you, Acadia was worth the extra drive! The park was VERY dog friendly compared to other National Parks I've been to.
Our first stop was Jordan Pond (middle picture). Around the pond there is about a mile and a half trail with a restaurant overlooking the water. We walked about a quarter of the way then went back. After, we hiked the North Bubble trail (first picture). With my horrible asthmatic Florida lungs, it took the three of us about 40 minutes with some stopping to make it to the top. The parking lot was very small for our big bus but we got luck late in the afternoon and found it nearly empty. After Bubble mountain we made our way to downtown Bar Harbor about 15 minutes away and found ourselves at Tap and Barrel Tavern. Manny LOVED this little bar because it reminded him of a small Boston bar. After we walked a couple blocks to Fogtown Brewery. I'll be honest, this was the WORSE brewery we had been to on the trip so far. All the beers in our flight had a horrible aftertastes or chemical taste. Don't stop by there.
Each time we went to Bar Harbour we found parking at Grant Park which overlooks the water and has a great walking path. We parked here for at least 8 hours over two days and it worked perfectly for our bus! The park was not too busy (we stayed in the back corner with privacy) and although it was pay for parking, we did not pay a penny :) We watched hundreds of people pay over two days and we did NOT see one single parking attendant from the city. They clearly do not enforce parking at least at that time. At bed time we did move the bus to a hotel parking lot. Hotel parking lots is our go-to for sleeping in cities.
Day two in Acadia we walked Sand Beach (third picture). The beach was so beautiful and peaceful! We did leave Canela in the bus for the beach unfortunately. During peak months dogs are not allowed on the beach which is understandable. After, we walked around the Thunder Hole area with Canela. Walking it was a little nerve racking since we were pretty much on a cliff with a dog. We did not make it to Cadillac Mountain. At the time we were there, you need to make a reservation to drive up the mountain oddly and with the bus, we figured it was safer not to force good ole Betty the Bus up a steep mountain.
After two days in Acadia we felt like we saw enough. We know we didn't see EVERYTHING but we for us and with the dog, two days was enough. On the way out we stopped at Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina (pictured below) for a few hours. This park was a great find for Vanlifers. It was located on the water with a small boat ramp, had decent public bathrooms, small grills, PLUS had water for us to fill our tank at. Before filling up on water, I asked the "Harbor Master" who was very friendly and of course said yes. While we were at the park we felt like had to boil our own live lobster. We found a small local seafood shack close by for about $10 a pound. Canela wasn't too found of the lobster as you see below. After the park we made our way out of Maine with no other major stops.