Hi Muffy, First of all, thank you for taking the time to create such an enjoyable and informative blog. I read it everyday and am always excited to see a new post. Later this month I will be camping in Acadia with my children (8 and 11). I wonder if you've ever done this with your son, and perhaps have some general tips for Acadia and points of interest in Bar Harbor that we shouldn't miss? If you recommend something, I trust that it will be worth our effort! Take care.
Acadia is so beautiful, and especially at this time of year, that it may be enough all on its own. I have yet to hear of anyone visiting the park who has not enjoyed the popovers at The Jordan Pond House. I am not a fan at all of Bar Harbor (with the exception of College of the Atlantic, and visiting friends and family), but then again I am not an eight or eleven year old boy. I find it crowded and terribly commercial, so they might love it!
We do tend to head to quieter places like Southwest Harbor, home to Sawyer’s Market and Hinckley Yachts, and Bass Harbor, home to Morris Yachts and the ferry to Swans Island. A ferry ride out of Bass Harbor to Swans Island might be fun. Swans Island is where the famous (and famously expensive) Swans Island Blankets originated. Although there is absolutely “nothing to do” on the island, which is why I like it; the ferry ride is only about thirty minutes each way and it has a decent schedule, so it, in itself, might be worth it.
If you are driving up, and depending on which route you take, there are some very pretty towns along the way. We are always coming from the Route 1, midcoast region, and often have reason to stop in: Thomaston (with its “devasting little sign” - Thomaston, 1605); Owls Head, which has the well known Transportation Museum and a spectacularly set light house; Rockland (and the ferries to Vinalhaven and North Haven), which went from shipbuilding to canneries to the”Rockland Renaissance”; Rockport and its exquisite little harbor; Camden with its windjammers (my father's picture) and tourists; and Belfast which has experienced recent and rapid gentrification. Also, the ferry to Isleboro is out of Lincolnville. Just don’t stop in Ellsworth!