Portland & Acadia National Park
“The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there.” – Henry David Thoreau, The Maine Woods
Even though we’d been best friends since freshman year of college (5 years ago now! Woah), this was the first real trip we’ve taken together. As both JK and NT are going off the grad school (leaving me and my boring life), we decided it was perfect opportunity for an affordable girls’ getaway.
We picked the flight dates and time for the cheapest few days in July, when both JK and NT had time off. As we were trying to save money, we ended up flying out early on a weekday morning and only spent 3 days there. But, we decided it was enough time to do everything we wanted – and we definitely had a few packed days, but I always hate “wasting time” when I go on a trip so it was the perfect vibe for me.
We seamlessly took a 1 hour Jetblue flight to Portland, picked up our Hertz rental car within 5 minutes (being a Gold member has its perks!), and were on our way to Searsport, where we had booked our first AirBnB. We stopped by Rockaway Breakwater Light first, which was a mile long walk out into the middle of the ocean to a lighthouse, then drove 30 minutes to Camden, Maine (the Jewel of Maine) for a quick lunch and a hike in the state park ($6, magnificent views). Even though we were planning on going to Acadia, the views from the rest of Maine were just as amazing – endless hikes, mountains, coastal views, and lighthouses!
The next day was a little chilly and misty, but we made the 1 hour drive to Acadia ($25 admission fee for the park per car, park pass usable for up to 7 days) to spend the day there. Everything was beautiful and mysterious, even in the mist. We drove first to complete the Ocean Cliff Walk, starting at Sand Beach, passing by Thunder Hole (which was completely uninspiring), and ending up at Otters Cliff Overview. An easy, level walk along the coast with stops every 10 minutes to something awe-inspiring — how amazing.
Our next hike was the Jordan Pond Loop. We were supposed to be able to see 5 mountains while completing this trail, but it was so misty that we couldn’t see much. Another very level hike, 5 miles loop, but easily accessible with more great views. We even saw a nesting loon! Our final stop in Acadia was the short drive up Cadalliac Mountain. Unfortunately, by this time it was so misty that we could barely see one foot in front of us. I can only imagine how beautiful the highest point of Acadia must’ve looked though!
“My favorite part of Maine was when we first caught a glimpse of the ocean and the cliffs at Acadia. The view was breathtaking and definitely worth the drive, and even though it was cloudy and misty, that just added to the beauty.” – NT
Our last day was spent in Portland, from where we were flying out in the evening. We rented bikes for the day to trek to Portland Head Light (the famous lighthouse in all the Maine pictures) – it was great exercise, but I highly recommend just driving to the light house and instead biking around Portland, if you want to rent bikes. We had our last meal in downtown Portland (more seafood! I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who was obsessed with lobster rolls), strolled around for a bit, and headed home – exhausted but very pleased with our magical, active few days in Maine. Perhaps we’ll make it an annual tradition from now on, as we all start the rest of our lives and everyone starts getting busier.
AirBnB: $62 each. Use AirBnB coupon codes if it’s your first time booking!
Car: $50.24 for 3 days (waived under 25 fee!). Gas was around $10 each for the whole trip.
Entertainment: $14.33 for 2 state park admissions, $30 for bikes.
Meals: around $14 for hefty seafood meal, although I usually also ordered a clam chowder (around $4) or a beer ($2). Note: Maine Root Soda is AMAZING. It’s not root beer- it’s blueberry soda! Highly recommend, although I was only able to order this once.