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Coasting In Maine: A Weekend In Bar Harbor And Acadia National Park

In normal vernacular, “coasting” is equated with gliding along at a relaxing pace: I coasted through the weekend, watching TV. I’ve adopted a more literal version of the verb, visiting places along coastal New England, and Maine is one of my favorite destinations.

There are many ways to coast in Maine: Beachgoers sink their toes in Ogunquit Beach. Sailors trim their jibs in Camden. Shoppers browse in Freeport. Anglers cast for stripers in Kittery. Last summer, I coasted in Bar Harbor for the first time. In one weekend, I packed in sea kayaking, hiking, exploring Acadia National Park, lobsters, a famous boulder, and a history lesson in this seaside resort located on the northeast side of Mount Desert Island.

After hiking to Bubble Rock, I spent another couple of hours driving around the scenic Park Loop Road, a 27-mile route that hits the highlights in the east section of the park. I strolled across the strand at the appropriately named Sand Beach, one of the few naturally sandy beaches on the coast of Maine. I also listened to Thunder Hole, a deep cleft in the shoreline with a small hole at its base. Sometimes Thunder Hole just hiccupped, but other times it created a thunderous boom as waves crash into it.

Then I headed back to Bar Harbor for lunch. Whenever I head to Maine, I have to eat at least one lobster. It’s my personal tradition. I walked into Galyn’s restaurant, a family-run, Bar Harbor mainstay that’s known for its lobster dishes. I gorged on the largest lobster salad I’d ever had—mostly clumps of luscious lobster meat atop field greens—relishing every mouthful, until my plate was clean.

Story and photos by Lisa Ballard

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