*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you make a purchase using any of these links.*
My only regret about our stay in Maine so far is that we haven’t explored the New England area nearly enough! To be fair, it’s been freezing since October, so staying bundled up by the fire usually sounds a lot more attractive than scraping off ice and plowing our driveway. Plus, we’re both from Florida, so the notion of driving in the snow, especially at night, is pretty intimidating for me specifically. I was extremely relieved to find out that State Farm teamed up with 15 state transportation agencies to sponsor a fleet of Assist Patrol vehicles. These crews safeguard the highway looking for crashes, dangerous debris, and stranded motorists to provide assistance and help drivers get safely on their way. Their roadside assistance is completely complimentary, and especially as a fish out of water, the Maine Turnpike State Farm Safety Patrol gives me such peace of mind when embarking on long drives, even if it’s just a short Maine day trip, during periods of ice or rain or both.
Even with Maine’s extreme weather conditions, Kyle and I are trying to commit to at least one Maine day trip every few weeks, and we picked the bayside town of Bar Harbor, Maine for mid-December. Not only is Bar Harbor one of the most popular destinations in Maine, it’s also home to Acadia National Park, which showcases some of the most gorgeous land on all of the Atlantic Coast. We actually went mountain biking with Kyle’s family in Acadia in August, so it was fun to come back and see all the trails completely covered in snow. Keep scrolling for the full Bar Harbor winter travel guide and click here for outfit details!
It’s funny– this is one of the trails Kyle and his family biked through (while I walked my bike through) back in August. It was so magical to see it all completely covered in white! Although we missed the October deadline, you can book a horse-drawn carriage ride through the carriage paths of the park, which were commissioned by John D. Rockefeller, from May to October. Definitely on my bucket list for next year!
The bayside town of Bar Harbor, Maine is absolutely precious, even though it looked rather barren compared to our visit in the summer. Most shops were closed, but we still got to hit most of our favorite food spots, like the Thirsty Whale and Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, right before they officially close for winter in January. One of the best things about Bar Harbor is the close proximity to fresh lobster and seafood– there’s nothing better than warm haddock chowder and a warm lobster roll on a cold day. I wish I had documented our lively trip when we visited in the summer, but this lone Bar Harbor winter travel guide will have to do!
If you’ll be visiting anytime around Christmas, be aware that Mainers have developed a habit out of building huge Christmas trees out of lobster traps. According to DownEast Magazine, an impressive number of participating towns compete for the best lobster trap Christmas tree, and they’re goal is simply to out-do each other. Even if you can’t travel to see them all, plan a trip to see at least one. You’ll be amazed at how they’re constructed– and how much fun they are to stare at. This one was taken at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound in Trenton, which is right outside of Acadia National Park. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s closed in the offseason (so that’s a no-go on the lobster rolls), but it’s an easy stop to or from Bar Harbor for a fun photo op!
We spent the rest of the day playing in Acadia National Park. Although certain parts of the park are closed in the winter (unfortunately including the Jordan Pond House restaurant, which overlooks the magnificent Jordan Pond ), you can still follow some of the park’s famous carriage paths, commissioned by John D. Rockefeller in 1915, and explore the island by snowshoe, snowmobile, or skis. Regardless of your activity of choice, Acadia is one of those parks that just makes you stop and appreciate the magnitude of nature. My personal favorite spot for viewing the most striking features of the park is Thunder Hole, which is a natural rock inlet where waves crash loudly with fluffy white foam when the tide is high. You can climb on the rocks or sit and watch the sunset– it’s truly a magical place!
And those Acadia sunsets… I mean, OMG.
And, because we’re both really mature, we couldn’t leave without playing in the snow just one more time.
Does anyone else have a good Maine day trip you recommend? I’m trying to plan something for right around New Year’s, and I’m open to off-the-map suggestions! Oh, and good luck with all your holiday traveling, especially if you’re going to be driving in the snow! You never know when you’ll need it, so click here to learn about the State Farm Assist Patrol in your area. Stay safe, y’all!