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Aug 31 / Erin

Blog party: Favorite things in my town

Today I am participating in a fun little blog par-tay hosted by Centsational Girl, and this one is all about the favorite things in my town—Bar Harbor, Maine.

While I may spend a lot of time writing about our house and the fascinating things that take place here, I rarely talk about the beautiful surroundings in which we live.  And there is a lot to talk about.  And a lot to look at.

Before I start, though, I have to admit that Maine is not truly my home.  I am a Vermont girl through and through, and I have to take a moment to give a shout-out to my home state that is showing its resiliency through unfathomable flooding and damage from Hurricane Irene.  Thankfully my family in Vermont was unaffected, but it is heartbreaking to see familiar roads washed away, historic covered bridges demolished and towns that are under water.

But back to Bar Harbor, located on beautiful Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine.  In the winter Bar Harbor is a quiet, quaint community of a few thousand.  And in the summer we welcome millions of tourists, here to see the sights and visit Acadia National Park.  The park is by far my favorite thing in our town.

Whether I’m passing parts of the park on my way to work, or actually getting out for a hike or run, I get to enjoy Acadia National Park every day.  My favorite part?  The incredible contrast of dark pines, cool granite and the deep blue ocean, all side-by-side.  Plus there are more than 100 hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads which are perfect for walking and running.

So what are some of my other favorite things?  Well, here is my personal list of must-hits:

  • Window Panes.  This cute little shop has everything you need from kitchen supplies and linens to decor and accessories.  Any good domestic adventuress would approve.

  • Mount Desert Island Ice Cream.  Need ice cream?  Go here.  Get the coconut.  (That’s what President Obama did, after all.)  Ice cream is bipartisan.

  • Stewman’s Lobster Pound.  Here is my big confession: I don’t eat lobster.  I know, I know, I live in Maine.  But the red guys just don’t do it for me.  But most people love them.  So you can have them here and enjoy a nice view of the harbor, like we did for lunch back in May (I had a chicken sandwich, FYI).

  • Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars.  If you like to cook, Fiore is the place to go.  They have varieties of balsamic vinegar (like pomegranate, which is in my kitchen cabinets) and olive oil (like organic Tuscan herb that I need to refill.  You can taste anything that strikes your fancy.  Isn’t that fancy?

  • Visit the shops.  The streets of downtown Bar Harbor are lined with cute shops—some filled with t-shirts and others filled with unique Maine products, and everything in between.  I could spend any sunny summer afternoon strolling.  And eating.  And strolling.

Ah, Bar Harbor.  We love living here.  Thanks for taking a break with me today to explore our beautiful town!  Do let me know if you’re coming for a visit!

photo 1 source; photo 2 source; photo 3 sourcephoto 4 source; photo 6 sourcephoto 7 source.



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  1. Sue / Aug 31 2011

    It is indeed a beautiful town….you’re fortunate to live in someplace that special. We visited several years ago and took quite a ribbing about not eating lobster. But folks were friendly, and the scenery spectacular.

  2. Mindy @ Heart Maine Home / Aug 31 2011

    Thanks for sharing these great spots, Erin! Really sad to say I’ve lived in Maine my whole life and have hardly spent any time in Bar Harbor…your pictures prove I’m really missing out!

  3. cassie / Aug 31 2011

    i LOOOVE maine! i grew up going to ogunquit as a kid…. there is no place in the world like maine with the beautiful rocky coast, and the lobster of course. i miss it!

  4. Jodi / Aug 31 2011

    Bar Harbor is one of our favorite towns in the state to visit. My parents are actually headed there this weekend! :-)
    *waving from the tippy top of the state*

  5. Laura@JourneyChic / Aug 31 2011

    Well, isn’t this a timely post! I can’t wait to visit your beautiful town and meet you next week! I will send you my digits today so that we’ll be able to coordinate. :)

  6. How beautiful! We have been wanting to take our family to Maine this helps seal the deal! How charming!!!

  7. kelly@refresheddesigns. / Aug 31 2011

    Oh, I so love Bar Harbour, and Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for that matter. My real home is Fredericton, New Brunswick, and I often traveled to Bar Harbour for the weekend. Living out West now and really miss the coast. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures! I found you from Centsational Girl, where I’ve also linked up my home town story.

  8. Jill / Aug 31 2011

    These pictures make me want to jump in the car and drive up there. I love it. We’re talked about coming to Maine a dozen times, but this… makes it real I want to go and just see these beautiful things for myself.


    Thank you!

  9. DeeDee / Aug 31 2011

    Such a beautiful place to visit…love all your pictures! Thanks for sharing! :)

  10. Dawn / Aug 31 2011

    I actually grew up in Maine…Bar Harbor to be exact. Well, I lived in Lamoine, but my stomping grounds were Bar Harbor. I SOOOO miss my friends and family there. I also LOVE those shops. “Cool as a Moose”, “Epi’s Pizza”, “Geddy’s”…and sooo many more.
    Ben and Bill’s candy and ice cream shop…OMG…the chocolate fudge is. to. die. for! I worked at Jackson Lab and drove the one way circle many times when I was a young adult and teen.

    I wish I could move back…and be with my family, but for now it’s not possible. I have been home only ONCE in 10 years…bad, I know. But it’s so expensive to fly up there…lol.

    I saw your post and just had to see what you would mention about Bar Harbor…it was fun seeing all the places I know and love and all the great memories it brought back for me…:)

  11. Kim@NewlyWoodwards / Aug 31 2011

    Maine is totally on my list. These spots looks like can’t-miss places.

  12. Leigh / Aug 31 2011

    How fun! This post made me miss living in New England. I really miss the leaves and weather each fall.

  13. Kelsey / Aug 31 2011

    Found you throught Centsational Girl. I love your blog and I think I’ll stick around for a while :)

    I’ve never been to the New England area – but Maine sure does look beautiful!!


  14. shanda / Aug 31 2011

    Maine is my most favorite state in the Union. When I lived in Mass. I would drive up to Maine all. the. time. You are so lucky to get to live there, especially in Bar Harbor. My hubby has never been to New England, so one day we will definitely be getting up there so he can experience all the wonderfulness that is Maine. It is a very long drive from here in Alabama, but the reward at the end of the journey is priceless.

  15. Courtney / Aug 31 2011

    Great timing. We are going up next month and have planned a weekend in Bar Harbor too. I am looking forward to it. I havent been to BH since I was a kid. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

  16. Janna / Aug 31 2011

    Hi Erin! I was so happy to see that you’re participating in Kate’s link party today! It’s great to learn about your little town. I live in Montana and am so jealous of coastal living…and yes lobster. Hey, I live in a landlocked state. :) I’ve been out east a few times…but would love to go to Maine. Thanks for letting me tour Bar Harbor virtually.

    I wrote up a post for today too about Missoula (where I live)if you’re interested!


  17. Heather / Aug 31 2011

    I am soooo Maine sick now! What a lovely post! When (not if) I get my little family up to Maine to visit, we are getting together!

  18. Brandi / Aug 31 2011

    I was planning to visit Bar Harbor as part of my “Grand New England Vacation” but I had to shorten my trip to only include Boston and Salem. I will get up there eventually. Its gorgeous!


  19. Maggie / Aug 31 2011

    Your photos are drop dead gorgeous. Makes me want to plan a trip to New England right now! I’m originally from Massachusetts but it’s been eons since I went to Maine (trips back east tend to be all family all MA).

  20. Clarice / Aug 31 2011

    I came to MDI for the first time this summer and really loved it. I’m glad I was able to visit.

  21. Libby / Aug 31 2011

    Hi, Erin! Love your pics! I’ve never been to Maine but we have plans that will being us to Bar Harbor for a day trip at the end of September. It’s been such an incredibly long hot summer here in Houston that I can hardly wait — I will have to check out some of your “hot spots” to see and do.

  22. Paula / Aug 31 2011

    We visited Bar Harbour a few summers ago and fell in love with the area. We adored riding our bikes each day on the carriage trails and we went on some hikes that offered stunning views. We stayed in Southwest Harbour at Acadia Cottages owned by friends who moved to ME a few years ago.

    We also adore Vermont and go there at least once a year for vacation. I’m sorry that your beautiful home state suffered so much damage from Irene.

  23. Shannon / Aug 31 2011

    So um, Gabe & Ike playdate? I’ll be over in what, 8 hours or so? Erin, these pics are seriously gorge, it’s the right mix of stunning views and touristy traps for me. And I’ll have the chicken sandwich too.

  24. Centsational Girl / Sep 1 2011

    Wow Bar Harbor looks completely enchanting! I’ve been to a few towns in Maine, but never this one, consider it on my To Do list of places to visit! Thank you so much for linking up today!

  25. divya / Sep 1 2011

    hi erin,
    i visited your blog few times before for the nursery book holders. i did not realize that you are from maine. i should have guessed it from your blueberry recipes…

    We moved to south portland few months ago. i am still new to maine. i will be visiting barharbour after labor day. i can say it is a beautiful town from your pictures.

    i just finished reading ‘all’ your blog posts. keep up the great work.

  26. I LOVE Maine! You are inspiring me to pack up my car and drive there for another visit! What sold me was that McDonalds has Lobster Salad sandwiches up there in Maine…at least they did when I visited…at least they said it was lobster…..thanks for sharing!

  27. Courtney / Sep 28 2011

    I just got home from a weekend in Maine with my family. We met up with friends who live in Maine. I was so excited to reference your blog entry as we strolled through Bar Harbor. You live in a beautiful town. Thanks for sharing some of your personal highlights. The kids sure enjoyed all the ice cream Bar Harbor had to offer!

  28. Anne / Jan 1 2012

    We come from Ohio at least once every year. It is truly our second home. Love everything about it!!!!

  29. Bobbie Lynn Hutchins / Nov 17 2012

    Your blog is great. I am a 4th generation native of Mount Desert Island and was chef/owner of Cafe Bluefish for 21 years. I have recently opened a Mexican Restaurant at 33 Cottage St, called CASA on Cottage. I would love to have you check us out in hopes of getting on your ‘fave’ list! We have authentic regional Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. I am not as computer savvy as I am food savvy so don’t know if this comment will go privately to you so you can decide what hits the airwaves or go directly to your blog . cheers, Bobbie Lynn

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