Maine is really growing on me. This is the 2nd year in a row I've had to travel to Maine for work, and I gotta say, I really like it up there! Granted, both times I was blessed with nice weather- not sure how much I'd rave about Maine in say January. But June has been the ideal month both times for me. This trip I started in Portland during the week (flew into Portland, about 20min drive to South Portland/Waterfront area), and drove up to Bar Harbor for the weekend (flew out of Bangor- about 1hr 15min drive from Bar Harbor). The drive between Portland and Bar Harbor took about 3 hours- but no traffic and basically a straight shot up 95 until you take Rt 3 and head east into Bar Harbor. I stayed in 2 Hampton Inns- both ideal locations in Portland and in Bar Harbor, walkable to all the bars and restaurants, parking on site, etc.
For Portland- it was all about work, work lunches and work dinners. But with that, I can put out some really good recommendations for meals when staying in SoPo:
Lunch or Dinner: Eventide (oyster bar) and DiMillos (on the water)
Dinner: Scales (my favorite- highly recommend- amazing seafood), Street and Co
Drinks: Vena's Fizz House, Portland Hunt and Alpine Club, Hugo's
For suggestions on other things to do- check out my blog post from last year when I spent the weekend in Portland
I'll just jump right into BAR HARBOR since that was where I got to do a little more than eat, drink and work (however I did that too)
Havana, Side Street Cafe, Project Social - all really good food (seafood especially), as well as cocktails
Bar Harbor is really ideal because it has great restaurants all in a quaint little downtown area by the water (very New England, lined with shops, ice cream parlors, etc), a couple parks, beautiful coverted B&B mansions- but very small. You can do this area in a day no problem. The real draw is you are only about a 15min drive to the entrance to Acadia National Park. I really liked Acadia- there were a ton of trails to choose from. We did some mountain climbs, some lakes, some ocean cliff walks- a pretty good variety of easy and hard hikes.
Beehive/Bowl/Precipice to Mt. Champlain trail: A straight up steep incline trail - to a climb up the side of a mountain (think iron rungs in rocks to help you pull yourself up), but once at the top great payoff views- and connected to other trails once you start your descent down the opposite side of the mountain. From there we did the Bowl trail to Champlain Mt- took us around 3 hours total. Pretty challenging and about 1000 ft up. Great views.
Jordan Pond Path: Parking at the Jordan Pond House- easy, flat hour+ walk around a lake surrounded by mountains. Pretty nice! Classic Acadia scenery
We did a morning yoga class at Destination Yoga in town- great class and very cute studio!
Sand Beach to Otter Point: easy, flat hour+ walk along the coastal cliffs. We passed Thunder Hole, Boulder Beach, and turned around at Otter Point. So pretty watching the ocean waves, climbing on the rocks overlooking the water, walking through patches of trees, great easy hike to end our trip!
If you like hiking, New England scenery and seafood- I think you'll like Maine too!