We chased the sun, for what seemed like forever, on the longest day of the year, clambering over rocky, wave-licked cliffs that hugged the rugged coastline. In search of a quiet rock we could call our own we first stopped at Schooner Head Overlook (though this was mostly to escape the long line at the entrance station), then Sand Beach followed by a very quick stop at Thunder Hole, before finally reaching Otter Cove. Here we hiked down a dirt trail and walked until we no longer saw people and decided on a nice rock with a niched side. It was the perfect place to sit together and watch the sun as it struggled to set, as if it were hanging on to this long summer day with every last breath, just as we were.
Park Loop Road / $20 entrance fee // Mount Desert Island/Acadia National Park is roughly split into two sides with the Eastern Side — the side closest to Bar Harbor — being by far the most populated. It is also where the majority of the featured park sites, trails, and mountains are located. That being said, it is also the busiest/most crowded side of the island, especially during the summer months. Park Loop Road can get really crowded during peak hours and you will find yourself waiting in line to get into park loop road as well as trying to find parking. For the most part, the loop is one way so once you by-pass a site, there’s no backtracking — you have to go all the way around the loop again. To alleviate this, the park has a free shuttle bus that conveniently stops off at all the major park sites. The most popular sites were without a doubt Sand Beach (LOTS of kids here, though the water seemed rather frigid if you planned on swimming) and Thunder Hole (unless you timed it perfectly or witnessed this during a storm I really did not get the appeal of this site — waves crashing through a hole…can’t you see that like anywhere?) Alternately, you could do as we did and avoid the crowds by driving around Park Loop Road either early in the morning (before 11:00 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 4:30 pm). TIP: bring bug spray when exploring cliffs near the water.