The one and only thing I planned for a specific day, at a specific time, at a specific place on my entire 9 day vacation in Maine was to catch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. I’d done a significant amount of research about things to do in Maine and this was on my top five list.
That’s why at 1 AM on that Saturday morning I woke up, forced myself out of bed, and took off on the three+ hour drive (from my cabin) to Acadia National Park. In case you’re wondering, it is every bit as horrible as you would imagine to wake up that early on any day, but especially so on a Saturday…that is also your birthday.
However, if you are about to make your own trip to Maine and are debating if it’s worth it….it is. Just look at this ⇓!! Completely worth it.
So the morning of my birthday turned out to be overcast and foggy. I thought I might be disappointed, but while it wasn’t the gorgeous, colorful sunrise I’d daydreamed it would be, it was still beautiful and the fog was quite impressive on its own.
It was a very thick fog that would completely mask the entire view at times.
It kind of came and went so sometimes you had no view of the sunset….
Some times you could see just a bit of the view…
And then other times you could see almost everything!
Despite the absence of the majority of the sun, I am so glad I took the time to watch the sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain. It was a majestic view and even watching the fog roll in and out across the landscape had a certain meditative effect to it.
I arrived about 20 minutes before sunrise and spent around two hours there. Once the sun made it high in the sky, I headed off to explore a little more of the park. The second stop of the day was Sand Beach. It’s a small-ish beach area with a gorgeous view.
I was there during low tide, apparently, as I realized when I ventured further down that those rocks to the right were covered in kelp. Kelp, I quickly learned, has a very distinct, brine-y aroma when exposed to the air.
The ocean leaves little tide pools behind in the spaces between the rocks. And lots of snails.
I didn’t spend an awful lot of time on Sand Beach as it was fairly cool the day I was there, but absolutely worth a stop for the amazing view alone.
Just a short distance from Sand Beach was another area near Thunder Hole with massive rocks I had a fantastic time climbing around on like a kid.
This was where I can only assume the best tide pools were as this was where the (massive) seagulls were congregated for lunch, picking up crabs like they were at a buffet.
After climbing around on the rocks I decided to head over to nearby Bar Harbor for lunch. I stopped at the cutest little restaurant called Cafe This Way. It’s right in the middle of Bar Harbor but difficult to see from the road. You turn on a small road to enter the parking lot where the restaurant is located.
I must apologize for being less than awesome and not taking a picture of the front of the restaurant. It’s really cute! But this is the front of their menu! Almost the same thing, right?? No??
Something I loved as a certified book nerd….the color coded books on the shelves! Plus some were pretty old – another favorite thing of mine!
Most importantly, I had a delicious brunch of eggs and home fries!! If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out.
I went back into Acadia National Park after lunch and took a few other pictures. It’s one of those places where you want to take a picture everywhere you look. It’s all gorgeous!
I did want to note – when I arrived that morning before sunrise the park was open but no one was working at the entrance. I obviously went ahead and entered the park. When I returned after lunch I was able to purchase my ticket.
Just…if you do take in the sunrise and you haven’t already, make sure to pay your park entrance fee later in the day. As is fairly common in Maine (which is something I loved about the state), the mornings work on an honor system of sorts. Don’t take advantage of that.
It was early in the afternoon, but it was about this time I was ready to crash. I’d been up and running for over 13 hours at that point with more than three hours left to drive back. One of the unfortunate side effects of having to wake up so early.
Because of the early departure there are a few things I didn’t get to see, like Thunder Hole during high tide and Jordan Pond, which only gives me a good excuse to make another trip in the near future!!