Road Trip from Portland Maine to Bar Harbor with Kids

11 states in 11 days… that was our summer Northeast road trip in a nutshell. We started in Baltimore, Maryland and went all the way up to Maine before heading right back down to where we started. Among our favorite stops were the two we did in Maine: Portland and Bar Harbor.

lobster roll in Maine

Portland Maine

I had read that Portland, Maine had a great foodie vibe. It did not disappoint! From the potato donuts at Holy Donut to the lobster rolls, the food in Portland was delicious. As usual, I wish we had more time. We were only there for half a day, and therefore missed out on many things to do in Portland, Maine.

We arrived in Portland late in the afternoon and were just planning on relaxing at our AirBnB before venturing out to dinner, when my son noticed that the Portland Sea Dogs (a minor league baseball team) had a game that evening against the Trenton Thunder (a Red Sox affiliate). Being the baseball lover that he is, he begged us to go to the game. The prices were about $12 per person at the gate, and we thought…why not!

Kids Portland baseball game

We all actually enjoyed the game very much (even my daughter). It was a nice, small stadium with a decent size crowd, and it was something we had never done before. I am the trip planner of our vacations, and since I usually have things pretty tightly scheduled, there is not always the opportunity for spontaneous activities. This day, it just so happened, that I left some extra time in the schedule…

Portland baseball game

What to do in Portland Maine

10 Best Things to Do in Portland Maine

Visit Portland Maine

Where to Stay in Portland

Although it would have been nice to stay in downtown Portland Maine, we opted for a more budget friendly option. Because we always try to squeeze every cent on our family trips, we found a free night in Biddeford, about 20 minutes south of Portland. We stayed at a Fairfield Inn, a Marriott brand, because it was 10,000 points a night. Since we had those points in our Marriott Rewards account, it would be a free hotel stay. To read about how to maximize your hotel stays and save money, download my e-book: How to Start Travel Hacking.

e-book cover

Hotels in downtown Portland

Bar Harbor

About 3 hours away is the seaside town of Bar Harbor, Maine. The town is quaint, charming and any other positive adjective you want to throw in! In my eyes, it was the quintessential Maine town. There seemed to be plenty of things to do in Bar Harbor Maine, I wish we would have had more time.

We arrived mid-morning and went to straight to lunch at Geddy’s. It is right in the midst of downtown Bar Harbor, so you get to enjoy walking around. Each kids meal came with a frisbee, so after our fantastic lunch, we found a nearby park and threw it around.

It’s pretty pricey to stay in the downtown Bar Harbor area, so we opted to stay at the more budget friendly Wonder View Inn 5 minutes away. The rates were in the low $200’s, we had a balcony and a free breakfast. After lunch, we walked to a local shop and picked up a bottle of wine to relax. Not bad at all… Check out their rates here.

Wonder View Inn Pano

The next morning we woke up and had a full day of 3 hikes planned in Acadia National Park with the kids. Click here if you would like a general overview of some of the best hikes in Acadia for families.

We did Bubble Rock Trail in the morning, walked to Bar Island around lunchtime, and finished the day walking on the Ocean Path Trail. Click on the links above for a more detailed review on those family friendly hikes in Acadia. If you are looking to visit another city in Maine, check out Bethel and this travel story – Walking Hundreds of Miles in Bethel.

Some of my favorite family pictures came from Acadia National Park. Although our time in Maine was rather short, it has definitely been one of my favorite states after this trip. I cannot wait to go back and explore more cities and return to Acadia on a “non-foggy” day!

If you’re looking for another road trip stop to a city nearby, check out Boston. Here’s an idea of what to do if you have only a day in Boston.

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