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Maine Coast: Purely Acadia

Carved by glaciers, the sea-swept coast of Downeast Maine is alive with crashing surf, wheeling birds, and invigorating breezes. We’ll experience a traditional New England way of life as we bike around Bar Harbor and in Acadia National Park on its car-free carriage roads and meet the hardy people who call Mt. Desert Island home.

  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 13 - 26 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 1/2 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking
  • Easy / Moderate

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Maine Coast: Purely Acadia

Jagged granite rocks, aromatic pines and cobble beaches dot the shores of what explorer Samuel de Champlain first referred to as “île des Monts Déserts” or “island of the bare mountains.” Join VBT and discover Mount Desert Island in all its glory from the eastern seaboard’s tallest peak to the glacially carved fjard, Somes sound. Find the treasures of Acadia National Park by way of peaceful, car-free carriage trails by day and stay in historic, coastal inns by night. Along the way we’ll learn about the “down-east Maine” way of life from local fisherman and peruse the downtown shops and restaurants of the quintessential summer community, Bar Harbor—once frequented by the likes of the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Astors..

Cultural Highlights

  • Take in breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay and Eagle Lake from Cadillac Mountain Learn about local life from a Lobsterwoman on Little Cranberry Island
  • Dine on fresh Maine lobster, regarded as the world’s finest
  • Relax by the shore or take a hike at gorgeous Sand Beach
  • Stroll through the Asticou Azalea Garden, named as one of “America's Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel + Leisure
  • Browse the charming boutiques in downtown Bar Harbor

What to Expect

This tour offers a full range of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance with the hills.

Average Daily Mileage: 13 – 26 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 4 1/2 hours

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Bar Harbor
May 63°  Jun 71°  Jul 77°  Aug 75°  Sep 69°  Oct 58°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Bar Harbor
May 4.53  Jun 4.1  Jul 3.38  Aug 2.93  Sep 4.42  Oct 4.86

 

What’s Included:

  • 5 nights in historic inns
  • 11 meals – 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • Transfers
  • Private boat transfer to Little Cranberry Island and visit to the Isleford Historical Museum
  • Admission to Acadia National Park
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Land Only Single Supplement: $495

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.


Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Arrive Bar Harbor

Make your own arrangements for travel to Bar Harbor. If you’re flying to Maine, VBT will offer a shuttle from Bangor International Airport. The shuttle works on a “show and go” basis and will make its only departure from the airport to the inn at 1:00 pm. Shuttle reservations are not required or available. Meet the driver outside the door across from the escalators. Your shuttle bus will carry “West Bus Service” titles, and the driver will be holding a VBT sign. If you are arriving after this shuttle departs or your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach the Bar Harbor Inn.

Guests driving to the tour may leave their car in the Bar Harbor Inn’s parking lot, without charge, for the duration of the tour.

Our group meets at the Bar Harbor Inn. After settling in, explore this lovely seaport town until mid-afternoon. At 3:00 pm, join your VBT Trip Leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a short warm-up ride. At 5:00 pm, meet up with the group for a tour orientation and welcome reception before our 7:00 pm lobster bake dinner at the inn.

Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn
Meals: D
Daily Options: 7 miles

DAY 2: Cycle carriage trails to Jordan Pond

Today, cycle on Acadia’s famed car-free carriage roads, which were established by John D. Rockefeller. Your loop takes you around Eagle Lake to Jordan Pond before you enjoy lunch on your own. We recommend stopping at Jordan Pond House for their elegant fare, including their famous lobster stew and golden, lighter-than-air popovers. The afternoon ride offers exceptional views of Bubble Pond and Cadillac Mountain, the first place to view the sunrise in North America for most of the year. Tonight, there are often free concerts on the Town Green.

Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn
Meals: B
Daily Options: 15 or 26 miles

DAY 3: Cycle to Sand Beach / Optional sea kayaking, whale watching or a sunset cruise

Spend the morning riding on the Park Loop Road to Sand Beach, where you can relax on the shore or participate in a short hike. After lunch at the Fabbri Memorial Picnic Area, cycle back to Bar Harbor or, for additional miles, continue on the Park Loop Road past Cadillac Mountain Summit Road. This afternoon, you may choose among optional activities (at your own expense): guided sea kayaking in Frenchman Bay, a whale-watching excursion or a sunset cruise on the schooner Margaret Todd. You may also choose to browse Bar Harbor’s charming gift shops and boutiques. For dinner on your own, enjoy one of the fine restaurants in town.

Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 16 or 23 miles

DAY 4: Explore Northeast Harbor

Today, cycle to the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, where we’ll have plenty of time to check out a local microbrewery and enjoy lunch. Then, continue cycling to Northeast Harbor, offering views of the spectacular fjord at Somes Sound. In Northeast Harbor, you will find attractive boutiques, galleries, gardens and eateries. Our accommodation here, Asticou Inn, overlooks the beautiful protected harbor full of sailboats and luxury yachts. Take advantage of the inn’s amenities, which include a clay tennis court and a heated outdoor swimming pool. Dinner will be at a local restaurant tonight.

Hotel: Asticou Inn
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 15 or 26 miles

DAY 5: Non-riding Day / Explore Little Cranberry Island and Northeast Harbor

Our exploration today is both by boat and on foot. After a leisurely breakfast at the inn, we’ll board a lobster boat to Little Cranberry Island. This pristine hamlet hosts a year-round community of lobstermen, boat builders, craftsmen, and “rusticators” (those who opt for country living). We’ll visit the Islesford Historical Museum before boarding the boat back to Northeast Harbor (30 minutes). Enjoy an optional visit to the Azalea and Thuya Gardens before our final farewell celebration dinner at the inn.

Hotel: Asticou Inn
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: Non-cycling day (opportunities for independent riding in the afternoon)

DAY 6: Enjoy the Carriage Trails before departing

This morning, we will cycle up to Acadia National Park and enter the carriage trails one last time, enjoying the views along the west side of Jordan Pond on our way back to Bar Harbor. As we bid adieu, you’ll agree with the state’s motto that this is truly “the way life should be.”

VBT has arranged facilities for your use between noon and 2:00 pm to shower and change before leaving. The innkeepers of the Bar Harbor Inn ask that you depart by 2:00 pm. A return shuttle to Bangor International Airport will depart the Bar Harbor Inn at 1:00 pm (travel time approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes).

Meals: B
Daily Options: 14 miles

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Accommodations

Bar Harbor Inn

Built in 1887, this inn is close to all of Bar Harbor’s attractions. Take in views of Frenchman Bay through the dining room’s picture window. The Inn’s new luxury spa opened in spring 2006. Please note: Complimentary WiFi is low bandwidth (128k). For high speed WiFi, there is a nominal fee.
Free WiFi Included

Asticou Inn

Established in 1883, this historic inn overlooks the placid waters of Northeast Harbor and is adjacent to Acadia National Park. It has 48 rooms—31 in the four-story Main Inn, and 17 in four smaller buildings known collectively as the “Asticou Cottages”—and features fully modern amenities, including a heated swimming pool and clay tennis court. The inn is also home to an elegant harbor side restaurant, Peabody’s, serving local and regional favorites such as lobster bisque, New England clam chowder and Napoleons made with fresh Maine blueberries. The beautifully landscaped Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden are within easy walking distance.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

VBT Acadia Maine Photo Gallery
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Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868