Q We’re going from Portland to Bar Harbor, Maine, this summer. We have a place in Portland already, and will drive to Bar Harbor-Acadia National Park to spend time exploring the park. Any suggestion for lodgings for a family of four that isn’t a dull hotel, but doesn’t cost a fortune? I’m encountering one or the other.
Joni Van Sumeren, Whitehall, Mich.
A Sounds like a great trip; love the contrast between Portland (great small city vibe) and the natural beauty of Acadia and Mount Desert Island. Are you a camping family? If so, check out the two woodsy campgrounds inside Acadia National Park, Blackwoods and Seawall (www.nps.gov/acad), $14-$20 per night. There are also some good commercial campgrounds just outside the park. Some of our favorite noncamping options for families (offering loads of amenities and great locations) include the Bar Harbor Inn (www.barharborinn.com), overlooking Frenchman Bay and close to town, and the Atlantic Oceanside Inn (www.barharbormainehotel.com), with nature cruises and pools, located just a mile from Acadia National Park. On the budget side, we like the Dry Dock Inn (www.cafedrydockinn.com) in Southwest Harbor, a short drive from Acadia. The rooms are not fancy, but comfy, and the on-site restaurant is good and reasonably priced. Bonus: It’s across the street from the Quiet Side Cafe, known for its home-made pies and blueberry ice cream.