Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New England Vacation – Day 11: Acadia National Park, and the Best Lobster Dinner Ever

The two things I looked forward to the most on this vacation were to see Acadia National Park, and to eat good Maine lobster. We did both today.

Acadia is on Mount Desert Island.

We began our visit with a stop at the Visitor’s Center where a Park Ranger was talking about some of the animals that live there. Kai enjoyed the talk and getting to feel the fur from various animals.

We spent much of the next several hours driving the Loop Road around the park while stopping many times to see the sights.

Acadia is known for its granite shoreline. Here are photos from a few different spots that give a good example of the rocky shores and cliffs:

We found one spot where Kai was able to dip his feet into the cold waters.

About halfway around the loop, we took a side trip to a nearby town to eat lunch. My wife and I had Maine crabmeat sandwiches that were good. Kai enjoyed his chili and mint chocolate chip milkshake.

After lunch, we resumed our drive around Acadia.

Here are Kai and I at Jordan Pond. The water was amazingly clear.

Our last destination in the park was to drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in Maine.

The views from the top was fantastic!

We returned to our hotel for Mom to rest and for Kai to get his iPad time. We also went swimming in the pool, of course.

When we were at the pool the day before, another guest at the hotel chatted with us. He was a frequent visitor to Bar Harbor and had suggestions for us on activities and places to eat. His favorite spot for lobster was a place called Thurston’s Lobster Pound.

This place was well off the beaten path, located on the opposite end of the island, in a small town called Bernard, about a 35 minute drive from our hotel.

When we got there, we found an interesting-looking spot, hanging over the water.

There was a long line to get in. Apparently New Englanders who regularly come up here, like the man we spoke with back at our hotel pool, are well aware of this place. (We certainly would never have known about or found this place on our own).

We had a nice view of the harbor as we passed the time.

We were also able to see the restaurant employees put the live lobsters into the large pot to be boiled, and then take out the cooked ones.

When we finally got to the front of the line, we found a large tank of live lobsters right at the counter, next to the cashier.

The lobsters are all caught that day, so you can’t get it any fresher than that.

Small lobsters were $9.99/lb. and mediums were $10.99/lb. We each ordered the soft shell lobsters, also known as shedders, which are those that had recently shed their shell in order to grow a new, larger one. There is less meat inside a soft shell lobster compared to a hard-shelled one, but they are said to be sweeter than hard shell lobsters and are the type preferred by the owners.

I read that soft shell lobsters, having just recently molted, are naturally in a weakened state, and therefore are not likely to survive shipping. That is likely why I had never even heard of these before, as I am guessing that these are not shipped out far from Maine.

My wife and Kai got small lobsters while I got this medium one:

Then we sat at the table and waited for them to bring out our meal. We got lucky as a table at the corner with the best view opened up just as we ordered.

Our mouths were watering with anticipation. Would the lobsters really be worth the wait and the long drive to get here?

By the time our meal came out, we had waited an hour altogether since we arrived there, but Kai was in a good mood throughout.

The lobsters looked good…

And here’s mine, cooked:

We also had an order of one pound of steamed clams.

We eagerly dug in…

The lobster was tremendous! It was very tasty; it had so much flavor that you didn't even need to dip it in butter. It was easily the best meal on this trip, and the best lobster we had ever had.

The clams were also delicious, and, surprisingly, so was the corn on the cob.

The meal also came with rolls, cole slaw, and blueberry cake. With all that, plus the soft drinks we ordered, the bill came out to less than $90. What a bargain! A lobster dinner like that back home would likely be 50% more expensive or more.

My original thought was that I would eat lobster two or three times while in Maine. But now I can’t imagine any other lobster coming close to this one. Do I order lobster again and risk being disappointed? Or do I just keep this delicious taste unspoiled in my memory forever?

We will have one more day in Bar Harbor to think about it.


  1. What a great nice of the man to tell you about it! It's always best to go where the locals eat! Your meals look delish!

    1. Yes, we were very glad that man was so friendly and helpful! I agree that it's always good to talk to the locals. The meal was as good as it looked!

  2. What a beautiful day. And to finish it off with such a great dinner. I am envious!

    1. I know you would have enjoyed that dinner!


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