Venturing north, let me first say, don’t be in a hurry if you are traveling US 1. It’s the only coastal highway between Portland and northern Maine. It’s the most direct access to all the coastal points of interest. If you’re in a hurry or not interested in what’s between Portland and Bar Harbor, just jump on I-95. It’s a quick drive.
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park have become increasingly popular during the “leaf peeping” season. It can be quite crowded, especially on weekends, and getting through and finding parking along the Park Loop Rd. can be trying and photographing the coastline might have to include large groups of tourists. They bring ’em in by the bus load and there are often three or more cruise ships in the harbor. For that reason, I’ve found it good to know that there are some options .
One of my favorite spots is Bass Harbor. Bass Harbor is famous for it’s oft photographed lighthouse. It’s a cool shot and worth the effort if you can get a good spot on the rocks, but be prepared to fight the crowds, especially at sunset. If you get there and can’t park or get out on the rocks, just head back to the harbor. Sunset on the harbor, and photography in general are excellent. You may also find some very good food at the few local restaurants there.
Everyone gravitates to Thurston’s Lobster Pound, and it’s a fun place to dine. It’s also the place I go with my camera. It’s a good location. Just go there and look around. You’ll love it any time of day. Alternative dining can be found on the other side of the harbor at Seafood Ketch, which is my favorite.