Summer Escapes: Drift Away

By Janelle Nanos | Boston Magazine |

MAINE

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is five hours north of Boston, but it’s more than worth the drive — mostly because there’s an activity (or lack of activity) to suit every mood. Top-rated Kebo Valley Golf Club, with PGA pros on hand to help with your swing? Check. Easy access to Acadia National Park, with hundreds of miles of trails to explore? Check. The chance to have your pictures framed by the same guy who does Martha Stewart’s? Check! (That’s Raymond Strout at Ahlblad’s.)

Avoid the downtown crowds by hopping on the free Island Explorer shuttle bus, which heads right into Acadia’s 49,000 acres of scenic woodlands. “Just stay on the bus until you see a trail with an empty parking lot,” says Greg Veilleux, who owns Window Panes, a home and garden store on Main Street. If you’re feeling adventurous, Acadia Mountain Guides can help you scale the precipice of Mount Kebo. Or ask the staff at National Park Kayaking to take you on a tour of Mount Desert Island’s coast, where you’ll spot seals, otters, and porpoise. If that’s too ambitious, simply laze among the wildflowers in the great meadow; a short walk gets you back to town in time for lunch at Galyn’s, where you can gaze out over the bay while dining on lobster enchiladas.

Stay in one of the Harborside Hotel’s stately guest rooms (or opt for an oceanfront three-bedroom suite), then get your Rockefeller on with a treatment at the deluxe Bar Harbor Club Spa, conceived by Nelson himself more than 40 years ago. >> The Harborside Hotel (starts at $389 per night), 55 West St., Bar Harbor, ME, 207-288-5033, theharborsidehotel.com. — S.M.