BAR HARBOR, Maine, U.S.A. – I can understand why President Barack Obama and his family chose to vacation at Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The real question is, why would they want to go back to Washington?
Acadia is beautiful beyond belief. From Otter Point to Thunder Hole to the top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia is tremendous, peaceful, wonderful and extraordinary.
The political climate in Washington is not.
When first traveling to Acadia, any visitor should make sure to see the Seawall. The Seawall is a rocky beach on the southern part of the island, and is a great starting point for any Acadia adventure.
Unlike many other spots in the park, Seawall is safe and accessible. Visitors simply park across the road from the beach, and then walk a short distance to the Seawall.
While at the Seawall, one can investigate pools of seawater in the rocks, where all sorts of interesting life can be found. Wade in the water, and though it is extremely cold, because it’s also extremely satisfying. Or simply sit atop the seawall and watch the ocean.
After seeing the Seawall, it’s time for the Loop Road through the park. Be sure to stop by the visitor’s center before starting, as much can be learned about the park from spending a few minutes there. Then proceed to the look that takes visitors to the major attractions of the park.
After stopping (or not) at a few scenic overlooks, which are stunning, one will arrive at Thunder Hole, a place on the coast where the waves crash into a large crevice in the rocks, making a thunderous sound. This place is cool. Really, really cool. It’s usually pretty crowded though, getting a spot right on the railing may take awhile.
The thunder usually happens best at mid-tide, with the tide rising.
After Thunder Hole and some more nice overlooks, one arrives at Otter Point, possibly the most beautiful part of the whole park. The view from the cliff – of waves crashing in against jagged, giant cliffs – is quite breathtaking.
In the interior of the park are the Wild Gardens of Acadia. The gardens are divided into different sections, each growing a piece of the unique habitat of Acadia. These gardens are tranquil and extremely interesting.
The final point in this tour of Acadia is the top of Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the east coast. It can be very foggy on top, but still wonderful.
At the peak, it feels as though one is in a different world. Much of the ground is bare granite, and plants are small because of the cold, arid, windy climate on top of the mountain. Make sure to talk to a park ranger to find the true summit.
Stand there and feel the salty air on your face. Smell the pines. Look over the ocean….
Beats the heck out of Republican Senators, doesn’t it, Mr. President?
Kiernan Majerus-Collins is a Senior Reporter for Youth Journalism International. Mary Majerus-Collins, another YJI reporter, took some of the photographs.