Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vegan Vacation: Bar Harbor

Ben and I went to Bar Harbor for the weekend. Here are our recommendations for vegans planning a similar trip:


We stayed at the Ivy Manor Inn, a Bed and Breakfast that is conveniently located on the main shopping street. The Inn is quite luxurious, with fireplaces in each room and French country decor. Unlike most B&B's, the Ivy Manor Inn has a restaurant on the first floor that prepares the breakfast. As a result, guests are able to choose from a selection of menu items, which include a delicious vegan oatmeal brulee (think creme brulee, but made with oatmeal instead) covered with fresh berries. During the summer season, rooms can be expensive ($200+ per night), but prices drop dramatically during the rest of the year.

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants:

Eden - An exquisite all-vegan restaurant that features locally-grown vegetables in all of its dishes. The menu changes often to make use of seasonal produce. Some past offerings include: seitan piccata served with a lemon caper vinaigrette and sage mashed potatoes; a local tomato tartlet served in crispy phyllo dough with pomegranate molasses; and West Indies spiced pumpkin soup. Eden is closed for the 2009 season, but will open again in 2010.

Reel Pizza Cinerama - A pizzeria and movie theater, rolled into one! The pizzeria features many exciting vegan-friendly pizza toppings, including tofu, soy cheese, nutritional yeast and various nuts, fruits and sauces. Best of all, you can enjoy your pizza while watching a film at the theater. The theater has rows of comfy couches and TV trays.

Cafe This Way - A hip cafe that features vegan items on both the weekend brunch menu and on the lunch/dinner menu. The brunch offerings include tofu scramble and veggie sausage, while the dinner menu features cashew-crusted tofu and vegan caviar served with seaweed salad and roasted mushrooms.

Jeannie's Breakfast
- A breakfast place that has vegan oatmeal walnut pancakes and tofu scramble on the menu.

CJ's - An ice cream parlor on Main Street that offers two flavors of soy ice cream each day.

Bar Harbor Attractions:

The town of Bar Harbor is a nice place to walk around. There are parks, quaint shops and magnificent ocean views. Stop at the West End Drug Co. for a blueberry soda at the soda fountain.

Most people who come to Bar Harbor are really there to visit Acadia National Park. Acadia National Park has beautiful scenery and plentiful hiking opportunities. For those who aren't experienced hikers, there are many carriage trails to walk along. Best of all, there is a free bus service that provides transportation from downtown Bar Harbor to many locations throughout Acadia.

Other Nearby Attractions:

Bar Harbor is a short ferry ride from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. You can take a day trip to Yarmouth for $72. The ferry has a casino and a movie theater on board. If you're a US citizen, you will need a passport. Yarmouth is a quaint town, with lots of old churches and lighthouses. There is a Middle Eastern restaurant called Little Lebanon that has some vegan options.

Portland, ME is a three-hour drive from Bar Harbor. It is the largest city in Maine and it has a number of museums and other attractions. There are many vegan-friendly restaurants, including:

Silly's - A ecclectic cafe with a separate vegan menu. Silly's makes great soy milkshakes, vegan desserts and greasy comfort food. There are also some healthier options available.

GRO - A new raw vegan cafe.

Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro - An all-vegetarian, mostly-vegan Asian fusion restaurant.

Little Lad's Bakery - A vegan restaurant with a $5 all-you-can-eat buffet.

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