Schoodic Peninsula, the only part of the Arcadia National Park located on the mainland, is shared by the towns of Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. To the South is the Schoodic Peninsula section of the park providing panoramic views of Frenchman Bay from the top of Schoodic Head. Schoodic Point, at the southern tip of the peninsula, has granite outcroppings, pounding surf, spruce, and unusual groupings of jack pines. Schoodic Peninsula's park road offers great views of the ocean, inlets, and distant Mount Dessert Island. There’s plenty of parking space for visitors and it’s well worth the trip.
We took the Schoodic National Scenic Byeway, which we found, with a map, on the official Maine Department of Transportation website:
We had a lovely drive, stopping here and there, by the side of the road or in one of the many, small car parks that have been conveniently provided, to walk about, admire the scenery and take photographs.
Towards the end, we stumbled across the restaurant “Bunker’s Wharf” at Birch Harbor. The car park was full of local, ME licence plates which is often a good sign. The restaurant has a picture window view of Birch Harbor, and it’s well worth the visit for that alone (see photos). The food was of a much better quality than one finds, generally, in the US, at affordable prices. Here everything does not come with the ubiquitous loaded baked potato or fries you may be pleased to hear. Both starters and puddings were interesting and had a European touch. Of course, I had a traditional, lobster dinner that came with asparagus and a corn-bread pudding. For my part, the lobster could have been slightly hotter, but I did not see fit to complain. Cost around $80 for 2, without alcoholic beverages. Whenever I travel to the US, I always find at least one restaurant that makes me feel positive about American cooking (previous visits: Old Pink House, Savannah and the Nacoochee Grill, Helen, GA and Amy Ruth’s Restaurant in Harlem) and this was yet another such experience. The décor and ambience of the restaurant were lovely and the young members of staff waiting on the tables were obviously educated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the menu offerings.
If you wish to get away from the crowds and the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor, with the usual proliferation of restaurants and tourist shops, the tranquil Schoodic Peninsula is the place to be. Together with a visit to Pemaquid Point lighthouse (a must see), these were our most memorable and enjoyable days in Maine.
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