My Acadia: Finding Serenity in Acadia’s Beauty

Acadia remains a place of comfort, restoration, relaxation, and escape into nature for Jennifer Borda and her family.

Jennifer Borda and her family – dog included! – at the summit of Dorr Mountain in Acadia. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Borda)

By Jennifer Borda

My mother did not love to travel, but my father always has, and I inherited his wanderlust. In the late 1960s, they went on a road trip from their home outside of Philadelphia, PA through New England (and my current home state of New Hampshire), and on up to Bar Harbor, ME.

My mom spoke fondly of that vacation throughout her life — and it was on that trip that she and my dad decided they would get married. In early 2015, when I was looking for a nearby, drivable destination for a vacation with my own family, I decided on Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, as I’d always wanted to go based on my parents’ story. My little family also loves the outdoors, so the combination of a national park with an iconic seaside town seemed perfect.

Unexpectedly, my mom passed away in July 2015, just six weeks after a devastating cancer diagnosis. I was unsure whether to keep our vacation plans for that August, but ultimately decided the time away might do me, my husband, and my then 5-year-old daughter good.

I was right. We found serenity in Acadia and Mount Desert Island’s beauty, and we were able to forget our grief for a bit.

This year will mark our ninth consecutive summer visit to Acadia (we now go in June when my daughter gets out of school).

Over the last eight years, we have hiked many of the mountains, rode most of the bike paths, collected tons of sea glass on Town Beach, walked Sand Beach, and watched the sunset on Cadillac Mountain. We’ve also eaten quite a few popovers at Jordan Pond House and every flavor of MDI Ice Cream.

Recently, we have begun to scout out where we’d like to build our dream home in a few more years, after my daughter graduates high school. Our dog, who was a puppy when we first came to Acadia) is now greying around the snout, but still perks up as soon as we reach the Narrows on our ride up.

We love to travel and have talked about whether we should skip Acadia to add another destination to our summer travel list, but we just can’t imagine a year without our amazing park.

Acadia and Bar Harbor will always hold a special place in our hearts, and it has remained a place of comfort, restoration, relaxation, serenity, and escape into nature for us over the last decade, including during the pandemic. I look forward to creating many more memories there with my family, and my daughter’s family someday as well.

Share your My Acadia story!

We each have a unique and rich connection to Acadia. Whether we came for a single memorable visit or return time and again. Perhaps we came for vacation and grew smitten with the park’s scenery. Maybe Acadia is where we fell in love with hiking – and popovers. Or maybe Acadia is where we come to be rejuvenated, to grieve, or to celebrate.

What’s your My Acadia story? Share it with us by emailing We’re sharing My Acadia stories online and occasionally in Acadia magazine. (Send a photo or two, too!)