Travel Like an Editor: What to Bring to Mount Desert Island, Maine
As InStyle ’s digital executive editor, Angela Matusik (pictured) oversees InStyle.com's daily publishing and the brand's social media strategy. She just returned from her fourth visit to Maine, and is already missing the blueberries and lobster. Follow her on Twitter @angelamatusik.
Every year, when July turns into August, my family and I travel to Mount Desert Island in Maine where you'll find the town of Bar Harbor and the state's biggest attraction, Acadia National Park. Acadia is truly a wonder—a magical place where pine forests meet rocky shores. There are miles and miles of hiking trails, carriage roads, mountain vistas and tranquil lakes to explore. Best of all, when New York City is a hot sticky summertime mess, MDI is cool and quiet. I'm not alone in my revery of the place; a USA Today poll recently found Acadia to be the most popular National Park in the country—beating out Yellowstone.
Smart packing is essential for a visit to Acadia, mainly because once you get there you'll quickly discover that shopping is not one of the region's strengths. Blissfully, there is not a chain restaurant, fashion mall or box store in sight. Everything on Mt. Desert Island is homegrown and local to an extreme. I've learned to bring what I need, and to prepare for a wide range of temperatures and activities.
Even though Mt. Desert Island is home to some tony types (Martha Stewart's home Skylands is there) it is never flashy. Being an editor at InStyle means I indulge in the joys of dressing, so this trip can be a sartorial challenge. The key is to be comfortable, cozy, and Instagram-ready. Here are a few lessons I've learned.
Always Have an Extra Layer
Don't even think about being out past sunset without an extra layer. It gets cold on MDI, with temperatures mid-summer dipping into the 40s at night. Tossing on a cream-colored, fisherman-inspired sweater that matches everything does the trick. This one from Nili Lotan ($465; barneys.com), has the bonus of being cashmere, so it's extra soft.
Perfect Your Sea-Side Style
Even the most landlocked visitor will turn into a seaman at heart on Mt. Desert Island. Nautical stripes with a crisp pair of white jeans is my go-to outfit because it can take me from ferry boat to dinner. (Our favorite spots are Fiddlers' Green in Southwest Harbor and a must-visit, Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard. Be sure to sample some blueberry ale made at Atlantic Brewing Company nearby.) This year I relied on Paige Jimmy Jimmy crop jeans ($179; paigeusa.com), a chambray shirt from Madewell ($78; madewell.com), and a light striped knit top from Nili Lotan ($270; barneys.com).
Protect Your Skin and Hair
There are two things that can be brutal on your skin in this corner of Maine—the sun and mosquitoes. I never leave the house without slathering on zinc-based sunscreen and I always tote along a natural bug repellant. Reply both liberally throughout the day. My beauty musts, from left to right: Oribe Molding Paste ($35; oribe.com), Neutrogena Wet Skin (great for kayaking; $10; neutrogena.com), Iwilla Remedy Bug Spray Insect Repellant ($10; iwillaremedy.com), Clean Summer Sailing Eau de Toilette ($59; cleansailing.com), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Candeur ($35; chanel.com), Obagi Medical Sun Shield ($40; lovelyskin.com), Davines Su Conditioner-Moisturizing Leave-In Mist ($18; amazon.com).
End Every Day Around the Fire
At the end of one of our adventurous days, we like to snuggle around an outdoor fire while munching on s'mores and watching the stars come out. Heaven!
—Coordinated by InStyle’s Senior Market Editor/Digital Correspondent Dana Avidan-Cohn
Lightweight Leather Backpack
Perfect for impromptu hikes.
Need Supply Co. backpack, $89;
Whether you're sitting on a dock in the bay or maneuvering a rocky path, comfy kicks are key.
Ivory Superga sneakers, $65;
Cableknit Cashmere Sweater
Hold-Everything Travel Cases
Keep all your essentials together.
Cuyana's travel case set, in orange, $95;
Mini Notebooks & Colored Pencils
Be ready to explore tide pools along the shore with a good pair of rubber boots.
Hunter x Rag amp Bone short boots, $265;
Pendleton Throw Blanket
For those chilly nights by the fire.
Pendleton Spider Rock Throw, $189;
Natural Bug Repellant
- This one from Iwilla smells so nice you'll use it like perfume.
- $10; iwillaremedy.com
Spray-on Hair Conditioner
Protect from sun, chlorine and sea water damage.
Su Conditioner, $18;
Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
As our beauty editor will tell you, Zinc Oxide is a must have in any SPF. Obagi Medical's sun shield goes on easily without shine.