On a road trip 3 years ago I rediscovered hiking after a 25 year hiatus and have been lucky enough to take additional road trips each summer thereafter. The best single day I've had is though down-east Maine. It was an incredibly full day (4 AM to 10:00 PM) with great hikes, great views, serenity, and good eats.
4:00 AM Wake up call for Cadillac Mountain sunrise in Acadia National P ark. You can hike to the summit as well, but given the day ahead of me I chose to drive:
6:30 AM - Hiked the Bee-hive Trail:
7:30 AM - explored sand beach. Usually this beach is crowded and to have it to myself was special:
11:30 AM - after an all-time breakfast in Bar Harbort ("Breakfast Skillet" at Finback Alehouse- Chorizo, Bacon, Pork Belly, potatoes, scallion, poached eggs, pepperjack cheese, and hollandaise) took 2 hour drive to Schoodic Peninsula to hike the coastline:
1:30 PM - 60 miles later a great lobster roll lunch in Machias at Helen's Restaurant
3:30 PM - Hiking several trails in Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec Maine:
6:30 PM - Hopped the border into Canada (w/o a passport and they were fine with it!) to explore Roosevelt Campobello International Park. This was more walking than hiking, but still great:
8:00 PM - Great seafood dinner in Lubec at the Water Street Tavern and then a 45 minute drive to Eastport where I lucked into this Carriage House of a great Bed and Breakfast
Overall there was 217 miles of driving, three fabulous meals, and of course a famous National Park Hike with the trail to myself and two other top notch State/National Parks as well. Adding to the excitement was the fact this was a solo road trip, and really only Cadillac Mountain and my room for the night were fully planned out. The rest sort of just happened after speaking with local experts on what to do next.
In summary - whatever you do, enjoy it to the fullest! By no means am I claiming this is "the best there is", but it was the best I've experienced and think back on this day so very often.
What other epic days are out there? I'd love to hear about them.