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1 Week in Maine | Late Sept. | No itinerary planned yet

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Greetings!

I'd like to ask advice about vacationing in Maine during the end of September . My husband ( age 30) and I (28) are looking to take a relaxing week-long trip for our 2 year wedding anniversary. We would like to view wildlife in their natural habitats, not visit during peak tourist season, and eat exceptionally well during our visit. In food terms, we're not picky and will try regional or exotic fare equally. We're fans of wineries, locally made food, and wouldn't mind trying a vacation rental home instead of a hotel if you have suggestions.

I don't have a particular part of the state we are most interested in, although I would like to be by the ocean for at least part of the trip. We're not interested in sports, but light hiking and possibly canoeing would be fine. This trip is mostly about relaxing and enjoying each other's company. We're just starting out, so we'd like to keep the trip budget on the conservative side. Information about airports closest to the towns you suggest vacationing in would be much appreciated. Local restaurants, shops and national parks not to miss would helpful too. If the end of September wouldn't be optimal for your references, please let me know the time of year you like best. We can reconsider the dates for this trip. Thank you for reading my post. I look forward to learning more about Maine.

The Sykoras

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    We spent some long weekends in Maine the third weekend in Sept. I want to go again this year so we can visit the Common Ground Fair in Unity (near Waterville and not too far from Camden Maine). When we vacation in summer it is usually for a week in the mid-coast area. I would definitely include Portland since it is considered the foodiest town in the US. The food tour of the Old Port Area is very interesting but would be pricey for two of you. Even though you wouldn't get samples, you can still visit some of the same places like the brewery and the bakery famous for whoopie pies.

    Chowhound has a great northern NH forum where you can check recommendations and ask questions. Get a wine trail map from the state of Maine dept of Agriculture. One day last summer we visited the one in Rockland (nice view) and then traveled to another one that was inland (didn't care for their wines etc but it was a nice drive) in circling back to Rt 1 we encountered Morse Deli which I had read about on Chowhound. Famous for their sauerkraut, they also carry some amazing products. Really odd to find them in the middle of nowhere. We skipped Cellar Door Winery (prefer their original location in Lincolnville not the store on Rt 1) because we have been there several times but it's possible to visit several wineries in a single day.

    I haven't been to the Common Ground Fair in quite a few years but it's sponsored by the organic farmers association. I want to go for the gardening info, great crafts and organic food. You won't find cans of soda and fried dough at this event.

    Find the best fare for airports. Portland ME is closest but Manchester NH only adds about 2 hours or less to your drive. If you are able to rent a cottage with kitchen facilities you'd be able to take advantage of some local seafood and fish. The fish market in the old Port Area of Portland is very interesting. Off season we have stayed at the Dunes in Oguinquit but it's pricey and we did not rent one of the units with kitchen facilities plus it's in southern ME. Recently we rented a condo which was a pretty nice unit with great kitchen (Wells) but there was nothing picturesque about the community and again, it was in southern ME and mid-coast is where we like it best. Maine Coastal Gardens near Boothbay would provide easy walking, not really a hike. You can also explore on your own in the Harpswells area if you get a map of the conservation property which includes Giant Steps (nice walk along a cliff). Harpswell area is east of Brunswick, a college town which some good food and a great farmers market. Get the list of farmers markets. The one in Bath was also great.

    Glenmore by the Sea in Lincolnville is convenient to Camden and has some units from motel to full cottage. It's right on Rt 1 but set back far enough so traffic isn't a bother. We had a unit with a kitchenette. No stove but microwave and frig.

    If you fly into MHT you should include a visit to Portsmouth NH even if it's only a walk around the shop area or Prescott Park. You'll save a lot if you make your own breakfasts. We usually eat lunch out as we travel around and then eat a modest supper (we used to camp until this year).

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