12 days Coastal ME Itinerary Indecision

Aug 5th, 2010, 12:23 PM
  #1  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
12 days Coastal ME Itinerary Indecision

I'm driving myself crazy!--Reading the guidebooks & all these threads--second-guessing myself--changing my mind over & again. Would love opinions here. I'm not wanting to just do breeze-bys, and want to leave flexibility for stopping on whims to explore. Won't be doing any hiking to speak of; enjoy craft shopping; want to do a couple of boat or schooner day trips. Mainly not sure of what amount of time is realistic to do leisurely but active and on-the-go touring south of MDI. (I've reserved my first 4 nights in Ellsworth to enjoy MDI. Happy with that, and have planned it thoroughly).

Pretty sure I'd like to spend 3-4 nights in Rockland to visit Camden through Port Clyde or thereabouts. Too much? Too little?
Don't plan to go further south than Bath before returning to Bangor.

I'm now troubling over where to best base myself for the remaining days.
1 day & night somewhere on Blue Hill Peninsula? Ureasonably short and need 2 days & nights there?
2 days in Boothbay area to do the surrounding area?
All opinions welcome!
plr is offline  
Aug 5th, 2010, 12:45 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,574
I do recommend having lobster at Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard while at Acadia. Definitely take a walk (easy & flat) to Otter Point. See Sand Beach.
Do you have time to drive to Portland? It's a lovely, small city with great shops, restaurants & art museum & a lighthouse nearby. Staying in Portland would be a nice mix of coastal scenerey & small city.
Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the other places but there are others on this board who can give better idea as to how long to stay where.
Kwoo is offline  
Aug 5th, 2010, 07:00 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,895
Boothbay tends to be really mobbed in the main town part. The Botanical gardens there are worth seeing. I like the Bath area and in particular the Harpswell Penisula or Georgetown -- both areas are not terribly crowded, are just beautiful and great areas to hang out and drive around to see the sights. Reid State park is nearby. A great place to stay is Georgetown Cove

I also think it might be nice to visit Portland even thou its further South than Bath -- nice little city to walk around and soem great restaurants.
yestravel is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 02:06 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,065
I second yestravel's suggestions. Check the boat trip schedule for the Maritime Museum in Bath. I love Harpswell peninsula. Eat at Dolphin Marina restaurant. Pay really good attention to tourist brochures that show wildlife areas/preserves. After eating at the Dolphin we went to one of these places. It was very hard to find but basically a small beautiful beach with hardly anyone on it. Boothbay is beautiful but too crowded for us. You can park in a pay lot as you enter town. There are some interesting shops on the way plus downtown. I thought Boothbay was too far out on the peninsula for someone who wants to travel and explore. We were camping in Wiscasset and had friends camping near Boothbay. The bridge on Rt 1 got very backed up during commuting hours. Since you're staying in Rockland, I think you would do better to stay a bit further south than Boothbay. Great farmers market Friday mornings in Brunswick.

I think you can do Blue Hill from Ellsworth. One day of driving around might be enough.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 09:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 455
In September, there should be good bargains in Bar Harbor and in Camden so that you don't have to stay out in Ellsworth and Rockland. Also, other than labor day weekend, you can "wing it" in Maine until early October, roadside vacancies are everywhere and "$59 tonight!" signs are everywhere along the coast (higher in Bar Harbor, Camden and Boothbay but still great bargains). Don't stress too much about September lodging, you will have the freedom to browse around and find the perfect spot. Nothing worse than paying for 4 nights somewhere and then seeing a charming spot with a great view and a "$79 with breakfast" sign out in the front.
Any interest in staying by the lake for a couple of nights? Moosehead or Belgrade are usually breathtaking in September...quieter than the coast but so relaxing, might be a nice end to your 12 day visit.
divineMissM is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 10:06 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,895
I agree about staying in Bar Harbor and not Ellsworth if you can, but much prefer Rockland over Camden which I think is overrated. We also did visit Blue Hill from Bar Harbor one day when we were fogged in.
R u going in September? In which I case I agree u could wing it if u want.
yestravel is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 03:18 PM
  #7  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
Such fascinating responses!--Thanks to all who have commented with recommendations so far.
--divine, I think this is the first time I have ever read that advance reservations for lodging would not be necessary in mid Sept. Scares me a little to just wing it, since I really am on a budget, but have to have clean & bug-free lodging. Those room rates are a lot less than what I'm seeing online for anywhere right now. And these would not be dated, run-down motels? I've reserved Ellsworth already for 4 nights with a penalty to cancel. I want to stay in Rockland area as a base for day trips around that area.

--yestravel, thanks for giving me an idea that Blue Hill can be reasonably toured in a day. I've been to Portland/Freeport, so want to spend this trip in the mid-coast region.

--And defrost & yestravel, thanks for the heads up about Boothbay being crowded and bogged down even in Sept. Not what I'm looking for, since there surely are so many other peninsulas available. Any idea of lodging (not B&B) in the Harpswell/Bath area that would be in the $100/night range and really clean?

Keep the opinions coming!
plr is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 12:41 PM
  #8  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
Afterthought questions:
Do any of you have any idea whether motels will honor an on-site sign-posted special rate if I already have advance reservations at a higher rate? And is it certain enough that "winging it" is no problem whatever, so that I should consider eating the cancellation fee and just take my chances once there to get a better deal?
plr is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 01:07 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,895
R u going in early or late September? Is most of the travel mid week or weekends which might be busier. I've been in the area early Sept and many places were booked. There were places to be found where we stayed and not sure if we really saved money by doing it that way in contrast to booking in advance.

I don't think anyone can be certain that you'll be fine winging it, but I think u will be. I also don't think anyone can know for certain what a particular place will do if u have a reservation and they have an advertised special on once u arrive. That has happned to me and its been a mixed bag. Finally once u subtract the canx fee will u really save money?
yestravel is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 04:32 AM
  #10  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
Thanks for your thoughts, yestravel. I'll be there the 2nd & 3rd weeks of Sept. I've made reservations to cover weekends, and am considering whether to just take my chances on the mid-week stays.
plr is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 04:46 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,895
I would--makes the trip so much nicer if u can be more flexible about how long u stay in each place. Have fun whatever u decide!
yestravel is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 08:21 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,065
sorry, our recent visits to Maine have been camping trips. Bath is next to Brunswick and Brunswick is a college town so there should be good lodging choices. You'll be really surprised at the difference between Boothbay (lots of shops) and Harpswell (very rural). On our last trip to that area we ate at the Dolphin Marina restaurant. It's at the end of a road.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 12:08 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,653
Yes you can wing-it in Maine after Labor Day. Not in the foliage-tour areas towards late September however.

If you're stuck on staying at a certain inn or having a certain view, book in advance. But considering your plans, I'd say don't lock yourself into anything, there is absolutely no need to limit yourselves that way.

P.S. If you reserve a room ahead of time, and arrive at the location to see a lower offer posted, usually they will tell you that the lower price is for a room in the back near the ditch....and talk you into keeping your more expensive room.

Lodging coupons here to print out and have with you: www.roomsaver.com

Also, winging-it doesn't mean that you have to drive in and out of several places all afternoon looking for a vacancy. It just means bring your coupons and travel-guide and email offers along with you, and phone up a couple of places in the morning seeing what they're offering that night.
joesorce is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 04:50 PM
  #14  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
Thanks again to each of you! This forum is so helpful! yestravel, I do plan to have fun! And will be leaving half my nights lodging unplanned. defrostnh, Thanks for your note--I'm looking into Harpswell right now and will plan on the Dolphin Marina restaurant if you or others truly recommend it. joesorce, your suggestions are great! I've never heard of the link you cited. Have you actually used any of these coupons? And did they give you the room at the back next to the dumpster, or were they okay?
plr is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 03:30 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,065
plr, I won't recommend the daily special if it's lobster quesadilla. It was ok just not lobster-y enough. The Dolphin Marina was recommended on Chowhound but I forgot to note that chowder that comes with a blueberry muffin is the most popular lunch item. We also ate at Estes which is on a different point. Also on the water. You can check northern new england section of Chowhound for recommendations of where to eat in Maine (do a search). When you drive south on Rt 1 from Bar Harbor and south of Ellsworth, you'll see Just Barb's on Rt 1 in Stockton Springs. Great little local restaurant. Also keep your eyes open for the Chicken Barn antique and used book place. It's a huge place.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 05:39 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,895
Up near Rockland, don't miss Waterman's Lobster -- lovely drive to it and fabulous pie with great lobster.
yestravel is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 09:57 AM
  #17  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
Yup, I've pretty much collected my list of all the best rated lobster places between Bath and Schoodic Peninsula! It's the lodgings that have had me stumped.
plr is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 02:53 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,688
plr -- I would love that list of best rated lobster places! I'm putting together my list for my trip in 1 1/2 weeks!
progol is online now  
Aug 12th, 2010, 04:06 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,653
progol don't blame me if this makes you hungry.........

http://merecat.org/food/dining/lobster-rolls/maine/
joesorce is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 05:50 PM
  #20  
plr
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 366
OMG, progol...Please don't rely on me!! I have gleaned the internet for untold hours, but only for the places that appeal to me and are in my travel plan. Just go to this link or type in any similar "Maine lobster" topic in the Search box to start narrowing down the ones that appeal to you! Happy hunting!

http://www.frommers.com/community/fo...#ixzz0onSyIhGS
plr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:30 AM.