Acadia National Park/New England States

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Mar 13th, 2015, 05:38 AM
  #1
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Acadia National Park/New England States

We are planning a trip out to the New England States with 3 teenagers the 1st full week of August. We know this is a busy time but it is the only week available with school and sports.
We plan to drive from Michigan through Canada to Vermont (Stowe area), New Hampshire (Mt. Washington) and out to Maine (Acadia National Park) then down to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut before traveling back home.

Any suggestions on where to stay around Acadia National Park for 2 nights. We have 5 people and would like a room that is comfortable for everyone.

We would also like to do a Whale Watching tour. Any suggestions on where?

Any must see's from Acadia to Rhode Island?

Any good local seafood (not chain) restaurants?

Is it worth getting up early for the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain?

Thanks!
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Mar 13th, 2015, 05:58 AM
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Acadia National Park is a hiker's paradise. We were only there for one day on a cruise stop, but with good scheduling, we were able to do two good hikes. If this is something your family enjoys, I recommend reading "Hiking Acadia National Park" by Delores Kong. (I found it at my local library, but you can also buy it on Amazon.) It gives great descriptions of all the hikes, so you can choose one that suits your skills level and interests. Also, it includes good directions on how to reach each trailhead via the free L.L. Bean bus which is how you should plan to get around the park.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 06:14 AM
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If cheap and cheerful is ok, try here:
http://www.hutchinscottages.com
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Mar 13th, 2015, 09:50 AM
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If you want to be able to walk to restaurants and that sort of thing, Bar Harbor itself is probably your best option. The Island Explorer bus also has a "hub" at the village green there, which is nice.

We stayed near Southwest Harbor, which was a 20-minute drive or so from the visitors' center and Bar Harbor (and cheaper than staying in Bar Harbor). It worked well for us - the couple of times we drove through Bar Harbor it drove me crazy because it was so congested (this was the week before Labor Day), so I was glad we stayed somewhere quieter and were able to see the other side of the island. It really depends on what you guys want to be close to. With just two nights and teenagers, parking once in Bar Harbor and staying there might be a better idea.

I am not a morning person, so we saw sunset on Cadillac Mountain instead and it was gorgeous. I cannot compare it to sunrise.
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Mar 14th, 2015, 02:52 AM
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I have a hard time thinking of any seafood restaurant chains in Maine. Red Lobster went out of business in Concord NH but they do have a Long John Silvers now. Chowhound Northern New England is a good place to look for suggestions depending on what town you are in. Or, you could google best lobster rolls for a list. But lobster shacks sometimes only serve lobster. Keep that in mind if you'd like fried clams and/or scallops.

We have liked the Seabasket in Wiscasset (rt 1), forget the name of the drive in type place just north of Brunswick but I think you'll see it mentioned on chowhound (pretty sure it was Cameron's). We love the Harpswells area (east of Brunswick) so liked Estes, Cundy Harbor (great view), and the shacky Gurnet Trading Company.

Owl's Head Transportation Museum might be of interest and it's even better if it's a weekend when they have special events like antique airplanes flying. The easy hike to Owl's Head Light is nice. Instead of whale watch consider trip to Monhegan Island and hiking the rocky cliffs. Take a picnic lunch. You should drive to top of Mt Battie in Camden just for the view which I think is nicer than Cadillac's.

Portland would be a great place for teens to explore shops. Mailboat cruise might be boring. Duckfat for French fries and Two Fat Cats Bakery for whoopie pies they would probably like. MDI ice cream if you missed it in Bar Harbor.

You can hit some sandy beaches south of Portland. Portsmouth NH has good cruises and Strawbery Banke Historic area. Water Country on Rt 1 in Hampton for a day of water fun. Petey's in Rye for seafood. Hampton beach for sand and people watching?

I'll let someone else take over for MA, RI and CT attractions except to mention that the Native American Museum next to Foxwoods casino is outstanding.

I'm not a fan of Stowe but I think the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville VT would be on your route to NH. It should be open in August. Great way to work off some energy. The kids can take turns choosing which way to go and the rest can complain that it was the wrong choice. We ended up taking emergency exit to top. Really weird how you can keep passing same people going the opposite way. Nice view from the top.
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Mar 14th, 2015, 06:03 AM
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Oh my that's an awful lot of mileage for one week. Especially in the back seat every day for hours and hours.
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Mar 26th, 2015, 10:21 AM
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Paging 269:

I have to agree with Kauai. Travel time other than Interstates can be a crawl on New England roads and resort locations in summer. Round trip (through NH, MA , Conn and NY would be somewhere in the vicinity of
2000 miles...or about 300 miles a day...with little time to really enjoy. Three in the back seat? Oy!

But if you insist, non-chain Barnacle Bills in Ogunquit, ME. was an old favorite lobster resto for us. Closeby there was Blue Island(?)another lobster spot. In Bar Harbor (Bah Habah), Stewies deck on the harbor is superb...if you wish, they'll crack your lobster...their clam chowder is sinfully delicious. Rockport, MA is a unique and picturesque little town where Motif #1 was painted...(look it up)

Whatever you decide, Michiganers, I hope it will turn out well for you and the kids.
stu
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Mar 26th, 2015, 10:29 AM
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Scroll down to #87 for some shots of Acadia and Bar Harbor. The lobster resto is "Stewman's", not Stewies. I was on a solo cruise Quebec to Boston, but I'm a Massachu=seets native.

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...ianCruise2013#
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Mar 26th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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oops...Massachusetts!!
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Apr 2nd, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Beautiful pictures tower!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Yes - the travel will be a lot. Unfortunately we only have one week! The kids are great travelers though.
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May 23rd, 2015, 12:46 AM
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Hi, If you come to Rhode Island the Norman bird sanctuary in Middletown Ri is beautiful to hike and the views of Newport coastline are spectacular up on the ridge. I'd also recommend the cliff walk in Newport and a drive on Ocean drive to see all the mansions there as well. The Narragansett beach in Narragansett is beautiful for swimming and walking the beach. There is a great restaurant in Narragansett called Crazy Burger which is BYOB as well. Try to get there early because they're very popular and they don't take reservations but the ocean is near by so you can take a walk while you wait.The town of Wickford in Noth Kingstown is a beautiful town along the water with a lot of beautiful shops. We vacationed in August in Arcadia with our teenage age and college age children and loved the hiking and the local blueberries . Enjoy these special times they go by quickly! Have fun, Pat
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May 23rd, 2015, 03:05 AM
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One issue you may run into, especially in the Newport and Bar Harbor areas, is lodging with a two or three night minimum. There will be other places, but many have it, especially on weekends.
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May 23rd, 2015, 03:20 AM
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I know Michganders love to drive but this trip would be a nightmare in August. Please consider limiting it some in order to actually get out of the car and do anything,
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May 23rd, 2015, 09:32 AM
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I agree that you simply can;t cover all that territory unless you essentially never get out of the car. You should strongly consider limiting yourself to one section of New England. And IMHO going there and not spending at least a couple of day in Boston is close to criminal.

And agree that many places require a minimum of 2 or 3 night stay. My B and SIL are heading up - but just to Maine and back plus 2 days in Boston in 10 days and a couple of places they wanted for one night required two minimum.
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