Advice for Coastal Maine Itinerary

Old Apr 10th, 2013, 04:19 PM
  #1  
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Advice for Coastal Maine Itinerary

I am trying to plan a trip to coastal Maine in late June for a friend and I. Unfortunately due to schedules, we are only able take 5 day vacation. We are in our late 20s-early 30s. Neither one of us has ever been to Maine so we are wanting to make the most of our trip and try to do as much sightseeing as possible. We will likely be flying into Portland and will be renting a car. Like I said we want to see as much as possible, but at the same time don't want to spend the whole trip driving and sitting in the car. We would love to get some whale watching in and perhaps see a lighthouse or two. Definitely looking forward to eating some good lobster. The regions we were looking at were Kennebunk, Acadia National Park, Portland. I realize our time is limited so we probably won't be able to see everything. Any advice or suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Also, would love to hear suggestions for places to eat/stay. Thanks in advance!
avidtraveler0513 is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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If you decide to go a bit further than Acadia (include Bar Harbor by the way), you might want to go to Campobello Island. It's part of Canada so you would need a passport or one of those driver's licenses with a chip inside. Lots of lighthouses and whale watching from the tip of the island. Well worth seeing where FDR lived in the summers (also where he caught polio, unfortunately). Some great fish restaurants too. You can stop for lobster rolls along the coastal road--many of them. One meal I always enjoy is a Halibut sandwich--of course dipped in batter. If you want a leisurely drive avoid 95 and take the coast road--slow but goes thru lovely New England towns. I believe the drive to Campobello is about two hours, give or take, from Acadia. I'd try some B&B's instead of motels or hotels. Make reservations. Another area, very nice, is Deer Isle/Stonington, on the way to Acadia. A slight detour. Have fun.
anneinmanhattan is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Welcome to Fodors, avid!

I think your 3 destinations are plenty for your short time. Do a search here on Maine to give you some ideas. I like to spend my time in Maine almost solely in Acadia, because hiking is my main objective, but Portland is a great little city to spend some time in.

~Liz
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Old Apr 11th, 2013, 03:34 AM
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Keep in mind that even late June it can be chilly on the water/open ocean. We took a mid-June trip once and the boat crew passed out blankets.
Kennebunkport is in southern Maine. Expect lots of traffic even in June unless it's not the weekend. If you don't have a particular reason for Kennebunkport, I would substitute Boothbay and/or Camden on your way to Acadia. You might have trouble finding a boat trip in June unless it's a weekend but even the mailboat cruise of Casco Bay/Portland is fun. That said, check schedules ahead of time for lobster shack hours (one the docks/picnic table kind of places). I would hit as many as you can coming and going to Acadia. Portland is famous for upscale restaurants and inventive cuisine so you can do other kinds of meals coming and going from the airport.
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Old Apr 11th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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Thanks for all the great replies! Would it wise to anchor in Portland and then make the day trips from Portland to Arcadia, Camden? Or would be it be better to try to find places to stay in those areas?
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Old Apr 11th, 2013, 06:05 AM
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Acadia is about 3.5-4 hrs. drive from Portland...not a daytrip.
elberko is online now  
Old Apr 11th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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Acadia is quite a ways from Portland--definitely not a day trip unless you like driving late into the night. I have a house an hour above Acadia and it's about five hours to my house from Portland. Also, didn't want to say but since someone already said it, I'd skip Kennebunkport and fit in something else on the way to Acadia, perhaps Deer Isle. Acadia is quite large by the way.
Schoodic Peninsula, part of the park (above Ellsworth) is lovely and a short visit if you wish--maybe two hours). You might consider staying in Bar Harbor and doing some day trips from there instead of from Portland. I much prefer the northern coast area to the Portland area. But we are all different and have different tastes.
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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If you head south to Kennebunk, York and the Nubble (Cape Neddick)lighthouse are just south of there. There is a visitor center (w/restrooms) and parking with good view of lighthouse. Also Fox's take out for lobster, clams, etc. is right there. Eat at their picnic tables or take your food a few steps away to sit on the rocks and watch the surf and look at the lighthouse.

Portland Head light is one of the most photographed lights on the east coast. Spring Point Ledge Light and Portland Breakwater Light. are in Portland or close by.

I took a half day boatride (10-1) out of Bothbay Harbor and we went close to several lighthouses.

Pemaquid Point Light is on a peninsula south of Damariscotta. It is on the Maine Quarter when they were issuing state quarters a while ago.

Marshall Point, Owls Head and Rockland Breakwater Light are all easily within the Rockland/Camden circle.

These are the lights I have visited in Maine. some of them will take less than an hour to visit, some ou might want to spend a few hours exploring and picnicking.

If you google them, (especially the images) it may help you decide which ones tickle your fancy.

Have a great trip!
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Old May 8th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Travel on rte 1 in the summer is brutal, and there seems to be road construction that I doubt will be done in June. I would either focus on Bath and south, or Boothbay and north. You will not want to be traveling in the area of Bath through Wiscasset on rte 1 this summer.....
paytime is offline  
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