Boston and what else? Maine?

Jul 16th, 2009, 07:36 PM
  #1  
wj1
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Boston and what else? Maine?

Due to a recent change in my husband's employer's vacation policy, we need to take a vacation before October 1. We have targeted September 3 through September 13 which will encompass Labor Day.

We have been looking around and it seems that air fare to Boston (from LA) and hotels are fairly reasonable so we are leaning towards going there. However, we assume that 10 nights is probably too long. So where else? I've looked at the map and while the names of towns sound interesting, I'm not sure what we would do there. Any ideas? What would you suggest for a 10 night itinerary? We would be renting a car but will not want to change hotels/inns every night. Where would one go in Maine and what would one do (besides eating lobster)?

I'm feeling a bit frantic trying to plan a trip in such a short period of time. Other than a long weekend in San Francisco, our last trip was to India and I had the luxury of a year to plan it!! If I could just get the basic parameters/itinerary, I 'm sure I could fill in the blanks.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
wj1 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2009, 09:19 PM
  #2  
 
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What are your interests? How much time do you realistically plan on spending in Boston?
mrkindallas is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 02:01 AM
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Yes, what do you like to do? Are you active (hiking, biking, kayaking) or do you prefer museums, shopping, etc. You have a nice chunk of time and New England offers a lot and folks here will help a great deal but we need some guidance.
cindyj is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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You might need early reservations in Boston. I'm not sure when all of those students move back into town.

Ten days will be a lot of time in Boston. You could head out on Cape Cod, or north to New Hampshire and Maine. I like the North Conway area for shopping, hiking, and lots of tourist things to do...new zip lines at Breton Woods, and someplace is this ropes course thing called a Monkey something or something Monkey.

Portsmouth is nice for a day or two. You can tour around, shop, eat, and head out on a boat to tour some outer island.

In Maine the southern part of the state has the best beaches, and people enjoy Kennebunkport. Farther north is Portland, Boothbay, Camden, Rockland, Moosehead Lake, Acadia National Park, and Baxter State Park with Mount Katadin. That time of year many through hikers are finishing up and fun to talk to. Some day I want to see one actually finish the hike on top of Katadin.

Have fun planning your trip! There are a couple of Mainers that respond to this forum, me being one of them, so ask away!
tbelgian is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 03:13 AM
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You won't want to rent a car until you are ready to leave Boston. The public transportation and your feet can get you around the city nicely. Get a pass for the T that covers the number of days you will be in the city it will be cheaper and easier than renting a car, trying to find a place to park the car, trying to negotiate the one ways, narrow streets, closed today streets, and the unique ability to judge a red light that Boston drivers have. Then if you want to find another place to center your travels you need to decide what you want to do. There are plenty of places that offer a variety of activities that you could take advantage of as the previous posters have indicated. Rhode Island and Connecticut also have sites that you could spend time in, historic, museums, beaches, fishing, casinos, hiking, etc. without doing too much driving.

Have as much fun as you can, both planning and going on your vacation
emalloy is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 06:56 AM
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We did a trip a couple of years ago that was NYC-Boston-Maine. Boston-Maine is a good combination We stayed in Ogunquit, which is a cute town and fairly central - and not too far from Boston.
missypie is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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There are so many options, especially with 10 days. You could do 4 nights in Boston which would get you past the Labor Day crush, then head up to the Maine coast for a few nights - Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, York are all nice beach towns. From there you could head up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a very scenic area of rugged mountains, lakes, and charming hotels. Jackson is a very nice White Mountain village. You could also venture into Vermont for a night or two. Vermont is one of the most beautiful, unspoiled states in the country with rolling farmland, mountains, deep forests and tiny villages. Woodstock would make a good base, and you could drive back to Boston in less than 3 hours.
zootsi is online now  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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The lakes regions are so nice at that time of year. All the bugs are gone! As for "what to do?", it would help if you let us know what you LIKE to do. Boating, skiing, sailing, fishing, hiking, or just laying by the water reading, barbecuing, listening to music and relaxing.....
joesorce is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 09:40 AM
  #9  
wj1
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm really struggling with putting together this trip because I don't know anything at all about the little towns and areas you mention--they are all completely foreign to me.

OK--here's my best summation of our likes and dislikes. Generally, we spend most of our time in cities so spending time in more rural areas is new to us. My husband is more active than I am. He would spend much of the trip doing serious hiking. I, on the other hand, would only be interested in mild hiking or strolling. We both love the water and leave a few short blocks from the beach in California although we rarely actually swim it it so we wouldn't expect to be swimming off the New England coast. I imagine the New England coast is quite different from that here in Southern California and we would enjoy that. We would enjoy boating but do not have boating experience ourselves. My husband would be happing fishing for a half or full day and I would join him although it is not my cup of tea. Food is high on our list. Zip lining is appealing but not necessary. The same with biking and kayaking but again I wouldn't want anything too strenuous. We are also interested in history, but not shopping.

I'm guessing that we would arrive in Boston on 9/3 and spend 3 full days there. We would then rent a car on Monday 9/7 (Labor Day) and head out of town. That would give us 5 nights somewhere else so we could head back into Boston on Saturday the 12th, then fly out on Sunday the 13th. During that 5 days we would want to stay in 2 different places at the maximum.

Any specifics recommendations you can give would be greatly appreciated. And please remember that you are dealing with a New England dummy.
wj1 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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I would suggest spending part of your time in Camden Maine. Its a pretty town, with some shopping and good dining, and lots of nice inns to stay in. There are boating and fishing possibilities from the harbor there (although some of these things will shut down or have reduced hours after Labor day, especially during the week). Nearby Mount Battie state park offers options for light hiking and great scenery. Its a decent base for roadtrips further up or down the coast as well.

Portsmouth NH is a great stop as well, for history and dining.Lots of restored homes and things to see.
china_cat is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 10:13 AM
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I would do southern coast of Maine (Ogunquit or Kennebunkport) for 3 days of lobsters, dining, rocky coastline, lighthouses. antique shops etc. Then 3 days near Wolfeboro New Hampshire or Mt. Major....leisurely days by the quiet lake with fishing, boating, and that beautiful hike up overlooking Lake Winnepesaukee.
Crowds will be mostly gone and rates down starting on Labor day evening.

http://www.chesterfieldoutdoors.com/...ajorCouple.jpg
joesorce is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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I would suggest 2 nights in the Camden Rockport area or Portland for a more city feel, and 2 nights in Ogunquit Maine which offers a 3 mile hard sand beach for strolling as well as a rocky walk called the Marginal way. While staying in Ogunquit you can explore York and Kennubunkport. Two of my favorite places to stay are seachambers.com which is right on the river/ocean, so your husband could fish on his own from the hotel, or sparhawk.com to listen to the waves crash directly below you at high tide. What is remarkable about these two properties is you can see a very big tide continually changing the vista.

If you're up for some serious driving, head to Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor for a couple of nights - 5hours and then backtrack to Ogunquit 3.5. Depending on your flight out, you may not even want to spend your final night in Boston, as Ogunquit area is 1.5 hours away and may actually be better traffic wise on a sunday morning.

Good luck, so many here look forward to helping you.
gyppielou is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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ooops, this is the second property I like in the oceanfront units - especially unit 1 as it has a side window.... http://thesparhawk.com/
gyppielou is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 10:55 AM
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I'm not an expert, but we visited Boston and Nantucket on the same trip, and it was a short plane flight away.

I'm also from California (South, now North) and I found Nantucket unbelievably delightful, like a familiar story book, with the weathered shingled houses which you see recreated in California, but in Nantucket they look like they belong there.

I enjoyed the Whaling Museum, the strollable town (like Laguna Beach or Balboa Island, Catalina or Capitola). I think you can take a ferry as well.
Kailani is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Although it has been a few years, we also enjoyed this place in Kennebunkport

http://www.yachtsmanlodge.com/

If you consider Nantucket, I'd fly and rent a jeep on island. It is a very expensive destination but fantastic after labor day. Lots of great restaurants. Our favorite place to stay is
http://www.thecottagesnantucket.com/ loding is right on the wharf with the sound of the boat riggin, in the heart of it all.
gyppielou is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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As you start to plan, I suggest you do what we have done when considering trips to states far away: Go on line RIGHT NOW, find the official state web site for Maine, NH, VT, and Mass., and request the "vacation package" for each state. It may be cutting it a bit close, but you should get state maps, booklets on places to see, and places to visit, etc. -- all for free -- in a couple of weeks or so. Then you will have more factual info to examine. Just an idea!

Comments on here can sometimes be of value, of course, but some people do have biases either for or against certain areas, obviously.

We went to Yellowstone and environs for 2 weeks a couple of years ago, wrote to the states in question, and had a ball planning our own itinerary all around Wyoming, Montana and into South Dakota.

Good luck!
RetiredVermonter is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 11:45 AM
  #17  
wj1
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You guys have been great. In thinking about all this, I realized that we want to stay on the coast rather than inland. Nantucket is looking like it will be a bit more expensive than we would want on this trip. So far I'm centering in on Camden and Kennebunkport.

How would you describe the difference between the two--in turns of things to do and the feel of the actual towns?

Any suggestions of places to stay in either Camden or Kennebunkport? I saw Hartstone Inn on-line which looks wonderful. I called them and they have limited availability and we would probably have to stay a couple of nights in Boston and then drive up to Camden for 4 night and then return for more time in Boston. Not the best but workable. I also checked Yachtsman Lodge and they have a lot of availability at reasonable prices ($199) but seem to have gotten some poor reviews on Tripadvisor-mostly having to do with cleanliness which leaves me a little worried.

Thanks so much. You've all been terrific.
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Jul 17th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Camden is probably the most beautiful harbor in Maine IMO. Lots of nice schooners for day sails amongthenumerous islands from there. Mount Battie for a nice view. The downside of Camden is that Rt 1 is the main street through town...non stop, creeping traffic. Take a ride up Rt 1 to Belfast...my favorite town...much quieter than Camden but a good example of what a coastal town in Maine is like that DOESN'T have Rt. 1 passing through downtown. Camden is upscale; Belfast is 'regular folks' more or less.

Camden is also about an hour's drive from Acadia NP so that is a nice day trip but will be busy over Labor Day.
peterboy is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 01:15 PM
  #19  
wj1
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Thanks Peterboy. How long of a drive is it from Camden to Belfast?

If we stayed in Camden and wanted to make a one-night stopover on our return trip to Boston, what would you suggest? Something with a different atmosphere maybe.
wj1 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 01:54 PM
  #20  
 
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If Nantucket is too expensive, you could try Martha's Vineyard or Newport RI. Both beautiful with activities you would both enjoy.
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