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Boston to Bar harbour

Old Aug 5th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Boston to Bar harbour

We are planning a trip the last week of September. We have never traveled the East coast and would like any recommended routes. I hear highway 1 is the way to go, but any other ideas would be great! We are flying in to Boston and would like the most scenic route. Would also like suggestions of what first timers should see!!
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Old Aug 5th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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Route 1 is not very scenic but many of the scenic routes to the ocean branch out from Route 1.

Not quite clear from your post if you're just looking for a driving route to Bar Harbor, of if you're looking for other overnight stops along the way.

It's a nice quiet time to visit Maine. The 1st two weeks of October get busier with leaf-peeping tours.

Use "search the forums" above and search DRIVING MAINE
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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 12:48 AM
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Rt 1 has some pretty spots in MA and NH but it would be slow going. I would only schedule a particular place. Rt 1 in Kittery ME will be congested with traffic in the outlet mall area if it's a weekend. It's such a long drive to Bar Harbor and so many places to see that I suggest staying on I95 most of the way. Portland ME would be a good overnight coming or going. Great restaurants and lots to see and do. Otherwise we usually stay on I95 until we get to Brunswick. Rt 1 goes right thru the towns of Wiscasset, Rockland and Camden. Don't miss Camden and the auto road up Mt Battie. One of the best views in Maine overlooking Camden harbor.

I would suggest at least one stop to break up the drive even if it's only a snack/rest stop. Keep in mind that many of the lobster shack type places are open weekends only after Labor Day and close completely after Columbus Day weekend. If you need a lunch break and the weather is warm, choose one of the places where you can sit at a picnic table with an ocean view. This will mean a detour as tracy points out but well worth it for lobster and scenery. Rt 1 actually has very little ocean scenery.
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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Ok now thinking of going through New Hampshire up to Vermont, over to Bar Harbor and then come back down through Maine back to Boston. Not sure if that is too much to try and do? I just am not sure where tonstop or what to see. I keep hearing we need to see Stowe Vermont. Would also like any recommendations for lodging or restaurants.
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Old Aug 7th, 2012, 02:23 AM
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You have a week. We usually spend a week in mid-coast Maine alone but splitting a week between two places has worked out well. Last week in September will still be very green although who knows this year. I have been in Stowe one year on the third weekend in Sept and not seen any color. But, as a friend insists, color can happen overnight (her northern cabin has views). I live in the middle of NH and to me, color comes in kid of slow and hangs around for awhile.
Stowe has not been my favorite New England place to visit. I would go to Burlington instead. It's a city but on the shores of Lake Champlain. The drive thru the Champlain islands is nice, very rural. We split a week between that area and closer to Middlebury, stopping for the day at Shelburne Museum on our way south.

If you go up thru NH via I93 (flying into Manchester NH would save you at least an hour) the hwy gets very green by the time you get to the NH state line. I actually prefer the old route which is now I93/I293/I93 because it goes along the Merrimack River in Manchester with the old mills on the other side. As you continue north, you will begin to see hills in the distance and then mountains and eventually, I93 goes right thru the White Mountains. You could stay in that area. Do a day trip over the Kancamagus hwy (but don't do it on a weekend), visit North Conway, a tourist mecca, and then go south on Rt 16 then west thru Tamworth and Center Sandwich and then back to I93. Another day trip could be over to VT. Most of VT is beautiful. There is more open farmland near Lake Champlain. Check out Jeff Folger's website for fall photos to find a place you'd like to visit. Or Yankee Magazine's website.

From I93 area to Portland ME might be about 2 hours. Visit chowhound.com - northern New England for restaurant suggestions. We eat lobster and fried clams when we go to Maine, sometimes crab and scallops. Portland itself offers a lot of restaurant choices and is considered a very foodie city. You could easily do a day trip to Camden. Take a mailboat cruise of Portland's islands.

It's kind of hard explaining scenic to a stranger esp if you live in an area that's not considered scenic. Visitors from AK felt claustrophobic here. I've heard visitors from KS describe the roads as too humpty dumpty (and the ocean stinks). There are so many pretty areas around here that our NH property tax includes a rating for views (called the view tax).

You might find the last week in Sept to be a lot less crowded than October because the foliage hasn't colored up yet.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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You can drive up from Boston to Monadnock Region and up to the White Mountains. In September leaves will be pretty good. Spend A few nights in either Indian Head Lodge or much more upscale Bretton Woods, Mount Washington. Then go through Western Maine and you can drive through Bethel where they have an amazing Korean restaurant on main street. There is one B and B that we stay at every year we go to Sunday River. The owner makes the best cinnamon buns every morning. Then drive to Bar Harbour for a few nights and then go back down to Boston. Should be fun.
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Old Aug 16th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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I just remembered the name, The Chapman Inn
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