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Boston to Maine Itinerary Seeking Input on Time to Allot

Boston to Maine Itinerary Seeking Input on Time to Allot

Old May 1st, 2024, 08:27 PM
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Boston to Maine Itinerary Seeking Input on Time to Allot

We are actually starting in Hartford and visiting Essex so I can go on boat and train ride and stay at Griswold Inn.
I goofed and have us driving to Boston on Memorial Day and worry about the traffic--any thoughts? We are splurging and staying at Revere House b/c hubby is not great walker and lots of sights are nearby. Boston restaurant recommendations? Is it possible to get tickets to Fenway Park?

After that I want to go find a few spots--even if I have to backtrack-- to stay in for 2 to 3 days and not move hotels every day. I think Salem could be one spot to stay in 2 days. But I don't want to stay too long in one area if there is better place to roost up the road.We like historic inns but also are spending a lot in CT and Boston so are willing to be more economical at times.
Concord (to see authors' homes and Walden Pond) and Revolutionary sites and Lexington
Salem and Gloucester
Rockport (heard this is place with best lobster shacks)
Portsmouth and Ogunquit
Portsmouth NH to see Strawberry Banks Historic District but hubby will like breweries--any ones to recommend b/c we cannot do all
Portland Maine

Finally is there a way to schedule stops to see some places on way up and others on way back to Boston for our flight home? Or can we see coast spots and go inland on return and see other scenery?
JoAnn and Ken
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 01:57 AM
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It depends on what you want to do. Portland is not very far from Boston. We have stayed in the Wells ME area and done day trips to different things in and around Portland such as visit Freeport for a couple of stores and then back to Wells with an evening visit to Ogunquit Playhouse. But Strawbery Banke can take more than one day and I would add a boat ride around the harbor or inland rivers. I think you can take a brewery tour. We usually just go to one and do a flight.
From Wells or Portsmouth a visit to Stonewall Kitchen Cookin school is fun. It's all demo with meal served to you. And we like to stop for samples and bread purchases at When Pigs Fly.

Portland to the west is NH's White Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee area. I think it's only an hour's drive. If you like nature I highly recommend a Squam Lake Science center cruise. You could drive from Portland to North Conway area, drive the famous Kancamagus Highway, have lunch then an afternoon cruise. Stay in Meredith NH. A lot of driving and very busy day but do-able.
From Meredith NH take I93 south to Canterbury Shaker Village for a tour. You could then drive back to Boston. Or from Canterbury take Rt 106 to Concord and then east on Rt 4 to Portsmouth NH if you want to do any coastal things then.
Best lobster and fried seafood is Petey's in Rye NH.
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 10:10 AM
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How many days are you planning to spent in/around Boston? Both Salem and Gloucester are within commuting distance of Boston. I have been to the Boston area zillions of times as have family in/around both Providence and Boston and older daughter went to college and lived up there for a year post-college. Twice I have based in Gloucester on different trips, once we did a whale watch out of Gloucester and another time we did a day in Salem, primarily for the Peabody Essex Museum. Salem is pretty touristy as much of the witch-related sites and activities are not actual historic locations as not many archival items remain from the actual witch trial days.

We have been to Portsmouth but never spent time at Strawberry Banke as either too rainy or too hot to walk around. We do however spend time frequently in Ogunquit as well as further north in Maine. From Ogunquit we do day trips to Portland. The classic lobster roll stop is in Wiscasset, Red's, a bit further north primarily in Boothbay Harbor There are lobster places in many locations throughout coastal Maine. Perhaps you have heard of Claws which is either Rockport/Rockand which border one another. Claws is okay but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there, there are others that are better. Actually in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit there is a good lobster roll spot as well as one in Kennebunkport, just north of Ogunquit.
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 10:14 AM
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Above post, I meant to say that we primarily stay in Boothbay Harbor, which is down a peninsula and does have Robinson's Wharf, a good lobster destination. We do visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and have several trips done boat rides from Boothbay Harbor as well as from Portland.

In terms of Red Sox, you need to check if they are actually home when you will be there. There are usually tickets available on the secondary market like StubHub, but you can also do standing room at Fenway. There is a minor league Red Sox affiliate in Portland, the Sea Dogs and again you need to check if they are home or away. Not sure if the one in Pawtucket is still there or not.
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Old May 2nd, 2024, 09:13 PM
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Agree with dfrostnh that Petey’s in Rye, NH is a great place for lobster. We usually stop there on our way up from the Boston airport to Maine and again on the way back down. We like sitting in the bar area (to the left when you walk in the door) as it fun to hear the locals talking with the bartenders.

Rockport is a cute town with lots of little touristy shops, good for an afternoon but wouldn’t stay there. If the Red Socks aren’t playing at home you can still do a tour of Fenway Park, very interesting.

We have been to Maine many times, staying in Portland, Booth Bay, Acadia, Freeport, Saco, Kennebunkport and most recently in Ogunquit. Portland has good restaurants, nice shops and the possibility of taking a ride on the mail boats. Ogunquit has the fabulous Margunal Way walk, which shouldn’t be missed. Kennebunkport is adorable and you can take a drive along the coast to the north to see Walker’s Point, the Bush family compound. Absolutely gorgeous coastline. Freeport has the LL Bean factory store as well as other outlet stores. It’s not as good as it used to be with many empty storefronts.

If you go to Kennebunkport, stop and have a croissant at Boulangerie - A Proper Bakery in Kennebunk - every bit as good as the best croissant I’ve had in Paris! The baguettes and everything else we’ve tried have been fantastic, too.

Whatever you chose, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 03:47 AM
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Be aware the “best lobster shacks” would be in Rockport Maine not Rockport Massachusetts. Rockport MA is near Gloucester and is a nice little coastal town with artists galleries, restaurants, gift shops, pretty views, etc.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 07:53 AM
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There are several Amtrak Downeaster trains that leave Boston North station every day. Check the schedules and see if you can just rent a car in Maine. The Freeport ME station is within walking distance of the L.L. Bean flagship store.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 04:49 PM
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You've given me a lot to consider. Husband loves road trips (and I had targeted the Kancamagus , boating, and old buildings. If he wants two days in Strawberry Banke I could leave him there and go to Stonewall, but I think the brewery might lure him away. Shaker Village sounds good too.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 05:00 PM
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thanks for thoughtful feedback. I like idea of Kancamagus Hwy and stops before Concord and Portsmouth on way back.
Stonewall sounds fun. I also have been trying to see what theaters have to offer so will check out Ogunquit Playhouse.

Concord could be whole day with visit to Lexington as well as Walden Pond (although it sound perhaps easier to walk there than try to park at access to pond?Any lodging ideas there?
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 05:02 PM
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If I skip CT or put at end of trip is it worth renting car after Boston stay to avoid hotel's parking fees or does it break even with need to Uber or taxi from airport.
We definitely need car after Boston and between there and Maine.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 05:04 PM
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Oh so much good information, especially about the bakery as I was in Paris last year and their baguettes are the best! Just back from Vienna which also has wonderful breads and too much to do if you are looking for a good getaway. Austria was better than I expected.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 07:32 PM
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thanks for correcting my geographical error--important!
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 07:35 PM
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I red about the Sea Dogs, they sound interesting. And I do want to visit botanical gardens.
I will check out Boothbay Harbor as the peninsula sounds fun.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 11:07 PM
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Also check bus service to/from Boston to Concord NH, Portsmouth and Portland ME. Bus to Logan also stops at south station. Then check car rentals in those cities.

there are micro breweries all over NH, ME and VT. Your husband will have a great time. If I didn,t mention before, the distillery in Tamworth NH has a fun tasting and is interesting to visit.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 08:26 AM
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The Kanc is great to drive, very scenic. If you are driving East to West, when you exit in Lincoln, there is a summer stock playhouse there, name is changed from when we used to take our kids every summer as for years we rented up in Waterville Valley. There is also summer theatre in Meredith which is just near Tamworth as well as up in Bethlehem, north of Lincoln.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 01:24 PM
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When in Portland check out Standard Baking Co. We recently taste tested about $50 of pastries and all were exceptional.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/standard-ba...and-2?start=40

Last edited by Inakauaidavidababy; May 4th, 2024 at 01:36 PM.
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Old May 19th, 2024, 07:51 PM
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After Salem we will head up coast and of course hit Gloucester. Don't know how much time we will spend there but I thought to move on for lodging and was considering Ogonquit.as place to spend night and do day trip to Portland as you said you have done. I am going to take chance that we can fidn either expensive or budget last-minute lodgings just so we don't lock in an accommodation and regret not going further up the coast. It is really hard to be spontaneous with so many people traveling and graduation and Memorial Day weekend, etc.
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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 07:10 PM
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Thanks to all for your wonderful advice. Here are some of our highlights and comments on others:
We stayed at Concord Colonial Inn--tiny room and bathroom but on ground floor (no elevators and 2 flights for each level). The highlight of hotel was not accommodation but the bar that had great service and food. Next door was a smaller B&B that looked better. Loved Concord and the Concord Museum was great with an animated map that really made it clear how the events occurred. Also loved Alcott House, Walden Pond, and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Concord and North Bridge and Minuteman were moving--Lexington was a let down as there was not much but the green where battle occurred surrounded by traffic on all sides.
Salem Hawthorne Hotel was fabulous and only $213 on May 24. We ate in main dining room with piano and guitar and seafood chowder was to die for.
Loved House of Seven Gable Tour with Stephen who could be on Broadway. And Peabody Essex Museum was superb--better than Boston's Isasbella Gardner Museum, which needs a good dusting.
In Portland we stayed at Embassy Suites by Hilton and had a great suite with two rooms 5/26 for $181.
5/27 our favorite lodging was Strawberry Hill Motor Inn in Rockport. Gorgeous room and view for only $ 140. I had found online and asked if they wanted to match rate and they came close so I booked direct. Best night's sleep ever and could not get over how serene the place was.Ate at Claw's that evening since it was nearby and it was ok--I had scallops and forget what husband had.
Had one ill-fated lobster roll earlier in trip but finally had delicious one at Robert's Maine Grill in Kittery. They claimed they had won in a contest with 25+ restaurants..
Loved Kennebunkport. We twice got good recommendations from policeman about where to eat and he was spot on about Allison's.
This is running on so will try to be brief:
ON a rainy day we shopped in Freeport but did not succumb to all of the outlet stores. Found a great pizza by slice place to eat.
Picked Acadia Inn outside city after reviewing downtown places as either too pricey or too much in hubbub. Great except don't take their rec for affiliated eatery across the street which was worst meal of trip.Wish we'd gone to steakhouse on same side of street that would have been better. Acadia beautiful and we did Desert Isle route and skipped reservations.
On way back to Boston we stayed at Atlantic Oceanfront Motel and enjoyed it.
Boston loved Union Oyster House, Bell in Hand, Legal Seafood, and Emmet's Irish Pub at midday not evening. Went to Fenway and it was fabulous. Sox won 6 to 1 and the energy was very high with lots of singing and dancing. Fanueil Hall closed for restoration so check before you trek there.
Hope some tips helped.
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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 08:41 PM
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Nice report, thanks for the rundown. Sounds like a great trip!
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 01:58 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. Glad all worked out so well. On your return to Boston area, did you stay in Gloucester at the Atlantis Oceanfront? If so, I'be been there twice and it is a good location.
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