Boston-Up the Coast

Aug 7th, 2011, 04:12 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
Boston-Up the Coast

We will be in Boston mid Sept. and rented a car on a thursday to take a road trip toundecided destination(s). Looks like Rockport will be one stop and possible make Bar Harbour our last. This is a day trip, but we don't have to be back in Boston at any certain time. The plan is to enjoy the actual drive, stopping at towns and ports along the way. We are kicked back travelers and our eating style is simple .. we enjoy good drink and bar food. We would rather eat a little at alot of little places than eat a large one at one spot. Guess you can say we like to graze. If you could help with any suggestions as to the places we should be sure to stop (since this is only a day trip) and maybe give me an idea as to what we are looking at timewise and well as what route we should be looking to take to see the most. If I had my way, I would prefer water over trees. thanks all.
MOMMADUKES is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Bar Harbor and back is WAY too far to go for a day trip. The problem is that coastal route 1 doesn't really show you much of the coast. You'll have to detour out to the shore roads and capes. If you really want to see Maine in a day trip, you might freeway straight up 2 hours from Boston to Portland, then head out to Cape Elizabeth and the Two Lights Lobster Shack. Make your way south from there driving through Saco/BiddefordPool (route 9?) through Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport, Ogunquit...then shore road Ogunquit down through Cape Neddick, York and Kittery.
I think it might be better to just try and see Kittery, York, Cape Neddick and Ogunquit (get off route 1 at Kittery and hug the shore all the way up)...then if you have time maybe swing around to Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise. Hebert Brothers Wharf and Beach Pea Bakery would be good stops in Kittery, or Capn Simeons Galley. In york, the York Harbor Inn has a great pub, or Fox's Lobster near Nubble Light followed by Brown's Ice Cream. Lots of choices in downtown Ogunquit and in Kennebunkport. (I've planned this route out for ourselves from previous recommendations here on the Fodor's board. Just search the names of the towns for more dining suggesions in Southern Maine).
tracys2cents is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Tracys suggestion is what I was going to say - that's my favorite Maine day trip from Boston - no further than Portland. My other favorite day trip is Cape Ann - that would be Rockport and Gloucester Mass possibly with a stop in Salem. Some people find Salem too touristy but I like it (just not in October, then it's way too touristy). I think Hammond Castle in Gloucester is still open in September.

Here are my photos of those areas -
isabel is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Bar Harbor is absolutely way too far for a day trip!

There is PLENTY to see & do in Cape Ann area. Salem itself can take an entire day. Gloucester & Rockport is also a good combo. Or Newburyport. Or Portsmouth New Hampshire.
yk is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:53 AM
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I think Portland ME is winning the most good reports on Chowhound - something about the foodiest city. I haven't been to Two Lights lobster shack (might be on our next trip agenda) but highly recommend MDI ice cream on Exchange St in Portland's Old Port area. I keep reading about Duckfat's amazing fries. Don't forget the taffy pulling machine at the Goldenrod in York ME (and I want the box of mixed flavors not all peanut butter).
We tried the coastal route from Portland to Ogunquit one afternoon last year. It's mostly slow roads with very little water views. You are better off choosing a destination and getting there fastest way then enjoy the view when you get there.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 02:14 AM
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Checked your profile and can't tell from what part of the country/world you are from - but New England coast is not what I think you imagine. There is not a cute widning road with ocean views, along which you stop at cute little towns. I wish it were.

Basically the 2 choices for heading north from Boston are interstate highway or secondary road with lots of strip malls and big box stores, with occasional stretches of farms or fields. Nothing like, for example, parts of California where you get views from some elevation and then places to stop, view, and also eat and drink.

Cape Ann - which is primarily Rockport and Gloucester, could occupy your entire day. Rockport has some cute shops and restaaurants along an area called Bearskin Neck. Some nice authentic ocean views - and some beaches, although these are not expansize - not the type you can walk for miles along like in southeast US. Gloucester is an interesting mix of a small city - a nice downtown with places to eat and drink, larger beaches, but it is also an authentic working fishing port. There are also some enclaves of working artists and galleries.

Heading a bit more north, Portsmouth, NH might fit your food/drink requirement - and it also has some nice shops. Same for Newburyport, MA.

I love Portland, ME - but for a day trip I would consider it a destination rather than a meander on up and back. There are also some smaller beachside towns in southern Maine - in the area of Wells - but these are less known for food and drink which seems to be a priority for your trip.

It is 5-6 hours drive, if you take interstate, from Boston to Bar Harbor.
gail is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Well,Bar Harbor's out, thanks for that pertinent info and booking up to a destination and stopping along the way back makes perfect sense .. why didn't I think of that . There are some great sounding options and I'll do a little research and determine what looks the most intriquing, it pretty much sounds like there won't be a bad option. Yes, you are right I was thinking widning roads & ocean views along the way so that was another good heads-up (Calif-Pacific NW style. I get tired of trees but never the water). Defintely like the sound of the authenic fishing town. I am sure I'll be reposting after I research the places suggested here AND take a hard look at the map .. funny, can't find one. Thanks again
MOMMADUKES is offline  
Aug 11th, 2011, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Try Brunswick for an overnight. It is interstate highway to that point. The congestion on US1 begins just to the north.

Brunswick is a pleasant college town with a variety of restaurants and lodging. Bailey's Island, Orr's Island, and South Harpswell are as scenic as anywhere north. Freeport and shopping galore are twenty minutes south.

I can't tell you where to stay because I am lucky enough to stay with friends.
Ackislander is offline  
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