Cape Cod or no?

Jan 24th, 2017, 04:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Cape Cod or no?

Since I have a more specific question, I decided to start a new thread apart from another one that I have on my New England road trip, since there is so much going on in that one.

In doing my research & listening to suggestions from all of you other great travelers, I have started to consider whether I should leave Cape Cod off of my itinerary. I just need a little advice as to whether it will be worth our valuable time. We will only have 6 days (not counting the day we fly home) to cover a lot of territory. Would my time be better spent somewhere else? Below is a very rough draft of what I have in mind right now.

We know that we are going to spend about a couple of days in Boston (Thur & Fri) & had planned to go to the Cape the following Saturday morning & spend a night there. From there Sunday monrning, we planned to work our way up the coast to Maine, stopping to spend Sunday night about 1/2 way. Monday we would continue our drive and end in Bar Harbor to spend the day & night. Perhaps Tuesday take a different route heading back to Boston. We will be flying back home Wednesday.

Would I be better off using that Saturday to head toward Maine & do more sight seeing along the way? Need some help narrowing this thing down.
sweetthing38 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 04:46 PM
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Well...I think it comes down to how important the Cape is to you. Is there something there you've really, really wanted to see? I think from your other thread I remember that you haven't been to this area before and you're going in May/June? So it's a toss up really- because you could do the six days in any ONE of those areas and still feel like it's not enough time.

If it were me, I'd probably head straight for Maine. But that's probably because I haven't been to Maine; I've been to the other two places.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 05:02 PM
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Marvelousmouse you are correct. I have never been to NE & we will be going in mid June.

Will I see anything much different on the Cape than I would along the way to ME?Are the quaint little towns there much different than ones that I may see along the way to Maine. I am also starting to question if the Cape's beaches are really that different than the beaches we have in GA. Looking at pictures it just looks like sandy beaches, which is what we have here. I am assuming that I will see more of the rocky coastlines in NH & Maine?
sweetthing38 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 05:26 PM
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Agree with marvelousmouse -- heading directly to Maine makes a lot of sense. The southern Maine towns (Ogunquit, the Kennebunks, the Yorks) are similar to those on Cape Cod, and are one of few state's options with nice sand beaches. Above Portland, the coast is mostly rocky. And Bar Harbor/Acadia is wonderful.

Cape Cod to me merits a visit later on when you have several days to explore it and the islands.
bachslunch is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 05:53 PM
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Can't really help you with quaint towns. The only two I really spent much time in were Provincetown and Nantucket. If those are quaint by any meaning of the word, it's that false touristy built up quaint. Some great history and food though. And haven't been to Georgia...but I think the main thing that seemed distinctly different was the New England feel of the towns. the beaches were just beaches to me. (Well, I was amazed by the fact the ocean is a swimmable temperature, but I'd imagine that's not shocking to people in Georgia).

I think if you want that off the beaten path feel, definitely head up to Maine. More time spent there means more time to go to the harder to reach places. To me, the Cape felt like a great destination to just relax and get into the swing of things. When I've researched Maine before, I was struck by just how much there is to see- wild areas, islands, tiny towns- not that easy to get to!
marvelousmouse is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 10:30 PM
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IMHO, if you ever got back to Boston, it would be fairly easy to go to the Cape, but harder to see Maine, so see Maine while you are going there.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jan 24th, 2017, 10:50 PM
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With your limited time, I would either go to Maine or to the Cape. Seems as though you really want to see Maine, so skip Cape Cod, especially if you want to see Bar Harbor.

Why rush around and spend more time in traffic?

Cape Cod is 15 different towns. Some are much more commercialized than others. The Outer Cape is very different from mid- and upper Cape. More natural because of the National Seashore and much less built up.
cw is offline  
Jan 25th, 2017, 03:20 AM
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Count up the number of hours you will be driving. Maine beaches south of Portland tend to be sandy. North of Portland, rocky. I also would not go as far as Bar Harbor because of the long drive. I95 is very boring. We rarely visit the Cape because of the traffic but I have friends who either have a vacation home there or have retired there.

I've only been to MV once. It was September and still pretty crowded.

To me, "quaint" would be the Harpswells area east of Brunswick ME (college town) and this is the place to get lobster
Brunswick is a good size college town but the Harpswells are very rural. The Giant Steps is a short walk along the cliff. Not as dramatic as the Marginal Way in Ogunquit ME but not as crowded either. You don't get rocky cliffs on the Cape.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jan 25th, 2017, 04:42 AM
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Skip the Cape. Let's start with the idea that you're going to make the drive there during the busiest traffic time, and then spend less than 24 hours there. Waste of time.

Head straight to Maine.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2017, 05:27 AM
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I also would head straight to Maine and I'd stay off of "boring" 95 as much as possible. A friend of mine went from Boston all the way to Bar Harbor and back and pretty much never even got ON 95 after we left New Hampshire.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2017, 08:00 AM
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For me, the Cape is about atmosphere (trails, views, wildness), not tourists, so I tend to go in off season.

You could easily spend your time (aside from Boston city) in Maine. Meander up slowly. Drive to Gloucester to see the working port, and across sweeping views and old farms) through Ipswich (antique shops) to Newburyport for the architecture and Plum Island reserve. Stop in Portsmouth for great restaurants, shops, boat ride on the river or out to islands in the harbor. Continue up to York, along the beaches, to the classic Nubble Light, and the town center with its funky arcades, taffy being pulled in a shop window, go-carts, and bandstand with music at night. Drive the secondary road (rte 1) and drop in at charming, upscale Ogunquit to walk the rocky Marginal way to picturesque Perkins Cove or stop at the beach to float down the river (most fun activity) as the tide goes out. Stop in Wells at Laudholm Farm (old dairy) and stroll across the fields, through the woods (sometimes with animals like porcupines or even moose), to the quiet beach. Then continue on to Kennebunkport. See the Presidents' house,. Explore the shops. See people catching huge striped bass perhaps. You could make a couple of days of that, although Boston to Ogunquit is 1.5 hours straight.
Then continue up the coast.
SambaChula is offline  
Jan 25th, 2017, 09:09 AM
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SambaChula that is a perfect itinerary! I think you have caught on to what I'm shooting for and this is probably exactly what we will do and skip the Cape.

I think I'll make a trip later for nothing but Cape Cod, MV & Nantucket. Still fascinated by them, but got to make some choices here.

Thank you all again so much! I am so glad I stumbled across this forum. If don't feel like I'm going into this blind anymore.
sweetthing38 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2017, 09:55 AM
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I too was also thinking on those lines - one direction. And you're not giving up the Cape you're just switching it
Inakauaidavidababy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2017, 03:22 PM
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Summer weekends there is terrible traffic getting on and off the Cape. Good decision to skip it for another trip. It is a large area that requires more time .
HappyTrvlr is offline  

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