Early June - Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont

Old Oct 21st, 2018, 08:46 PM
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Early June - Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont

Hello again, everyone - I posted last year about a Great Lakes road trip for 2018. Due to family emergency ( 93 year old Mom broke an ankle in March ) we cancelled that one.

ROUGH plan currently for 2019 - Focused now on first 3 weeks of June

Driving from FL quickly along east coast ( or may try auto-train if we feel our schedule won’t need to be flexible

We are 60/early 70 couple .... reasonable hikes, no biking or really steep climbs — and not something we would do every day necessarily. Nice walks are always welcome.
NO CAMPING ( thanks, but not even Yurts or glamping unless I have a ceiling fan and my own private bath LOL )

More interested in the journey along back roads and seeing what we see than history or museums.
Enjoy leisurely days soaking in scenery and then a day or two on the road moving to next area to explore. Wine YES Beer - NO Antiques - NO Lobster rolls and great food YES
Acadia National park - yes Whale watching YES Mountain / Lake scenery Yes

Would welcome any and all suggestions of what not to miss - or what to avoid ( yes, I already read about mud season and black flies) unfortunately, this is the only time frame where my family will be available to stay with Mom here in FL.

As always, I will be reading over old threads but welcome your suggestions since they helped make our west coast road trip memorable in 2015.

bkington1858 is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 02:20 AM
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Mud season is a fact but tourists rarely go on roads that far off the beaten track. My Bar Harbor friend claims they don't have black flies so you should be fine in Acadia. Lobster rolls are simple. Google best lobster rolls in Maine and then visit as many as you can. Despite frequent Maine visits, we have never stopped at Red's in Wiscasset. We see the long line and don't like eating next to rt 1 traffic exhaust. You might want to check out lupine festivals on your way to Acadia. The Blue Hill peninsula just south has a lot. There is also a lupine festival in NH's White Mountains. The wild flowers are pretty. Years ago we went to the one in Blue Hill area. It was a very local kind of event, nothing fancy, but you could get a map to the best lupine fields. Your route could also include winery visits. I like Cellar Door Winery in Lincolnville, the place where they started out, the best.
Portland ME mailboat cruise of Casco Bay is kind of fun. You stop at various islands. If you take the early cruise you'll be with mainland people going out to the islands to work. It's also the "school bus" for kids that live on the islands. The early cruise gets you back in time for lunch and the Old Port Area is fun to explore. You can also head to Fort Williams Park for a lobster roll from Bite Into ME food truck. We take bag chairs and find a good viewing spot to enjoy lunch while we watch the boat traffic. Great view of Casco Bay. For the north side of Portland, find your way to the Eastern Promenade which is a popular place for people to picnic. If it's a weekend, expect to see paddle boarders and kayakers. There's a small launch area.
Tip: June is when some areas have local garden tours as a fundraiser. I keep missing Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth NH but hear it's fun. Scenic drive in Portsmouth is Rt 1B from Strawberry Banke historic area out thru New Castle. At one point on a causeway you can see the old navy prison in Kittery and in the other direction the fabulously restored Wentworth Hotel. Rt 1A in Rye takes you past beautiful ocean front mansions.

On the way north to Acadia, plan to spend a day in Rockland ME. Take easy hike to Owls Head lighthouse. Visit winery. Go out to McLoon's lobster shack in South Thomaston (our favorite), explore backroads. You said no to museums but Rockland has an art museum and there's the nearby Owl's Head Transportation museum. If it's a weekend, Owls Head might be having a special event like antique airplanes flying around. Also scour the internet for lighthouse cruises. We thought the best was from the Maritime Museum in Bath but we lucked out years ago when they did a full day trip and people were told to bring picnic lunches so we could picnic on a little island. Anyway, back to Rockland. Don't miss Rockport's pretty little harbor. If you get lucky with timing, it's fun to watch the kids in little sailboats having a sailing lesson. Have dinner at Claw's. Another take-out place with a covered porch. Great menu. My husband loved the lobster burger (think giant crab patty). View of harbor is the industrial area but what the heck. Food is great.

Boothbay is not our favorite place because of the crowds but in June you should be ok. Get a lobster roll from Karen's Hideaway, a take-out shack on the way into Boothbay. We took ours to a little picnic area that was on a little island with a pedestrian bridge somewhere in the vicinity of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. It was also a place where people were putting kayaks in. Drive around to find it before getting your lobster rolls. You will note in June that it's mostly locals getting lunch at Karen's.

When you head south from Acadia, you can take a scenic highway across to NH. It goes past Sunday River ski area and a lot of the time follows the river made famous during logging days. You'll end up in northern NH, Gorham area so you can head for I93 to go south thru the White Mountains or head south to North Conway aiming for Wolfboro and Lake Winnipesaukee. If you go I93, exit 23 will take you to Meredith on the west side of Lake W. If you don't get a whale watch, how about an option for a pontoon boat cruise of Squam Lake to see loons and eagles?

I would time my trip to get to Norwich VT on a Saturday to go to the farmers market. If you like to bake, you might also want to visit King Arthur Flour. You can even sign up (way in advance) for a baking lesson. There are food vendors at the market so you can figure on eating breakfast/brunch or even lunch. It's very festive (live music). I think VT is a great state for just driving around to discover things. Google Vermont swimming holes if you want to find some pretty places. Burlington VT's Church Street is a fun pedestrian area. In NH and VT I think you can also get maps to ice cream trails. I would skip Ben and Jerry's although it might not be crowded in June. It might take a little searching but some local ice cream places make their own ice cream and I think it's better than Ben and Jerry's.

I'm probably repeating myself/past fodors posts about ME/NH/VT. Look for free newspapers like The Hippo Press (see their website) with info about local events. Some great small events just advertise locally. We are church/grange supper fans so keep our eyes open. In Maine we have been to lobster suppers that are held by local fire departments as fundraisers. In June expect to find rhubarb pies but might require some hunting. If you get to Bath, there's a candy store where you can get Neehams, a chocolate covered coconut candy which is traditionally made with potatoes.

When you get tired of lobster, start on fried clams.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2018, 12:27 PM
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Have been to Red’s in Wiscasset, got their lobster roll and an order of fried mushrooms. It was very good, though whether it was worth waiting a long stretch in line or not is indeed a good question. They’re certainly not the only lobster roll game in Maine, and they’re not miles above everyone else, though they are good.

Can’t say I’ve had this sandwich everyplace in New England, but it’s certainly possible to get ones just as good in several spots.
bachslunch is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2018, 04:08 AM
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Early June can be a lovely time to visit the northeast, but expect some of your days to be cool and rainy. In Maine expect black flies to pester you whenever it isn't windy (as a kid they always headed behind my ears where my pigtails left the skin exposed and they produced the itchy/sore lumps that made sleeping difficult}. Also expect water in both lakes and the ocean to be too cold for a Florida resident to even consider wading in.

Lots of good advice on things to do in the previous posts.
emalloy is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2018, 03:25 PM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I will be back when I have more detaila
bkington1858 is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2018, 07:20 AM
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Hi Just adding that our family traveled every year to Lake Winnepasaukee, not even in the auto correct to get the correct spelling, but it is my favorite childhood memories.
We stayed in a town called Wolfeboro and it was a lovely town without any commercialism. I know they held out for a long time, but there may be some chains now.
We stayed in a cottage community called Piping Rock and I am sure the cottages are the same, lol! There is a nice inn called the Wolfeboro Inn in the town and waterfront that was always nice. Anyway, if you are passing near Wolfeboro, it might be a nice town to stop over night in.
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