First Trip To Maine

Jun 2nd, 2004, 01:44 PM
  #1  
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First Trip To Maine

My wife and I (both age 64) will be taking our first trip to Maine beginning July 15, 2004 for 10 days. We will be traveling by rental car and especially want to see Arcadia National Park, as much of the sea coast and charming towns as possible, scenic splendors, a whale watching trip, etc. This will be our one and only trip to Maine and we want to do it right. We would be most appreciative if you knowledgeable travelers would recommend a itinerary, list of must see and do things, places to stay, restauarants, highway routes, etc. Also, which would be best to fly in to - Manchester NH, or Portland??? Thanks in advance.
rhrose is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2004, 04:04 PM
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For ten days in Maine, I highly recommend a copy of "Maine, An Explorer's Guide" - absolutely fabulous for destinations, lodging, dining, seeing and doing, shopping, nature, scenic drives, etc.

djkbooks is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:36 PM
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Summer is high season in Maine, and you really have to hurry in booking hotels. The best ones may be already fully booked by now.

It's often cheaper to fly into Manchester, NH. It's a good alternative to Portland, especially if you also want to cover the southern coast of Maine, like the Kennebunkport area.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Definitely spend some time in Portland. It's a great small city, very attractive. Old Port area is pretty with shops & restaurants. I recommend the Art Museum and indoor Farmers Market. We stayed at the Pomegranate Inn, located in a nice residential area within walking distance of downtown. The Marriott is also nice if you like big hotels. However, it is not within walking distance of downtown.

Drive along the beautiful Maine coast from Portland to Arcadia NP. It is beautiful!! Casco Bay is very pretty. Drive to Harpswell, Baileys & Orrs Islands (connected by causeway). Scenery is beautiful, great seafood restaurants, such as Cook's Lobster House, Estes I, II & III, and Dolphin Marina.

Boothbay Harbor & Camden are nice stops. Also, the town that has the Wyeth Museuem. I think it is Rockland??
Kennebunkport and Oqunquit (south of Portland) are nice, too.

If you like shopping, Freeport is a great place with LL Bean & many outlets stores. Great place to eat is the Harraseeket Inn.

You will love Maine. It is beautiful! Our daughter went to college there for 4 years, and we loved visiting her. Even though we live In Mass., we didn't visit Maine that often until she went to school there. We miss our trips to Maine. Have to make a point of returning soon.
Kwoo is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 11:41 AM
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10 days will make a nice visit and I agree that you will probably get a lower airfare if you fly into MHT. You might include a stop in Portsmouth NH. We had a wonderful inland rivers cruise on the Heritage that is docked on Ceres Street. (Easy walk from the parking garage.) Prescott Park has lovely flowers and is right across the street from Strawbery Banke historical area. We like mid-coast Maine best. Our best boat ride was an all day cruise to see lighthouses with the Maritime Museum in Bath. I think they have half day cruises now. Check their website. Bring some bag chairs and a small insulated bag so you can enjoy picnics. Pemaquid Point has a lighthouse and nearby lobster places. Our favorite lobster place is at Waterman's Beach. Go past the Owl's Head Transportation Museum and watch for signs. It's a small place and we prefer to eat on a picnic table facing the ocean. Wear a hat and sunglasses! There is a covered porch in back. The Owl's Head Light is an easy hike with beautiful views. Don't forget binnoculars. I enjoyed the Farnsworth Museum with works by all three Wyeths as well as other Maine artists. You will see windjammers docked in Camden harbor or sailing along the coast. Take the auto road up Mt Battie for a fantastic view overlooking the harbor. Again, take a break from driving and enjoy the view. Good place for a picnic. If you like wine, stop at the Cellar Door Winery in Lincolnville just north of Camden. Check when they have tastings. As you continue north, you might want to stop at the huge used book and antique store housed in an old chicken coop. Also consider heading inland to Bangor to see the Cole Transportation Museum which we liked better than Owl's Head. Check to see if there are any events at the Logging Museum at Leonard's Mills. They have a wonderful sawmill. Don't forget, logging is a much a part of Maine as lobstering! I haven't been on a whale watching trip. You might like a harbor cruise better or one that haul's up lobster traps. We also have not been out to Monhegan Island. It's on our list of things to do. You would need to take the ferry. We like to attend an event so find out what's going on when you get here since your dates are already set. One year we attended the Highland Games in Brunswick. We also like country fairs. It's not possible to have too much lobster!
dfrostnh is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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as a born and bred Maine girl now living in NYC, here are some recommendations:

Portland Maine: go to J's Oyster Bar on Commerical St (the waterfront) and order a lobster roll and oysters and a beer. it will be the best lobster roll you've ever had. this is a bit of a waterfront, dive bar, but trust me on this. mixed drinks are great here too.

definitley go to Acadia, but get away from the parking lots and tourist areas. it is mobbed within a 500ft radius of any parking lot. you will be pretty much all by yourself once you are outside of that radius.

I would fly to Portland and go North from there, but I am biased against the very southern part of Maine (kennebunk, ogunquit, etc.) Growing up we used to call this area "Northen Mass." full of tourist from NY and Boston.

drive up Rt 1 starting north of Portland and you will see real Maine towns. drive down Rt 1 south of Portland and you will see strip mall and car dealerships
jagriffin is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 07:36 PM
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Afternoon tea and popovers on the lawn of Jordan Pond House at Acadia. Breakfast at Becky's on the waterfront in Portland. Tidal Falls lobster pound on Frenchman's Bay.
dbenya is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 09:12 PM
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I'm a former Maine girl living in Washington State. I will be in Maine for 3 weeks in July, looking forward to it. You will love coastal Maine. I often refer folks to this website if they need to make reservations for accommodations. Please check it out. It is the Maine Innkeepers Association website at maineinns.com. Statewide info on all types and prices of lodging, not just inns. Links to all of the lodgings' individula websites from there. Good luck. You should still be able to get some nice rooms. Also it is generally less expensive to fly into Manchester. I always fly into there myself from West Coast. Have a great Maine vacation. Eat lots of lobsta!
BrendaM is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 10:02 PM
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If you are staying in Kennebunkport, try the Colony Hotel. Lovely owners, lovelier staff.
JetLag is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Popham Beach State Park! If interested in shipbuilding, nearby Bath.
2ndtimer is offline  
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