Florida couples first trip to Maine

Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 12:34 PM
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Florida couples first trip to Maine

My husband and I are planning a trip in late May possibly early June 2017. We're thinking maybe start off in NE Maine, maybe somewhere around Caribou, making our way down. Then the next year start where our trip ended the year before, and so on, making our way (eventually) down the coast. This will be our first time in this area of the country. Any tips or suggestions you could give us? What are the "must see" places of Maine? Thank you for any advice you may have.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 12:48 PM
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Great idea for a trip!

But one problem. It can be pretty chilly in Maine at that time of year, especially for Floridians, and there may be a lot of bugs in the woods. Black flies.

The good news is that the Caribou area-Fort Kent is not traditional tourist country. It's farming and logging country, so there isn't going to a lot to keep you hanging around, at least not in scenery. If you like to fish, it's another story.

You can go south along the coast from Lubec or you can go inland via Mt Katahdin, where there may well still be snow. You can join the coast around Bangor and Belfast or you can stay inland through the lakes region and go down through the White Mountains in NH and hit the coast further south.

It is a great idea, and you will have a lot of fun if you take your time. Do remember that you have to get off the highways in Maine to see the rocky coast that's in the pictures. Rural poverty doesn't look any different in Maine than it does in the Panhandle.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 12:50 PM
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What do you plan to do? Do you hike, love museums, nature, beautiful ocean views, cities, farms, etc.?

It will still be quite cold in May in Caribou. You also should be aware that it is black fly season there at that time of the year.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 01:00 PM
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Thank you ackislander. What time of the year would be most pleasant? 70 degree weather maybe? I read the country's first sunrise happens in Maine. Where do you suggest we stay to watch a glorious sunrise?
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 01:07 PM
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Emalloy thank you for your help. We like nature, ocean views, would love to see a whale! And of course eat fresh lobster. I've never heard of the black fly, I need to read up on that. In your opinion when is the most scenic time of year? We don't like to drive in the snow much.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 06:09 PM
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September has the best weather, and no bugs. This used to be a "best kept secret" but September has gotten busier and busier over the past few years (gee thanks, Fodors!).

Wait til just after labor day for best prices on airfare and lodging.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 06:33 PM
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I'd say July, August, and September would be your best bet for good, warmish weather--personally Sept. is my favorite.

Not sure I'd start at the top for my first visit--most people prefer the mid-coast betwee Portland and Acadia, and my preference is Acadia/Bar Harbor, but it depends on how you plan to spend your days.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 07:54 PM
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Stage Neck Inn-York, Maine
Wentworth by the Sea-New Castle, NH
Meadowmere-Oqunquit,Maine
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 03:38 AM
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One thing to explore if you go inland is Maine's logging history. The Cole Transportation Museum in Bangor is very interesting. Several years ago it may have been in June when we visited Leonards Mills Logging Museum near Brewer/Bangor when there was a woods competition. Yes, Maine has college teams.

I agree however that you want to miss black fly season and further north it probably extends into June. Our trip to Maine this year was in late June but we were on the coast. No black flies and plenty of lobster shacks were open. Earlier in June, some towns have lupine festivals.

People visit the top of Cadillac in Acadia National Park to see the sunrise.

Late June is good while lodging still has off season rates. But September has some wonderful weather. Last September we went to the Common Ground Fair sponsored by the organic farmers. The weather was great and we found our new favorite lobster shack which was opens weekends that time of year. This year we visited in late June based on a couple of days a small rustic cottage colony still had availability. Some of the most scenic places are parks around lighthouses. We went to the one at Marshall Point for the first time. Good place to just look at the ocean for awhile.

For an adventure if you want to do a little hiking is to take a boat trip out to Monhegan Island. Take a picnic lunch.

Despite advice to avoid summer when it's more crowded, we haven't had a problem with crowds in the mid-coast area and further north. We've watched the 4th of July parade in Bath several times during their Heritage Days. Last year we stayed on the Blue Hill Peninsula which was very quiet. Their historic society does a special boat cruise around Deer Isle that time of year. Boat captain narrates modern things. Someone from the historic society explains early history and where Native Americans liked to camp and fish. Also check out day cruises from the Maritime Museum in Bath to see light houses.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 05:24 AM
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I am from Florida, I was in Acadia National Park this past July, it was in the 50s at night and the water at Sand Beach was very cold. The view from the top of Cadillac Mt is amazing, Thunder Hole is a must where the waves crash making a thunderous sound and Jordan Pond House has some incredible PopOvers and a great view of Jordan Pond.
I was in Portland, ME in 2014 also in early July. You can go to the Old Port area known for its brick buildings and cobblestone streets, another nice area is the Arts District. From Portland you can head to Cape Elizabeth where the famous Portland Head Light is located.
I hope this helps.
Have a happy and safe journey.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 07:55 AM
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You guys are all amazing! Thank you so much! I'm excited just doing the research.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 05:27 PM
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P.S. I stopped at the Fishermen's Grill in Portland for their Lobster Roll, it was delicious. Call ahead if you decide to go because their hours vary depending on availability, at least when I was there.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 05:41 PM
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Just a quick Chime in here... I have done the "coastal Maine" trip twice, meaning starting out in either Boston or Portland and meandering up the winding coastal highway. I have enjoyed the "less touristic" cities the best, but it takes effort to know where to go and stay... I happen to love the effort.

Stonington is a must... one of a kind...

We stayed at every off the beaten, not noted place in between Portland and Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is a swarm of people in the summer... but still lovely. Fall is incredible ... but honestly, both were fine. I found that is you can limit your time in Camden, Bar Harbor etc., and go out a bit, off the beaten path... any time will be fine.

If you want more info on this path... let me know.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 06:31 PM
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Thank you Jadore. Yes info on that path would be wonderful. If you could also recommend possible places to stay. Reading all of the helpful hints/info on this forum has really helped us as we're totally in the dark for this adventure. We've decided instead of starting out around Caribou as originally planned, to start around Bar Harbor area as recommended by several. Do you know about how far it is to White Mountain from Bay Harbor?
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