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help for Maine coastal trip in June, one week to drive back to NJ

help for Maine coastal trip in June, one week to drive back to NJ

Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 11:20 AM
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help for Maine coastal trip in June, one week to drive back to NJ

Greetings fellow travelers! I need some guidance on planning this trip, have never traveled to this area and not sure of travel times and where to stop. Driving from St. Andrews, NB to Princeton, NJ. My daughter and I have about 6-7 days to make this trip. Coastal Maine looks like a beautiful area to spend the largest chunk of time.

Details: Leaving St. Andrews, NB on Sunday, June 24. Have a rental car that I need to return to Bangor airport either Sunday or Monday, then the rest of the trip is driving with my daughter. Would like to be back in Princeton NJ on June 30, I fly home from Newark, NJ on July 1.

Questions: I'm not sure if I should return car on Sunday then head back to the coast, or stay along the northeast coast on Sunday and return car to Bangor on MOnday (by 2:30 pm), then head back east to the coast, driving along Rt. 1.

Where would you recommend stopping along the way? I'd like to book hotels/BBs now but not sure how much time to allow for the journey through Maine, which towns would be good overnight points. Would also love to visit LLBean. Probably will spend just one night in each area as we head south. Definitely will visit LLBean, but since it's open 24/7 that leaves a lot of flexibility for that stop.

Where to stop after Maine? I'd truly appreciate any advice you have to offer. Obviously our time is very limited, certainly not enough to do justice to Maine and the New England Coast, but it's what we have so I'd like to make the most of it. Thanks so VERY much for your thoughts and suggestions! I'm looking at multiple guidebooks and still a bit confused and overwhelmed.

Happy day to you all and thanks so much!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 02:25 PM
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There are 3 daily Amtrak buses that leave Bangor to Portland to connect with the Downeaster trains to Boston North station.
The buses leave @ 7AM 11AM and 3:30PM from Bangor.
Visit Boston and then take a train from Boston SOUTH station all the way to EWR (Newark) airport if you didn't want to stop anywhere in between. From your post I couldn't see how you were getting from Bangor to Newark without a rental car.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 07:34 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts, tom. It's great to know about the public transportation that's available. I actually will be driving back to Princeton with my daughter, who will have her car with her in St. Andrews. I'm mostly trying to figure out just what we can manage to see on our drive back to NJ, and where we should plan to stay along the way. would you have any recommendations? Thanks again, appreciate your taking the time to respond.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 02:36 AM
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South of Maine, do you want to continue along the coast or go through the mountains in NH and VT on your way? Do be aware that a lot of route 1 is not close enough to the coast that you can see it. You need to get off and go down the little peninsulas to get views. Sometimes you will find "scenic route" or route 1A signs that will provide more views.

The closer to the coast route could include some time in northern MA at Cape Ann (Gloucester, Rockport, etc) and perhaps a little time in Boston. Southern MA might include a bit of Cape Cod, although that might take more time than you want to spend. In RI there is Newport of course, but there are some very nice beaches along the route too. In eastern CT there is Mystic Seaport and New Haven along the coast as well as a bit of traffic if you stick to I- 95.

If you decide to "wing it" for lodging for any part of the trip, pick up a RoomSaver magazine at one of the rest stops or go to their web pages. They have coupons for discounts for walk ins and give locations of hotels/motels along the way with information on the properties. Even if you can't use the coupons it is nice to know where there is lodging on your route.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 04:33 AM
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I really really hate I95, I495, Mass turnpike so I avoid when possible. You can travel south along the coast and consider staying in Portsmouth then cutting across NH to Keene, then VT. You can take I91 thru western MA (very rural) to CT and then onward to NJ. This would put Canterbury Shaker Village just north of Concord NH and Sturbridge Village in MA near your route.

The foodie tour of Portland ME is a great way to spend the day. You'll need additional time to go back to places to shop.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Thank you emalloy and dfrostnh for these helpful suggestions. I will look for the RoomSaver magazine and think about avoiding the Mass turnpike on the trip home.

Can you advise me about the trip down the Maine coast? When we cross from NB into Maine on Sunday (6/24), we will have 2 cars. I have to return my rental to Bangor ~2:30 pm but I'm wondering if it would it be better to drive down Rt.1 toward Lubec and campobello island and spend the night somewhere along the route south then have a shorter drive to Bangor the next day? Would it be reasonable to drive from St. Andrews, NB to Bar Harbor in one day? Once I return my rental my daughter and I will drive back to the coastal area in her car. I don't mind keeping the rental an extra day if it allows us to visit that area, which we might otherwise miss.

If I allow two more days traveling through Maine and head out of the state on Thursday morning, that would give us two days to wind our way back to Princeton. One night in Portland, but where to stay after returning car to Bangor and heading back to the coast?

so, maybe the following would work:
Sun--drive from St. Andrews to Bar Harbor area (overnight), stopping in LUbec, Campobello, elsewhere?
Mon--return car to Bangor, drive back to coast, overnight but I don't know where, your thoughts? Penobscot Bay area?
Tues--continuing driving down coast; stops? where to stay? Freeport?
Wed--Portland
Thurs- head to Portsmouth, then down through Salem and Marblehead, probably drive around Boston rather than through it
Fri--??
Sat--return to Princeton by afternoon

Thanks all for any comments and suggestions. I think I'm frustrated because there's so many wonderful areas to visit and we can only stop briefly on the journey back to NJ. I'm clearly having trouble deciding what to do, really appreciate all of the helpful suggestions! thanks
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