Help with July Maine trip


May 28th, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Help with July Maine trip

We have a great price on a flight to Portland, ME and are planning to visit for a week in July. We have never been to Maine and have no idea where to vacation. It looks like Portland is rather close to the south beaches and we could go that way, but perhaps it is more scenic to go up the coast the other way. I've been on the Fodor's site, but can anyone provide suggestions. We just want to see the sights. We're not looking for a beach vacation--we can get that in Hilton Head. What are your favorites?
3badboys is offline  
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May 28th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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"We're not looking for a beach vacation--we can get that in Hilton Head"
That's good, because the rocky Maine coast--with July water temps around 60-- isn't a classic beach vacation

Who is "we"? Adults (ages, interests?) What kind of budget or places to stay?
What "sights" --parks, lighthouses?

The southern coast area is more congested but has great restaurants and shopping, shorter driving between towns. Portland is a great small town. Drive north (how far are you willing to drive) gets you toward Acadia and amazing scenery
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May 28th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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2 days in Portland, 2 days in the Rockland/Rockport/Camden area (stopping in Freeport at LL Bean on your way). 2 days at Bar Harbor/Mt Desert Island/Acadia National Park. See for details.

Another option is to meander south from Portland for a couple of days on route 9, 1 and 103 taking in the coastal towns all the way to Kittery and Portsmouth, NH. Then head up 16 and 11 to see the Lake Winnipesaukee area, and from there take I-93/3 up through Franconia Notch and on to Twin Mountain, where you can pick up 302 and see Mt. Washington and North Conway. Then head back to Portland. If you have time, drive the Kancamangus Highway from Lincoln to Conway. See
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May 28th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Posts: 326 see it before it gets hilton headed.
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May 29th, 2009, 03:11 AM
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If the bad boys are with you, you might want to check out the weekend events at Owls Head Transportation Museum in Rockland. Nearby there's a nice short, easy hike to Owls Head Light. I prefer the Farnsworth Museum that features Maine artists. Also agree with exploring Camden area. We usually spend our week in Maine consuming as much lobster as possible. The lobster shacks on the water are usually a bit of a drive down a country road. We like to take a picnic lunch and bag chairs to the top of Mt Battie which overlooks Camden Harbor. Don't forget the binnoculars. Camden is home to several windjammers.
Due to distance, I would split the week between the Acadia area and Rockland area. We like the mid-coast area best. It tends to be more rustic. This year we are planning our trip to coincide with a garden tour and Owls Head Museum event. Try to get out on the water sometime. Could be a boat ride out of Bar Harbor. One year we took an all day cruise to visit lighthouses. Hit a perfect day with a picnic lunch on one of the little islands with a lighthouse.
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May 29th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Fantastic feedback. We are traveling without the kids, so we can indulge in a bed and breakfast and lobster dinners. We've never been north of New York, so we're hoping to escape the humidity of Atlanta. Are the biting flies (rumored to be large as cell phones)a real problem?
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May 29th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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you are getting good advice so far so i'll just say that there are huge flies that bite and are doggedly persistent. however, it's the oh so tiny black flies that are the bain of existance in maine until mid july. they swarm and leave the most annoying itchy bites (normally w/out your knowledge i might add). they particularly enjoy the hairline & ear areas, but are happy to get you anywhere they can.
they seem not to enjoy the heat of the sun in mid-day (favoring shady spots like the woods - which drives the moose crazy and out onto the roads - thus easier moose viewing in spring/early summer) and the coast is better because of the constant breeze.

even on hottest most humid day in maine you will be more comfortable than atlanta!

you will love the maine coast. any place there is a lighthouse is a good place to see the view. (i love owl's head)

ps - i did so enjoy the cell phone comparison and will share it w/fellow mainiacs.
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May 30th, 2009, 03:26 AM
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First of all, the black flies should not be a problem in July on the coast. Mosquitoes can be a problem, but probably not too bad unless you're camping. The 'huge flies' posters are referring to might be the 'greenheads' or horseflies as they're called some places. To be honest they seem to be a rare occurrence. Maybe one beach day a summer they swarm in, but aren't a regular problem.

Now, you haven't given much info as what you'd like to do except that you don't need a beach vacation. Are you interested in hiking, kayak tours, coastal walks, museums, shopping, lighthouses? If you haven't been to Maine before there is so much to see and if you provided a bit more info we could help direct you. Just one thought, I would avoid driving to Bar Harbor/Acadia for less than 3 or 4 days. It is about 3 1/2 hours from Portland and has so much to do that you should plan more time. One idea might be to drive directly to BH, spend 3 nights, then meander back down the coast stopping in one or two villages. Portland has a lot to offer too.

I also love the beaches in southern Maine, but I think you would find more things different than sandy beaches if you go north. And I do have to challenge Janie that millions of tourists find 'classic' beach vacations in Old Orchard, Kennebunk, Wells, Ogunquit, and York. These towns have expansive sandy beaches and although the water is cold, the beaches are packed every day in the summer.
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