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TravelNatty May 12th, 2011 10:40 AM

Help with Maine coast itinerary
Hubbie and I are flying into Manchester, NH early on a Saturday in late August for our Maine trip (will be visiting family at the tail end of the trip). We have 6 nights (possibly 7) to enjoy Maine. We plan to drive to Bar Harbor that day and spend 3 nights in the area - hiking, eating, relaxing. Then go to Camden/Rockport area and spend one night. I was thinking we'd stay the last two nights in Portland to finish up the trip. It's the end of the trip I'd like advice about - is 2 nights in Portland ok, or should we do one in Portland and one in another town south of there? I'd also like to go canoing or kayaking somewhere along the way - what are the best areas for that?

Vistaphotography May 12th, 2011 10:53 AM

Well depending on your arrival time (the earlier the better) this aprox 270 miles and will take 5 or more hours to get there since not all of the trip is highway (most is but I'm gauging it to be safer)
I would either do both days in Portland or come across the river to Kittery and check the Kittery outpost. Think LLBean but I think they are a little nicer. but if you call the kittery outpost they will be able to point you in the direction for local kayaking. In fact LLBean has adventure kayaking so you might ask there also and compare packages and prices... See what fits your budget and schedule..

yk May 12th, 2011 11:16 AM

It's easy enough to stay in Portland for both nights and just drive south for one of the 2 days (recommend Kennebunkport area or even Portsmouth NH). I think that's easier than checking in/out of hotels and packing/unpacking. AS for Kittery, go if you like outlet shopping, but personally I'd skip it.

Luv2travel15 May 12th, 2011 11:19 AM

I would suggest that you spend your 2 nights in Portland. There is much to see and do there and it is very easy to drive to Kittery area (less than 1/2 hr.) if you want to do shopping. Kittery Outlets have lots of stores to shop in. Portland lots of shops along the waterfront, nice restaurants, etc. We love Portland! Kennebunkport is not that far to drive either and a nice quaint town to visit.
If you like historical things, Henry Wardsworth Longfellow home is in Portland and makes a nice tour of about an hour. You can take a trolley tour around Portland and/or do a harbor tour to see seals, etc.

Here is a nice website on kayaking (includes LL Bean) and lodging in that area.

There are tons of places to kayak and/or canoe. Enjoy your trip.

yk May 12th, 2011 11:40 AM

P.S. We spent a weekend in Portland Maine last June. Here's my trip report:

Luv2travel15 May 12th, 2011 12:38 PM

yk, nice trip report. I'm itching to go back to Portland again and dying for a lobster roll. We, too, live in Boston area so it's only a couple of hours drive to Portland for us. We didn't do the Victorian Mansion before so that will be on my list, I love stuff like that!

Thanks for sharing.

bardo1 May 12th, 2011 12:44 PM

Camden and Bar Harbor are only about 90 minutes drive from one another - not sure they require two separate stays. You could just pick one or the other or even stay somewhere between there two for your "northern home base".

Similarly, you don't need two "southern home bases". Kennebunkport, Bath, Boothbay, atc. are all an easily drive from Portland.

yestravel May 12th, 2011 01:43 PM

I think your plan sounds good. While distances may not be far in season, traffic can be just awful and turn a 2 hour drive into an entire afternoon deal. I love Portland -- think its quite a charming city. I think 2 nights there is fine. U can do day trips easily, but I wouldn't go as far as Boothbay or even Bath. Rte 1 can get quite congested and the bridge at Wicasset that u must cross to get to Boothbay can have long back ups. A bit closer would be Portland to Kennebunkport.
Have a great trip!

elberko May 12th, 2011 03:15 PM

"Hiking, eating, relaxing, and kayaking" says Acadia/Bar Harbor to me. I'd suggest spending more time there. Add a day or 2 in Portland and you have my idea of the perfect Maine vacation.


Ackislander May 13th, 2011 01:25 AM

We are spending some time in Maine this year while our kids use our house in Nantucket.

It was not easy to find lodging (inns) in the Camden-Rockland area for the first week in August. There may be a reason for this (local event) or this may just be the way it is, but I would urge you to find places to stay fairly early on.

You may be fine because families with children in public school will already have left by then.

clarkgriswold May 13th, 2011 05:14 AM

I think if you like hiking, seafood and strolling, Camden deserves two nights and most places in August might require two nights minimum anyway.

Also, Saturday check-in for Bar Harbor in August might be tricky...have you browsed availability yet?

TravelNatty May 13th, 2011 05:59 AM

Thanks everyone for the recommendations! I think I'll stick with 3 nights in Bar Harbor, 1 in Camden, and 2 in Portland. It's too bad we don't have longer to stay. I think we hit the sweet spot in August - we're arriving the last Saturday and heading to visit family the following Friday evening - before the holiday weekend. So I'm finding lots of choices with accommodations (only have Portland left to book).

yk - thanks for the links! Your trip report is great - lots of good ideas for our trip.

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