Help with New England and Maine trip

Feb 3rd, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Posts: 134
Help with New England and Maine trip

I am in the very early stages of planning a summer New England Trip.

I have friends in Cape Cod, so will be starting from there, would love to cover key spots in NH, VT and Maine driving back to Michigan from there. Should we just drive through NH or any places worth seeing?

It will be myself, my husband in our mid 40's and our 20 yr old daughter. We love hiking, canoeing, boating and enjoying natural scenic beauty. Not the type to just lay on the beach when there is so much to do and see. Would prefer to stay in cabins. (does not need to be real fancy) just good location/views. A week is what we are looking at, with a day on the Cape and a day in Boston so time is limited.

Can you suggest routes/canoe liveries/places not to miss..... or area's to eliminate?

Have heard Ogunquit/Wells Beach Arcadia, Moose Lake area in Maine are not to be missed. Comments????
mzambo is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Well I would recommend a whale watching trip either form the Cape or further up the coast, from say Gloucester.
A place we visited in NH was Canterbury Shaker Village which was very interesting.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 01:47 PM
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you don't say when next summer but the coast of maine books up, up to a year in advance in some places.
acadia park is at bar harbor, me. and is a great place for hiking. moosehead lake is appox 2 1/2 hrs west of bar harbor at greenville, me and is just gorgeous. lots to do in the way of boating, fishing, hiking, etc. cabins to stay in. from there you could head south to rte 2 west. it will take you through farmington (nice typical maine town with college) and bethel. then into new hampshire and vermont. then head south possibly on rte 89 or 91 which goes all the way to hartford,ct where you could head back to michigan.
as an alternative you could go west from portland, me to lovell,me where kezar lake is (skipping acadia as it is another 4 hours north and in truth deserves more than a day visit). more great hiking with views of mt. washington, around beautiful small kezar lake vs moosehead which is gigantic. in lovell you might look at it's a wonderful b&b and my best friend serves dinner there. (shameless plug) and then head to nh and vt on rte302. this takes you through north conway (outlet shopping for your daughter!!!) and into the white mtns. then rte93 S to concord,nh; rte9 S to brattleboro then rte9 W to bennington vt - pretty town and the pottery. coming into mass at north adams on rte 7.
you'll see lots of pretty country on either route.
virginia is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2007, 02:26 PM
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I am a big fan of both NH and Maine and have been many, many times.

In New Hampshire, two areas that are wonderful are the Lakes Region and the White Mountains. During the summer, Lake Winnipesaukee offers great boating, fishing, family activities, sight seeing, and so forth. A beautiful, beautiful lake with mountain backdrops. The White Mountains, around the North Conway area, offer some amazing hikes and spectacular scenery. I love both and would encourage you to look into them as possible additons.

In Maine, I agree that Acadia National Park is beautiful and you can't beat the Bar Harbor area. If you feel the need for a city taste, Portland is a small city that is highly under-rated. Some great food and nice little shops in there! The Kittery outlets are nearby, and the LL Bean Factory Store in Freeport is also just a short drive away.
Shandy1977 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 06:33 AM
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All good suggestions, but I agree that you do not have time to go to Acadia.

If you only have a week:
Day 1 Cape Cod, esp Route 6A
Day 2 Boston
Day 3 Drive to Portland, ME via Portsmouth, NH. Get off the interstate at Portsmouth and take local roads north
Day 4 Portsmouth and Freeport
Day 5 Brunswick, the islands, maybe Bath
Day 6 Inland to the White Mts -- stay in Jackson or at an Appalachian Mt Club facility
Day 7 Across the White Mts through Crawford Notch to Littleton, then down through Concord, back to Boston to fly home.

I think you can get a lot of Maine atmosphere by staying in Brunswick and visiting Orr's and Bailey's Island and Cundy's Harbor.

For less driving, stay in Portland for Day 5 and take the State Ferry up to Bailey's Island, where you can have a lobster lunch and return by boat through the picturesque islands.

If you head inland to the White Mountains, where you should certainly take a good day hike. See the Appalachian Mountain Club's website for suggestions.

This is a lot of driving, and except for Freeport, is not a trip for people's whose great interest is shopping, though there a lots of outlets and few bargains around.

If you had two more days, you should spend a second day each on the Cape and in Boston.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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This is a tough question for a limited visit. Portsmouth is definitely a great place to stop on your way north. Maybe an hour from Boston so easy to get to. Maybe aim for a morning harbor cruise or inland rivers. Interesting narration. Then have a great lunch before continuing north. We usually stay on Rt 95 until we get to Brunswick ME but the Marginal Way in Ogunquit is nice. Spend the night in Portland for a great dinner and some shopping in the Old Port area. Keep in mind the further north you go the craggier the coast gets. Maine doesn't have many sandy beaches so the scenery is going to be a lot different from Cape Cod which has miles of beaches. We happened to be in Maine for the 4th of July last summer. Bath (near Brunswick) has a wonderful 4th of July celebration. Great time of year to seek out the best lobster and best pies (I'm partial to rhubarb which is early summer). We've had a great lighthouse cruise from the Bath Maritime Museum but they've changed it. It's maybe a half day trip now. We also went out to Monhegan island for the first time and that would be a special treat of boat ride/picnic lunch/ and hiking. Took the boat from Boothbay but there are several boats to the island from different areas. Since by now you're so close to Camden/Rockport I would highly recommend our favorite lobster in the rough place at Waterman's Beach near the Owls Head Transportation Museum. The Owls Head lighthouse is a short, easy hike with great views. But the auto road up Mt Battie in Camden brings you to a fantastic view overlook the harbor. You can hike up if you want. Don't forget binoculars so you can look for windjammers. Make a quick trip back down to Portland via Rt 95 (actually it will take a couple of hours) and then head over to NH's White Mountains. Choose a hike. I don't think you'll find cabins that rent for less than a week. Visit one of the towns on Lake Winnipesaukee such as Wolfeboro. There are places for ocean kayaking all around the coast. There are kayaking and canoe rental places all over NH. I also second the recommendation to head south on Rt 93, pickup Rt 89 to Rt 9. It's a pleasant ride over to VT and thru Bennington. It's our preferred route to get to the NY thruway. I think you'll just have to eliminate things based on your available time. Canterbury Shaker Village is wonderful. If you want to do more hiking you might be better off to spend most of your time in NH's White Mountains.
dfrostnh is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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I'm loving all the suggestions, I should add, however, we are driving from Michigan, starting from friends house in Cape Cod, and out.... 7 days from that point........
mzambo is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Maine and New England have a lot to offer and a week isn't much time. Acadia is wonderful and has everything that you mentioned - the birding is nice as well. It will take approximately 8 hrs travel time to go from the Cape to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Try vrbo or acadiamagic for cottages and look at options (soon) - summer is high season here on Mount Desert (and Bass Harbor). Acadia has both fresh and saltwater (think chilly) swimming and boating. You'll have a great time.
bassharborbaby is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Acadia is beautiful with lots of great places to hike. We camped in the national park - and stayed in a hotel in Northeast Harbor one night when we were rained out. We really enjoyed renting bikes on the carriage trails and having lunch at the Jordon Pond House. (There's a bee issue if you eat outside, but they don't sting).

If you go to Ogunquit and have the time, check out if you'd like to be taken out for a sail. It's a family business and they really know the area. If you go to Ogunquit, be sure to walk along the water (the Cliff walk?) at Perkins Cove. There is a new restaurant there, MC at Perkins Cove (upscale), right on the water if you are looking for someplace special. (I haven't tried it, but I ate at the former restaurant in that location (Hurricane) and the view is fantastic. The website is Another lovely area to check out is Kennebunkport. Have a great trip!
carolv is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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So many people make the mistake of driving all their vacation and not really enjoying where they are. I would always chose to pick a base then go around from there. Anywhere in York or Ogunquit could be a good base. We have a place in York Harbor and it is convenient to Portsmouth, NH, then north to Portland. There is just sooooo much to do and see and a week is not long at all. Acadia is wonderful but so far!
thurstonbb is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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Thanks to everyone, we need to refine our plans a bit, but I very much appreciate all the suggestions. I have been to the Cape and Boston a couple times, but my daughter has not, she will want to see Boston as she is a total history buff, and........ Havard will be a must see for her as well being a college student.

I LOVE the idea of sailing on the Gift!!! We all love boats, and aside from sailing Catamarans, a sailboat is the only type of boat we have not been on, and doing that in NE would make it a special memory.

Because of my love of the National Parks, I don't think I can be that close and not do Acadia. So I think we may spend one day in Ogunquit and then move to Acadia. Take our time on our way back and take the route suggested to get back to the NY Thruway.

Thanks again!!!!!
mzambo is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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If you do find yourself in New Hampshire, consider Mt. Major near Lake Winnepesaukee, a nice hike that pays off with beautiful lake vistas. King George Motor Lodge or are places to stay nearby.
joesorce is offline  
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