How crowded is crowded in Maine???

Old Jul 19th, 2002, 09:37 AM
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How crowded is crowded in Maine???

We are heading to Maine for a long weekend in August and have changed our agend from Boothbay a little further south to Kennebunkport and Ogunquit/York area (mostly to save time/distance as we are coming from NY).

I've been reading a lot on these boards and it keeps mentioning that although KBP and Ogunquit etc are great town they get very crowded...this is making me shy crowded is crowded? Like overrun with tourists? What I'm looking for is a Martha's Vineyard type atmosphere but on Maine. Am I looking in the wrong place entirely? HELP!
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 09:40 AM
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You'll be fine. The problem with small towns in the northeast is that they are not built for many people. Having 200 tourists in town makes it feel like it is crowded, whereas 200 people in NYC could fit into 1 subway car.

My rule of thumb - if there is availability in the local hotels, there should be capacity for me to enjoy the town.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 10:18 AM
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Old Jul 19th, 2002, 10:29 AM
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I think the crowds are mainly on the roads. Once we get where we're going, it's fine. We ALWAYS end up in a traffic jam just over the Maine border on 95 on Saturday afternoons, mostly (I think), because of the toll plaza.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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Well, it might be a little crowded with NYers because we're thinking of going to that area too! Have you had luck researching accommodations? I found a few web sites listing places, but no independent reviews.

As far as traffic, if we're driving from NY to Maine will be be caught in the Big Dig traffic? Thanks,
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 11:14 AM
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I really enjoy both Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. However, crowds can get in the way. Ogunquit has basically one traffic light and you can sit there for quite a while. If you turn off the main road in Ogunquit to get to Perkins Cove, on a summer weekend you will run into half of Boston sitting in that one lane of traffic to get there.
Kennebunkport is like that too. Walking is crowded (but not Times Square at rush hout crowded) but driving can be really frustrating. Ditto parking.

Both areas are much larger and more upscale than the surrounding towns, (filled with great shops, restaurants and inns), and so are as packed as any similar resort area (think Newport).Not millions of people but thousands (mostly Bostoners, but other city dwellers too)

BTW, I would suspect most places in both towns are solidly booked for weekends till Labor day.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 11:35 AM
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Rachel: August is smack-dab in the middle of high season and it does get crowded both the beaches and roads. Both towns you mention are small AND popular. I think you'll love it, but give yourself plenty of time to get there AND make sure you have accommodations. If you don't have reservations, IMO you'll never find a room unless you get very lucky! Have fun.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 01:07 PM
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Thank you to all who replied. I think we're going to brave it anyway! Noone really mentioned my comparison to the Vineyard and I've never been to Newport, so I guess I'll just have to find out for myself!

Jim-as for places to stay...I have not called anywhere because we are camping. The few campgrounds I did call were a mix. Those that were oceanfront were pretty much sold out but there was space to be found at other places. We are actually camping in York and I'm hoping that's a good base to be in. (any opinions?) Try going to
They should have good lodging recommendations. Also, what Big Duck traffic do you mean? Like the Big Duck on the Island???? You've lost me. I'm thinking it's gonna take us about 6 hours from NYC.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 01:08 PM
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Also thinking of biking around to save ourselves from the traffic jams. Is that doable around these towns and Route 1?
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 01:10 PM
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Hold on, let me wipe the egg off my face.....Big DIG traffic........okay, well unfortunately I still can't help because I don't know what that is either! Sorry!
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 01:21 PM
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I was in coastal Maine during the week of July 4th and saw many places with vacancies.

There are so m many "mom and pop" independents (not listed in AAA) that if your persistent I'm sure you cna find accomodations.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 02:31 PM
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No, you don't have to go anywhere near the Big Dig. Where are you coming from in NY? Assuming at some point you'll be on the MA Turnpike (I-90), when you get to I-495, take that North, to I-95 North. Now, if you look at a map, it would appear quicker to skip I-495 and continue east to I-95. Trust me on this, there will be much less traffic on I-495, and it's faster. As for "crowded", I'd describe it more as very busy. Reservations will be essential for the nicer and most popular restaurants. These destinations are fabulous, the best time to visit is between July 4th and Labor Day, weatherwise, and lots of other folks have the same intentions as yours.
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 07:59 PM
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Crowded in Maine means campgrounds and motels will have NO vacancies. Boothbay is not as maddening to get to as Ogunquit, do not take the Ogunquit or Kittery exits to get there. Go all the way to Wells/Kennebunk and backtrack to Ogunquit.

Last summer it took us about 2 hours to go 6 miles on route 1 in Maine. The towns can handle the crowds but the two lane roadways definitely cannot!
Old Jul 19th, 2002, 10:29 PM
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I am a former Mainer and have a sister who lives in the Wells/Ogunquit area. Actually, I was just there for a family visit.
I personally think York is a great base from which to see southern Maine. If I were to move back to Maine, York would be my first choice. Be sure to go to Long Sands Beach and Nubble Lighthouse in York. York is a lovely beach town with a 300 year old Maine history. You will enjoy walking about and biking in the area. Wells and Ogunquit are just up the road and even though traffic can get snarly on Route 1, both towns are pleasant to visit and Ogunquit, particularly, is full of shops, great restaurants, inns etc.. And Ogunquit Beach is lovely. Be sure to walk along Marginal Way, a coastal walk way that is just gorgeous and you can catch it at Perkins Cove. Just ask locals for directions. Kennebunkport is also a lovely town, definitely a walking town. Roads are narrow in town and parking is often hard to find but I recommend that you plan to visit and have lunch along the water and walk around all of the local shops. I am sure you will walk away with one or more treasures. Have a great trip and eat lots of lobster and I love the scallops Yum!!!!
Old Jul 20th, 2002, 02:53 AM
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Biking is a great option, and there's some sort of grim satisfactiion whizzing for miles past bumper to bumper traffic. Since we have a place and don't need worry about check in time, we try to plan our trips to Ogunquit to arrive very early in the morning, around 6 am or so. Then the car doesn't get moved until it's time to go home.
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 08:39 PM
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Never have been to Kennebunkport but have been to Ogunquit 3 times, one of our favorite places. It is a great walking town so once you get there park your car, walk or take the trolley. Weekends can be especially busy make reservations for dinner and get to the beach early. You will have a great time.
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