Lake Winnipesaukee, Adirondacks or other

Old Jul 31st, 2019, 09:49 AM
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Lake Winnipesaukee, Adirondacks or other

Hello! I'm planning 10 days to 2 weeks with a 14-year-old boy in late May/early June. I don't know New England/upstate New York well at all and would love some advice to point us in the right direction. We'd be spending a few days in the city (Boston, NYC or other) and then renting a car to head into the countryside or to the coast.

I have always wanted to experience a classic Northeast lake, like Winnipesaukee, or one of the old-school Adirondack summer lodges. Alternatively, I've always wanted to visit coastal Maine as well. Which would be more appealing/likely to have better weather that time of year?

Our lodging budget would be up to $300 per night. We usually like to rent cottages or other independent accommodations with kitchen facilities and washer/dryer.

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

Last edited by bamafam; Jul 31st, 2019 at 09:51 AM.
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 11:46 AM
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For some of the classic NY Adrirondack lakes look at lodging on one of these: Indian Lake, Blue Mtn Lake, or Long Lake (in order of increased distance from NYC. Each of those has old timey cottage/hotels. (not the same thing as the big time lodges which for the most part were private. Some lakes now offer properties with that lodge experience - none in particular come to mind and I believe many are on smaller, private lakes Garnet Hill is one I've seen with a booth at outdoor shows but I don't know anything about them.

Also look at Schroon Lake or northern end of Lake George (Silver Bay or Hague). Closer to the interstate, not as remote, but also very nice lakes. If you want a VRBO that opes up the options considerably, but be aware that many rental properties are NEAR vs right ON a lake, which means a short drive or a walk to get to the water. "Water access" does not equal waterfront.

Late May / early June the water will NOT be warm enough to swim for anyone but polar bear. Cold even with a wet suit unless you're swimming laps. There is usually still ice on these lakes until mid April. May through June is also black fly season. Not trying to discourage you from planning a trip, just be aware. And late May/early June is also not great hiking weather - ground is muddier vs Aug/Sept/Oct.

Personally, I would head to the coast... Lots of nice areas south of Portland eg from York to Old Orchard Beach. That's before the summer high season so prices will be lower. Ocean will be as cold as the Adirondack lakes, if not colder, but you'd have sand and sun without the bugs you get deep in a forest.

Last edited by J62; Jul 31st, 2019 at 12:01 PM. Reason: added links.
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 12:13 PM
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Thank you J62! That really helps. Sounds as though Maine may be our best bet. Is Acadia National Park feasible/comfortable that time of year as well? We definitely wouldn't expect to swim, just would like to get out on the water.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 01:52 AM
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Take a look at various boat trips to see how soon they start running. Portland's Casco Bay visits islands just off the coast. Some people commute by boat including school children. A friend vacations on Peak's Island, one of the stops, but I haven't been. You'll want to bring a jacket for early June out on the water. Portsmouth NH's harbor or inland rivers cruises are very good with more narration. We have also enjoyed a lighthouse cruise with the Maritime Museum in Bath, ME. It would be a good time to visit Acadia before summer crowds. A friend who lives near Bar Harbor swears they don't have black flies.
We have had good luck with air b&b recently staying 4 nights in an ocean front cottage in a wooded setting near Owl's Head ME. Be aware however that some cottages of this type do not have WiFi or good tv reception. Check the amenities listings.
I hate to see you skip NH's Lakes Region because of black flies. You might ask the question directly of some of the places you might want to visit such as The Flume. Keep in mind that the Conway side of the White Mountains and Wolfboro NH area are only about an hour from Portland ME. One of my favorite spots is the Squam Lakes Science Center to see NH wildlife in native habitat. They also do pontoon boat cruises to see loons. Perhaps vacation in Maine but do a day trip to Squam. As a NH resident, black flies don't bother me as much as they would a visitor. I did an early June wildflower walk at the Rocks Estate in Bethlehem NH. A friend shared some bug spray with me and I wasn't bothered by bugs at all while hiking. Other hikers were wearing bug hats. A friend from NY also wears a bug netting shirt.
I usually don't like southern ME but it would be nice in early June. Maybe check out the science center at Odiorne Point near Portsmouth NH as well as enjoy tide pools at beaches like York. Another warning about late spring hiking is hypothermia dangers and sudden weather changes in the mountains. We had a cold wet spring this year. But gardeners are usually putting vegetable gardens in by the end of May. For pretty landscapes you might want to check out Lupine Festivals held in NH's White Mountains and different areas of coastal Maine (they were fading by July 4 in mid-coast Maine). Probably not on a 14 yo's bucket list but maybe a visit to Polly's Pancake Parlor would be.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 03:37 AM
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J62, totally on about Adirondacks. You can rent a pontoon boat at Schroon but a white water rafting trip out of North Creek would be perfect.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 07:19 AM
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Thank you all for the suggestions. Based on timing and our personal preferences, here is what I am thinking. Let me know how this balance of time looks. I like to minimize our stops so that we aren't changing accommodations every other night, and pick a few places that make a good home base for day trips nearby.

The reason for the extended time in Boston is that we have family about an hour from there and would like to spend a day visiting them, plus another day touring southern Vermont - we've never been there and it would be fun to check that state off the list. (If we should consider exchanging NH for Vermont I'm open to that as well, but it seemed farther out of the way with the rest of our itin.) We would do Portland as a day trip from the Kennebunks.

Day 1: Arrive BOS
Day 2: Boston
Day 3: Boston
Day 4: Boston
Day 5: Boston
Day 6: Boston > NH Lakes Region
Day 7: NH Lakes Region
Day 8: NH Lakes > Kennebunks
Day 9: Kennebunks
Day 10: Kennebunks
Day 11: Kennebunks
Day 12: Kennebunks > Bar Harbor
Day 13: Bar Harbor/Acadia
Day 14: Bar Harbor/Acadia
Day 15: Bar Harbor > Bangor; depart BGR
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 09:58 AM
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There's a lot of Maine between Kennebunks and Bar Harbor. We usually take I95/295 as far as Brunswick and then get off on Rt 1. Rt 1 will take you thru some beautiful towns like Bath, Wiscasset and Camden. Then there's a stretch of inland before you go over the incredible bridge. You don't have to get off Rt 1 when you got thru Bath to get a glimpse of the Bath Iron Works and a ship they might be building. We've seen a stealth destroyer. The crane is huge. In Camden you should take a detour up the auto road to the top of Mt. Battie which overlooks Camden Harbor. You should see windjammers in the harbor midweek. I would schedule a full day to get to Bar Harbor and do a few stops. The Maritime Museum in Bath may be of interest. Google best lobster shacks or lobster rolls to get an idea of where you might want to go for lunch. The Cole Transportation Museum in Bangor is a lot different from the classic car museum in Owls Head. It focuses on work vehicles. We saw photos of a Lombard Log Hauler and they might have a restored one at this point. You might get a view of the rest of Maine which includes lumber and logging.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 10:04 AM
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I would choose Ogunquit over the Kennebunks. Beautiful beach, walk the Marginal Way, take boat trips from Perkins Cove.....
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 10:17 AM
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Great feedback. Bette, what makes you prefer Ogunquit over the Kennebunks? I was looking for the "quaint Maine coastal town" feeling, so I'm really open to whatever.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 10:35 AM
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I love Kennebunkport for the shops and sights like the Bush Compound, but I think a 14 year old would get bored with that after a bit. Ogunquit is lovely and has the plus of a great beach which the 14 year old might enjoy walking, exploring.

https://www.ogunquit.org/
Have a look and see if it suits you; it is also a very easy ride to Nubble Light from Ogunquit.
Nubble Light

Marginal Way:
https://newengland.com/today/travel/...gunquit-maine/

Look at some photos of Perkins Cove:
https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...+cove&fr=yfp-t
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 11:35 AM
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If you found a rental on one of the lakes near Camden Maine you could easily explore the coast via day trips. However, late May early June is mosquito season and you might be miserable at the lake, I would stick to the coast at that time of year.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2019, 07:50 AM
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Close by both Ogunquit and Kennebunkport is York, were there is a small zoo, Nubble Light, a penny arcade, and Godenrods Saltwater Taffy, where they make lots of taffy right in the window. These might be fun for a 14 year old.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2019, 09:27 PM
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Offering uncompromising hospitality in a quality location on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.

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