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jennfl30 Jun 13th, 2021 08:59 AM

last minute 2 week Boston to Maine trip - itinerary help
 
We decided to go on a very last minute 2 week New England road trip. We plan to fly out on July 4th. It will be my husband & I, 18, 16 & 10 year old. Because it's so last minute, we aren't able to stay at the exact locations of some of our destinations (no hotel availability) but everything seems relatively nearby so I'm hoping it won't be much of an issue. I would love some feedback on if this itinerary sounds good - or even doable! I'm open for any suggestions. We love all things coastal, hiking, exploring quaint towns, and trying new places to eat.

We will be flying from Florida into Boston & spending a few days there.

3 nights - Boston, includes a day trip to Mystic, Connecticut.

3 nights - Portland, we will stay in Portland w/ a day trip to Kennebunkport

3 nights - Augusta - this will be the place we will stay to visit Camden & Boothbay since I couldn't find accommodations in either of those places. From what I can tell, Augusta is about an hour away from both locations.

3 nights - Bangor - we wanted to stay in Bar Harbor but again, no accommodations availability. We plan to visit Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park.

3 nights - back to Boston - day trips to Ogunquit & Salem. Fly home from Boston.

Is this doable? Any must-do's I'm missing?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

isabel Jun 14th, 2021 03:54 AM

It's doable. Not ideal. What are your criteria for a hotel. Booking.com is showing availability in Camdn around that time but prices start well over $200. For Camden area instead of August an hour away look at Belfast which shows several places only about a half hour with prices in the low hundred range and you won't find much lower anywhere.

For Acadia look at Ellsworth, much closer than Bangor. Again, booking.com shows quite a few places in mid July at a range of prices. These may not be 'ideal' but if your goal is a place to stay to be out during the day doing stuff they look perfectly acceptable.
Some of your day trips are a bit far. Boston to Mystic is two hours so you'd spend 4 hours in the car (and that wouldn't be 'scenic' driving, it would be highway). What is your main reason for including Mystic on this trip. You'll get plenty of coast in Maine so I assume it's for the Historic Seaport. It's OK but I'm not sure it's worth all that time. If you are interested in seeing an historic 'living village' type place consider Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth NH which is right on your route. Plimouth Plantation is also wonderful and much closer, although neither of those is focused on seafaring.

Also Ogunquit is right on your route so doing it as a day trip from Boston doesn't make much sense. Driving in and out of Boston will waste a lot of time. I'd pull one night from Boston and stop en route for a night between Boston and Portland and do both Kennebunkport and Ogunquit then. Salem is OK as a day trip from Boston but if it were me I'd also stay up there (Peabody, Danvers, etc. have tons of hotels). It's close to Boston but with the time you'd save you could add in other places near Salem (Gloucester, Rockport, Newburyport). In fact, I wouldn't do any of that last three nights in Boston. Staying in Danvers, Peabody, etc. is very close to Logan, much easier to just do that and drop the car at the airport. If you want more Boston time then add another day at the beginning. I would not split Boston and stay there twice, especially since at least your Ogunquit day trip requires you keep the car which will be a pain.

oldemalloy Jun 14th, 2021 04:36 AM

Good advice so far. At the risk of sounding like tomfuller, I am going to suggest that if you want to do the day in Mystic, you can avoid renting a car in Boston until you head for Maine. There is a train to Mystic that leaves South Station fairly early in the morning and a return trip that leaves Mystic a bit after 5. You can walk to town or the Seaport or Aquarium or taxi/uber to them.

You really do not need a car in Boston and as suggested, stop at Ogunquit on your way to or from the other Maine sites. Salem is an easy train or ferry ride from Boston.

Macross Jun 14th, 2021 04:51 AM

Have you priced rental cars? We have gone back to the airport and picked one up in previous years. Check out Belfast, we have a cabin there for July, Colonial Gables Oceanfront Village.
Mystic, ok, not that great but historically Concord is so much better. I loved Louisa May Alcott, Walden Pond, North Bridge etc. While in Boston do visit Charlestown. Actually, hotels can be a bit cheaper there and love the vibe.

I say this all the time but the boat trip to Salem on a nice day is great and Salem is fun to explore. House of Seven Gables is there. You can also take a ferry to Provincetown. I love the tour of Fenway.

Christina Jun 15th, 2021 11:11 AM

I'm going to that area in mid-July. I haven't book my hotel yet, plan to very shortly, but I found tons of vacancies in that area, so not sure what your problem is. Not in quaint upscale inns or right on the water, no, but no problem in some chain hotels in Bath, quite a few. I even found vacancies in some independent hotels/inns in Brunswick, also. I didn't care about staying in Camden myself. Actually, my dates may be about the same as yours by the time you get there. Unless you won't stay in a chain hotel. there are vacancies in the Hampton Inn, BW Plus, etc on your dates.

I'm not a quaint person, I just want a clean, comfortable room with modern conveniences and one thing that is nice about that type of booking is much more lenient cancellation policies than those expensive inn type places.

Bath/Brunswick area is a lot closer to Boothbay Harbor and Camden than Augusta BTW, and Bath itself has the maritime museum and some cruises there. I just think it's a better location for a Maine coast vacation. Also, the Maine state history museum in AUgust is closed for a couple years for renovations, I think, so you can't even do that.


dfrostnh Jun 16th, 2021 12:14 AM

Some great advice. We like the Barh/Brunswick area and you have the Harpswell area to explore. Brunswick is a college town with a great farmers market on Fridays. Check out Harpswell conservation areas for places to explore. You can download a map.

We also like the Rockland ME area with Farnsworth Art Museum and nearby Owlshead Transportation Museum.

Agree on staying in Ellsworth rather than Bangor. Did you check Lincolnville for lodging near Camden? Liked Glenmoor by the Sea but stayed there several hears ago.

tomfuller Jun 16th, 2021 07:07 AM

There are several Amtrak "Downeaster" trains per day from Boston North station to destinations in Maine. The station in Freeport ME is within walking distance of the LL Bean flagship store.


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