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Last minute weeklong August trip to mid-coast Maine

Last minute weeklong August trip to mid-coast Maine

Old Aug 1st, 2010, 07:48 AM
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Last minute weeklong August trip to mid-coast Maine

My husband and I have decided to take a last minute trip to mid-coast Maine. We are driving from NYC.

After doing some reading and much researching, I'm considering the following trip, beginning August 21:

Portsmouth, NH (visit Kittery) - 1 night (Sat, Aug 21)
East Boothbay (stay in Ocean Point Inn) - 2 nights (Sun, Mon 8/22-23)
Monhegan Island - 3 nights (availability in several places) (Tues, Wed, Thurs)
(visit Freeport on the way)
Portland - 1-2 nights (Friday, maybe Saturday)

I've identified availability in Ocean Point Inn and Monhegan Island. We are budget/value type travellers, and are trying to keep the budget for accommodations around $100-$150, but will spend a little more if necessary.

We've been to Monhegan Island many years ago, so we know what to expect. I was wondering what are the more interesting activities or places to visit around East Boothbay.

Any suggestions or feedback is most welcome!
Thanks,
Paule
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:39 AM
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You might consider Higgins Beach Inn near Portland for your final two nights. It's not a bad drive into Portland (20 mins?) for dining and shopping, and I don't know that you'll find anything decent in Portland in the $150 range....mostly just places out by the mall or the airport. In fact I find most of the roadside motels on route 1 in Scarborough/Saco more attractive than the mall/airport area.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 01:09 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...rip-report.cfm

It is a fun trip report that I thought you might enjoy. It is not meant to talk you out of anything, as you are familiar with the island.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm still tweaking the plans and will, hopefully, finalize it by tomorrow or Tuesday.

LittleWing, Great report! Makes me think I might only stay 2 nights instead. The walking is great and the vistas are beautiful, and I think we'll feel "done" after one full day. I don't really want to spend my time hanging about and reading - it's not that kind of trip.

Is there anywhere else we might go for 2-3 nights from East Boothbay that wouldn't be overwhelmingly crowded?

Thanks,
Paule
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 05:10 AM
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Maine Coastal Gardens is a nice walk near Boothbay. Visit Owls Head Light near Rockland. Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. To the south, Maritime Museum in Bath. Check their light house cruise schedule.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:56 PM
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I've reserved the following:
1 night - Portsmouth, NH
2 nights - East Boothbay
2-nights - Monhegan Island

I now have 2-3 nights before we return home to NYC. I'm tentatively planning a stop in Portland, but am wondering if there are any other recommendations for interesting or beautiful places to stay. Maybe an inland stop?

I love cities, but hate the hassle of driving in and out, so perhaps 1 or 2 towns to visit that we can do on our way back home? This can be inland as well, since we'll have spent some time on the coast by this point.

Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 02:50 AM
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Any suggestions for our last 2-3 nights for places other than Portland? Looking for smaller towns, perhaps inland?

Suggestions welcome!
Thanks,
Paule
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:44 AM
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Not sure you really want 2 days at Monhegan (see my trip report), although an overnight would be nice.

My favorite places are around the Rockland-Camden area -- walking, shops, Farnsworth, and the view from "Mount" Battie is really lovely(I put it in quotes because it's got very nice altitude and 'scape-scope but to some people it's more like a very high hill) -- and Pemaquid Point/Lighthouse (Bradley Inn nearby is very nice).

Not sure I understand why you want to go inland - you have to go quite a bit to get to their lakes/mountains area, otherwise it's semi-rural and actually a little flat and (sorry, Maine) boring pretty much everywhere. I have really good friends in Hallowell, a little riverside town next to Augusta, which had a lively antique scene for a while, but the economy's hurting everyone.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 07:01 AM
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otherwise it's semi-rural and actually a little flat and (sorry, Maine) boring pretty much everywhere

I was in a hurry and I didn't exactly write what I meant. I LOVE Maine, and more than 50% of it is so sparsely populated that the few roads are often privately owned. But the inland towns are not the post-card scenic type you might imagine for, say, Vermont or New Hampshire. They may sport really pretty gardens or very active communities for one thing or another, but Maine's main tourist attractions are either on the coast or toward the NH or Canadian borders.

I hope you'll have a chance to come back again sometime because Bar Harbor/Mt. Desert Island are truly spectacular - but you'll love the rest of the coast. Don't underestimate Portland - there's more there than you might think, and Portland Head Light is lovely.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:25 AM
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I second Camden/Mt Battie, you don't have to stay in Camden, it could be a drive thru. Also like the Pemaquid/Damariscotta area. Visit the lighthouse, eat lobster. You really aren't spending enough time in Portsmouth. There is usually something going on, like events in Prescott Park. Hope in addition to Kittery you'll explore Kittery Point.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:24 PM
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Thank you for the feedback! My husband and I have spent time twice in Bar Harbor/Mt Desert Island, and I didn't really want to travel that far, especially during the end of August. I probably could've done it, but I've already made reservations further elsewhere.

We did visit Monhegan Island about 15 years ago, and enjoyed it then - felt like it was a good visit away, and though I now am questioning it (!), I still feel like 2 nights is just about right. Of course, having made my reservations last night, I've no choice!

However... now I'm tempted to visit Camden/Rockland area, and will look for a place to stay there. I'll check out your recommendation, Cyanna, and appreciate the feedback. Very helpful to know that inland isn't as scenic as the coastal towns.

Thanks again for the feedback.
Paule
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:45 PM
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Which place are you staying at on Monhegan? The man at Monhegan House seemed very congenial, but it doesn't have the view that the Inn does.

I thought 24 hrs. would be the most I'd want to stay there, but perhaps if you particularly like to do a lot of photography (or painting/sketching?), or just chilling, that'll be fine. In any case, you won't have the problem finding a restroom during the day that day-trippers would have ;-) !

What kind of place in Camden or Rockland would you like? If you have a choice, I'd recommend staying in Camden rather than Rockland -- a very slight difference, but I found Camden more picturesque. Do you want a B&B or ....?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:47 PM
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Hi, Cyanna,
We are staying in the Monhegan House - definitely more budget than the Inn, but it does have an ocean view. And we won't have any worries about the restroom, at least!

We both like photography - and I can use a dose of chilling from my stressful work as well, so I think we'll be fine with our stay at Monhegan. But your trip report did have me knock it down from 3 days to 2 days!

I've been looking on trip advisor for family-style motel/hotels as we are trying to keep the costs low. We're not doing the B&B thing this year, I'm afraid. If you have any low-cost suggestions (preferably under $125) I'd love it.

Paule
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 02:53 AM
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Try Glenmoor by the Sea in Lincolnville. We stayed there several years ago. It's on Rt 1 but set back from the road. Just north of Camden.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 03:07 AM
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Thanks,dfrost. I'll check it out.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:38 AM
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We were thrilled with "The Ledges by the Bay" in Rockport - as inexpensive as you're going to get and still not need a tetanus shot. http://www.ledgesbythebay.com/index.php

You DO have to be sure to ask for a room in the building with rooms 10-34 - second floor is best. This building has the best view and is most protected from road noise (you're right on the main road between Camden and Rockland. My Jun. 9 review is on tripadvisor, along with all the many other raves. Hope they have room for you. There are a couple of other places along the same stretch of road, but you'll pay more, get more noise, and may not have the same view.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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btw, it's right near the Glenmoor - which we saw but didn't check out.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Cyanna, this is not my thread, but I am delighted with your recommendation of The Ledges by the Bay! Just lucked out with reserving a "Superior" room for 4 nights on the second floor of that favored building for $109/night. All the standard rooms were booked. I really like what I saw on their website, and feel like it really is a bargain. Thanks.
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