MA/NH beach vacation ideas needed

Old Jan 14th, 2020, 11:29 AM
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MA/NH beach vacation ideas needed

We're in some early planning for a 5-7d beach / coastal vacation for this summer. The area we're looking at is MA, north of Boston / NH, or southern Maine & looking for some recommendations. Not interested in Cape Cod. Some areas that come to mind are Plum Island MA, Salisbury beach to Seabrook near the MA/NH line, or Hampton Beach NH. We'd be coming from upstate NY.

"We" are 2 of us, my wife and myself, 50's, very active. Our daily routine includes long walks - 3-5miles, so walking trails are a plus, some time at the beach, but not full day sun, quiet reading time - a lot of R&R. Don't care about going in the water, except to splash & cool down.. Looking at a VRBO/Homeaway, 1br is big enough, ok to spend in the $200's per night. Happy to eat at "home" most meals. Access to good supermarket is handy. Nearby cafes for the occasional meal out are a nice to have.

Don't need any honkey tonk, don't need crowds or nightlife. Dates highly flexible, will probably book something end July or Aug when our own hometown is overrun with tourists.

Would live to hear what others have done in that area. TIA.

J62 is online now  
Old Jan 14th, 2020, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Ogunquit Maine is nice but unfortunately southern Maine is also overrun with tourists in July and August. Cape Neddick might be quiet if you can find a rental, no string of motels or inns in the immediate area...but $200 would be on the very low end in high-season.
South Harpswell Maine maybe.

Hampton Beach NH brings "honky tonk, crowds and nightlife" into play.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 01:37 AM
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For the most part, sandy beaches are south of Portland. North, the coast gets rocky but there are a few sandy beaches. We live in NH so the Hampton area is an easy place to get to for a seafood lunch. Our favorite place is Petey's in Rye which is open year round. I don't think we even try to go there during the summer because it's too popular. In winter we try to go at an off time.

If you can drive the extra miles/hours to get to the Harpswell area, I think Clark's suggestion is a good one. Last summer we stayed a couple of night in an air b&b that was on the river on the Brunswick line. No water access but a very pleasant outdoor area. Lodging was a one bedroom with tiny kitchen and LR alcove next to owners' home. Brunswick is a fun college town and it's a short drive to the Harpswell area. You can download a list of public conservation areas to enjoy that aren't crowded at all. We were there July 4/5 (my husband likes the 4th of July parade in Bath). One beach had just enough shady area for us to set up bag chairs and read for awhile. Several hiking areas. The first time we discovered this area of Maine we managed to find one of the secluded beaches. We had a 4x4 PU and road into the beach area was in poor shape. They might not allow vehicles that close anymore. The Brunswick farmers market is great. There are several great seafood places in the Harpswell area. Our idea of a coastal vacation is to search out the best lobster roll and explore. We split time last year with a place near Rockland which was a small cottage on the water but no wifi or tv. Very secluded down a dirt road.

Should you decide on the Hampton area there are walking trails at Odiorne Point, near Pease Trade port (we went on a guided hike which was nice and not crowded at all), and it's worth the drive to Dover Point and head toward Durham for Wagon Hill Farm. Really nice walking trails there which lead to the water and along the edge. Not sure if swimming is allowed there. There's also a place on a road between Rt 1 and 1A and the name has fallen out of my brain. If you do a google on NH hikes, you can probably find it. Our favorite drive is Rt 1B starting from Prescott Park in Portsmouth and out thru New Castle.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:42 AM
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Durham NH is on the Amtrak Downeaster line. It is the home of the University of New Hampshire. There are several Downeaster trains to go up into Maine every day. The Downeaster trains originate at the Boston North station.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2020, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for the inputs. We are familiar with the mid-coast / Brunswick / Harpswell area, and are looking for something further south, eg between Portland and Boston.

Taking the train from Boston North Station to Durham sounds like an interesting trip. Unfortunately it doesn't fit our primary criteria of coastal/beach vacation, nor ease of travel from end to end. Since we're coming from upstate NY we'll be driving.
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I really like the Plum Isand/Crane Beach/north shore area but in July there are problems with greenhead flies. I think you could also encounter them farther north.
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