Maine and New Brunswick - June 2022

Old Apr 24th, 2022, 04:56 PM
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Maine and New Brunswick - June 2022

Hiya. 10 or 11 days in Maine and New Brunswick (Bay of Fundy). Please help with itinerary. Family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids - 16,13,10).

Flying in/out of Boston (because cheaper). But no interest in staying in Boston. Will rent a car.

Acadia is a must. Def want to drive coast from Boston north. We prefer natural wonders as opposed to museums, shopping - tho do enjoy local kitchen. We do not want to move everyday - prefer 2-3n somewhere and then drive a few hours for next stop. Realize final stretch back to Boston might be a longer drive.

suggestions on stops, overnites, food welcomed…thank you!
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Old Apr 24th, 2022, 05:59 PM
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Book the rental car a.s.a.p, some weeks are already sold out this summer. And lodging near Acadia is full on many nights too.

Oqunquit/Kennebunkport for 2 or 3 nights if you want some beach time as opposed to the rocky coast further north. Terrace by the Sea is a nice place to stay, or The Lodge by the Cove which has lawn games,a nice pool, and complimentary bikes for both adults and kids.
Mount Agamenticus is nearby for hikes, or from this part of the state you could explore some of the lake areas like Shapleigh or Naples/Sebago.

Up the coast a bit, Boothbay Harbor is a small lobstering village with boat cruises, or an excursion called "The Cabbage Island Clambake". Linekin Bay Resort has lots of activities for the kids.

Camden/Rockland area is another idea , you'd be on the coast but have good lakeside swimming beaches a short drive away. Also Camden Hills State Park and Moose Point State Park.
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Old Apr 24th, 2022, 11:13 PM
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Can tou take rental car into Canada?
tough assignment. Maine is our easy summer vacation destination but we usually split a week between two places. North of Acadia is going to be a long haul. I95 thru Maine can be very boring and Rt 1 isn't really on the coast except for a few spots.
I'll agree on Boothbay because it's a good time to visit Maine Coastal Gardens. Take the boat trip to Monhegan Island. Get take out from a roadside food shack and find the little island in the vicinity of Maine Coastal Gardens that has a pedestrian bridge and picnic tables in a pine grove. I think it was also a put in spot for kayaks. If yo want to visit Boothbay area I'll see if I can find the shack and island.

Rockland area: Owls Head Lighthouse easy hike. You said no museums but Owls Head Transportation Museum has special events on weekends. One visit we saw antique airplanes flying and a restored Lombard Log Hauler. Best lobster shack is McLoon's which will require a drive. Claws just north of town a take out seafood with dining porch overlooking industrial area of harbor. Rockport has a pretty harbor with park.

Brunswick/Bath area - Maritime Museum has interesting cruises of harbor and out to lighthouses. The Harpswell area east will take a couple of days to explore. Download the guide to conservation areas. Some are very short hikes like Giant Steps (or stairs). I like Cundy Harbor lonster shack but there are also indoor restaurants. Brunswick has a great farmers market on Fridays. You'll be too early for strawberries I think but you might luck out with a rhubarb pie.

I would google best lobster rolls and plan your trip accordingly. When you get sick of lonster there is crab or fried clams. Depending on your arrival time you could make it to Portland for first overnight. Take the morning mailboat cruise of islands in Casco Bay. There is a little narration for tourists but expect this to be a working boat transporting people and goods. Get french fries at Duckfat and ice cream from MDI. Have whoopie pies for dessert. You could stop at the whoopie pie place in Freeport but no shopping outlet stores.

i think Bay of Fundy deserves a separate trip. It's fascinating plus you can find the beaches where the gulf stream gets close to land and water is very warm between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Break up the long drive to Acadia with a stop at Chicken Barn Antiques and Used books. And drive to top of Mt Battie in Camden.
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 04:56 AM
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oh, didn't realize about rental issue going into Canada. thank you both for recs. I guess New Brunswick can be another trip - then we can get all the way out to NS and the cape!

so looking like this:
  • arrive Boston, 1n
  • Kennebunkport, 3n - explore beaches, portland, eat lobster, fries and whoopee pies, ferry around casco bay
  • Bar Harbor/Acadia, 3n - explore Acadia NP
  • Camden/Rockland, 2n
  • depart Boston
we do have an extra night or 2. should I add to Acadia? Maybe another stop somewhere for a night? thoughts?
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 10:27 PM
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Yes you can take a rental car to Canada, you just can't DROP a rental car in Canada.

If your trip is in July or August then you might add another night at Acadia if you love to hike, because there are several nice hiking areas but crowds make it a slow-go. If you're not planning to hike much then 3 nights is probably fine...you could spend part of day 4 there then make your way to Camden and add the 3rd night there if you wish...after arriving late on day one. Two nights in Camden Rockland would only be one full day in between to drive around and see everything.

"When you get tired of lobster there is crab and clams". Oh she must have forgotten about the Maine Haddock Sandwiches, Tiny sweet fried Maine shrimp, or broiled scallops. Bet's Fish Fry near Boothbay. And you gotta try "The Maine Italian", a sub/sandwich like none you've ever had.

Lots of good restaurants in Bar Harbor and Camden/Rockland....but there will be waits. Make reservations anywhere that accepts them.

Mabel's and Allison's are favorites in Kennebunkport, also The Ramp. Big Daddy's for ice cream on the way to Ogunquit/Wells.
Becky's Diner is a family favorite in Portland and she's got the best whoopie pies around.
Galyn's, Side Street Cafe, Peekytoe Provisions and The Stadium in Bar Harbor are all pretty family friendly. Udder Heaven for just-made ice creams.
Claws in Rockland, or Ada's Kitchen if you're ready for pizza. Home Kitchen or for breakfast, or Marriner's in Camden for blueberry pancakes. Camden Deli is good for lunch.

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Apr 25th, 2022 at 10:45 PM.
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Old Apr 26th, 2022, 12:57 AM
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Merriland Farm cafe in Wells for breakfast but if they aren't taking reservations try fir a slow time. It's very popular with a varied menu. Holy Donut on way to Portland..

Clark, if restaurant does half and half I'll get that instead of full plate of clams. Up until last year fresh dry scallops were frequently on sale at the supermarket so seared scallops were something I cooked at home.

it's a 3 1/3 hour very boring drive from Rockland to Boston. Pick a good place for lunch. With good timing you could do one last boat ride in Portsmouth, visit Odiorne Point, or lunch at Petey's in Rye with a walk on the beach. Seabrook has two paper plate seafood places which are larger.

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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 01:57 PM
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Because you said you prefer natural wonders over museums/shopping, I wouldn't stay in Kennebunkport. You can drive straight to Portland, stay one night or two, ferry around casco bay, Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, etc. K'port is very expensive and doesn't sound like your vibe. I recommend more time in Acadia, you could even venture up to Lubec/Eastport if you had two nights to stay there. But there's plenty to do around BH/Acadia, and you could drive over to the Schoodic Peninsula. Camden will also be just like K'port, except there is good hiking in Camden Hills State park. Driving the Route 1 coastal route will be very slow. From Portland to Bar Harbor is about 3.5 hours if you take 95 to Bangor and then Route 3 to Ellsworth. I recommend doing that on the way up and then taking the coastal route back with your stop in Camden/Rockland. I hate to say this because I live in Maine and love all these towns, but if you're not into touristy shops or higher priced crafts, Bar Harbor, K'port, and Camden are all very similar. All of these towns will have lots of good seafood restaurant choices, from 'shacks' to high end places. I don't know if prices will still be high, but lobster is out of control right now!
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 05:01 PM
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thanks cindy (and clark and dfrost)! appreciate the insight and a BIG no to touristy shops and crafts. while we enjoy eating, drinking and farmers markets i can barely get my husband to agree on boston - he wants to go straight to the "good stuff"

so would this be better for nature hike beaches rocky cliffs ferry boats puffins islands whale watching lobster whoopie pies light houses lakes and more nature?

Boston, 1n (maybe I give in to husband and skip?)
Portland area, 2n (which is better stay in Portland or in a surrounding area?)
BH/Acadia, 4n (def want to get over to Schoodic Peninsula)
Camden/Rockland, 3n
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Old Apr 28th, 2022, 11:35 PM
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I'm going to make another pitch for the Bath/Brunswick area. Maritime Museum has boat cruises to see light houses plus Bath has ship building. One time driving over the bridge we could see one of the new Navy stealth destroyers being worked on, we were lucky years ago when the museum offered a full day boat tour of lighthouses which included stopping at a small island where we could have a picnic lunch. Brunswick is a college town with great farmers market. In between the two towns you can take the road east to the Harpswell area which is rural with lots of places to explore. We haven't found a place to stay but friends do an annual visit to a guest house kind of place on the water. lots of lobster places but few motel type places although probably plenty of cottages if you can spend a week. There won't be any crowds like you will see in the three places cindyj mentioned. You can download the conservation area guide here https://hhltmaine.org/get-outdoors/
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 04:57 AM
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@dfrostnh: I was just trying to stick to the places the original poster first mentioned and not rock their whole itinerary. I agree that Bath/Brunswick and the peninsulas are nice, but with teenagers it just seems a little quiet.
jbenitez7399: What time are you landing in Boston? Probably 3 hours to Portland by the time you pick up your rental car, etc. Logan airport is close to the city, but IMHO it would be a hassle to pick up the rental and then drive into the city to try to see something. If you're landing later, you could stay somewhere north of Boston on the route. Plenty of options just to lay your heads down. I like your new itinerary though. Portland is a small city and it makes sense to stay right there to explore the area. Prices are crazy, but maybe you can find an airbnb. if you're near the Old Port area the kids can feel safe to do some exploring on their own, too. Keep in mind that whale watching requires quite a long boat ride out to find them. Personally I've never done it but I know it can be thrilling. And you won't see puffins unless you take a special, long, boat ride. I saw them in Newfoundland a couple of years ago but never in Maine. You should research that well in advance as they likely sell out. And finally, June won't be as busy as July - Sept.
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 07:18 AM
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Just a note: The Hardy boat, which leaves from New Harbor on the Pemaquid Peninsula offers puffin cruises. We've taken two ans saw puffins each time. The Hardy boat also goes to Monhegan Island, a stunning place for a day hike.

https://hardyboat.com
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cindyj View Post
but with teenagers it just seems a little quiet.
Tell that to our parents who took us to that cabin in Maine (or wherever...) for 2 weeks each summer......
And we've become our parents......



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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 01:29 PM
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Fra_Diavolo - thanks for that tip. I know there are puffin cruises and June would be the only time to see them as they are only on the islands when nesting, right? At least that's what I learned in Newfoundland. And I agree that Monhegan would be a great addition!
J62: haha. I just didn't think this sounded like that kind of vacation.
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 06:13 PM
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Hi cindyj --

I believe the birds head north by the middle of July, although there are stragglers, but yes, June is probably the best month to see them.
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Old Apr 30th, 2022, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cindyj View Post
@dfrostnh: I was just trying to stick to the places the original poster first mentioned and not rock their whole itinerary. I agree that Bath/Brunswick and the peninsulas are nice, but with teenagers it just seems a little quiet.
jbenitez7399: What time are you landing in Boston? Probably 3 hours to Portland by the time you pick up your rental car, etc. Logan airport is close to the city, but IMHO it would be a hassle to pick up the rental and then drive into the city to try to see something. If you're landing later, you could stay somewhere north of Boston on the route. Plenty of options just to lay your heads down. I like your new itinerary though. Portland is a small city and it makes sense to stay right there to explore the area. Prices are crazy, but maybe you can find an airbnb. if you're near the Old Port area the kids can feel safe to do some exploring on their own, too. Keep in mind that whale watching requires quite a long boat ride out to find them. Personally I've never done it but I know it can be thrilling. And you won't see puffins unless you take a special, long, boat ride. I saw them in Newfoundland a couple of years ago but never in Maine. You should research that well in advance as they likely sell out. And finally, June won't be as busy as July - Sept.
LOL, cindyj,
OP said they wanted nature. We never took our son to Disney and he's taking his children to national parks, moutain biking, etc. he was very unhappy with their fairly recent visit to Acadia because of crowds not like the time he biked up Cadillac and we met him at the top where there was hardly any people. It was mid June 1996.
For a family, an air b&b would be great in Portland. We prefer air b&b now instead of hotels. I think our cottage one year in the Damariscotta area was vrbo. Great cottage but no wifi. Everything in Portland should have wifi.
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Old Apr 30th, 2022, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dfrostnh View Post
LOL, cindyj,
OP said they wanted nature. We never took our son to Disney and he's taking his children to national parks, moutain biking, etc. he was very unhappy with their fairly recent visit to Acadia because of crowds not like the time he biked up Cadillac and we met him at the top where there was hardly any people. It was mid June 1996.
For a family, an air b&b would be great in Portland. We prefer air b&b now instead of hotels. I think our cottage one year in the Damariscotta area was vrbo. Great cottage but no wifi. Everything in Portland should have wifi.
Our kids have never been to Disney, either. But they've hiked in the French alps, we've biked up Cadillac many times, hiked Sequoia and Yosemite. Their adult choices are the same. Nothing is going to be as it was in '96 in Maine. And IMHO, Bath/Brunswick is not "nature" either.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cindyj View Post
Our kids have never been to Disney, either. But they've hiked in the French alps, we've biked up Cadillac many times, hiked Sequoia and Yosemite. Their adult choices are the same. Nothing is going to be as it was in '96 in Maine. And IMHO, Bath/Brunswick is not "nature" either.
Well, you know better than me but it's the Harpswell area I'm nominating for nature.
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 03:46 PM
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Just bookmarking so I can find the list of all the lobster places. We went to Maine maybe eight years ago and salivate over memories of lobster rolls and blueberry pie. Wanna go again!
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