Maine Coast

Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 06:54 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maine Coast

I am trying to decide where best to stay along the Maine coast. Ive been researching and we (3 adults, 2 kids) are most interested in the areas between Portland and Bar Harbor. Wed definitely like to see Cape Elizabeth, a few lighthouses, take a puffin cruise, and hike/explore the rocky shorelines. Not terribly interested in the small towns so a short walk through while we eat lunch and/or dinner is plenty for us. Wed rather be out exploring nature!!

While we would like to see Cape Elizabeth we dont really any other interests in the Portland area and would prefer not to stay here..

In a perfect world wed stay in one location and take day trip, I am thinking it might be better to at least split our time between two locations.

Well be driving up after a night in Salem. We *might* stop and explore area south of Portland, but we dont have too much interest in them so I am not sure.

We have a total of 9 nights earmarked for this leg of the trip, 4 of which we plan to stay in Bar Harbor.
justme824 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 07:20 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,012
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
Consider the area around Camden. There are hikes nearby including up Mt Battie for wonderful views of the bay. The windjammer fleert is based there. A short drive away you can get puffin cruises or a ferry to Monhegan Island, where you can hike the perimeter. Museums, lighthouses, rocky shores -- I think it's your best choice.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 08:02 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,458
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Portland gives you access to a great beach area at Scarborough, an easy hop from Cape Elizabeth. After Salem, and before everything rocky further north, the kids might enjoy some time at the beach. Or maybe not if you live near the beach.

New Harbor has the best puffin cruise, the small town you'd visit for lunch or dinner that day would probably be Damariscottta which has a good store for souvenirs (Renys), some good dining spots and a classic Maine ice creamery. If you were staying in Boothbay Harbor then the puffin cruise would be about a 40 min drive, if you were staying in Rockland Camden it would be closer to an hour. But there are also puffin cruises out of Bar Harbor so maybe you have that planned while you're further north?

Rockland/Camden area has Mt Battie, the Breakwater, Moose Point State Park, Lake St George State Park, and several small villages to visit like Owl's Head, Tenant's Harbor, Lincolnville, Port Clyde. You might even choose airbnb lodging on one of the lakes nearby instead of staying right in town. Lakeside camps & cottages are a classic Maine summertime choice. Some of the larger lake areas have "housekeeping cottages" with dining-hall meals included, little motorboats to rent, activities etc These would usually be inland rather than along the coast.

You also might want to research the Moosehead Lake area if your kids are old enough for hiking and sailboating. Moosehead is about 2.5 hours northwest of Bar Harbor and much more undeveloped than the rest of what you are planning to visit. There are a few restaurants and several lodging choices though, some are lakeside-cabin colonies.



clarkgriswold is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 08:07 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you!!

My kids are 18, 10, and 7 and excellent hikers and explorers - they’ve grown up that way! We live by the beach and spend plenty of time on the sandy shores here in SoCal so we aren’t too interested in making time for that.

Would you recommend splitting our time up between two locations? Or could we get away with one location for 5 nights, planning to choose 4 day trips during our time there? We can also add something on our way there from Salem and then again on our way out to our next destination.

justme824 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2022, 10:58 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,458
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
There is plenty of hiking all over Mt Desert Island so you might add a 5th night at Bar Harbor if you're avid hikers Though Bar Harbor hiking areas will be crowded, you could do a couple of day trips within an hour or so of Bar Harbor. Spring River Lake has crystal clear water and some trails through the woods. Or maybe Sunkhaze National Wildlife Refuge one day.

Then do 4 nights near Rockland/Rockport/Camden with a visit to Lake St George State Park one day,or maybe Fernald's Neck Preserve.... both have trails and a swimming lake. A hike up Mt Battie one day, a trip down to Pemaquid/Damariscotta area and New Harbor for the puffin cruise. Mt Megunticook is another option.

Unlike in California, you're likely to hit a day of two of rain during your 9 day visit so that's another good reason to add a night to Bar Harbor, your hiking opportunities could be affected by the weather. Check your weather forecast daily on hike days because in Maine it's common to wake up with the sun but have a thunder boomer move in to ruin a couple hours of the afternoon. So you'll want to be prepared for that if you head out on a hike.

Oh, and bug spray in the woods. Eat garlic, use stinky BOUNCE to dry your clothes, and don't forget the spray. The mosquitoes don't usually get you if you keep moving but as soon as you stop to take in the view they'll pounce. Get the little travel bottles of listerine to have in your pocket too, it helps. Dab it on your ears and under your nose and rinse your mouth with it. After one hike you'll get the whole routine down pat.

Oh and not to be a downer but i have to mention the deer tick problem in New England. Stay on the trails, check your pants & socks and legs and shoes for ticks after every hike. Have tweezers and read up on how to deal with a tick bite and how to properly remove a tick. Get to an urgent care at the first sign of a bulls-eye rash because early treatment is key.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2022, 01:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 30,354
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
+1 on Monhegan Island.
you might pick Five day place to stay based on best rental. We've split time between a small ocean front air b&b type place near Owl's Head and a place in Brunswick. Brunswick is a college town with a great farmers market but our reason to stay there was access to the Harpswell area. See if any of these hiking trails appeal. 2019_Harpswell_Guide_v2_FINAL.pdf
This area never seems to be crowded. Although we aren't hikers we have enjoyed sitting near the water on a small public beach.

Best outdoor lobster shack is McLoon's but it's getting popular. Great view and good food. One time we watched an eagle trying for a duck dinner. It's near Owls Head and not too far from Rockland. The drive between Camden and Bar Harbor is probably something you only want to do once so staying Rockland area or further south gives you a lot of options for day trips. Reny's is great and has several locations throughout midcoast. Damariscotta is a great town we have not been on the oyster cruise. Lots of cottage possibilities further out but where we stayed did not have wifi. It is possible to find some air b&b type places that don't require a full week.
+1 for hike up Mt Battie in Camden but we take the auto road and a picnic. We haven't been to Bar Harbor area in a long time but our son was disappointed with the crowds compared to when we visited when he was a lot younger. We drove to the top of Cadillac while he bicycled up.

check local news for activities near where you stay. We lucked out one year with an historical society's cruise around Deer Isle. One person explaining history and another flora and fauna.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2022, 11:52 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,786
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I recommend visiting the Schoodic Peninsula for hiking and dramatic ocean views. The Schoodic is part of Acadia National Park, and is the only part that is on the mainland of Maine. And this will most likely be less crowded than Mt. Desert Island.
KarenWoo is online now  
Old Feb 25th, 2022, 09:25 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,935
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It was 90 degrees and extremely crowded in Acadia SO we headed to Schoodic Peninsula, beautiful views, no crowds and 70 degrees. (50 degree water brought coastal temperatures down)
deladeb is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2022, 11:29 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you! You’ve given me some great advice and excellent recommendations. We’ll endure the crowds a bit, but it will be nice to have some options in the back pocket for when they get to be too much.
justme824 is offline  
Old Feb 26th, 2022, 04:01 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For MDI (Mount Desert Island) you can stay on the "quiet side" (i.e., the west side of the island around Southwest Harbor and be slightly less crowded than BH. Did you say what month you're coming to Maine? We go to MDI camping every year in early August and usually only spend one morning, if we get a rainy one, in BH having breakfast and poking around the shops. You can somewhat avoid the summer crowds if you plan. Also, please note that the park service now required reservations to drive up Cadillac Mtn. Sunset is particularly busy but beautiful. You can also hike up Dorr Mtn and have the summit almost to yourself while you gaze at the crowds on top of Cadillac. Fun. I agree with your 4 nights on MDI. For the other location, you can stop in Cape Eliz on your way from Salem if you get an early start; its a little less than 2 hours drive. What specifically do you want to do here, my hometown? If you're truly not interested in Portland you can then drive to the mid-coast in another 2 hours depending on your destination. I agree that the Camden/Rockland area offers lots to do within a 1- hour drive. Keep in mind that the peninsulas that lead to places like Boothbay Harbor mean that drives may be longer than you expect. There are lots of state parks, lighthouses, and easy hikes to explore. And if you have a rainy day, the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland is fabulous. There are also ferries that just do scenic tours or you could take one out to explore an island. But in that area I'm not sure you could get out and back in a day. (In portland there are many islands within a 30 min ferry ride where you can bike around, etc.) Your kids may want to stop at the LLBean flagship (original) store in Freeport; an outlet mecca. Also good for a rainy day. Damariscotta and the Bristol area is beautiful and outside of the village not busy. the Damariscotta River is famous for oyster aquaculture, Maine's newest industry. Mussels, too. If you want more info/detail please PM me or I'll try to monitor this thread.
cindyj is offline  
Old Feb 26th, 2022, 04:03 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not a hard and fast rule that the temps would be that different. MDI is just as "coastal" as Schoodic. 90's is pretty unusual up there but more common in recent years, of course.
cindyj is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Lilly2016
United States
9
Jul 19th, 2021 10:42 AM
bevcrook
United States
3
Jul 17th, 2009 02:03 AM
Donna
United States
8
Jun 23rd, 2000 04:45 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -