Maine Coast South Help Please

Old Feb 10th, 2022, 08:11 AM
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Maine Coast South Help Please

The large part of our trip is now finalised - before arriving in Boston we have 4 nights to spend along the coast.

We have already booked the last 2 nights in Plum Island, Newburyport which we can see a bit of the surrounding areas and chill after lots of driving.

Before arrival there we were planning on 2 nights in Portland and exploring south wanting to see Cape Elizabeth, Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, York, Portsmouth.

Should we spend 1 night in Portland then another half way down say Kennebunkport or Ogunquit?

Is there anywhere else along that coast that is a must see? we will do salem en route to Boston after leaving Newburyport.

Thank you

Last edited by TEAMSB; Feb 10th, 2022 at 08:16 AM. Reason: extra info
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 10:26 AM
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Sometime visit the northern coast:

Stonington, Maine. An authentic fishing village barely touched by tourism. Eat fresh broiled lobster, fried haddock and clam chowder. Take a boat ride along the Down East coast. There are very few authentic fishing villages remaining in America, but this is one of them.

Castine, Maine. This picturesque Down East fishing village features Wilson Museum, a scientific and historical museum campus. A footpath will take you to the historic Dyce Head Lighthouse. Downtown Castine’s Main Street is lined with federal style and Victorian houses. Kayak or take a boat cruise of glittering Penobscot Bay. May be too touristy for some visitors during the high season.

Belfast, ME is a hippy town with a natural foods co-op, community radio station and the Walk or bike on the Passy Rail Trail. It was listed by Frommer’s Budget Travel as one of the “10 Coolest Small Towns” in the September 2008 issue. Lots of art galleries.



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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PrairieHikerII View Post
Sometime visit the northern coast:

Stonington, Maine. An authentic fishing village barely touched by tourism. Eat fresh broiled lobster, fried haddock and clam chowder. Take a boat ride along the Down East coast. There are very few authentic fishing villages remaining in America, but this is one of them.

Castine, Maine. This picturesque Down East fishing village features Wilson Museum, a scientific and historical museum campus. A footpath will take you to the historic Dyce Head Lighthouse. Downtown Castine’s Main Street is lined with federal style and Victorian houses. Kayak or take a boat cruise of glittering Penobscot Bay. May be too touristy for some visitors during the high season.

Belfast, ME is a hippy town with a natural foods co-op, community radio station and the Walk or bike on the Passy Rail Trail. It was listed by Frommer’s Budget Travel as one of the “10 Coolest Small Towns” in the September 2008 issue. Lots of art galleries.
Yes we'd love to do Bar Harbor & Arcadia but just not enough time on this trip unfortunately

Thank you for those ideas - any idea if we should stay both nights in Portland or do 1 there and 1 further down?
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Old Feb 11th, 2022, 02:45 AM
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It's a pain spending only one night. Depending on what you want to do in Portland you might ne better off spending two nights further south like Wells. Last fall we satued in Wells spent one day north of Portland in Freeport and surroundings, one cooking school dinner at StoneWall Kitchen in Kittery area, a second night for Ogunquit playhouse. Explored Kennebunkport etc during the day. But we live in NH so have spent a lot of weekends in southern Maine area and Portsmouth is a day trip for us. Travel on I95 is quick but boring. Rt 1 can be slow if it's a weekend. But you might want to stay in Portland for restaurants.
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Old Feb 11th, 2022, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dfrostnh View Post
It's a pain spending only one night. Depending on what you want to do in Portland you might ne better off spending two nights further south like Wells. Last fall we satued in Wells spent one day north of Portland in Freeport and surroundings, one cooking school dinner at StoneWall Kitchen in Kittery area, a second night for Ogunquit playhouse. Explored Kennebunkport etc during the day. But we live in NH so have spent a lot of weekends in southern Maine area and Portsmouth is a day trip for us. Travel on I95 is quick but boring. Rt 1 can be slow if it's a weekend. But you might want to stay in Portland for restaurants.
Thanks yes - we will be doing lots of quick changes so i have booked 2 nights in Portland and we will just stay there and do trips out as best we can.

You're very lucky what a wonderful place to live.

Do you know much about the tolls and how we navigate that with a rental?

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Old Feb 11th, 2022, 02:51 PM
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I assume you will be doing this trip in warmer weather. Last weekend we rented a house on beautiful Moody's Beach in Wells, and while it was quite lovely, it was very cold - but we still managed to bundle up and take a couple of nice long walks on the beach. We were near the end of the private part of the beach where the houses are, and noticed a public parking lot with access to the beach just past there, and about a half mile farther down another parking area to access Footbridge Beach (really all the same long beach). We had the beach mostly to ourselves, except for a number of dog walkers, but I imagine it's a lot more crowded in the warmer months. We would have liked to visit the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, which I'm told has lovely trails along the salt marshes, but since there had been a big ice storm the day before, we knew the trails would be too icy to be safe. I hope to go back there this summer and explore it.

Ferry Beach State Park in Saco is also on a very nice beach. Another interesting place in Saco is the Saco Heath Preserve, with a trail through the woods to a huge peat bog that is traversed by a long boardwalk. https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-inv...eath-preserve/

The East Point Audubon Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool near Saco has a lovely trail that goes around the point on the ocean, and is not crowded; the trailhead is in a residential neighborhood with room for about six cars to park. You can get directions and learn more here: https://maineaudubon.org/visit/east-point/

I recommend a walk along the Marginal Way overlooking the ocean in Ogunquit, and a visit to Nubble Light in York, a very scenic lighthouse. The Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth is very interesting if you're interested in history; you could spend a long time there. It's a ten acre campus with a number of restored houses that span the timeframe of 1695 - 1954, all very well done. Their web site says that the historic houses are open daily from May 1 - October 31. You can find more info here: https://www.strawberybanke.org

You'll find plenty to do during your four days, and wish you had more time to spend. Have a great trip!
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Old Feb 12th, 2022, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Sara View Post
I assume you will be doing this trip in warmer weather. Last weekend we rented a house on beautiful Moody's Beach in Wells, and while it was quite lovely, it was very cold - but we still managed to bundle up and take a couple of nice long walks on the beach. We were near the end of the private part of the beach where the houses are, and noticed a public parking lot with access to the beach just past there, and about a half mile farther down another parking area to access Footbridge Beach (really all the same long beach). We had the beach mostly to ourselves, except for a number of dog walkers, but I imagine it's a lot more crowded in the warmer months. We would have liked to visit the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, which I'm told has lovely trails along the salt marshes, but since there had been a big ice storm the day before, we knew the trails would be too icy to be safe. I hope to go back there this summer and explore it.

Ferry Beach State Park in Saco is also on a very nice beach. Another interesting place in Saco is the Saco Heath Preserve, with a trail through the woods to a huge peat bog that is traversed by a long boardwalk. https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-inv...eath-preserve/

The East Point Audubon Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool near Saco has a lovely trail that goes around the point on the ocean, and is not crowded; the trailhead is in a residential neighborhood with room for about six cars to park. You can get directions and learn more here: https://maineaudubon.org/visit/east-point/

I recommend a walk along the Marginal Way overlooking the ocean in Ogunquit, and a visit to Nubble Light in York, a very scenic lighthouse. The Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth is very interesting if you're interested in history; you could spend a long time there. It's a ten acre campus with a number of restored houses that span the timeframe of 1695 - 1954, all very well done. Their web site says that the historic houses are open daily from May 1 - October 31. You can find more info here: https://www.strawberybanke.org

You'll find plenty to do during your four days, and wish you had more time to spend. Have a great trip!
Mid September is our travel date

Thank you - lots of info there to check out - appreciate your input
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Old Feb 12th, 2022, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TEAMSB View Post
Thanks yes - we will be doing lots of quick changes so i have booked 2 nights in Portland and we will just stay there and do trips out as best we can.

You're very lucky what a wonderful place to live.

Do you know much about the tolls and how we navigate that with a rental?
this might help https://www.maineturnpike.com/Travel...ces/Tolls.aspx
last fall friend was driving and had Easy Pass. We don't go thru tolls very often so use cash. Just be careful to get in the cash lane.
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Old Feb 13th, 2022, 11:33 AM
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Do you know much about the tolls and how we navigate that with a rental?[/QUOTE]

There are not that many toll roads along your route so you should probably just have cash available to pay them. If you use the toll transponder on the rental vehicle, they will charge you daily for the transponder even on days when you do not use it. When you pick up the vehicle, turn off the transponder or ask the agent how to do so. If you come upon a toll booth that does not offer a cash lane (some in Massachusetts) then you can turn on the transponder, just know that you will then be charged a daily transponder fee for every day of your rental period.

HappyToursUsa.com is a good agency for checking car hire prices. They include all the insurances that you'll need as a non-resident, so be aware of that when comparing with rental sites that do not include insurance and damage waiver. If not included in your rate, these will add another $40-$50 per day at pickup time.
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Old Feb 14th, 2022, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by clarkgriswold View Post
Do you know much about the tolls and how we navigate that with a rental?
There are not that many toll roads along your route so you should probably just have cash available to pay them. If you use the toll transponder on the rental vehicle, they will charge you daily for the transponder even on days when you do not use it. When you pick up the vehicle, turn off the transponder or ask the agent how to do so. If you come upon a toll booth that does not offer a cash lane (some in Massachusetts) then you can turn on the transponder, just know that you will then be charged a daily transponder fee for every day of your rental period.

HappyToursUsa.com is a good agency for checking car hire prices. They include all the insurances that you'll need as a non-resident, so be aware of that when comparing with rental sites that do not include insurance and damage waiver. If not included in your rate, these will add another $40-$50 per day at pickup time.[/QUOTE]
Thank you & to DFrost too - had read that they had totally done away with cash lanes now? but we will take all that info on board and try to minimise toll roads where we can

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