Maine in latter half of September

Mar 29th, 2015, 12:03 AM
  #1  
hnl
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Maine in latter half of September

Hello all, needing a bit more information on our upcoming trip to New England. My original itinerary has been turned upside down and we will now be traveling only to Maine . We will be flying into Portland and driving directly to Camden for a 2 night stay at the Blueharbor house. We will leave Camden and drive to Bar Harbor for a 2 night stay at the Highbrook motel. That leaves 3 nights to work with, the last one or 2 nights will be in Portland before flying home. I am still holding out hope we can see some fall foliage after leaving Bar Harbor which will be on the 23rd. I have looked at several years of fall foliage reports, and wondered about Bethel. Ant thoughts on this itinerary, and or suggestions for a beautiful drive and overnight before returning to Portland. thanks again for your help.
hnl is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 02:22 AM
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Did you know Maine is known as the Pine Tree State? You might see some foliage if you head to NH's White Mountains from Bar Harbor. The Conway NH area is only about an hour from Portland ME. Googlemaps says slightly over 4 hours from Bar Harbor to North Conway and the route goes through Bangor. The Cole Transportation Museum would give you an idea of Maine's history that's not all about lobstering. From N Conway over to I93 via the Kancamagus would give you higher elevation views and then you could return the southerly route back (go south to Meredith and then to Center Sandwich and through Tamworth) takes half a day if you don't stop for a long time. I think you have a chance of seeing some color even if it's only red swamp maples in low areas. Meredith NH is an upscale town on Lake Winnipesaukee for an overnight. Center Sandwich is considered one of the prettiest small towns in NH and is quite a contrast to the popular tourist destination of North Conway.

If you like wine, Hermit Woods Winery is right in the middle of Meredith NH. The barrel tasting weekend is the weekend before Columbus Day weekend so you will miss it.
dfrostnh is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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Take lt. jackets or sweaters.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 09:17 AM
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I would stay another night in Bar Harbor, and do a day drive from there. You can read current reports on color sightings and ask the locals for a good route for a day trip. Maybe up around Moosehead Lake, Mt. Kineo.
In Camden, take a ride up Mt. Battie and look around, giving you an idea of where the color in the area is sprouting up...probably around the little lakes in the area.
Since night 1 in Camden is a short day/arrival day, I would also do a 3rd night there. Day trips such as Owl's Head, Boothbay Harbor, Maine State Museum or a ferry boat trip to Islesboro.
Or just leave night 6 wide open. Since it's a Tuesday mid September you'll have vacancies everywhere and can play it by ear. If you've done say 2 nights Camden and 3 Bar HArbor, you might elect to go back to Camden for another night, or a night in Boothbay Harbor. If you're just too early for any color and the weather is gorgeous... you might want a night just south of Portland at Higgins Beach Inn or Black Point Inn.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 05:13 PM
  #5  
hnl
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defrostnh ,clarksgriswold- I was under the impression that hotels should be booked in advance, maybe the last few days I can leave open with the options of crossing into N.H. or driving south of Portland. I have felt slightly overwhelmed in my planning this trip, partly because there are so many options for such a short period of time. That was one of the reasons we had narrowed the trip down to one state. I had thought of crossing into New Hampshire while we were in Portland but was going to check the foliage report before doing so. Thanks again for your tips... Sassafras- will be taking a jacket, and looking forward to it.
hnl is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 06:57 PM
  #6  
 
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That's a fairly quiet week in Maine between the summer madness and the two-weeks-of-leaf-peepers. Yes you'll want to book in advance if you're particularly choosey about where you like to stay (small popular B&Bs and such)...but also you'll see vacancy-sign after vacancy-sign all up and down the coast if you care to wing-it. Portland you'd probably want to book in advance for that Mon & Tues night because it's Maine's largest city with lots of businessmen staying overnight, a possible convention in town etc. But just south of Portland along motor-inn-row in Scarborough or @ Old Orchard Beach you'll find plenty of lodging choices at bargain prices on weekdays in mid September.

I do think you're wise to book something you like in both Camden and Bar Harbor. But I don't think you'll have any problem at all finding lodging if you want to wing it on last couple of nights after you get a feel for the options.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Mar 29th, 2015, 07:01 PM
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....in fact just last September we locked ourselves into a couple of reservations that we wished we hadn't. We would have liked to spend another night or two in Camden and maybe move to a lakeside spot instead of oceanside. But we'd made reservations elsewhere that required a 14-day cancellation.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 02:15 AM
  #8  
 
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I'm not sure of your dates but you mentioned leaving Bar Harbor 9/23. The organic farmers Common Ground Fair is 9/25-27 in Unity. Unity is very rural so we stayed in Lincolnville just north of Camden. Budget places were booked early so we weren't able to stay at my first choice. Unity is also near Waterville which is a college town inland. As for NH White Mountains, I think that early you should be able to find a place last minute. Other areas along the coast should be ok except possibly for southern Maine. We stayed in Wells the third weekend in September. Weather is still wonderful, the Ogunquit playhouse is still running and the whole area is a popular getaway destination. Mid-week as Clark pointed out, should be lots of vacancies. The seasonal places don't close down until after Columbus Day.
dfrostnh is offline  
Mar 30th, 2015, 05:48 PM
  #9  
hnl
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I feel better about holding off on reservations for the last 3 nights. I had been hoping for some flexibility, glad we will be able play it by ear. Thanks both of you.
hnl is offline  
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