Maine/NH/ Mass Trip

Dec 22nd, 2008, 09:03 AM
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Maine/NH/ Mass Trip

Hi everyone! I am trying to start planning a trip up to the Northeast-we are thinking Maine/NH and Massachusetts. We know we want to stay in Boston for a few days and see a Red Sox game- we also know we want to visit Acadia National Park. I have absolutely no idea what time of year is best to go! We like hiking and doing outdoor type stuff. Any help would be very much appreciated! Also, any ideas on cool, unique places/towns to stay would be great. Thanks so much for the help!
Katienole20 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 10:45 AM
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If you plan to see a Red Sox game, you'll have to visit in the summer or early fall. There is so much to do, you probably should pick up a tour book. However, for a start: trapshooting at most sportsmen's clubs, fishing, hiking Tuckerman's Ravine in NH, wild blueberry-picking almost everywhere, but Mt.Gap in particular, hiking the Monadnocks, Cadilac Mountain in Bar Harbor, walking the Maine and NH beaches. (By the way, do not pay to pick blueberries. Go for the wild ones on mountain hikes.) The list is endless.

The B&Bs are a nice alternative to motels. There are tons of books to find them, or use a GPS.
trapsma is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Acadia really is a must - but very crowded in the summer. We go every year just after Labor Day. We have a motorhome, so we stay at the Bar Harbor KOA, right on the water and convenient to the Trenton Lobster Pound. However, there are lots of places to stay in Bar Harbor, from motels to resorts, to B&B's. Northeast Harbor is lovely, and offers upscale lodging opportunities. Southwest Harbor is a nice little town with lower key B&B's. Another seaside town in Maine that we really enjoy is Camden. There are nice shops and restaurants (Waterfront is my favorite). You can hike to the top of Mt. Battie or kayak in Penobscot Bay on in one of the scenic lakes in the area.
colbeck is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Red Sox tickets are tough to come by. If you have no luck via the Red Sox ticket office (and you may well not), your best bet will be to try via Stub Hub or a similar vendor.

Agreed, Acadia's a must (a really beautiful and evocative place), but to see the maximum amount of the park you'll probably have to come in summer or very early fall when the crowds are there. Visiting between October and May can result in part or most of the park being snowed under.

I'd get a guidebook for New England and do some research, as there are a lot of options.
bachslunch is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 03:11 PM
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Boston is my favorite city to walk. Very easy to wander on old cobblestone side streets looking at all the interesting windowboxes, exteriors and delicious lunch spots.

The sub system, call the T, has easy ticket kiosks from the airport and lots of stops.

They have the 'Freedom Trail' a painted red trail to follow through the city highlighting the historic spots.

Balancing a trip to Boston with Acadia or Martha's Vineyard would be a nice trip.

island breeze.
island_breeze is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Great ideas from everyone.
trapsma is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Thanks so much for the ideas...I have always traveled out west so I am excited to see some new places!
Katienole20 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 05:52 PM
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For snowy weather reasons, avoid Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, and sometimes April depending on the weather for that particular April.
Jaya is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 04:08 AM
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In addition to a Red Sox game you might choose to visit based on other events and blueberrying is a good reason. The farmers market in Brunswick is a wonderful place to buy homemade biscuits to go under strawberry shortcake if you go earlier in the season. Bath also celebrates Heritage Days around July 4 with a wonderful parade and craft fair (see the tent where the church ladies sell pieces of pie). Although certain places can be very crowded during times like 4th of July, just avoid downtown Bar Harbor and Boothbay on the weekend and avoid the highway on Friday afternoons when everyone is traveling and commuting. If you want to go mid-June just check to see if black flies are gone. Lupines are blooming and some areas have lupine festivals (ie NH White Mountains, Blue Hill Peninsula near Acadia).
You might consider renting a camping trailer or cottage at a campground. Check Searsport Shores which is right on the water but small. We also loved Cherwonky in Wiscasset which is on an old farm on a saltwater river but it's small and I don't think they had rental units. Even if you don't have cooking facilities, wild blueberries are great with yogurt. Bring an insulated lunch bag for picnic lunches - highly recommend Mt Batty overlooking Camden Harbor. We carry bag chairs for our picnic and just enjoying the scenery excursions. You can hike but we take the auto road, lazy slugs that we are.
We live in NH and use DeLorme state atlases and gazetteers to find backroads. Thesse are available at bookstores. In addition to detailed road information (including seasonal) they also show major hiking trails, covered bridges and waterfalls. Hence you might want to choose a trail like Arethusa in NH that leads to a small waterfall. There are many opportunities for kayaking and whitewater rafting. In Maine you might wish to explore inland as well as coastal areas. In Bangor there is the fascinating Cole Transporation Museum. There are also some small logging museums where you can see college teams compete (I think it was early June).
As long as you avoid the places everyone else is going to, there is no reason to avoid coming at 'popular times'. We live in a rural area and don't like crowds so we don't go to places like Laconia NH/Lake Winnipesaukee during Bike Week (around fathers day).
Have fun planning. We usually spend a week in a given area but it is also fun to spend 3-4 days in one place then move to another.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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In terms of when to go - before May it could be quite cold, lots of things will be closed on the coast, there won't be much in the way of flowers/greenery. July and August you'll get crowds, especially along the coast, you'd need to book lodging way in advance, and try to avoid driving certain roads on weekends. So May and June, or September would be best. There will still be some crowds in touristy places on weekends,but quite manageable especially mid week.

In terms of where to go - Boston deserves at least 3 days if you've never been before. The most "common" trip people seem to like is to start in Boston, drive up the coast, then head west to the White Mountains and then loop back to Boston (or if you are flying and can do into Boston out of Manchester that works). You need at least two weeks to do that.

Another nice trip, especially if you have less time is to do Boston and then Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard.

Along the Maine Coast the most interesting towns are Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, Camden/Rockport and then Bar Harbour.
isabel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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A trip in September would be ideal to me, with a stop or two on the Maine Coast - Boothbay, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland has some killer restaurants and great vibe. Acadia is such a fabulous destination. So much more when the crowds have left all these areas!
gyppielou is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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We're planning on almost the same trip (but no Red Sox game), driving from Boston to Bar Harbor and trying to decide between May and June. In researching, have found most services around Acadia Natl Park/Bar Harbor not available until Memorial Day weekend. Guess most park trails would be open in May but carriage rides do not begin until June 6. Many boat excursions not offered until mid-June or July/August only. September seems it would be a perfect time to go.

If I may add here, would ANP be crowded as early as first week in June including weekend?
texasjo is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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For best weather I'd suggest June, July, August, or September for that area.
suze is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 06:29 PM
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texasjo - I 'think' that the only busy times would be july/august

June will be lovely, everything blossomng, new leaves and growth, a glorious time of year.
gyppielou is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:28 AM
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We spent a weekend on Mt Desert in early June several years ago. I don't remember any crowds at all. Our son biked up Cadillac while we enjoyed a garden. There weren't many people enjoying the view. DS played on the rocks with his mountain bike. It's funny though one June when we didn't expect the top of Mt Batty in Camden to be crowded we ran into a large group of Model T enthusiasts who were holding a convention in one of the motels. They had paraded up the auto road just ahead of us.
The key to avoiding crowds is to stay away from "downtown" areas that have a lot of shops like Bar Harbor and Boothbay Harbor. In July there will be long lines at Red's in Wiscasset for lobster rolls but you can drive someplace else for lobster and not have any line at all. June is definitely better than May because more things are open. Keep in mind to dress warmly if planning a boat trip. In mid-June the crew passed out blankets on a short trip. Some of the visitors didn't even have a sweater. Warm on land. Cold on the ocean.
dfrostnh is offline  

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