Maine - Sept 2023

Old Nov 20th, 2022, 02:02 PM
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Maine - Sept 2023

My 2 friends and I are planning a trip to Maine the 2nd week of September. We will fly out on Monday morning and return on Saturday. None of us have ever been to Maine. We range in age from 63-70. We are all big history buffs and have visited many national parks. Two of us are somewhat mobility limited. No steep climbs and nothing that could be slippery. Our first dilema is whether to go to Acadia. We are planning to fly into Boston. It's the only airport in the area with non-stop flights from Indianapolis. We will be in Boston at 8:30 and can head straight to Acadia after getting our car and luggage. I've read several pros and cons about Acadia. I know there is a driving loop, but with our limited ability to hike, is it worth the trip?

The definite things we plan to do is go to the Maritime museum at Bath and take the boat tour. We also want to visit Cape Elizabeth and go on the Casco boat tour. One friend definitely wants to go to LL Bean. She loves their products. As we head south I would like to walk the Marginal Way. Is it a safe walk for the 2 who have some mobility impairment? One friend read about Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth and thought that might be an interesting stop as we make our way back to Boston on Friday. We were in Boston earlier this year and are only going to the airport there.

We would like to stay in one place at least 2 nights, If we go to Acadia, we will likely only spend Monday night there and head south at some point Tuesday when we leave Acadia. We need to figure out where to stay Tuesday-Thursday. We also need to fill in the blanks of places that are must-sees.
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 02:46 AM
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Check to see when Maritime Museum has boat tours. In september they may be limited to weekends. Mid-coast Maine is our favorite area and haven't really been to Acadia in years. Our son took his family and was disappointed with the crowds but a friend and her daighter's family camp every summer (and kayak).
the mailboat trip out of Portland is fun. Not a lot of narration since it's a workimg boat ferrying workers and goods to the islands and taking island children to school in Portland. In Portland you can also visit Fort William Park where you might ne able to get a picnic lunch from the Bite Into ME food truckand then enjoy the view of Casco Bay.

My last long weekend visit with friends was at an air b&b in the Wells area. Normally I don't care for the area soith of Portland because of the crowds. One day we visited a candy store butmthey weren't doing tours then. It was near Freeport which was our next stop. I headed to the whoopie pie store but sat out when the others shopped at LL Bean. How long you spend in Freeport depends on how many stores you want to visit. One evening we did the Stonewall Kitchen cooking school. It's a demo with an excellent meal. Menu changes every day and it books up early. A second night was the musical at the Ogunquit playhouse. I have not walked the Marginal way but it is paved. It will help with mobility issues if the personmuses hiking poles. Imgot a collapsible pair that fits in my suitcase diagonally. Imwould suggest however that the walkers enjoy the walk and anyone with mobility issues find a good spot to enjoymthe view and people watching. Portsmouth is close enough for an easy day trip to Strawberry Banke and the boat trips are wonderful. My favorite is inland rivers that goes up into Great Bay. The harbor cruise is very interesting.

I would not bother going as far north as Acadia. I95 is very boring. We usually get off in Brunswick which is a college town just south of Bath. Between them is a road out to the Harpswells which is great scenery. Lobster shacks are usually weekends only after labor day but there are plenty of other places for lobster and eating indoors. You can download a guide to conservation areas that include some easy hikes. Giant Steps/stairs is much shorter than the Marginal Way but we walked it before I had walking problems so I don't remember if it might be difficult.

I think the auto road up Mt Battie in Camden and the view at the top is wonderful. It overlooks the harbor where windjammers are based.

I'm sure you'll get other advice. September is a popular month and weather is usually great. My annual long weekend with friends is usually the third weekend in September. Should you stay in the Wells area, Fisherman's Catch is a casual favorite restaurant and Merriland Farm cafe is great for breakfast. If they are taking reservations, make them. It is very popular.
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 03:09 AM
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I agree with dfrostnh.

Don't bother going all the way to Acadia, especially with mobility limitations. Spend your time mid-coast as suggested. I would expect many lobster shacks, and also oyster shacks (eg Darmiscotta) to still be open most weekdays during that time so you will have plenty of options.

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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 02:08 PM
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Thanks so much to both of you for the recommendations. I will share with the friends. In reading other posts, I thought that going to Acadia was not the best use of our time, which both of you affirm. One friend would like to add Acadia to her list of parks visited, but it doesn't seem to be a good choice for us.

With 4 nights in Maine, where would be the best choices for 2 2-night stays? I am looking at Brunswick and perhaps Ogunquit, ME or Portsmouth, NH. Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 02:31 AM
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Brunswick to Portland is about 30 minutes
Brunswick to Portsmouth is 1 1/2 hours
Portland to Ogunquit is 44 minutes

if you are considering the Ogunquit Playhouse for an evening, then stay in Wells or Ogunquit for two nights. I think We've probably stayed in Wells for more reasonably priced lodging and last time is was an air b&b. There's a movie theater in Wells,too. You could stay all four days in Wells area since even Brunswick is a possible day trip except if you want to do both Martime Museum and explore Harpswell area that is too much for one day. So I'd say Brunswick and Wells.

Make sure your rental car can fit all the luggage. It's a tight fit for four of us in a small suv but we are also bringing food etc from home. We eat most breakfasts at the air b&b.
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