Maine Trip ?'s for September (coast)

Old Jun 26th, 2009, 06:15 AM
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Maine Trip ?'s for September (coast)

Hello all - will be making my first trip up to Maine from Alabama in September and can't wait but have a few questions - will continue to pour over the forums but wanted to put a few out here and see what turns up. My wife and I are just looking to get away from the kids for a week and neither of us has spent any time in the Northeast - the more we look into it, the better it looks.

Were originally looking to take a week just after Labor Day and spend it primarily along the coast but would really like to see some of the color change. The latest we can move it back would be to the last week in September, will there be any notable difference at that point or is it still to early (between Portland and Acadia)? Would a daytrip from Acadia a few hours north be worthwhile or should we just enjoy the coast? Any difference in crowds?

Also, would either of these be better/worse for whale/puffin/moose watching? It appears that we would have to go farther inland for the moose unless I am mistaken. Do hotels/tours book up at this time or am I better off keeping some flexibility in case of bad weather?

Well, that will get me started - will likely have a number of follow up questions afterward but will take time to read up a bit more. Thanks.

Bob
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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the puffins are gone by late August, so you will be too late for them either way. Moose can be spotted anytime of year, I think. The only time i've seen them, however, is away from the coast in October. I'm pretty sure you would have to go inland to have a chance.

This website is great for getting idea of when color peaks in various areas: http://www.yankeefoliage.com/peakmap/. By late September you would get some color in the mountains and inland part of Maine.

I think that you should probably prioritize. If the coast is what interests you most, then go in early September. Its a beautiful time of year. I've been in Acadia then, and it was sunny and gorgeous and not crowded. Night time could be chilly. Weather was perfect for hiking.

If foliage and moose is more important, go in late September, and spend part of the trip in the mountains near Baxter State park, or near Sunday River. You'll get color and you might see a moose.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Hotels will probably book up on weekends since much of Maine's coast is a popular weekend getaway although the third weekend in Sept (when we usually go away) might be open since people will wait until first weekend of Oct to get in some leaf peaping. Sometimes that 3rd weekend is a lull before the crowds. You could try an overnight in the Pittsburgh NH area where they practically guarantee you'll see a moose. Google Moose Alley. One website says best viewing is early morning or dusk.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Chinacat - thanks for the reply - that peakmap site was a good one. Don't know that we will have the opportunity to get back for a good while so I hate to miss out on anything - but don't want to just run from place to place either.

At this point in time I am leaning toward the later dates just to have that option open - if the season appears to be early this year, then we take the last part of the vacation and head in to Baxter like you recommended, or if the reports indicate that it will be later then we can do more on the coast. This also gives us some flexibility in case we are unfortunate enough to have bad weather. I guess the down side to this is that the temperatures will be a bit lower and possibly a little more crowds.

dfrostnh - great tip about the weekends. Temperature wise, how is it on the coast this time of year. Is it starting to get a bit cold, particularly on the water or for activities like the whale/lobster cruises? Pittsburg will take us too far out of the way for this trip but thanks for the suggestion. Wish we had the time to drive up and see more of the sights on the way.

Bob
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 03:27 AM
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When we travel the 3rd weekend in Sept we usually have pretty nice weather, maybe need a light jacket in the evenings but it really depends. We've hit heat waves in Montreal and cold miserable weather in Boston. New England weather can go from one extreme to another but usually Sept weather is sunny and mild. Definitely a jacket on the water. We took a lighthouse cruise one year where jackets were recommended in August. If you think you will have any problem with wind, bring warm hats. DH can't stand cold ears anymore. I'm not that familiar with weather in the Acadia area for Sept but we've been to Stowe 3rd weekend in Sept, not seen any color but weather decent and just light jackets needed. Bring rain gear just in case. We've had lots of rain this spring. It may be a wet year.
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Comment on the weather, like others have said, it can be cold in late Sept. I would bring a rain jacket and sweater/sweatshirt/fleece. Or this could be a souvenir from L.L. Bean! At home a fleece will probably get you through the coldest winter!

Just repeating a caution I always see on these boards and agree with: don't try and do too much! Driving from acadia to Baxter is probably 4 hours or more. Not worth it just for foliage. Write again when you know your flight info. If you're flying into Portland you might just want to drive 2 hours west to No. Conway NH to see foliage.
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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dfrostnh - thanks for the info - with the weather you never know what you will get, but it sound like a nice time of year for the most part and no sense worrying over what we can't control

cindyj - loved the comment about our winters; rarely gets cold here but we are already in the upper 90's and I can't wait to get up to Maine - will probably still be in the 80's here in September. Not all that worried about it myself as I work in a computer room that is kept at around 65 to 67, but my wife is much more cold-natured.

Thanks to all for the input - we had to go ahead and book our flight already and in the end, late September worked out best for us, so good or bad, we are locked in on that. Will be flying in and out of Portland arriving the afternoon of the 22nd and leaving out the afternoon of the 30th.

Initially planning to work our way along the coast from Portland to Acadia and probably leave the last few days open to either staying longer in Acadia, backtracking to things we may have missed due to weather or driving inland a ways to see another part of Maine. NH was brought up by two of you so I will look into that option as well.

Will start looking into lodging and activities, but am always open to suggestions. At this stage anyway, we have decided to look for more budget friendly places to stay to allow us to spend more on activities and food .

Completely out of my budget and likely my wife would not go for it anyway, but the Acadia Air Tours biplane flight has gotten stuck in my head - anyone have any experience with this or heard anything one way or another?

Things that I am looking into include Portland Old Port Area, Portland Head Light, Freeport outlets, a Portland Schooner trip (seemed like several schooner trips were out of Acadia area but wanted to spread my boat trips to see different areas). Boothbay had a whale watching tour, would like to stop in at Prospect and see the bridge observatory and fort knox. Lulu's Lobster boat seems highly recommended and there looks to be plenty to do in Acadia. Might even relax some

Has anyone read the Photographers Guide to the Maine Coast? Just curious to see if it was worth reading.

Have not come across much in regards to waterfalls (although they are probably going to be more inland) or particular spots for crashing waves, things like that - did see mention of Thunder Hole on the Ocean Drive Trail which sounds good if you can time it right.

Well, rambling to much here so I will sign out for now. Thanks again to all for your input.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 03:27 AM
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You can get a Maine State Atlas and Gazetteer published by Delorme at many bookstores. This contains very details maps of roads, the location of covered bridges and waterfalls. We have one for ME, NH and VT. Sometimes a small waterfall is close to the road but you wouldn't know it was there .. and some of the roads are seasonal dirt roads. If you are interested in photography you might visit Yankee Magazines forum. You'll have to register to post of the forum but Jeff is a frequent poster and travels all over New England for foliage pics and others. If you ask a question he can probably steer you in the right direction with a suggested driving route for what you are after.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 05:18 AM
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If you want to wait until you get to Maine to buy the Atlas/Gazetteer, the Delorme Map Store near Freeport is actually kind of interesting in itself - the three-story globe is pretty neat to look at.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Will check on the Yankee Magazine Forum and the Delorme maps - thanks.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 04:06 AM
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This was very helpful! We are planning our trip to Maine last week in September also. Looks like this was posted in '09. So, bcantlay, how was your trip?
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