Manchester to Acadia ,Maine

Old Sep 30th, 2019, 08:41 AM
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you might have fun exploring Jeff Folger's website. He's a local photographer based in Salem MA area but married to a woman with family in Vermont. I originally discovered him on Yankee Magazine's forum. Note that fog can provide some beautiful effect in one of his photos. https://www.jeff-foliage.com/2019/09...new-england-2/

I agree with VT that Mt Washington is tricky. It can snow on top between now and your arrival.
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Old Oct 14th, 2019, 05:56 PM
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Trip Report

Here is what we did:



Day 1- Flew out of Chattanooga at 6pm on a little plane to Charlotte. Then in a slightly bigger plane on to Manchester. Landed at Midnight. There had been a bomber crash at a nearby airport so lots of air traffic had been diverted to this airport. Almost ALL the rental cars were gone even though we had prepaid for ours. They only had 2 suburbans left. So yes we had to drive that big gargantuan thing on our 5 day road trip! Ouch on the gas but on the upside it had heated leather luxury seats and my back was hurting. Finally arrived at Sleep Inn on Londonberry Rd and got in bed at 2am. I recommend this hotel, clean, quality bedding and a good breakfast for a good price.







Day 2- headed north to the White Mtns, which was a good call bc it was the main area with color on Oct 3rd.
Stopped at FLume Gorge which is so lovely, like our Cloudland Canyon on steroids. Rode in, hiked out. Stopped in Franconia and bought a fresh made sub in a roadside stand and ate it behind the store by a stream. Got snacks at a little grocery store. Drove on to Gorham, NH and down to Mount Washington Auto Rd. Lovely drive up with lots of yellow leaves and red berries. Was 50 at the bottom and 30 at the top with a bitterly cold wind, spitting sleet and snow. All I had was a sweater so I couldnt stand it outside long. I couldnt breathe deeply and was dizzy while on top. As soon as we got down to 5000 ft I was fine. ITs just amazing, its like they say, a once in a lifetime thing to do, it was one of the highlights of our trip even thought the drive down was nerve wracking. Drove on to Bangor. After stopping to eat, it was 9-10pm by the time we arrived at Bangor Inn and Suites. An older but clean place with good friendly staff.







Day 3- Got up to a very nice fresh cooked breakfast with super nice breakfast staff. They made us feel very welcomed to Maine. As good as old timey southern hospitality but more proper. I was curious about "baked beans" being served with breakfast and I had to try it! It was actually good with scrambled eggs and blueberry muffins even though its what we would call pork n beans, not baked beans. Drove by Stephen Kings house which was also ended up being a good call, was a lovely street with amazing old homes/mansions to walk and look at with their manicured lawns. Also stopped and got a picture with the giant Paul Bunyan statue. Drove on to Bar Harbor, got a super delicious Lobster Roll at The Traveling Lobster roadside stand and on down to the Otter Cliffs which was really cool to see. Checked into our room at Emery Cottages by the Sea which were vintage tiny one room buildings facing the ocean. Had a neat little shack on the beach that made for some good pics but the wind was still blowing cold. Drove back into Bar Harbor to try and eat but it was a Friday night and everything was so expensive with a 1 hr wait or more. We finally headed back towards our cottage and stopped at Log Cabin where there was no wait and got a delicious herbed Haddock plate for $14.


Day 4- Drove into Bar Harbor for a grilled blueberry muffin at Everday Joes, wow delicious! Stopped and got a pass at the visitors center and on up Cadillac Mtn. I didnt see ANY type of monitoring in this area. How do they know who has a pass and who doesnt? Having just drove up Mount Washington it didnt quite wow and the whole Bar Harbor and Acadia Mtn reminded us of our Gatlinburg, TN. The wind was astonishingly cold at the top, just whipping and I was so numb with cold I could not enjoy the views at all! SOO glad we got up there by 10am or so bc as we left there at 11am, there was a huge line of people coming up the mtn waiting for parking. WE were so unhappy with the crowds in this area that we drove south to Northeast Harbor. Wow wish we wouldve stayed here!. Lovely little harbor, with way less people, cute little shopping area, had a lunch of classic fish and chips at The Colonel. They were already sold out of the blueberry doughnuts but my husband fell in love with the maple pecan pastry that he bought instead! Drove on around to Southwest harbor and Bass Harbor Lighthouse, which was also quiet and stopped at a cool rounded rock beach where we think we might've glimpsed a seal for just a moment. On up to Pretty Marsh and out to Bartletts landing which was totally deserted and saw a cool 1954 Ford truck. HEaded back to our cottage and got a blueberry pie from The Happy Clam Shack and 2 lobster dinners from Rose Eden Lobsters. IT was our first time to ever eat a whole fresh lobster and it was good but the corn was just marvelous, so big and juicy and sweet.


Day 5- we were ready to get out of this tourist area, ate left over blueberry pie and wild apples for breakfast and headed to Camden. Got out and walked down the streets to the harbor and thru a book/art frestival that was going on, drove some side streets and looked the lovely houses. THis place is also touristy but so lovely, well worth it. On to Boothbay Harbor to the Newagan Inn on Southport Island. WOw, just wow. How we wish we wouldve spent 2 nights here rather than Bar Harbor! SUper lovely Inn with beautiful grounds and loads of flowers. A rocky raw forested ocean on one side with a gazebo and paved wallking path with open views of the on the other side. So many things to do there, they have big vintage game room with shuflleboard , ppol table and pin bowling lanes, huge oversized lawn games of chess and connect four on the front lawn. A crackling fire in the lobby with live music in the dining room. Just pure romantic classic Maine experience, how we would love to go back to there and stay a few days! Boothbay Harbor is only 15 min away and Maine botanical gardens!







Day 6- got up to an elegant gourmet breakfast at the inn in a lovey dining area with sweeping views. THis Inn has really nice staff. AS we drove out we were surpised to see alot of color that had seemed to develop overnight! Drove on to Ogunquit Beach and walked the Marginal Way. It was 75 degrees there!. After being cold in 50s at all the other places we finally got warm again and worked up a sweat, lol! THis 1 mile walk was another good choice that we are glad we made, such lovely homes and manicured lawns with beautiful flowers. Amazing ocean views on the other side. Drove on to Nubble Lighthouse which was a very picturesque view but since we had visited the Carolina lighthouses and climbed up in them, this one was kind of a let down. We were exhausted by then and just headed back to Manchester. Ate at Consuelo's Taqueria downtown which was very good and seemed to be very authentic Mexican food and was cheap. Turned in our rental car and called our hotel to come get us. Got up at 3am and the hotel shuttle took us at 4am to catch our flight. My husband got really upset bc they took away his NH maple syrup when we went thru security, lol! A great trip with such beautiful scenery...the land, the flowers, the rocky coasts, the houses , so many of them old and the lovely New England styles. Just all so different to see for someone raised in the south. WE really enjoyed it, was a nice 23rd anniversary trip!

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Old Oct 14th, 2019, 05:57 PM
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What I wouldve done different

What I would do different.



1. It was cheaper to fly into Manchester NH but couldve used Portland as a home base and made day trips?



2. I wouldve spent a whole day in Gorham NH, and a night! such a lovely town! The White MTns area is worth exploring.



3. Wouldve stayed at Newagan Inn in SOuthport for 2 nights and went to the botanical gardens.



4. Longer in Camden just looking around. I went on a weekday so it was nice. Probably need to avoid this area on a weekend.



5. I wouldve skipped Bar Harbor and Acadia. Granted I went on a Friday and Saturday and the place was mobbed. But its truly a tourist type area, everything was pricey. It cost alot to spend 2 days in this area. Yes otter cliffs and northeast harbor were very nice, so stay south of the Bar Harbor downtown if you go and want to experience Maine, not just another Gatlinburg, TN or Myrtle Beach type place. All 3 have beauty but the hordes of people and overpriced tourist type places/food ruin it for me.



6. Rather than bar harbor I woudve explored Stonington and Deer Isle area

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Old Oct 16th, 2019, 03:05 AM
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Thanks for your trip report. Our foliage will probably disappear today because of rain and strong winds. It's been beautiful. You didn't say you went up the auto road at Mt Battie in Camden. It's not high but has a wonderful view looking over the harbor. The Stonington and Deer Isle area are much less crowded than Acadia/Bar Harbor but there are also fewer places to eat and stay. We actually had a terrific and uncrowded 4th of July there one year with a once a year boat tour that the historical society put on and lobster at a public supper/lunch put on by the Rotary (or similar).

We frequently split a week in Maine between two areas. This past summer it was a secluded air b&b cottage on the water near Rockland so we could do that area of the mid-coast and then 2 or 3 nights at an air b&b almost in Brunswick because my husband likes the Bath 4th of July parade. Should you choose to see that just be aware that the Heritage Days celebration and craft fair are usually on the weekend which we missed this year because the 4th wasn't on a weekend. There is a lot to do in the Portland area but our favorite lobster shacks in summer are further north. The botanical gardens are wonderful but I haven't seen them this time of year. Our son and his family went to Bar Harbor for a wedding last weekend (Columbus Day weekend) but it looks like they spent more time exploring Fort Knox and the observation tower on the big bridge. The wedding was in the woods and the beaches they went to looked empty.
It sounds like you did a good job finding less popular places to eat and stay that were great finds. We dislike the traffic in the southern Maine area. Keep in mind that south of Portland is popular for weekend getaways being an easy drive from Boston etc.
Glad you had a great time.
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Old Oct 16th, 2019, 08:35 AM
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I also enjoyed your report. You might want to put it in a separate thread tagged as a trip report so others can find it easily.

I am glad you found the trip to Mt. Washington worthwhile. We are also losing the colorful foliage here in north central VT. We saw a little more farther south on Monday as we drove through that area, but the rain and wind that are coming will probably take down most of the leaves.
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Old Oct 16th, 2019, 09:32 AM
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apology for saying Bar Harbor is like Gatlinburg

Some people let me know they were very offended by my description of Bar Harbor so I want to apologize! I am very sorry that I made it sound like Bar Harbor is exactly like Gatlinburg. It is NO way as touristy or large as Gatlinburg, it still had a small village charm and its only one street that is congested plus some of the Acadia area. I truly did not mean any offense to your beautiful area! Everything is so neat and clean and lush with plants and flowers, everywhere we went for 5 days! Truly a thing to brag about! I simply meant it was obviously a place that tourists congregate upon and Acadia reminded me a tad of some Smokey Mtn areas (which I have seen a lot). Iím sure if I had went on a weekday it wouldíve been much less crowded.

And last but not least (for other travelers reading this), we went in early October when the weather was forecast to be in the 50s, even reach 60. So we wore long sleeves and I took a long lightweight sweater and husband had a lightweight fleece jacket. For nights. Or so we thought!

What I didnít know was that there was a wind blowing everywhere we went. We had to wear the jackets constantly and they werenít enough half of the time. Sometimes it was a light wind, sometimes it was intense such as on Mount Cadillac and Mount Washington. (I was in pain I was so cold on Mount Cadillac and I almost cried on Mount Washington bc I couldnít breathe deeply and felt dizzy) I wore leather riding boots and my husband had on leather ankle height sebago type shoe. Both were rubber soled so we did ok but we got curious looks.


I had to make sure I had a hand grip in a lot of places. I did fall on Mount Battie and bruised my hip and arm, but it was bc I tried to walk over a downhill slanted smooth rock with nothing to hold on to. 90% of everyone else had on hiking boots and a wind/water resistant type jacket that I think is called a parka or ski jacket. Both of which wouldíve made things more pleasant on us.

A large percentage of everywhere we went was rocky or uneven ground and the wind just cut right thru my sweater . I saw a guy in shorts and no jacket , his cheeks were red and he had a fan blowing on him where he was sitting at his desk. It was barely 45-50 outside,raining and a cold wind whipping. He said he had lived in Maine his whole life and he wasnít cold. so maybe it was just that our bodies werenít acclimated to cool temps yet since it was 98 when we left home. But anyways I suggest that visitors take real jackets in October. 50-60 doesnít sound cold but it might feel different than you are use to if a wind is blowing.

Itís dropping to 30s here at night this week and we do have some temps in the teens, sometimes even to 0 though thatís rare and not until Jan/Feb. And I do live on a mtn so maybe Iím a little more acclimated to cool temps than say, someone from Florida. But it felt very chilly to me the whole time. Also the sun didnít shine ďhotlyĒ like we were use to. It was overcast a lot the whole week we were there, maybe thatís normal maybe not, idk. The sunlight ďdimmedĒ around 3:30-4pm most days (not sure how to explain it) and by 6:30 it was completely dark. That was very confusing to us bc we are in the same time zone and it wasnít getting completely dark here until 8pm. So we had some activities planned that didnít work bc it got dark much earlier than we realized. Just some small details that helps to know sometimes....


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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 12:02 AM
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When it starts getting cold some of us locals feel the cold, too, especially if the wind is blowing. Then we get more used to it. Last night our son and his family came for dinner. Our teen granddaughters mentioned that their father got irritated by the number of tourists on the road up Cadillac and on top. They also thought it was funny that people were taking photos yet it was very foggy. I think your honest opinion about crowds is important in a trip report. We don't like crowds either so we avoid places that get crowded. We don't visit Boothbay Harbor in July but have visited in mid-June but also preferred a quieter side of Boothbay. We've also been on boat rides in June when some visitors have been in summer clothing, no sweaters, and the crew got out blankets for them.
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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 04:52 AM
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As a person who has lived in New England forever, I always plan for the possibility of cold weather,rain, snow, heat, humidity, etc.no matter what month.

good that you had a nice trip, thanks for the tr
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