mid coast maine - which location

Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 01:13 AM
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mid coast maine - which location

I'll be spending 3 nights in Mid Coast Maine this July with my wife & baby, but I can't work out the best place to stay. We want a day at beach, sea trip to island, & lighthouses/waves lashing rocks. It ALL looks great: Camden,Rockland,Boothbay Harbor,Bar Harbor. Criteria: Good = quaint, but not isolated, Bad = 10 mile stretch of motels, no central village feel.
Any ideas on where to base ourselves?

Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 08:50 AM
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We recently stayed in Bar Harbor and enjoyed our visit to Acadia. I can't help you with the other locations since I haven't been to them.

We stayed at the Bar Harbor Motel (based on recommendations from other fodorites.) It was clean and erasonably priced, and very close to the park.

From Bar Harbor, we were able to go on a Whale Watch, hike in the park a little, and take a few nice drives along the coast. The weather wasn't cooperative for us though.

If we have a chance, we want to go spend a week touring Acadia. It's a lovely area.

Bar Harbor had a few hotels, but it wasn't touristy in the sense that Ocean City, Maryland is. It was nice to walk along and look in the little shops.
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 09:06 AM
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We spent a wonderful week along Maine's coast several years ago and stayed in Camden, Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor. By far my favorite was Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is simply breath taking but Camden and Boothbay were wonderful also. We stayed in a B&B just outside Bar Harbor which was lovely but I would recommend staying in Bar Harbor itself. Many B&B's there. Also did whale watching in Bar Harbor which was great and very chilly in Sept. Camden was lovely and a bit smaller, and we stayed at the Welch House Inn in Boothbay, right on the harbor with incredible views. I'm sorry I don't remember the names of the other B&B's. It's been almost 10 years since we were there. We also did a small trip to Kennebunkport to see the Bush summer home (couldn't resist since he was prez. at the time) and it seemed
really neat and a little more active. Sorry no advice on beaches. It was too cold at the time. I can confidently recommend Camden, Boothbay, and Bar Harbour. I would stay in Bar Harbor and branch out from there.

Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 09:59 AM
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Although it is definitely mostly rocky-coast and not beach, I would definitely choose Boothbay. The others are just too crowded in July.
Boothbay will be busy as well, but beach areas tend to attract more families and kids, so Boothbay has a more relaxing air to it.
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 03:15 PM
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Being a Mainer for the last 40-odd years may prejudice me a little, but Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park are by far my favorite places in the whole state. I recommend the Bar Harbor Inn, which is right on the waterfront, try and get a surf-side room if you can, the sounds of the surf at night while you lie in bed with the deck door open is unbeatable, and their Sunday brunch is the best! There are plenty of different activities to do right in town, and if you like hiking, I recommend you check out the Carriage trails throughout the park and also the Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers on the lawn in the afternoon after a good hike! All the little towns along route 1 along the coast are nice, but tend to get a little pricey for me in the summer, and a little crowded. Late summer is best, in my opinion..
Old Jun 22nd, 2002, 05:06 PM
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Bar Harbor in July does not sound at all what you are looking for.

Like Yellowstone and Yosemite, the National Parks are getting extremely overcrowded and if you only have a couple of days, don't hassle with the traffic.
Old Jun 23rd, 2002, 06:00 AM
Donna F
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We just got back from the Searsport area so right now it's not beach weather yet! I think I would recommend Boothbay because even when the downtown area is crowded, we saw a little beach that was almost deserted. Sandy beaches are hard to find in Maine. There is a large sandy beach where Message in a Bottle was filmed which may be closer to Bath (sorry, forgot the name). The Maritime Museum in Bath has boat trips to see lighthouses. We went 2 years ago and it was great. This year it looks like they are doing a morning cruise and an afternoon cruise rather than an all day. We considered a trip to Monhegan which you can take out of Port Clyde but this may be too long a trip with a baby. If you stay in Boothbay you will also be able to visit the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. We spent a few hours in a shady place just looking at the water. The views were wonderful from the lighthouse at Owl's Head in Thomaston. There was also a picnic area and a beach area. We didn't go down to the beach area but assume it was rocky. Make sure to wear sports sandals. Camden is also beautiful but the downtown area is very congested. Rather than a beach day you might consider a picnic at the top of Mt Battie. The view is incredible but bring bag chairs or a blanket. The auto road fee is $2.50 per person. Bring binoculars. You can watch boats leaving the harbor and going along the coast. Hope you have a great time.
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 02:37 PM
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I've never been to Bar Harbor, but have been to Boothbay and Camden and prefer Boothbay over Camden. Boothbay seems larger, and draws a younger crowd (25-40), Camden seemed a little older (40-60). Boothbay has a lot of variety, downtown by the harbor are lots of restaurants, bars, shops, boat trips, and bustling activity. Out in the surrounding areas like East Boothbay, Southport Island, it's much quieter, yet within easy reach of downtown. I stayed at a B&B inn, Five Gables Inn in East Boothbay. It was very relaxing. I don't know if they take children though. It's at the end of a private lane, and across from the water so has a nice water view. There was a decent restaurant to go to at the end of the lane in East Boothbay called the Lobsterman's Wharf. Lots of other good restaurants in Boothbay Harbor. Camden was nice, but it was smaller, and seemed a little stuffier than Boothbay. Take a ride out to the lighthouse at Pemaquid (sp?) Point, for surf crashing on rocks etc. I also like to go out to Bailey's Island (south of Brunswick) for lobster at Cook's. Go to the end of Bailey's Island, to the Great Steps, another nice coastline view. Cooks is the famous lobster house featured on the Visa commercials ("It's everywhere you want to be....."), and it's a nice ride.
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 03:42 AM
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Stay in any of the three towns and you'll love it. We loved Boothbay - it's not as busy as Bar Harbor and not as far to drive. Be sure to take the boat trip over to Monhegan Island. It's so scenic and a nice hike around the island. If you stay in Camden, have dinner at The Cork. Incredible!
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