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Mystic, CT to Bar Harbor, ME

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Feb 25th, 2012, 02:37 PM
  #1
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Mystic, CT to Bar Harbor, ME

I'm planning a family trip to stay with friends for a few days in Mystic in July. We are thinking of making a summer vacation of it and spending a week in Acadia Nat'l Park with our four kids ages 8, 10, 13 and 16.

I have many questions but am starting with trying to outline an itinerary and plan flights. We will rent a car so we don't necessarily need the closest airport and with six of us, flight cost is an issue. Any suggestions of where we might fly in and out?

What about stops along the way? My preliminary thought is for 5 nights in Mystic, then drive toward BH and stop somewhere along the way for a night or two (we like to mosey and tend to move slowly). From our mid-point, we will drive to BH and rent something there for a week.
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Feb 25th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Bradley (Hartford) is the closest to Mystic. http://away.com/airports/travel-apd-...rport.html#Map
It may be cheaper to fly to Logan (Boston) and rent the car there or take one of several Northeast Regional trains to the Mystic Amtrak Station. If your friend in Mystic could take you to a place to rent a vehicle when you were ready to leave Mystic, you could have less rental days.
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Feb 25th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Also check Providence Airport; it is closer to Mystic than either Logan or Bradley airports.

Check open jaw prices (flying into one airport and out of another)when booking airfare. You will, however, be charged extra fees for picking up a rental car at one destination and dropping it off in another.

Acadia is quite a distance from Mystic, CT. Any chance your group would be able to take a flight into Bangor, Maine from Providence and rent a car once there? There's so much to see in that area that would be much nicer than views from the highway while traveling the 5+ hours between CT and Maine.
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Feb 25th, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Providence is about 50 minutes from Mystic, Bradley is about 90 minutes and Boston will be about 2 hours depending on traffic. Southwest does fly into Providence, so that might be a winner.

The Massachusetts part of the trip from Mystic to Bar Harbor is usually the killer part of the trip, perhaps you could fly from Providence to Manchester NH or Portland ME if you wanted to miss some traffic. Maybe do an open Jaw home to Providence to Manchester to home with the days for touring in between.
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Feb 26th, 2012, 03:27 AM
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According to googlemaps.com there's an alternate route that takes only slightly longer, up to Worcester and connecting with I495 to I95 that completely avoids Boston. 495 can be busy during commuting hours but would be my choice. The total trip to Bar Harbor from Mystic is something like 6 1/2 hours.
Possible mid-way stops:
Portsmouth NH area: there's a waterpark on Rt 1, sandy beaches in Rye, Hampton, science center at Odiorne Pt
Any of the popular southern Maine beaches, York gets my vote for a family spot
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Feb 26th, 2012, 06:28 AM
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But Boston would be a wonderful stop along the way....
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Feb 26th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Exactly - if the rest of the vacation is just beachy and outdoors why not spend a couple of days doing hisotircal stuff inBoston - combine a little fun learning/culture with all the outdoorsyness. (When my brother and I were liteelt every vacation had historical/cultural sights - although we did have limited tolerance for beaches - and lived 20 minutes from some great ones we could visit all year.)
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Feb 26th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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If you have a rainy day in the Boston area, head for the Museum of Science. http://www.mos.org/
It thrills the kids to see a guy standing in a steel cage when it is struck by lightning from a Van deGraff generator.
The 2 huge generators were built by Dr. Van deGraff.
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Feb 27th, 2012, 04:31 AM
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Excuse me, but flying from Providence to Manchester for a trip to the Maine coast just to miss Boston is wacko.

Boston is a great visit in itself and is easy to miss from the CT coast as dfrostnh shows if that is what you prefer.
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Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Mystic to Boston is an easy enough drive. I second the recommendation for a visit to Boston - Freedom Trail, Museum of Science, Kennedy Library, - lots to see and your 16 yo may want to check out some colleges.

From there you can head north to Plum Island, NH seacoast, Portland. There's a lot of stuff for a family to enjoy - all the stuff dhfrost mentioned and more, like a lobster boat tour of Portland harbor or a Portland Seadogs game.
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Mar 2nd, 2012, 10:05 AM
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sorry, it was another poster not the OP that wanted to avoid Boston. Agree that Boston would be great for a visit.
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Mar 2nd, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Although Mystic Seaport is quite interesting I agree you must indeed seek out history and sites in Boston. Since our recent move we've been here and there. Yes, museums a good bet. Also we've explored some up the coast into Maine ...staying at a favorite inexpensive cabin near Booth Bay. Acadia isn't that thrilling and you shouldn't get trapped in touristy Bar Harbor.

Now then, you might consider planning WITH the kids so this is their family vacation. What would they enjoy doing and seeing? Likely that means activites you might not have thought about (rather than just sight seeing). Also not too much tiring walking. Likely they will enjoy swimming in motel pools and sandy beaches.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...n-journeys.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...e-minitrip.cfm
Bill in Boston
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Mar 6th, 2012, 05:22 AM
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Boston is a great place to visit, but I think that should be for another trip when you have more time to spend in the city with so much to do and see. I think you should just make it a Maine vacation, starting in the southern maine beaches (Ogunquit, York, Kennebunkport, or Old Orchard Beach). Each of them has their own beauty and shops or excitement. Then on the way to Acadia, stop in the Midcoast region in Boothbay Harbor or Monhegan Island or Stonington/Deer Isle. This is the real Maine with lots of beauty and hiking and cruises and lobster.

From 3/5/12 to 3/18/12 you can get some really good deals on some first-ratre Maine hotels, inns and B&B's. Many of these hotels are on the ocean, and ALL are near the ocean. They are all near the tourist mecas of Maine as well. Go to biddingforgood.com/uucb to bid on these hotels. You will also be supporting the rebuilding of a church that burned down in Brunswick, Maine.
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