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NE trip - New Hampshire- Maine - Boston - section 3 - need help in Maine

NE trip - New Hampshire- Maine - Boston - section 3 - need help in Maine

Jul 19th, 2011, 08:33 PM
  #1  
jkr
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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NE trip - New Hampshire- Maine - Boston - section 3 - need help in Maine

Husband, 13yr daughter & myself heading east late July.

Tent camping 2 days at Lafayette campground in Franconia Notch SP in NH.
Hiking Franconia Ridge Trail in White Mts. Next day hike to Franconia Falls in the AM then head to Maine. Hope to be on road around 1:00pm

The pace of our trip increases. To see Maine we have from 1:00pm Wed till we arrive in Boston around 3:00pm next day.

First
Route suggestion from New Hampshire to Maine? 112E - ME 133 or 112 E if we head to Freeport.
Is one route more scenic? If neither scenic - is there a better route?

Second
Where to camp in Maine. Looking for suggestions for campground. Important it have free WIFI. There is KOA in Portland, Would better location be Old Orchard Beach? Other suggestion? "Struggling with where to spend night." Depending on time may drive directly to camp, set up and that evening see a few things, shop, have lobster and then next day see rest of sites as we head toward Boston?

Third
What to see
Don't have time to drive to Arcadia NP. Wish we did as it is beautiful. Is there anything scenic like this further south? Farthest north we want to go is Freeport. Is the LL Bean store worth a stop? Our gal needs a school backpack.

What are best sites to get a feel for southern Maine coastline. Things we want to see/do...lighthouse, boats & harbors, maybe beach, lobster dinner (not fancy)

We were in Maine years ago. Can't remember town but it had cobblestone streets where we walked around at night shopping...any idea what town this might be? I remember we had 2 lobsters for $7.00 in this cafe. My daughter has never had lobster - for her first one - it would be fun to be at a place where they come off the boat and you eat at a picnic table. Suggestions?
jkr is offline  
Jul 19th, 2011, 09:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 244
Freeport is a cute little town but it is mostly outlet shopping. However, I do love the LL Bean store. If you wanted to camp in that area Bradbury State Park isn't too far a drive and when we were there 4 years ago they had just built new bathroom/shower facilities. We didn't do any hiking just used it as a stopover on our way to Acadia. (not sure if BSP has free wifi)

In regards to lighthouses there are many on the coastal route heading south to Boston. One of my favorites is Nubble Light.

A great town to get a good beachy feel is Kennebunkport. If you wanted to grab lobster rolls you can stop at the Clam Shack http://theclamshack.net/ just as your cross over the bridge. Last time we were there we parked our bikes and ate using the ledge on the bridge as our table.
beph03 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2011, 10:30 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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With only 12 hours to "see Maine" (since 10 hours of your time will be at your campsite)...I would stay south in Kennebunkport/Wells or Ogunquit/York.

As far as where to camp, you've waited far too late to book something, you're going to have settle for wherever will accept you for one night.

If it were me I would probably stay in NH one more night and just take a day drive to the Maine coast on one of the 3 days in NH.
tracys2cents is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 01:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It might be quicker to go to the LL Bean outlet store in North Conway on your way to Maine. There's a Kittery Trading Post on Rt 1 outlet mall area on your way south but not sure if they have back packs for school.

You have at least 2 choices for harbor cruises - Portland ME and Portsmouth NH. If you get on the early mailboat run from Portland, you'll be done by lunch. There's a little narration and stops at different islands in the harbor.

The Nubble in York is a good suggestion plus the beaches are beautiful. A nice walk along the cliffs is the Marginal Way in Ogunquit.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 04:31 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Since you can get a backpack in any mall in the US I wouldn't waste my one day in Maine going to LL Bean. Get it on line if you want to say it came from Maine.

The town you describe was probably Portland, which is still a nice town, but not really 'little'. Best places to stop in that area of Maine would be Portland itself, Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, and York. My photo gallery has pics of the lighthouses in those areas so see which ones look best to you. Also if you google lighthouses in Maine there are sites that give you good driving directions to get to the lighthouses. (http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/new_england)

I know you are looking for a campground, but - given your limited time you might consider just crashing at a Motel 6 or something (there's one in Portland) to maximize your limited time to 'see' the Maine coast.
isabel is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 02:15 PM
  #6  
jkr
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Getting 3rd night in NH not available without moving tent. I did check hotels but most over $100. Motel 6 not for me, Fairfield Inn type. Of course if a new hotel might be something to try 1 night. Are there any new budget hotels in Portland? Anyone know those routes I mentioned above under FIRST?

I'm going to check out KOA in Portland. That night we can see whats around the town and have lobster for dinner. Suggestions?

Where is Orchard Beach in relation to Portland & Kennebunkport?

Next day we will get up early and drive the coast down towards Boston. Sounds like Kennebunkport, Ogunquit (Marginal Way) and York(Nubble lighthouse) places to stop.
jkr is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 03:48 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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"Where is Orchard Beach in relation to Portland & Kennebunkport?"

Between them. It is very popular with French Canadians.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 08:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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The problem with Ogunquit York at this time of year is that you can get caught in terrible traffic. Leave early in the morning if you are going to try to hug the shore with a coastal drive. Note that route 1 is NOT coastal or scenic in the area for the most part. Budget motels in the area are in the $100-$150 range in July and often have 2 or 3 night minimums. Might be able to help you find a campsite if I knew the exact date.
In college I worked the night hotel desk on route 1 in the summer, turned away 100 families a night sometimes, many asked if they could just use our parking lot to just sleep in the car.
tracys2cents is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 01:31 PM
  #9  
jkr
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Wed Aug 3 we need a regular size tent site.
jkr is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2011, 08:02 PM
  #10  
jkr
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Does Bradbury Mountain State Park have flush or vault toilets?
They have availability and 12 minutes west of Freeport.
Also found a KOA campsite in Old Orchard Beach with availability.

Decision which location... stay north & move back & forth 1st evening then south in AM or stay central & drive north 1st evening and south next morning.

1st night thinking Cape Elizabeth shore (looking for rocky shoreline) Old Portland for lobster dinner, maybe LL Bean since they are open 24.
Next day drive to Boston via Kennebunkport, Ogunquit (Marginal Way) and York(Nubble lighthouse) Is traffic bad during week 9am-1pm?
jkr is offline  
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