Need Help Planning a Long Weekend in Maine

Nov 10th, 2010, 09:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Need Help Planning a Long Weekend in Maine

My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in June and unfortunately do no have enough vacation time to do a big trip somewhere... We have decided that we want to go somewhere neither of us has been and only for a long weekend (3 or 4 days).
The only area in New England either of us has been to is the Washington DC/Alexandria, VA area and we are intrigued by the idea of heading further northeast - to Maine! I have done a little research online and it seems like there is plenty to do and see - too much for our short trip!!!
So, does anyone have any recommendations for a 3-4 day stay for relaxation, romance, great food? We also enjoy seeing historic sights and doing photography.
LeighB is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Well, the folks in Washington would be amused that you think they are in New England, and the folks in New England would be indignant!

But Maine is a great place to go. You can fly into Portland (or Manchester, NH if you want to fly Southwest).

Portland is a great small city with a terrific art museum, and you can shop, eat well, go to the minor league baseball game, and tour the Harbor Islands for a day on the mailboat for relatively little money.

Then rent a car and drive up the coast through Brunswick, Bath, Wiscasset, etc to the Rockland-Camden area. YOu can stop in Freeport on the way to visit LL Bean and do a lot of other shopping.

US 1 does not hug the coastline, though you see a lot of it as you cross each of the rivers, and you can easily get off the road and drive down some of the peninsulas where the water is viewable and accessible.

If I were you, I would spend the first night and the next morning in Portland, then head north. Take a whole day driving up so you can visit Brunswick, Harpswell, and Bailey's and Orr's Islands. Wiscasset has a lot of historic houses.

Spend the next two nights in Rockland or Camden, then drive back to Portland on the interstate for an afternoon plane.

Several things:

It is likely to be quite cool in Maine in June. It will not likely be beach weather in any sense of the word. Bring sweaters and rain jackets (or buy them at Bean's!)

Because it is cool, the tourist season doesn't really begin until July 4. This means it won't be crowded, but it also means some places won't be open.

Much of the lodging in Maine is more rustic than you might expect from places that attract a lot of [rich] tourists. This is part of the charm, but if it matters to you to have imported chocolates on your pillow and 600 count linens, be sure to ask lots of questions before you book your reservations.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 10:50 AM
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good answer
Kealalani is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 02:32 PM
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I also agree with everything Ackislander has said.

elberko is online now  
Nov 10th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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Portland has great food! a true food destination city imho
Kealalani is offline  
Nov 10th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Agreed, excellent suggestions from Ackislander above.

Agreed that the art museum in Portland is excellent, and the harbor islands are from all reports very good. Also consider touring one or both of the Victoria Mansion or Wadsworth-Longfellow House, both well worth seeing, if you have time and interest. Have not been to the Portland Head Light and Museum, but it's supposed to be very good as well -- you'll need a car to see this, as it's not in downtown Portland.

Acadia National Park is great, but with only a few days you won't have time for it unless you pretty much focus on this at the exclusion of all else. This will of course just give you an excellent reason to return to Maine.
bachslunch is offline  
Nov 11th, 2010, 02:35 AM
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We did a long weekend in Maine for our 40th - I know, most people go on big trips but we are always too busy for our special anniversaries and didn't celebrate our May anniversary until June. We live in NH and Maine is a frequent destination for us.

We started in Portland with a mailboat cruise followed by lunch. The Old Port area is fun to explore but except for an ice cream stop at MDI ice cream on Exchange St (some bizarre flavors) we wanted a leisurely drive south to Ogunquit where we had reservations at The Dunes and planned on walking the Marginal Way. We liked the Dunes because it's quiet and it like an old fashioned cottage colony. DH hates big hotels. We could sit outside our cottage on adirondack chairs and enjoy a glass of wine.

South of Portland the beaches tend to be sandy and there's a lot of homes and shops. North of Portland gets quieter and quieter the further north you go and probably has more photo ops such as Owls Head Light near Rockland, the breakwater, etc. When we stay in Wiscasset a favorite day trip is a drive out to Harpswell. Last time we visited we ate at Dolphin Bay Marina and found a little known wildlife preserve where we could sit and enjoy looking at the water.

If you've never been to Maine, I'd hate for you to miss the view from the top of Mt Battie in Camden. I'm betting your idea of Maine is the rocky coast north of Portland so I would definitely agree with towns listed by Akislander. If you are gardeners you might want to go on the Camden House and Garden tour which is in June. DH's choice on Sat was the Owl's Head Transportation Museum which was having a special show of antique vehicles. We got to see a Lombard Log Hauler but the weather kept the antique airplanes on the ground. We've seen them flying before. Hard to believe they can get off the ground.

Agree, bring jackets and rain gear. You might be lucky with warm weather but even in warm weather it will be cold on the water if you take a mailboat ride or other cruise.
dfrostnh is offline  
Nov 11th, 2010, 02:50 AM
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I would follow much of the advice above - and you can spend all nights in Portland and see much of it as easy day trips if you prefer. There are also some cute little shops in downtown Portland if that is your thing.

If you are flying in, check flights to Boston, Manchester and Portland - it is often much cheaper to fly into Boston and the drive is only a bit more than 2 hours. There is easy access to highway from Logan airport so you are not actually driving thru Boston.
gail is offline  
Nov 11th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Wow - what great input everyone! This definitely helps narrow it down for a short trip. Normally we like to to longer trips, especially to places we haven't been before, but it just isn't going to work out this time. Just as "bachslunch" said - this will just give us reason to return!
LeighB is offline  

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