Need recommendations for 9/21-9/28

Sep 10th, 1999, 12:00 PM
Cindy Gombos
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Need recommendations for 9/21-9/28

Please help us plan our upcoming vacation to Maine and Canada. My husband and parents will be flying into Manchester, New Hampshire on 09/21/99. We will be renting a car and driving thru north Maine and into Canada (Nova Scotia, Halifax, & nearby towns). Our vacation ends on 09/28/99. We would like to know what the most scenic route (towns) are to visit as well as the most scenic routes to take. Since we live in Florida we are especially hoping to see the fall foliage (What are our possibilities of seeing this during the time we will be in the mentioned areas?). What is the weather like during this time and how should we dress? The farthest south we will be traveling in Maine will be to Freeport as we love the L.L. Bean Store. There's also nothing like Great Seafood. I've been working out a few more days during the week so I can take advantage of the seafood during our vacation. What are some of the best restaurants to visit in Maine and the part of Canada? Would also like advice on things we can do during our late September trip. Are there any fall festivals? Are there any easy hiking trails? After all that sightseeing and eating, we would also like advice on nice reasonable places to stay(B & B's, Inns near the ocean).

Thank-you so much for your assistance.

Your new pal from Florida,

Cindy Gombos
Sep 10th, 1999, 12:54 PM
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Hi Cindy. I did a similar trip with a friend over 10 days in late August-early Sept. of 1997 and we had a wonderful time. We flew into Boston and rented a car and drove through Maine, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, back to Maine and flew out of Boston. So we had a different route, but it overlaps somewhat, and I'll tell you what we liked in case it helps. The three towns in Maine that we stayed in were Camden (lovely -- great shopping, very picturesque!), Boothbay Harbor (cute but a bit too touristy for our taste, but we did absolutely love our hotel there -- the Lawnmeer Inn located just outside of town, in a picturesque setting on the water -- see their website at if you're interested -- they have a great dining room too), and Bar Harbor (beautiful, especially Acadia National Park!). Bar Harbor has lots of very good restaurants; I can't remember any names offhand but I can't forget the fabulous blueberry pancakes I had for breakfast one morning. Do the loop where you drive all the way around Acadia National Park; it doesn't take that long, and you can stop often along the way to take pictures. Make sure you drive to the top of Mt. Cadillac at sunset when you are in Acadia; the view in all directions is breathtaking. There is plenty of good hiking in Acadia and you can get maps in the park. There is a good website on Maine at for info on various towns, accommodations, etc., and we also found the Frommer's New
England book very helpful in planning our trip -- its recommendations on hotels and restaurants were always dead-on accurate and we never went wrong when we followed their advice. The one comment I would have about eating in Maine is that if you want the best, freshest lobster, the best way to get it is at the little roadside lobster pounds where the locals bring in their catches. They will boil a lobster for you and serve it with chips or corn, for very little money! The settings are casual -- often just picnic tables -- but many times in very scenic surroundings. The best one we found in terms of food and price was a few miles north of Camden, and the only reason we found it was because it was mentioned in Frommer's so look there for directions and the name of it because I can't remember offhand. Compared to a pricey lobster dinner we stopped for in Ogunquit at a tourist trap, the lobster pound was fantastically inexpensive and far more delicious!

From Bar Harbor we took the ferry over to Nova Scotia. Again, the Frommer's Nova Scotia book was very helpful in planning this part of our trip. We stayed two nights in Halifax at a wonderful hotel called the Waverley Inn (check out their website at if you're interested). I highly recommend this hotel. It has a fantastic location a couple of blocks from the waterfront, and walking distance to everything. The rooms are furnished with antiques, parking is free and ample, and there is a little "hospitality room" where you eat breakfast and can have snacks of tea and cookies, etc. Make sure you see the public gardens in Halifax; they're glorious. There is an excellent restaurant on the water in Halifax that I think is called Salty's; the folks at the Waverley Inn recommended it to us, and they were right. Fabulous seafood pie and garlic mashed potatoes. If you want a table with a view you should probably make a reservation if you can. From Halifax we drove through Truro where there is a short, easy hike available at Truro Falls. The falls aren't huge or anything, but they are pretty and I thought that was worth doing and made a good leg-stretcher.

After Truro we took the ferry over to PEI which I don't think is relevant to your plans, so I'll stop there. But I will add that if you're looking for scenic settings in Nova Scotia, you will probably want to go to Peggy's Cove and also try to make it up to Cape Breton, although we didn't have enough time to make it up that far.

I would expect mild daytime weather in September and a bit chilly at night so definitely bring some long pants and sweaters, and I would also bring a raincoat (we had one or two days of heavy fog and mist, which was chilly). Maybe lows in the low 50s, highs in upper 60s or low 70s if you're lucky, but if it's dampish it will feel cooler. We had mostly sun and were only cold at night.

Weather has been weird this year so I am hearing the leaves may turn at a different time than they usually do and the colors may not be as great; still I would think you will see some pretty foliage. Certainly at the beginning of your trip there should still be some.

One more tip: if you don't get many responses to your posting, you may want to repost it with a different title such as "Need Maine-Nova Scotia Recommendations for 9/21-9/28." The reason is that when you bring up this forum, it doesn't search by state unless you ask it to, and some people looking at general U.S. info may have recommendations for you. In my experience you will get many more responses if you put the destination in the title. Also, I don't know if you posted this request on the Canada forum as well, but you may get more information on Nova Scotia that way (althought the Canada forum seems a lot less active than the U.S. one).

Good luck and I hope you have a terrific trip. Please post a trip report when you get back and let us know how it was and anything you would recommend for other travellers.
Sep 10th, 1999, 01:00 PM
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The blueberries, for some reason, have been extraordinary this year in Maine and New Hampshire; eat as much as you can.
Sep 13th, 1999, 02:26 PM
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When in Freeport, don't miss Harraseeket Lunch -- one of those great waterside lobster pound places. We still remember our fantastic $12.00 twin-lobster lunch there last summer. It's not in the centeral shopping district, but it's in the guidebooks & tourist maps. We also found Brunswick ME to be worth a look -- more local than touristy. Had decent Thai food there (don't ask why we were eating Thai in Maine.) But that place in the commercials that serves lobster, but doesn't take American Express -- a long, long drive for bad service and an overpriced, disappointing meal. What's it called again? Cook's maybe? A must to avoid.
Sep 17th, 1999, 01:06 PM
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I have lived in Nova Scotia most of my life. I came across your posting because I am planning a trip to New England soon and found some valuable information in the above responses. Salty's is a wonderful restaurant on the Halifax harbour as was mentioned. Other quaint restaurants are Salvatore's in the Hydrostone. This is located on Young Street just off Agricola. They serve the most amazing, unique pizza you ever ate. Also, my favorite place to eat in the city is The Bistro.
If you are arriving in Nova Scotia via the ferry, White Point Lodge is located on the east cost by Liverpool. It is an amazing place to stay with miles of beach. If you make it to Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail is absolutely beautiful with its mountains and gailic culture. Fortress Louisburg, on the other side of the island has been recreated, but the reactors may not be there at this time of year.
An option for hotels or motels are the many Bed and Breakfasts located in the area. In downtown Halifax there is the Haliburton House Inn. I have only had dinner there, but was never so pampered in my life. It is located in a historic property and will take you back to days gone by.
The "Truro Falls" is located in Victoria park and is beautiful. I used to take my lunches there when I worked in Truro one summer.
The Maple Sugar woods in Cumberland County offer beautiful walks in the foliage, although the camps will not be a bustle of life as they are in the springtime. Some leaves have started to turn here, and although I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I don't think that they will have turned the vibrant autumn colors by the end of your stay. I will say though that the first place they will turn is Cumberland County, so go through the area closer to the end of your stay and you may be in luck. Regardless, there is so much else to see and I'm sure you'll have a beautiful time. Don't forget to stop into Mahone Bay on your way up the east coast. There is an amazing restaurant there for seafood - I can't remember the name, just ask one of the locals. The town is located on the water and many an artist has used the streets of this village as their inspiration. Most of all, have fun.

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