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Need suggestions on location for one week trip to Maine

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May 25th, 2011, 09:41 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Need suggestions on location for one week trip to Maine

I am having difficulty in deciding on an area of Coastal Maine to base out of. We know we want to stay in one place for the week - and since this is our first time to Maine I am not sure what to expect. It's just the two of us, we're in our early 40's -here's what we'd like and want to be able to enjoy on this trip:

-RELAXATION - unplug, recharge, read, relax
-Site seeing - gardening, nature, birding - so really feel Acadia is important
-Daily walks
-My husband likes to golf and would enjoy to play 1-2 rounds (not the entire trip)
-Easily accessible coffee shop - this is a MUST (silly I know, but homecoffee makers always disappoint)
-A few nice meals out - doesn't have to be fine dining, just excellent food and good wine
some shopping nearby
-Not too crowded
- access to swimming would be nice, but not necessary - I'm sure the ocean is freezing but maybe close to a lake/pond that s good for a dunk.

Right now I've found some very nice places to rent in Blue Hill, Deer Isle, and downtown Bar Harbor (not sure - is it really that crowded and crazy). Also saw a really nice place in Boothbay but am concerned that may be too far away from Acadia/Mt. Desert.

We've never been to this area before and probably won't get back any time soon (driving from Buffalo - to Maine about 14 hours one way). We plan on spending the night on the way there in Burlington and on the way back one night in Portland, ME.

We love vacation rentals and have not been disappointed with this approach which is why we want to pick a good location, with enough to do but also some peace and calmness. All suggestions and recommendations are welcomed .

Thanks,
Jill
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May 26th, 2011, 09:47 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'll bring this to the top with SOME info...

We love Acadia/Bar Harbor, but know nothing about golf, swimming or shopping, not our things.

We usually go in Sept. so arn't troubled by crowds. No trouble finding good to excellent restaurants. MorningGlory Bakery in BH is an excellent place for coffee and baked goods.

Any place NOT on Mount Desert Island will be to far for daily drives to the park. It's a windy road, often with lots of slow traffic.

~Liz
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May 26th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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Jill,
Blue Hill is a great place to stay, as well as "conveniently located" for day trips (in Maine that means at least a half-hour drive someplace). Bar Harbor is about 45 min-an hour away, depending on traffic, but you don't want to stay there - way too touristy. Definitely go to Acadia NP and eat at Jordan Pond House - the popovers will be worth your whole drive. From Blue Hill you can explore in many other directions. Stonington, Deer Isle, Bucksport (new cable bridge which is some sort of engineering marvel) and Camden are just a few of the places you can make a leisurely day trip to. Castine is home to the Maine Maritime Academy, and you can tour the ship they use for training. Believe there is a public course in Camden or Castine, but double-check. In Blue Hill, make a special night to eat at Arbor Vine - fabulous food, great atmosphere, super service. Also, there is a great place near the cemetery by the water, which is more casual. Be sure and plan on climbing Blue Hill - only takes about 45 minutes, but stunning views in all directions.
Have a great time.
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Jun 16th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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Reading your description I believe that Bar Harbor/MDI is your best bet. We spend a week camping there every summer and never fail to find enough to do. IMHO Blue Hill is too far. Beautiful, but not as much to do. Look for a rental outside of town. Depending on where you end up, the free shuttle buses can be an alternative to driving into the park. Routes are on the ANP website I think. Don't rule out rentals in the town of Bar Harbor, it is larger than the busy village downtown. Although it does get crowded, we never feel overwhelmed. BH, Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor all have nice coffee shops/bakeries to sit and people watch. All areas have a huge variety of dining options from gourmet to take out lobster rolls. the national park offers guided walks/hiking and include birding, I think. Swimming: the ocean is cold, but there are several nice lakes open for swimming. I think MDI has everything you would want and since you're staying for a week it is worth the drive (about 3 hours from Portland, longer if you take the coastal route and linger, recommend for your return trip).
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Jun 16th, 2011, 06:44 AM
  #5
 
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If you go to Acadia/Mt. Desert Island, I recommend staying at the Inn at Southwest Harbor in Southwest Harbor. It is much quieter, less touristy than Bar Harbor & very pretty. Have lobster at Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard; take a ride to Schoodic Peninsula (absolutely beautiful & wide scenery).
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Jun 16th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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If you're going in July or August you're going to have to take what you can get. Most vacation rentals are already booked for those months. If not, it might be a reflection on the quality of the rental property or the location.
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Jun 17th, 2011, 03:35 AM
  #7
 
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I also forgot, Kebo Valley golf course is open to the public and is beautiful!
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