New England Road Trip

Old Mar 4th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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New England Road Trip

In August 2014 (13th-17th) a couple of friends are taking a girls road trip up North, we are all in our early 30s. We live in New Jersey, not too far outside of Philadelphia, and would like to go up the coast but aren't sure exactly where to stop. We were thinking of definitely doing somewhere in Maine for a couple of nights and maybe another night or so somewhere else, possibly in the Cape or Rhode Island. We want a relaxing trip with lots of nature, not too into historical sites. One of the girls has said she would like to visit Mount Washington along the way, although that isn't along the coast and not sure how long of a drive it will be to get there. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to go, what to do? I would be content sitting on the beach with a glass of wine or taking tours on a bike but one of the girls may be pregnant come August, depending on mother nature. Beach, mountains, lakes, anything pretty we are all for. There are too many choices up the coast so I thought I would see what others recommended. Thanks!
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Old Mar 4th, 2014, 02:36 PM
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Maine and then the Cape/RI are too far apart for 5 days. Pick one area to focus on.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 04:05 AM
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I agree, there's so much of Maine I wouldn't try to fit in the Cape or RI. On your way back south you can head west to NH's White Mountains. If you head home this way, you should probably choose someplace to stop for the night. The White Mountains/Conway area is only about an hour from Portland ME. Then take either Kancamagus Hwy further west to connect with I93 south or my favorite route thru Tamworth and Center Sandwich to Meredith NH. Then I93.

Keep in mind sandy beaches tend to be south of Portland. Just south of Portland you can visit Portland Light house that's in a big park. Bite Into Maine food truck is there for your choice of several kinds of lobster rolls. I suggest you bring bag chairs and set up for a picnic lunch overlooking Casco Bay. (Maybe someone else will remember the name of the park.)

If you want easy hikes, get a map to conservation areas in the Harpswells. One place is a secluded beach but the road in is very rutted. I would not attempt if you don't have good ground clearance. Another is a public beach, easy to get to but not in a big tourist area. Several different lobster places to try. I like the one in Cundy Harbor. Great views.

If you get a wine trail map for the state of Maine that might give you ideas of where you might like to choose a base. There's at least 3 or 4 in the Rockland, Camden, Lincolnville area.

If you choose southern ME, the Dunes of Ogunquit has various sizes of lodging from motel room to full cottage in a very pleasant grassy setting. Not great views but walkable to beach. If you choose further north, we stayed once at Glenmoore by the Sea in Lincolnville. Although right on Rt 1 it was pretty quiet. Again no view but nice grassy area and we had a deck. You probably can't get a regular cottage for less than a week. Just be careful of renting a condo type place which might not be anywhere close to the ocean (like the one we rented).

When we camped, we loved Searspoint Shores which had large travel trailers for rent and the campground fronted on a rocky beach. I don't recall cottages or campers to rent at Chewonky in Wiscasset ME. The setting is on an old farm on a tidal river. Lots of green,
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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Beaches in Maine don't mean swimming, The water isn't warm enough for swimming in most places north of Brunswick, and I wouldn't do it even there.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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And the beach communities like Ogunquit are a bit of a mob scene in mid August, I wouldn't classify Ogunquit or even Kennebunkport as "relaxing". I would look for something maybe in Southport which is out of the hubbub yet an easy jaunt into Boothbay for dining and wining. If you don't want to travel that far north, then maybe the York Harbor Inn or the Stage Neck Inn. Take a nice drive out to the Shapleigh-Lake Lovell area one day...and a drive up through Ogunquit or Kennebunkport for lunch and strolling on another.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 04:12 PM
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New England has some beautiful beaches from southern Maine all the way down to Rhode Island. Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and York Maine are all fun. In mid August, the water is often bearable for a quick swim. Cape Cod is the 'beach capital' of New England - there are miles and miles of beaches of every description, charming little towns, an some very busy and touristy areas. The Cape's south facing beaches are much warmer than the rest. You could easily spend your entire vacation just relaxing and exploring the Cape and the islands. Some of the best bike trails in the northeast are to be found on the Cape, and much of it is surprisingly rural once you get off the busy roads.
The Mt Washington area is quite spectacular,and would be a nice change of pace from several days at the beach, just realize it's a bit of a haul on mountain roads from the Maine coast.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 03:07 AM
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Clarkgriswold is correct about the mob scene in southern Maine beach towns but it depends. I visited a friend last summer at her rented cottage in Wells. That section of the beach was uncrowded but I'm sure York and other beaches that are more open to the public (parking provided) are overcrowded. A place like the Dunes has a very quiet setting although located on Rt 1, it's set back far from the hwy. But I agree that quieter, more relaxing places are further north which is why I recommended the Harpswells area. At the end of a long day you don't want to go to a crowded restaurant or deal with Rt 1 traffic.
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Old Mar 6th, 2014, 04:25 AM
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Rhode Island has some nice beach areas too. Look in the Charleston, Metunic, Green Hill, Westerly, Watch Hill areas. Not as much time on the road and close to the CT casinos if you get a rainy day.
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