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cherikm May 1st, 2005 12:57 PM

one week in Maine-please help!
 
We are two very active couples from Chicago who will be in Boston for a wedding mid-July and would love to spend a week in Maine beforehand. We could either fly into Portland, take the train to Boston and then fly home from Boston or just drive roundtrip from Boston. We would love to do some hiking, perhaps biking, see some beautiful areas, explore in general. We are not interested in shopping but great food, (especially lobster as many times as possible)is definitely in the plan. We definitely need help deciding on a plan. I would love to hear suggestions on where we should go, stay, do etc. thanks so much to all who respond. I love this board!

tbelgian May 1st, 2005 02:37 PM

How about driving up the coast to Acadia National Park and back. You could see some of the cutest towns, like Camden and do a lot of biking and hiking along the way. Most of the hiking along the coast is easy but you get spectacular views. You could do a trip to Katadin and hike that. Katadin is a great hike and that time of year you might see some of the through hikers finishing the AP trail...very emotional. Katadin is probably 6 or more hours from Boston. Acadia is probably 6 hours north of Boston as well. IMHO, both the north woods and Acadia are some of the most beautiful areas anywhere.

rkkwan May 1st, 2005 03:12 PM

You need to book your hotels ASAP. July is high-season, and many of the best hotels are already full.

djkbooks May 1st, 2005 04:10 PM

Here's another recommendation for booking accomodations forthwith. I'd recommend planning to spend two nights in three different coastal destinations (the farthest from Boston first, then work your way south) and the night before the wedding in Boston. You can hardly go wrong with any three destinations, as there's much to explore in every direction. Get a copy of Maine, An Explorer's Guide.

joesorce May 1st, 2005 04:39 PM

Boothbay Harbor would be a perfect place for you, not as overcrowded as Bar Harbor much better for biking. Check out the Welch House Inn and the Ocean Point Inn. Be sure to go on the Cabbage Island Clambake tour!
How about flying into Bangor Maine, spending two nights up in the breathtaking Moosehead Lake area, followed by 2 nights in Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park and 3 nights down in Boothbay Harbor. From there you'd have about a 3 hour drive into Boston.

Pop the names of any of these areas into the "search" feature on Fodors, and lots of dining/lobster recommendations will come up.

TomReynolds May 25th, 2005 01:07 PM

if you're in bar harbor make sure to go kayaking, hike in the park and stay at the moseley cottage ( moseleycottage.net )! a great young couple run this place.

T.

matss May 25th, 2005 02:16 PM

First of all fly into Manchester, NH!! It's easier, cheaper, and more direct for a great trip up the Maine coast. Start out by driving over to Ogunquit for your 1st night. Stay at the Anchorage Inn. Then drive up through Portland, continuing up to Boothbay Harbor for the next 2 nights. From there drive up & over to Bar Harbor & Acadia Nat'l Park for 3 nights (min.). Stay at the Manor House Inn. You'll hate to leave, but drive back down with a possible stopover in Freeport for L.L.Bean shopping. Continue your trip down and back to Manchester. You won't forget this beautiful trip.

bigtyke May 25th, 2005 09:21 PM

Acadia is the best place to see 'the rugged coast of Maine'. In too many other places, the trees go right down to the shore and you can't see much even if you are on a road 50 feet away.

Don't just stay on the coast, but go inland also. Visit Greenville on Moosehead Lake. A real interesting hike would be on Kineo Island (huge hill of flint) - lots or interesting stories to go with the island.

jcasale May 26th, 2005 11:30 AM

The hiking and biking on Acadia/Mt. Desert Island are great. Do the "round the mountain" loop on the Carriage Trails by bike. Great views! Flying into Manchester is a great way to go. Bangor or Portland will be more expensive and renting cars in Bangor can be a bit more pricey. If you do want to fly into Bangor you could check into flying out of Milwaukee on Northwest. That was cheaper when they first starting flying to Bangor, but the last time I checked American from O'Hare was just a cheap (we fly there all the time from Chicago for Christmas - summer we usually drive). If you want THE BEST lobster roll on the entire coast of Maine, go to Blue Hill (great little town and the hike up Blue Hill is a nice one) and eat at the Fish Net. It's right at the intersection of 172 and 176. For interior, the Moosehead area is great, but take lots of DEET. It has been a very wet spring in Maine and the mosquitos are going to be ferocious! Plus there will probably still be some black flies left over and my husband alwats gets eaten alive by midges. Anyway, you will love Maine. Camden is a very cute town, but it will be overflowing with shoppers in the summer. If you want to try sailing, though, alot of the windjammers go out of there and some so short half day or day cruises. Taking the train to Boston is fun if you have the time. We did that quite a number of years ago and then rented a car in Boston. If I remember correctly, getting off at North Station gets you closest to a car rental, but that was probably 15 years ago. Whatever you do - enjoy! Maine is great place to be in July.

cherikm Jun 18th, 2005 07:01 AM

Thanks for all your help. Your responses have led me to decide on three nights in Camden and four nights in Bar Harbor. Really excited about Acadia hiking and biking and Mt. Battie sounds awesome. So we now have B&Bs booked for both places and we're into the specific planning phase. Any suggestions on how to spend those days would be appreciated. Found a site for the Windjammers day trips in Camden and definitely want to do a two hour trip. They run from morning through sunset cruises. Any suggestions on which time is better? Also specific hikes in Acadia? Restaurants? Thanks so much, I love this board! Great people!

rkkwan Jun 18th, 2005 08:22 AM

While the coast is the most beautiful part of Maine, it's a pretty big state with other stuff to see. Bangor is a nice town, and futher north there are lots of hiking trails in the Baxter State Park with relatively pristine vistas.

Also, don't forget to visit the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadian National Park. It's across the bay to the east from the main Mt. Desert Island section, but is much less crowded.

Or you can spend a day driving further east along the coast to New Brunswick.

CarolSchwartz Jun 18th, 2005 07:34 PM

To Cherikm,
I am not an expert on the state of Maine--but I have been going there every year since 2001 for a September vacation. Your choice of Camden and Bar Harbor for places to stay are excellent choices. You will LOVE Acadia National Park. Upon arrival, the first thing I would do is a drive on the park loop road. This gives you a feel for the fantastic beauty of the park. Then, I would start on the hiking part of the trip-- don't miss the chance to walk the Ocean Trail which begins at Sand Beach and takes you all the way to the Otter Cliffs (3 easy miles). It's the same path that part the Park Loop Road takes --but this time you are walking and you can go down closer to the ocean and onto the huge rocks that form the coast line. The scenery is magnificent. If you are there in the summer it may be very crowded(I go in September so crowds are never a problem). You might have to do these two things early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds--I think too many people at a scenic spot spoils the experience (you decide). But there are many hiking trails that will take you off the beaten track and away from the crowds. Don't miss seeing a sunset from the top of Cadillac Mountain. There is a hiking trail that will take you to the top--or you can drive up. Get there about an hour before sunset--it gets crowded up there, too. Also, go to the Schoodic Penninsula. Its about an hour drive to get there --but you will have the place more to yourselves. It is a gorgeous spot. We love to watch the fog roll in over the rocks --and slowly retreat--its magical (and great for photography,too). And, don't forget to bike the carriage roads. They are a unique part of the park --quiet and cool --with unexpected surprises at each one (sometimes a waterfall, maybe a fantastic view, a pristine lake, etc.).Don't miss having some New England Clam Chowder--I've had it from lots of places in Bar Harbor and they were all good (the Island Chowder House has some of the best). If you want some great info on Acadia and the surrounding area look at the website www.acadiamagic.com --and if you'd like a great guide book on the same topic--try "Acadia Revealed". Enjoy your trip!

professors Jun 19th, 2005 03:35 PM

I live in Portland and have spent many summer weeks vacationing in my home state. I think the advice you have been given is excellent, although 3 days in Camden may be more than you need. It is a pretty little down but there are so many other places you can visit and therte is not really three days worth to see in Camden, unless you simply make that your base and do day trips from there. If you want to stay coastal you might want to spend one less day in Camden and another in Belfast or on one of the islands, such as Monhegan Island. These distances aren't so far. I also agree with those who suggested Boothbay Harbor.

As a Mainer I actually prefer to vacation in land, on one of Maine's many beautiful lakes (such as the Belgrade Lakes). The black flies are gone by July and there aren't so many tourists.

sandy49 Jun 19th, 2005 03:45 PM

Ditto on all of the votes for Acadia National Park.
It has been a few years since we have been there but the scenery is beautiful.
We took our bikes and rode some of the carriage trails.
Can't remember any of the restaurants but the locals helped us find some good ones.
Have a great trip.

cherikm Jun 19th, 2005 07:00 PM

I appreciate the great advice, especially the hiking tips for Acadia. We decided on three days in Camden because we didn't want to have to pack up and move to new accommodations too frequently but were planning on doing some day trips from there. Any suggestions for day trips from Camden would be great. Thanks so much for all your input so far.

tracys2cents Jun 19th, 2005 07:31 PM

If you get a gloomy day, head from Camden into Augusta to see the Maine State Museum. It's small but very nicely done, great history of the state. You pass a couple nice lakes on the way and could stop for a picnic.

katybird Jun 20th, 2005 05:00 AM

The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland near Camden might be of interest if you are interested in seeing Wyeth paintings. Also the Olson House in Thomaston is owned by the Farnsworth and open to the public.

greyshadowfax Jun 26th, 2005 06:10 AM

Here are some resaurant suggestions for Bar Harbor...
The Island Chowder House is great for a quick casual meal...best chowder in Bar Harbor.
Rosalie's Pizza is delicious...
Testa's Restaurant has great food, lots of seafood with an Italian flair...
The Jordan Pond House has fabulous popovers and excellent food with spectacular views of Jordan Pond and the Bubbles (hill formation)...
Rupanuni is supposed to be good, but I have never been there...
You can get a Maine shore dinner at most restaurants for a very reasonable price...
Hope this helps!

greg70ny Jul 20th, 2005 07:16 PM

What route would anyone recommend taking from Portland to Camden and then to Bar Harbor??

I will be travelling on a Sunday. Thanks.

mamadadapaige Jul 21st, 2005 06:46 PM

I agree that three nights in Camden seems like a lot particularly after/before four nights in Acadia.

If you can manage to work in an overnight in Portland (perhaps the first or last night??), I think you would greatly enjoy this city. We live in the Boston area and find it an easy drive to Portland. We have greatly enjoyed the Portland Museum of Art and there are many fine restaurants to dine in including some that make top restaurant lists in Gourmet magazine (one in particular is Four Street).

We stayed at a bed and breakfast called the Pomegranate Inn which is in the West Prom part of town - while this requires driving to museums/restaurants/shopping it was a fantastic place to stay. We loved taking an early evening stroll through the neighborhood up there - the homes are so old and beautiful and well cared for.

We took a driving vacation from Boston to Acadia a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. I am sure you will love your trip.

website for the inn in Portland is:
http://www.pomegranateinn.com/


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