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southern Maine

Old Mar 18th, 2008, 09:38 AM
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southern Maine

We are taking a day trip from Manchester to the Portland area next week~any advice on what to do and see in our woefully inadequate timeframe? Any lighthouses on the southern coast? Good restaurants in Portland or Kennebunkport? Best route for a scenic drive? Any help would be appreciated!
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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The Portland Head Lighthouse at Fort Williams Park is pretty nice, not far from Portland.

Downtown, the Old Port is kind of fun to walk around in, neat old buildings and shops. Portland, Maine is a neat town - I've enjoyed my visits there (even though I live in the one in Oregon).
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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I'm assuming you mean Manchester, NH, not Manchester, VT. You should head for the coast on Rt. 101 east to Portsmouth (stopping there if you have time), then taking the coast road up to Nubble lighthouse in York, on to Ogunquit and Kennebunkport, and then on to Portland (great restaurant city) and walk around the Old Port section of the city. There's lots of info right here on this forum about Maine cities and the coast. You could do all or most of what I've listed in a day, finishing with dinner in Portland, but you'll want to linger. You'll need to come back.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Yes, Manchester, NH.........oops! I should know better than to omit the state~I live in Quincy, California, and there are several Quincys in the country. I am looking forward to seeing the eastcoast Portland, as I love our westcoast Portland! This is exactly the kind of information I needed, thank you!
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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What Vallombrosa said.

The Cape Neddick lighthouse at Nubble Point is a great stop! And the York is quite a spectacular view, with a big curving beach--what you picture Maine will look like.

However, I have to say that Kennebunkport was kind of a modern, touristy disappointment to us. The drive all the way up 101 will take quite awhile, so you might want to take Hwy 91 into York, drive up 1A to Capt Neddick, then get back onto I-95 at Wells to go into Portland. If you need a lunch stop and are interested in also shopping there, the Stonewall Kitchen main store is at exit 7 going into York--great food, sandwiches/soups/salads in deli style restaurant, also had lobster rolls the day we were there.

Our (grown) kids really enjoyed going out for a couple of hours on the historic schooner from the port there, which gave them a chance to see a lot of coastal scenery.There is so much to see and do in that city that you can easily eat up the rest of your day there! And speaking of eating, there are so many good restaurants in Portland that it would be hard to choose. However, probably the best-known (ranked 16th of the nation's top 50 restaurants by Gourmet Magazine) is Fore Street. You will need a reservation, but what we liked most about it is that it's not at all stuffy, and we even had a baby with us! Our waiter noted he had one at home the same age, and happily worked around the normal baby needs.
Have fun!
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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Since you said scenic drive ... I would not take Rt 101 to Portsmouth/Rt 95. It may be faster but it's a very boring road. Head up to Concord via Rt 293/93 to Rt 393 and then Rt 4 west. Most of the way is 45-50mp but slower in towns. You'll go thru some nice rural areas east of Durham and then over the Great Bay bridges, then rt 16 to Portsmouth where you can connect with Rt 95. There's a longer, back way to get to York that avoids Rt 95 for most of the way that goes thru Dover. You would need a really good map for that route.
York would be a great stop before getting to Portland. If you get off Rt 95 for Kittery Point there's a state road that meanders to York. Again, you need a detailed map. Kittery Point is very scenic very different from Rt 1 shopping outlet section of town. It was probably Rt 103 we took to York Harbor/Rt 1A.
At this time of year it will be very quiet in York but it's probably the longest stretch of sandy beach on the southern coast.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Several lighthouses: one in York, called Nubble Light. Take Route 1A off of 95 or Route 1. Two lighthouses in S. Portland off Broadway (Spring Point and Bug Light). Portland also has it's own. The old port in Portland is a nice place to walk around; good restaurants and small shops. DiMillo's Floating Rest. is one of my favs. Have fun!
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Oh boy...the thing about Kennebunkport is to get onto Ocean Drive, do the required look-see at the Bush/Walker home, and continue on that road to Goose Rocks Beach, Biddeford Pool--just explore the area in other words. It can indeed be touristy at certain times of the year... Fore Street and Street & Co. are wonderful in Portland, as is Hugo's. I must disagree about DeMillo's...
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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On the way to/from Portland stop at the Maine Diner (Route 1, Wells).
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Just returned from our trip, and the biggest disappointment was our lack of time.......even the snowy weather was tolerable, as it gave the landscape a different kind of beauty. Most of what we saw was from the warm interior of the car so as to avoid the brutal wind, but we enjoyed it. We headed up thru York and had a late lunch at the Lobster Cove Inn. The food and the service were excellent. The Ocean Drive suggestion was a good one; we got to see lots of side streets due to several wrong turns, but lack of an agenda made this a plus. We poked around in Portland and were charmed by it. We were very disappointed that we were all still so stuffed from our late lunch that we didn't try any of the recommended restaurants! A unanimous decision was made to return to Maine when we have more time (and maybe better weather.....) Thank you for all of the suggestions!
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