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Trip Help appreciated for first trip to Maine; from Portland to Bar Harbor - mid Sept

Trip Help appreciated for first trip to Maine; from Portland to Bar Harbor - mid Sept

Old Apr 27th, 2003, 10:10 AM
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Trip Help appreciated for first trip to Maine; from Portland to Bar Harbor - mid Sept

Hello. My husband & I are planning our 1st trip to Maine (Sept 13-20). We are gathering lots of info. We would appreciate suggestions with this area that could Help us narrow our options and be sure we allow the right amount of time for specific areas. Interests are towards: seeing some fall foliage, sightseeing, shopping, scenic drives, whale watch/nature tours, Walking trails are fine (but can't do serious hiking/or outdoor things like kayak).

We're flying into Boston on Sat. (better time/flight options) & then driving immediately into Maine. This gives us 6 full days with the following Sat. being a travel day back to Boston. Portland area seems like a good place to start. Bar Harbor/Bangor area to be our focal point. Acadia National Park is a must! Any suggestions as to the number of days for these areas and whether we need to consider anything in between. We were thinking in terms of central accomodations in areas and do day trips rather than changing hotels every night or two but suggestions there would be helpful too. We are in Dallas Texas, so driving and crowds are standard to us. Lots of things to consider and choose from, so bare with us if this is too vague. We will start with this and see what suggestions we get. We just don't want to over stretch the timeframe with too many things and then feel rushed.

We thought about driving towards Baxter or Moosehead Lake one day, but that may be better considered for a future trip, what do you think?

Much thanks!
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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For making the most of your time, I highly recommend "Maine, An Explorer's Guide", which very comprehensive. Then, you can select those destinations you find most appealing.

Would also recommend driving as far north as you plan to go, then work your way south. You are arriving a bit early for fall foliage, so you'd see a lot more color in the Baxter & Moosehead areas. Note that, especially that early, there will be much more leaf color in the central/mountains than along the coast, where the leaves change last.
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 12:46 PM
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I second the recommendation for "Maine:An Explorer's Guide". We've used the various editions over the years(three trips to the Maine coast) and have gotten many good tips. I can only speak to the coast but think a stop in Boothbay,Camden and Castine are in order on your way to Bar Harbor. I especialy like Castine. It's small. quaint and does give one pause with its beauty. In Portland I recommend Street & Company for dinner...great fish. Look at the Castine Inn for dinner or a place to stay. Regarding the Bar Harbor area, I actually preferred the other harbors (check in the Explorer's Guide)I found Bar Harbor to be more crowded than I had imagined and the downtown has a surprising number of t shirt shops! It might be far less crowded after Labor Day. Think about taking the ferry to Nova Scotia from Bar Harbor. You might get more foliage that far north. It will take you about 3 hours if you drive straight from Portland to Bar Harbor on the coastal route. The distances between places is surprisingly brief I thought.
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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Amost forgot to mention checking out the Blue Hill area as well.
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 03:56 PM
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You won't see much foliage in September, but you have chosen the absolute best time of the year to visit Maine. Weather is often a very sunny 70 degrees and the summer tourist season is over, so you can stay at deluxe resorts and get low to moderate rates.

I would check out the Inn By the Sea in Cape Elizabeth for my first night or two, right on the ocean yet close enough to Portland for a dinner drive.
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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PamSF:
I couldn't agree with you more regarding Castine (which is on the way to Acadia). It's a great place to visit. The Castine Inn is wonderful. Great food and nice rooms. My husband went to college at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. The Reef, a bar on the waterfront serves the best pizza I've ever had. It's a hole in the wall type of place, but even out of towners feel welcome there. Bah's Bake House has great homemade sandwitches, soups, and baked goods. I ate there almost every day when I went to my husband's graduation. While you're there stop in Four Flags for some history of this small town.
It's nice to see someone else who knows that there is more to Maine than Bar Harbor and Boothbay. By the way... how do you know about the wonders of Castine? Most people have never heard of it.
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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I forgot...Dyce's Head Light is in Castine. You can get some great pictures overlooking Penobscot Bay from the grounds of the Lighthouse.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 03:33 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas and info thus far. We went to the bookstore and apparently there is a new edition of The Explorer's Guide expected out in May. We realize Sept. is a little early to see fall foliage in full bloom, but experiencing the beauty of Maine and getting a glimmer of the starting color changes will be great. It's hard to determine the number of days to allow for different areas because there is so much to choose from, but with all the help I'm sure we will figure it out. How much time (days) would any suggest for Acadia and nearby Harbors?
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 04:35 AM
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Maine is our favorite place to visit in the US. We've only been to a few National Parks so far, and have been to about half the states, but of all our trips, Maine is the only place we return to, as we are still exploring new sights.

I would spend half the time you are there in the Acadia/Bar Harbor section of the state. Acadia is a beautiful park, and the coastline around there is spectacular. I wouldn't spend time in Portland. The coastline around Boothbay is also beautiful, and Camden is an adorable town for an overnight stop. We had stayed at Hartstone Inn there, where we had an amazing dinner. Of course, pretty much everywhere, you'll find great lobster, lobster rolls, and lobster bisque. We have taken a side trip each time, going through the interior. There are some spectacular lakes up there as well.

Enjoy your visit. I can't imagine you not being happy with the area.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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Hello: We are from central Texas and made a trip to Maine a couple of summers ago. We stayed three nights in the Acadia NP area. The scenery was terrific - be sure and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Even our teenagers thought Acadia was wonderful. From Acadia we spent four nights at Moosehead Lake - quite a remote area, but beautiful and relaxing. Our cabin (we stayed at the Birches) was right by the lake and we had our own private dock and BBQ grill. Cabins a little rustic, but clean.
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Old May 4th, 2003, 09:11 AM
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Anyone have approx. distance and drive time from Bangor to the Baxter State Park area. I checked Expedia for travel distance/time, and I've decided that website it whacked for its estimates, haha. We would like to stay in Bangor for 2 nights and spend one of the days driving Northward for scenic driving. Then we will move closer in towards to coast for 3 nights.

Also would like recommendations for "reasonable" prices accomodations with possible "view" near the quieter harbor sides of Mount Desert Island?

Thanks again. Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated.
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