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crazy4Hawaii Apr 1st, 2006 12:02 PM

week in New England - New Hampshire and Maine feasible?
We are southernors with limited knowledge of this area but I've always wanted to visit Franconia Notch State Park and drive the Maine coast. Camden and Acadia National Park both particularly appeal to me.

Given a week in early August what about: flying into Manchester, NH; spending two nights up in the Franconia Notch area (suggestions for lodging please); then driving to Kittery and working our way up the coast, perhaps spending two nights in Camden and 2-3 nights in the Bar Harbor area. Any suggestions as to drive, sights, accommodations, dining, etc. would be so appreciated as I'm reading, reading, reading but know nothing about this area except that I must see it!

crazy4Hawaii Apr 1st, 2006 12:05 PM

Oh, and I was thinking about trying to fly out of Bangor. Will have to check into how feasible this multi-city flying situation will be...

crazy4Hawaii Apr 1st, 2006 12:45 PM

Actually it looks like flying into Portland and out of Bangor would be best even with a side trip into New Hampshire! Mapquest puts Franconia Notch at about 70 miles from Portland and 114 miles from Manchester.

Milo Apr 1st, 2006 12:48 PM

Your plans sound very doable. Franconia Inn is very lovely, with an excellent restaurant. In Camden, take a half-day trip on a schooner from the harbor. Acadia NP is great...we prefer the quiet side of the Park...Northeast Harbor...better than crowded Bar Harbor. We stay at the Kimball Terrace Inn. Be sure to take a boat ride with a Park naturalist and walk the carriage roads. The horse drawn carriage ride is also fun. Drive the park-loop road for beautiful scenery.

treasuresofafrica Apr 1st, 2006 03:36 PM


Your New England trip sounds great. One thing though, the distances are more than they seem on the maps. Two days in Franconia Notch is good, then you need to get to Kittery, Maine - this could take at least half a day.
When you do arrive in Maine, avoid the Interstate and try to take the coast roads, they are not always directly on the coast, but will take you to interesting side trips.
Camden is lovely and Acadia is wonderful. While in Bar Harbor (and almost anywhere else in Maine)eat lobsters, lobsters, lobsters and all the blueberry pies you can manage. Don't forget to explore the antique shops in Bar Harbor, Camden and most of the other seaside towns. There's a lot of touristy stuff, but you may be able to find a real treat.
Hope you have a lot of fun. Don't forget to write or call the Maine Tourist Authority for tourist information. And you can pick up a lot of information on your way, but it's good to know ahead the choices you have. - Joan

djkbooks Apr 2nd, 2006 09:00 AM

Franconia Notch is 104 miles from Portland and 88 miles from Manchester, NH.

crazy4Hawaii Apr 2nd, 2006 09:07 AM

Thanks to all so much! Will be glad to take as much advice as I can get.

Mapquest is not always right I've found...

dfrostnh Apr 3rd, 2006 03:57 AM

Unless you want to go outlet shopping you might want to skip Kittery. Towns south of Portland are lovely but with only a week I would head to Portland, get on Rt 95 and wait until Brunswick to start exploring via Rt 1. Should you decide to fly in/out of Manchester, the direct route to the coast is rt 101 but this is kind of a boring highway. It is much more scenic to go up to Concord and take Rt 4 which goes through what is considered Antique Alley in Northwood NH. Crossing the bridges over Great Bay and the farm area between Durham and Portsmouth is very scenic. You might want to stop at Newicks on Dover Pt, a big family run paper plate seafood place that overlooks Great Bay. Now Kittery Point (unlike Rt 1 outlet malls section) is very beautiful and scenic but I think you'll be happy to have more time to devote to Camden and Acadia. We like to picnic on top of Mt Battie overlooking Camden Harbor. Don't forget binnoculars. The mid-coast area of Maine is more scenic and less congested than southern Maine. You'll see trucks parked by the side of the road selling blueberries. When we go over to Maine we tend to make finding the best lobster place a priority. Camden has some fancy restaurants. Check the Maritime Museum in Bath to see if they are doing any boat trips. The best one we ever took was a full day to see lighthouses but I think they only do half day trips now. Great narration and great view of the Bath Iron Works shipbuilding.

zootsi Apr 3rd, 2006 04:38 AM

If you do drive thru the Concord NH area en route to Franconia Notch, try and spend a few hours at Canterbury Shaker Village, a beautifull Shaker historical village set amongst hundreds of acres of forest and farmland.

crazy4Hawaii Apr 3rd, 2006 05:01 AM

Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies. I'm going to use all of this advice!

dfrostnh -
Where have you found the best lobster so far? Do tell...

tovarich Apr 3rd, 2006 05:34 AM

In 2004 we did the 6 New England states in about a month. For Maine it's definately Bar Harbor.Great place and the only National park in N.England(Acadia).Take a whale watch excursion.We stayed at the Bar Harbor Manor.Great place. For N.Hampshire we stayed in Jackson.In the centre of the white mountains(Covered bridge motel).You can use that as a base for exploring the environment.Greetings from Belgium.Paul

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