I would plan to stay in at least one other location rather than do day trips from Portland. It's possible to see the beach towns of southern Maine as day trips. You can see York, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, and Old Orchard Beach from Portland. But to get to places like Camden, Acadia National Park, and the area around Machias, it would be better to move your lodging further north. It is a three hour drive from Portland to Acadia.
Depends a bit on what kinds of things you want to see.... end-of-October will be a bit late for some of the coastal-village attractions.....some of the seasonal businesses will have closed completely by then; others will be open but with fewer hours than during the summer tourist season. Most of the harbor cruises and water-based activities will also have shut down for the season by then. On the other hand, you'll have a much better chances of having beaches, coastal paths, coastal drives, etc to yourself...or at least with far fewer people around than earlier in the year. In inland areas, the foliage will be off the trees, but that means you'll be able to see greater distances and the evergreens will still be green....
Portland is a good first-stop, with day-trips to the southern coast as Bonniemaev suggests. After that, it depends a bit on whether you're looking for coastal or inland natural beauty.... in either case, some of the scenery may be a bit "stark" compared to other times of the year, but even that has a beauty of its own if you look at it the right way.... With a bit more info on what you hope/expect to see, we probably can help with an itinerary for you.
Very helpful for planning. Thanks!
Thanks for the input. Being a painter and photographer, starkness has a definite appeal!
I confess I'm partial to Portland, drummer5, but there's plenty to do here even that late in the season. 1. You can take the Casco Bay Ferry to Peaks Island, rent a bike for $5-$10/hour and ride around the island for spectacular views. Visit the small Civil War Museum in the community center and enjoy a lobster roll on the shielded deck of the Peaks Island Inn overlooking Portland Harbor before heading back on the next ferry. 2. Drive 20 minutes to Freeport, visit LL Bean's beautiful shopping campus and then head to nearby Wolf Neck State Park for easy oceanside walking trails. 3. Drive to across the Casco Bay Bridge to South Portland, stay on Broadway to Bug Light Park for beautiful ocean & harbor views and easy walking trails along the ocean. The SP Greenway trail will take you along the water to Spring Point Light, Fort Preble & Willard Beach. 4. Keep driving from BLP to Cottage/Shore Road to Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth for the required visit to Portland Headlight where there's a new & fairly easy cliffside walk. 5. Keep going on Shore Road to 77, pick up a picnic at Rudy's Store and head to Two Lights State Park on a long unique (you'll understand why) bluff overlooking The Atlantic. Kettle Cove State Park is also nearby with a small beach and easy walking trails along the water. We often head there after dinner at The Good Table, a great spot on 77 near Rudy's Store. It's a mouth-watering treat just to hear Lisa, the owner, tell you about the specials. 6. Just stroll around downtown Portland. The Arts District around Congress Square includes Portland Museum of Art, many galleries, Maine College of Art and of course, bars and restaurants. In that area, head to The Top of The East Bar in the Eastland Hotel for great views of the City. No question that many tourist activities are gone but so are the tourists and this is a thriving place year round. Just keep your fingers crossed for good weather, have a great time and remember that around here, it's "Go Pats", not "Go Bears".
Wow, that was a great overview of some very enticing suggestions, Beachseeker20! I'm now all the more exciting about exploring the area. The balance of points, city diversions and relaxing/quiet nature seems perfect. Thanks for your thoughtfulness!!
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