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Help Please!!

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Help Please!!

I am at my wits end...My family (myself, husband, 2 daughters -19&15) are going to Ct. to visit friends 8/3-8/6 and then we thought we would go to Maine (never been there before) for the rest of the week through Sunday 8/12. Yes, I know it's late but I actually have been finding a few places that have openings (very few). Our original plan was to head up the coast and stay a couple days around the Ogunquit or Kennebunkport areas and then drive up to Bar Harbor area and stay a couple days there before heading back. I only think of those areas because it seems that they are mentioned so much on the boards. Now I'm thinking that I should find a rental and plant ourselves in one area and do things around there instead. We would like a rental on the water...but would like opinions on what area of the coast we should settle on...southern Maine or go up to Bar Harbor area because of all I read about Acadia Park? I'm so tired of trying to figure this out...all I want to do is go somewhere to look at the water and chill. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions anyone can offer me - I appreciate it.

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1. Re: Help Please!!

I understand your frustration. Sometimes you just want somebody to tell you what to do----and I'm ALWAYS happy to do that!

Sounds like you have a fairly short time period and I take seriously your desire to just look at the water and chill. Given those two factors, I would cross off Bar Harbor/Acadia for this trip. To really take advantage of what they have to offer, you need to get out and about. For just vegging out by the water, I would go with Ogunquit or Kennebunkport, choosing whichever one has the better choice of place to stay. Check out the forums for those two areas and you'll find a lot of recommendations.

Staying in southern Maine also has the benefit of making a shorter trip for you. And if your teenage daughters want to do some shopping, you'll be close to Kittery, with all its outlets.

whitefish bay wi
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2. Re: Help Please!!

As an old Maine hand, I agree that you should do Acadia Park another time. The Maine coast is ultra-popular in summer and

"find something."

Southern Maine gets crowds--it's close to Boston, and popular with Canadians--especially the Quebecois. Ogunquit is beautiful-- if you can find a place to stay, it's a good choice. Enjoy the beach, but plan to get away from the crowds-- explore the back roads and enjoy areas of the beautiful Maine coast that tourist often overlook.

But if you have time to venture a bit furthur up the coast, the coastal Brunswick area is very nice--the peninsula it's on has places to stay

and it's a a great place to look at the water and chill out. Plus, it's a college town and there are things going on there.

Boothbay Harbor is in Midcoast Maine, but it's quite beautiful, with lots to do and see there. Many accomocations, so you'd probably

find smething.

Hope this helps!

Southern Maine
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for Maine
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3. Re: Help Please!!

Ogunquit and Kennebunk/Kennebunkport are fun, but can be pretty busy. If you want to have variety, but also "look at the water and chill," I recommend the mid-coast: Boothbay Harbor, Wiscasset, Damariscotta (including the Bristol/South Bristol peninsula) or Camden. There's a variety of accomodations in each area, so you should find something. If beaches are what you want, look in the Ogunquit, Wells, Old Orchard Beach areas. Old Orchard Beach includes amusement park atmosphere in the middle of town, but there's plenty of beach extending in both directions away from the middle, including Ocean Park.

kennebunkport, maine
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4. Re: Help Please!!

if you don't want to spend a lot of time driving, i would choose kennebunkport or ogonquit. both will be crowded, but both have great sandy beaches oto veg out and both have great restaurants. i recommend the old fort inn in kennebunkport. it has a pool and tennis court, is walking distance to a small beach, and walking distance to town. i don't know about ogonquit resorts, but the beach is recommended. near kennebunkport is the arundel barn theatre, and in ogonquit is the ogonquit playhouse. both are live theatre and great. if you need other places to stay, i'd be happy to oblige. i know the place well.

Bradley, Maine
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5. Re: Help Please!!

If you want to put in some beach time, stay south. Anyweir from Boothbay harbor area south and you'll be happy and so will the chitlens. Come to acadia when the you'll all have time to hang for 4-5 days. There are some great things to do with kids that age. They'll love it.

Land O Plenty
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6. Re: Help Please!!

Take it from a local, you cannot go wrong with Ogunquit. It truly has the best beach in Maine. Absolutely stunning. Be sure to check the high tide schedule if you intend to swim or sunbathe, as it comes in fast. In lower tides, this is a HUGE gorgeous beach that will take your breath away.

Forget Bar Harbor- it's way too long a drive, you're talking 3+ hours one way, and this time of year the traffic up rte 1 will be godawful, particuarly on a weekend. Seriously, save that for when you have a week to spend in Maine, not just a few days, and not in the summer if you can at all help it.

There are literally hundreds of hotels up and down rte 1 in Ogunquit and Wells but a quick check on orbitz finds that none of them have availability for 8/3 - 8/6. I know this is wrong as I was literally just there yesterday (a Saturday no less) and saw a couple of vacancy signs on hotels, but you can't exactly chance it - it's best to have a reservation this time of year.

Again checking Orbitz just now (Sunday night July 29th), there is availability at a hotel called the York Inn in York ME for $150/night for 8/3 - 8/6. York is one town south of Ogunquit. Other than that, if you don't mind driving a bit north, maybe 35 minutes, to Scarborough Maine, a good bet is the Extended Stay America for $165/night 8/3 - 8/6. That is one of those all-suite hotels and should comfortably house all four of you (full kitchenette, etc.). It's just off the Scarborough exit 42 and is in a good spot. Ask for a room away facing away from the highway.

Even though I'm sure you'd rather stay locally, given the short notice & high season, I just don't know that that is a possibility.

I would recommend getting into town early- ie prior to 10am for sure. Park the car at any one of Ogunquit's many in-town lots (the cheapest is the one right on rte 1, JUST south of the main intersection in town. It's just behind the Cumberland Farms store on the left side as you head south, and is $10 all day.) There is a lot off Shore Road on the right that I think is $15 all day. Most lots in town are going to charge by the hour. The good thing is, this is such a small town that most lots are within easy walking distance to everything.

A great lunch spot is the Front Porch, can't miss it for the bright yellow awnings out front- it's right at the main intersection, corner of rte 1 and Shore Rd. Excellent, quality food, great service. I eat here just about every weekend in the summer.

One of the many nice things about Ogunquit is that it's open late. I highly recommend hanging out after sundown. All of the shops and restaurants are open late and it's a really fun and festive time) .

If you can, see a movie at the Leavitt Theatre right on rte 1. It's a lovely old place, single screen, one showing at 8pm. Get there at 7:30 to line up for tickets. Doors open at 7:45.

Perkins Cove is fun, even for a local. It has it's own little wooden drawbridge that anyone can operate with the push of a button. Very pretty little cove full of teeny tiny shops. Certainly touristy as hell, but very pretty. Visit George Carpenter's little art gallery, now run by his widow, (and their dog, Fred). Parkng is $20 all day. Barnacle Billy's is great for lunch too, or dinner, right in the Cove- best to sit outside on their patio. Do NOT go to Perkins Cove however is you have a bus sized or very large RV- there literally isn't room, it's so compact.

Visit Spoiled Rotten- a really fun shop located inside a lovely old yellow house on the left side of the road on Beach St.

There is a Ben & Jerry's right on rte 1, if you get an ice cream craving.

If you like antique/flea market type places, there is one just behind that parking lot I described, the one behind Cumberland Farms on rte 1. It doesn't look big on the outside but goes and goes on the inside. Can't recall the name.

Ogunquit is special. I just find it to be a lot more fun than staid old Kennebunk. Enjoy. Hope you can make it. You won't be sorry.

Land O Plenty
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7. Re: Help Please!!

PS- in case you don't already know & so it's not an unpleasant surprise, it's GOING to be jam-packed in both Kennebunk/Kennebunport and Ogunquit, any summer day, but especially on a summer weekend. Ie these are very, very small/compact towns and the sidewalks will be pretty much full. Absolute best to get there early (ie before 10am).

Also: for breakfast, if you are traveling through Wells, THE best place is Congdon's on rte 1 (southbound side). Don't bother with the Maine Diner- not anywhere near as good. My family has eaten at Congdon's for about 17 years now. Even if you don't sit for a full breakfast, go thru their drive-thru AND BE SURE TO GET SOME DONUTS. They are homemade for sure, and the best you've ever had. Again, get there early, (I would recommend no later than 8:30 or 9am) as this place is EXTREMELY popular and you won't want to miss out on beach time wating for a booth.

New Hampshire
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8. Re: Help Please!!

Another town in Southern Maine we love is York. We were there just last week and Rivers By the Sea has many rentals available at a reduced rate this late in the season. You should check it out. It does get crowded but Long Beach (the main beach in York) is - a the name implies - very long and there is plenty of room as long as you time your beach hours right. Don't go during high tide - the waters comes way up the beach and leaves only a small strech for beach goers. There is a concert or other things going on every night at the Esplanade in Ellis Park which is right in town right across Short Sands (the smaller of the two beaches).

I would definitely check it out if you haven't finalized your plans yet...

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9. Re: Help Please!!

You're right, it's late. My mom is from southern Maine so I have been going multiple times a year for my entire life (43 years). Most people book in Jan. and Feb. My advice is to check out craigslist.com, click on Maine, and then click on Vacation Rentals. I ran into several places where people canceled cottage reservations at the last minute and owners are trying to rent, sometimes for lower than average rates.

Mountain View CA
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10. Re: Help Please!!

Just read your post on Aug 4 so assume your plans are made by now. Our favorite place to stay in Kennebunkport is the Seaside Inn, right on a beautiful beach but close enough to walk to town. They are usually booked out but we just got a cancellation for Aug 15 for 3 nights so we were lucky. If you happen to stay in a place that requires driving to the beach you can buy a beach parking pass for about $20 for the week. Make sure you check out Goose Rocks Beach, it is gorgeous. Have fun.