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Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

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Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

OK guys, I did some research on Maine coast lands in TripAdvisor/Fodors and Google maps and other posts tagged as "ME" and trip reports on ME.

Here's what I wanna do and below are my Qs :

I'm planning to drive all the way up to Bangor,ME from NJ (where I live) and stay at a Hilton/Marriott in Bangor(racked up some points).I've skipped Boston/NH so I can concentrate on ME and I have about 5 days free of stay in Marriott/Hilton based on my points.I'm also thinking of splitting my stay betwen Bangor and Portland,ME.(Oh god,I have to tag ME for every Portland(ME) reference here,AAHHH!!)

This is because Graduation Day's coming up on May 8-10 and hotels may not be available in Bangor,I heard.Hence the change of plan.

After Portsmouth,NH,I'm planning to take RT-1 and drive to Bangor due to scenic route/coastal line, based on other responses.

Places considering to visit are :

Acadia NP

Blue Hill Peninsula

Camden

Belfast

Rockland

Brunswick

Portland

VinalHaven Island

Mount Desert Island

Bar Harbor

Interests :

Beaches

Ocean related views

Sea View

Boats/Short Boat Trips

Whale/Dolphin/Sea Life watching

Harbors

JetSki

Light Houses

Anything related to sea/water/ocean

Places and Drive similar to Key West,FL

Photography

Not Interested :

Museum

Guided Tours

Trails more than 2 miles

Hiking

Long Walking

Standing in long Queue for visiting a place/center

Wild Life, as am traveling alone, didn't wanna fall off the river (happened near Houston :-()

Questions :

Is Bangor a central spot to stay and drive to the above mentioned places?

Is RT-1 a scenic route or should I stick to I-95?

Is 3-4 days enough for these places for my interests?

What places to skip to squeeze my Bangor Stay for 3-4 days?

What places to not to miss while I stay at Bangor for 3-4 days?

Should I split my stay in Bangor for 4 days to Portland,ME 2 days and Bangor 2 days? would that be helpful to cover places around Portland,ME and Places around,Bangor,ME?

Should I reach first Bangor and cover the places around and descend to Portland on 3rd day ?

Should I take RT-1 while driving from NJ to Bangor or drive all the way to Bangor on I-95 and cover RT-1 while returning? There's addl 50-75 miles,if I take RT-1,you know.

Being an Asian/Indian,I have to ask this,Is ME safe?I'm concerned of hate crimes,racial discrimination etc (had some unpleasant experience in Arkansas,Missouri),Not to offend anyone?

Are the above places mentioned are safe for driving in daytime/evenings?

I can stretch the stay to 5 days,if needed.Hence, any response would be great and thanks in advance,

R

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Bangor
Bangor
Maine
Boston
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Key West
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1. Re: Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

Also, Questions on traffic :

How about the traffic from NJ,I-95 to Bangor?

Is it iffy,bumper to bumper,construction,bad roads,too many tolls?Any aDvice on that?

will 10 hrs be realisitc for 440-498 miles from NJ to Bangor, thru I-95 direct, or I-95 and RT-1?

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Bangor
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Maine
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2. Re: Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

Here's the google link :

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=811+rivendell+way,08817&daddr=US-1%2FUS+Route+1+to:US-1%2FUS+Route+1+to:ME-9%2FPost+Rd%2FUS-1+to:Portland+Rd%2FUS-1+to:Portland+Rd%2FUS-1+to:US-1%2FUS+Route+1+to:Old+Portland+Rd%2FUS-1%2FUS+Route+1+to:44.262904,-68.996887+to:Main+Rd+S%2FUS-1+to:Haskell+Rd,+Bangor,+ME+04401&geocode=%3BFTQUkgId3hHJ-w%3BFUpDkwIdDnLK-w%3BFU44lQId2C7L-w%3BFaJglgId1OvL-w%3BFZ44mAId4mLN-w%3BFfx0mwIdlo7Q-w%3BFaPqnQIdSC7T-w%3B%3BFcisqgIdQZvl-w%3B&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=8&sz=9&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9&sll=44.596335,-69.160652&sspn=1.433548,2.779541&ie=UTF8&ll=43.862258,-68.323975&spn=2.90301,5.559082&z=8

Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

Wow, lots of questions. Not sure if I can get to them all but I'll try.

It's about an hours drive from Bangor to Acadia National Park/Mt Desert Island. It's an easy drive, but a pretty boring one. I would travel from Bangor and spend a day in Acadia, then you could do a second day and visit the Blue Hill area (again over an hours drive from Bangor).

It's an 30 minute - hour drive from Bangor to Belfast. If you take Rt 1, you can go through Belfast on your way to Portland. I'm not sure the Belfast is a day trip in itself anyway. Then on your way from Belfast to Portland you will drive through Camden and Rockland. Again, you can stop on your way and spend 1/2 a day there or come back and spend a whole day.

If you're set on staying at the Hilton in Bangor, I think you will spend a lot of time driving in the car and less time enjoying your stay. Maybe you should plan on spending some time in the Portland area and skip Bangor for this vacation. The Hilton Garden Inn is very nice and you can do lots of day trips from Portland.

I wouldn't worry about your safety in Maine. I think you will feel perfectly safe no matter where you are.

Lots of great short walks in Acadia. Great boat trips, views, etc. Check out acadiamagic.com for ideas. Not much night life in Bar Harbor. You will probably enjoy the nightlife better in Portland which also has great boat trips out to islands you can explore.

Since you're driving, you will be able to see lots of lighthouses if that's your thing. You can google Maine lighthouses and there is a website that lists them all with driving directions. Can't remember the name of the site.

Hope this gets you started.

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4. Re: Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

Answers :

Is Bangor a central spot to stay and drive to the above mentioned places?

I will agree with "lovingbarharbor" in saying that Bangor may not be the most central spot for you. The reoccuring theme in your post is: Ocean, Sea, Water. I think you would be better served staying closer to the coast.

Is RT-1 a scenic route or should I stick to I-95?

RT-1 is scenic. You don't want to miss is. I will say that if you are pressed for time, you could take 95 as far North as you intend to go and then take RT-1 on the way back south.

Is 3-4 days enough for these places for my interests?

For a glimpse, I suppose it is. Its not a fair question as some of these places are worthy of much longer stays ;)

What places to not to miss while I stay at Bangor for 3-4 days?

I would be sure to hit Acadia NP and Bar Harbor. In fact, I would consider spending one of your nights in a non-Hilton hotel just to spend more time in the area. Driving an hour each way to Bangor is a waste of time. Acadia NP is beautiful and would satisfy a lot of your needs: ocean, boats, harbor, photography. And while you don't want much walking Acadia has many accessible areas that require minimal walking to get the nice view.

Bar Harbor has a lot of character and has boat tours as well as a lot of very good restaurants.

Camden is the quintessential Maine harbor town people think of when they think Maine. Very charming. Be sure to also see Rockport.

If you have time, make the drive out to Port Clyde to see the Marshall Point light house. It is a little bit of a stretch but the lighthouse is picturesque.

Should I split my stay in Bangor for 4 days to Portland,ME 2 days and Bangor 2 days? would that be helpful to cover places around Portland,ME and Places around,Bangor,ME?

Yeah, I would consider it. The Portland area is very nice. There is a lot to see in the area and several Lighthouses are within easy driving distance.

Should I reach first Bangor and cover the places around and descend to Portland on 3rd day ?

Or hit Portand first. Depends on how much driving you want to do for that last trip home.

Should I take RT-1 while driving from NJ to Bangor or drive all the way to Bangor on I-95 and cover RT-1 while returning? There's addl 50-75 miles,if I take RT-1,you know.

If you are pressed for time (or just want to maximize it) you could take RT-1 one way and then 95 the other. Just know that RT-1 is a scenic drive and 95 is...well, 95.

Being an Asian/Indian,I have to ask this,Is ME safe?I'm concerned of hate crimes,racial discrimination etc (had some unpleasant experience in Arkansas,Missouri),Not to offend anyone?

I can't generalize the entire state but I have never felt unsafe. In fact, the people of Maine have always been very friendly to me and my family.

Are the above places mentioned are safe for driving in daytime/evenings?

I have never felt unsafe.

Can you stay at any Hilton family hotel? There are some Hampton Inns closer to the coast (Rockland, Freeport) that might work better for you.

Also know that May can have varied weather. Bring layers and rain gear. Also know that the weather can change on a whim so don't let it deter you.

Good Luck!

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5. Re: Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

Sorry, that didn't format as nicely as I had it typed up.

6. Re: Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

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