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11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

PA
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11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

My husband and I leave next week on a sort of long road trip up the coast of Maine, into New Brunswick, over to Nova Scotia, to PEI, and back down. I'm at the point of trip planning where everything is done, but I'm concerned that I did it 'wrong'. As all of the lodging is booked, all I can really do is delete things to make room for additional days at later locations. That being said, are we spending too much time in Maine? Here's our plan:

Day 1--Drive from PA to somewhere near Boston (not yet booked--everything else after this IS booked, but delete-able!)

Day 2--Drive from Boston-ish to Ogunquit. Overnight in Ogunquit.

Day 3--Ogunquit. Overnight in Ogunquit.

Day 4--Drive slowly to Boothbay Harbor, ideally stopping in Kennebunkport for a few hours. Overnight in Boothbay Harbor.

Day 5--Boothbay Harbor. Overnight in Boothbay Harbor.

Day 6--Drive slowly to Bar Harbor, ideally stopping in Bath or Camden. Overnight in Bar Harbor.

Day 7--Bar Harbor/Acadia.

Day 8--Bar Harbor/Acadia.

Day 9--Leave Bar Harbor, drive to New Brunswick. Trip continues in Canada for fifteen more days.

Day 24--Drive from NB to Portland

Day 25--Portland

Day 26--Portland

Day 27--Drive home to PA.

Things we are interested in--good food, photography, moderate hiking, biking (we'll be bringing our own bikes), sailing/boating.

So--are we visiting three towns that are too similar? I guess this is my concern. All thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!!!

Hamburg, Germany
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1. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

Sounds like a great trip! Be sure to include Campobello Island and Quoddy Head Lighthouse close to the Canadian Border.

Hamburg, Germany
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2. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

Ooops, Campobello of course already IS in Canada.

Southern Maine
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3. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

On Day 4, after you leave Kennebunkport, I'd recommend hopping on the turnpike, then transferring over to route 295 until you hit the Brunswick area, then get on Route One. (Or get off in Freeport if you're planning any time at L.L. Bean.) Since you're doing Portland on your return, there's no reason to stay on what really isn't a coastal route.

On Day 6, you are driving between Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor. While Camden is definitely an option, Bath would be in the opposite direction. :-)

Day 24 is going to be one VERY long drive. Depending on how you feel, I'd leave that open to a stopover somewhere.

The three towns you're staying in are quite different. Ogunquit will be full of tourists and has beautiful beaches and fun shops. Boothbay Harbor has a more laid back feel. While there will still be tourists, there are many spots to explore and escape the people if you so desire. Acadia National Park is the draw of the Bar Harbor area, and since you're bringing your bikes, I am guessing you plan to ride the carriage roads.

Maine
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4. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

Looks good for the most part, just a couple of comments.

I don't know how long it's taking to get from PA to Boston area for you or if you were stopping there for a specific reason, but it's only about an hour and 15 minutes from Boston to Ogunquit. If it were me I would go all the way if I were that close.

On day 6 if you wanted to go to Bath, then you would be backtracking a bit. You would be better off doing that on the way to Boothbay or on your trip back home.

Consider driving up Mount Battie in Camden. Don't miss the botanical gardens in Boothbay.

Have a great trip.

PA
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5. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

Ooops--first I typed 'Bath' instead of 'Belfast' for some reason. My mistake--sorry.

Campobello Island looks like a GREAT midway stopping point on day nine. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

Thanks for the Day 4 Driving directions. That's one of the concerns we have--making sure we take the most reasonable route. We obviously can't see every inch of the coast and will need to cut inland to save some driving time. I'm adding your directions to my itinerary. Thanks!

And yes, I'm not really thrilled with day 24! Google is telling me it will be about a seven hour drive. The issue is that we need to be home by day 27 or 28, so we need to create at least two long travel days. I'm not totally sold on the idea of Portland for three nights, so perhaps we will change that to single night stays in little towns? I'm not sure if that's a good idea, either. Clearly, this is the point in the trip where I'm semi-hurrying home. Which is never fun. Any suggestions of how to get from Fundy National Park (NB) to just outside of Philly in four days whilst still having a pleasant time would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

We're really not sure how far we'll get on day one, which is why we're not booking lodging for that night. We originally planned to do the entire drive from here to Ogunquit on what is now day 2, but we may be able to leave early. We are basically trying to avoid starting out the trip by burning out on driving, as we have thousands of miles to go even after arrival in Ogunquit.

Good to hear that the botanical gardens are a good bet. I have that on the short list, but wasn't sure if it was the best use of our short time there. I'll keep it on the list.

Thanks everyone! I'm thinking I'll definitely need to rework those last few days. Will look at calendar and map now...thanks!

Maine
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6. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

I would give a full day to the Portland area, so that would include probably 2 nights. You could give up the first night in Portland and stay somewhere along the way from NB so that that isn't such a long haul on day 24. Where that could be would depend on the route you plan to take from NB.

maine
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7. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

Make sure to visit the Botannical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, some day it will be one of, or perhaps even the largest one on the Eastern seaboard....it's absolutely spectacular...

also, Ogunquit is so so so crowded in the summer, it's awful just driving Rte. 1 in that area....but it's nice, and you've already got a room there...just try to head down to Long Sands, Short Sands, York Beach area, Nubble Light....

and when you're up near Camden, shoot over to Rockland as well, really cool main street as the Farnsworth Museum (Andrew Wyeth)....Strand Theatre...

and depending on what shape you're in, I'd hike up Mt. Battie, our kids did it when they were very young....also the picnic area across the street from the campground is quite lovely and has a shore path as well...make sure to stop by Natalie's for a drink, it's a wicked cool place....

one of the most spectacular shore paths can be found in Cutler, Maine, you may be passing through there, I'm not sure, it's the Shore Path or something like that, again, more than worth it!!! Enjoy

PA
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8. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

I feel like there's just so much to see on the Maine coast--I'm overwhelmed (in a good way!) Someone I know said something about Nubble Light (which is near York, correct?) and I Googled it and am now hoping to make that part of the plan...somehow....!

Cutler may be the perfect stop on our way back from NB to Portland if/when we cut out a night in Portland on our way home (or all of the Portland nights--the lodging there is very expensive, and I'm not thrilled with it, so really--it should go.)

Thanks so much! Also--I love your pic. I've always wanted to stay in (ok--live in) a yurt!

Central Maine
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9. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

Just to muddy the waters a bit more (or maybe not)....

Instead of retracing your route down US Rt 1 on your way home from NB....

when you cross back into the US in Calais, ME, instead of taking US Rt 1 South, take US Rt 1 north a short distance to ME Rt 9 west. It will take you to Bangor, ME on a better road and a shorter route (by well over an hour) than US Rt 1. Nowhere near the coast, but some nice views across the blueberry barrens and Maine woodlands that characterize that part of Maine.

Spend that first night on the way home in Bangor (about 5 hours from Fundy National Park). Then the next morning hop on I-95 south and in a little over two hours you're in Portland.....

When you leave Portland and are looking for a place to break up the trip home, if you've never been there, Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA might be worth a stop. You can Google it for more info.

10. Re: 11 Day Maine Coast Itinerary--Thoughts Please!

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