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First Trip to Maine

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First Trip to Maine

Hoping for a little guidance regarding first trip to Maine. For a long weekend in October, is it better to focus on the northern mountains or the coastal areas (bar harbor, etc)? I don't think we can realistically do both. We would like to see the fall colors, visit quaint towns, do some light hiking, etc. What is the best place to fly into?

Thanks for your input,


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1. Re: First Trip to Maine

While foliage timing varies from year to year, generally if your long weekend is Columbus day weekend then I would look at Bar Harbor area. If it's the weekend before, I would look at the western Maine mountains. If it's later than Columbus Day, then I would head further south.

For flights, Bangor is closest to Bar Harbor, but flight choices are limited. Next best, with better flights is Portland. After that, furthest away, but most flight service would be Boston.

Bangor about an hour from Bar Harbor

Portland about 3.5 hours from Bar Harbor

Boston about 5-5.5 hours from Bar Harbor

Best to decide where you want to go soon as lodging choices during foliage fill up quickly.

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2. Re: First Trip to Maine

In my experience, the best "leaf peeping" (ie, driving around and looking at foliage) is in the mountains where you get the "oooh and aaaah" vistas. On the other hand, I think visiting quaint coastal towns is more fun because I like going into cute shops, antiquing, visiting used bookstores, eating at great restaurants, walking on docks and looking at the boats, visiting lighthouses, etc., etc. You'll see foliage in the quaint towns, it just might not be as dramatic.

Flying into Portland is probably your best bet. If you rent a car you can make it to Camden in about 2 hours (a leading contender in the "quaint town" category). From there you can explore to the north (Belfast, Bucksport, Blue Hill --even make a push to Bar Harbor/Acadia although that is a drive) or south (Rockland, Rockport). Damariscotta is cute and the drive down the peninsula to Pemaquid Lighthouse is worth the trip (this is the lighthouse on the Maine quarter). Boothbay Harbor has a pretty harbor although it is my least favorite of the "quaint" towns but lots of people love it.

Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery!

Central Maine
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3. Re: First Trip to Maine

Third airport choice you might want to consider depending on schedules and rates -- Manchester, NH airport is sometimes a good alternative to Boston... and definitely easier driving from Manchester to Maine than from Boston (Logan Airport) to Maine...

Limerick, Ireland
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4. Re: First Trip to Maine

You could fly to Burlington, Vermont

and drive east on route 302 all the way

to Portland, Maine through the White Mountain-

National park roughly 200 miles, allow 4 hours

drive time.

5. Re: First Trip to Maine

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