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Driving the Coast of Maine

Edwards
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Driving the Coast of Maine

Planning a trip to drive the coast of Maine. Arrive in Portland Sept. 4th. Leave Portland Sept. 14th. Wife wants to eat her way with lobster along the coast. Any recommendations? Bed and breakfast are acceptable. Going up then down and returning to Portland not an issue. Spending a couple days at each location is preferred as it seems anything is reachable with a short drive. Thanks in advance for any planned trips you recommend.

Central Maine
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1. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Great time to come to Maine.. vacationing families with kids will have headed home to get them back into school' fall foliage "leave peepers" won't arrive for a few more weeks; seasonal businesses will still be open; accommodations should be readily available; and the weather is usually great (crisp, clear days and cool nights)....

Others may have different ideas for you to consider, but I'd think about something like --

Sept 4 Arrive Portland....use whatever is left of the day seeing the city and local attractions. Dinner somewher in the Old Port District.

Sept 5 Day-trio to southern Maine coast (it really is different from the coastline north of Portland)... stops at Kennebunkport's Dock Square and perhaps a drive-by of the Pres. Bush summer home at Walker's Point, Perkin's Cove in Ogunquit, York Beach, and The Nubble Lighthouse in York.... then hop on I-95 for an easy, quick ride back to Portland for another night there.

Sept 6 Head north with a stop at L. L. Bean's flagship store in Freeport if you're at all outdoor oriented....then continue north to maybe the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, a stroll through the coastal village of Damariscotta followed by a drive down the peninsula Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, and back to Rt 1 to head east through Wiscasset to Rt 27 south to Boothbay Harbor. If it's a clear day, drive out to Ocean Point at the end of Rt 96 in East Boothbay for a great view of the sunset. Overnight tonight in Boothbay Harbor.

Sept 7 Spend the morning enjoying downtown Boothbay Harbor and visiting the fantastic Coastal Botanical Gardens. After lunch, head back up Rt 27 to Rt 1 and then east to the Rockland/Rockport/Camden area... your destination for the night....and tomorrow night...

Sept 8 Visiting locally in Camden, Rockport, Rockland -- between yesterday afternoon and today, you should consider visits to the Owl's Head Transportation Museum in nearby Owl's Head, the world-known Farnsworth Art Museum, the Rockland Breakwater and lighthouse at the end of it, scenic Rocport Harbor, easily-accessible Camden Harbor with the neat little waterfall at the head of the harbor, and the auto road up Mt Battie in Camden Hills State Park just north of town on US Rt 1. Overnight again in Rockland/Rockport/Camden. Be sure to get dining advice from your iinnkeeper -- Rockland has become a great "foodie" town and is easliy accessible from Rockland, Rockport or Camden

Sept 9 Head north on Rt 1 for stops at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory and Fort Knox State Park next door, both just off Rt 1 just south of Bucksport. Then on to Ellsworth and Rt 3 to Bar Harbor and the Acadia National Park region. As you get close to Bar Harbor, plan your first stop locally for the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center (on your right as you climb a hill on Rt 3 as you leave the small community of Hull's Cove). They can give you maps and info on how to make the most of the time you'll have visiting Acadia National Park. Overnight tonight in Bar Harbor or one of the other nearby Mount Desert Island communities.

Sept 10 Visit Acadia National Park, being sure to include the Park Loop Road, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, the Jordan Pond House, and Cadillac Mountain.... plus anything else that catches your fancy along the way. Maybe lunch at the Jordan Pond House with great views of the Pond... or somewhere in Bar Harbor proper.

Take your time and get out of the car along the way -- part of the true "Acadia experience" is finding a sunny spot to sit on a rock, small the salt air and listen to the winds in the pines and waves on the rocks....

Overnight again in Bar Harbor or locally.

Sept 11 Consider a local cruise to see local sealife or scenery (some include on-board National Park rangers to help you understand what you're looking at. Or use the day for visiting "the quiet side" of Mount Desert island and the smaller coastal villages there. You could consider a stop at Asticou Terraces and Gardens in Northeast Harbor.... Overnight in Bar Harbor one more time...

Sept 12 Leave Bar Harbor and head east on Rt 1 to tour the Schoodic Point Section of Acadia National Park -- much less developed and much less visited than the busier part of the park close to Bar Harbor...... Towering pine trees growing down to the tops of the surf-side cliffs with water pounding the rocks below... Great scenery.... then turn back south on Rt 1, through Ellsworth for an overnight in the Belfast area -- nice little coastal town with a downtown that has had a re-birth of sorts recently.... Walkable downtown with some great little shops. An afternoon visit to Moose Point State Park (just north of Belfast on Rt 1) would also be an option.

Sept 13 -- Head south on Rt 1 again -- destination Portland, for a chance to check out local sights you missed when you were there earlier. Must-sees would include the Old Port District, the waterfront and Portland Head Light lighthouse in nearby Cape Elizabeth. You could also consider places like Victoria Mansion, the Longfellow House, or the walking trail around Back Cove -- or even a ride on one of the Casco Bay Island ferries on its runs to the islands in the Bay (gives you a totally different view of the city and a look at some of the islands) Overnight Portland

Sept 14 Depending on the time of your flight -- enjoy anything locally you didn't do already -- or re-visit something you really liked.... then off to the airport for your fligth home....

Sorry that i can't help with specific lodging suggestions -- we're not B&B folks...

Key West, Florida
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2. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Enjoyed your commentary. We fly into boston, spend 3 nights, train to Portland and spend 4 nights before we fly home from Portland. I thought we would rent a car and travel up the coast for two of these nights then last two in Portland. Where would you go for those two nights up the coast? Is Acadia too far? Maybe bar harbor? We drove as far as kennebunkport on a previous trip.

Also, would it be better to rent the car in boston and drive from there? Thank you.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Bar Harbor and Acadia are the same destination. The village of Bar Harbor offers tourist accommodation to people visiting Acadia National Park.

In my opinion, it is never, ever a good idea to drive in Boston. The drive from Boston to Portland would be congested Interstate driving -- not fun. I'd definitely rent the car in Portland. It is only a three hour drive from Portland to Acadia. You could take your time, coming up Route 1, stopping in Camden, and any other place that takes your fancy. After two nights in the Acadia region, you could take the faster route, I-95 from Bangor, back to Portland.

Key West, Florida
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4. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Perfect. Any out of the way restaurants or cares you recommend?

Edwards
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5. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Thanks Mariner. you would not recommend more time on the South side of the state? Are there hotels up near Arcadia?

Bar Harbor, Maine
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6. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

It's Acadia National Park, no ' r ' . And yes there are hotels. The village of Bar Harbor serves as a gateway to the National Park. There is a good choice of lodging and dining. Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Trenton also have lodging options that are within a 20 minute drive of Acadia National Park.

Edwards
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7. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Sorry about the spelling. Fat finger when I was typing. Thanks for the info.

Maine
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8. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

By south part of the state presumably you mean south of Portland and it is very different from north of Portland, geographically and culturally. It's more typical beach communities which can definately be fun but not so much what comes to mind to those in Maine when one says "driving the coast of Maine." I was actually surprised he put in a day headed south, but it is reasonable. It's still a fun part of the state, but more similar to beach communities elsewhere. Depends on your interests.

Central Maine
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9. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

Dennis -- Couldn't tell from your identifying info whether you were from a coastal or inland area, so included the southern Maine beach areas as well as "the rockbound coast of Maine" north of Portland.... As edpraul notes, the southern Maine coast is not all that unique from numerous other coastal areas around the country -- sandy beach, seawall, street or roadway, maybe a sidewalk, and lots and lots of beachfront houses (or commercial properties). But a few interesting places to visit as noted above. One day seems to be enough for lots of folks who come to Maine and want to see various parts of the state while they're here.

If you really want to spend a second day in that part of the coast, it simply becomes a matter of deciding what you want to omit from the rest of your itinerary to make up the time.....

Edwards
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10. Re: Driving the Coast of Maine

We just felt we wanted to see it all, as far as the coastline. We live on a lake but figured we were here so what the neck. Didn't want to miss anything special by avoiding the southern leg. Looking to just have relaxing to.e and enjoy. And make my wife never want lobster again. She is getting it every meal whether she wants it or not:-) Her bucket list included eating her way through Maine on lobster:-)