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One week in October itinerary help please

Brisbane, Australia
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One week in October itinerary help please

Hi, We have one week next October to try and capture some sights in the East Coast of Maine. We will be hiring a car from Boston or possibly Portland for a week. We really want to see the fall colours and also the coastal area, ideally lighthouses and the coastal scenery and towns. I have been reading a lots of posts but are having a hard time trying to work out where to go for the best value of our time. At the moment we are thinking one night Portland, 2 nights Arcadia NP and then drive inland to see the countryside and fall leaves... I read a lot about Woodstock and Stowe for the latter (but realise these places are not in Maine). Are there any suggestions of must see places as at the moment there is far too much choice and we really don't understand what there is to see in the area, despite all the reading. Will we see the lighthouses the east coast is known for by going only as far as Arcadia NP or do we need to go to Nova Scotia for that? Also is there a particular route to take inland to see the leaves this time of the year? We will be starting out on the 17th October. We will be flying up from Florida to start this section of our trip so are thinking we could do a one way car hire if that will help us cover more ground, finishing in Boston. Any ideas or assistance appreciated. Thank you

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1. Re: One week in October itinerary help please

2011 -- Welcome to the Maine Forum...

The biggest issue I see with your proposed trip is the timing.... Starting on October 17th means you'll be arriving after the peak (best) foliage in the mountain-side areas of western Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and Stowe or Woodstock, VT. The fall color develops first in the northern parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and in the higher elevations because those are the areas where overnight temperatures drop low enough to start the botanical process that produces color in the leaves. The foliage color then spreads south and east as temperatures cool in those areas. Traditionally, the best color in the northern and mountain areas is the last week in September and/or first week in October. By the time you arrive on the 17th, the best color will be in southern Maine, southern new Hampshire and western Massachusetts if 2014 is a "typical" year.

With that in mind, you might want to consider starting in Boston, driving into the "lakes region: of southern New Hampshire (you could check the NH Forum for specific destination ideas) for a couple of nights; head east into southern Maine (think south of Lewiston-Auburn), and across to Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor. You;ll spend the better part of half a day getting from NH to Bar Harbor -- so I'd plan on at least two nights there -- giving you the afternoon you arrive, the full next day, and the following morning to look around. I would then head south on Rt 1 that afternoon with a possible overnight destination in the Camden-Rockland, ME area. Driving to Portland the next day, arriving mid-day and having that afternoon and the next morning to look around before driving the souterhn Maine area between Portland and the NH border the next day, arriving in Boston for an overnight near the airport before heading on from there. Every fall foliage is different, but if the general foliage patterns hold, this itinerary should give you a good chance of seeing good color somewhere along your route.... and even if you miss "peak" color, there are still all kinds of very colorful leaves around for a week or so after peak, depending on how much high wind or heavy rain we get because either or both of them can force the leaves off the trees prematurely.

No need to go all the way to Nova Scotia to see lighthouses -- the top of my personal "must-see" list would be Portland Head Light lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, just outside Portland, Maine. Others definitely worth a visit would be the Rockland Breakwater Lightiouse in Rockland, ME harbor, and The Nubble Lighthouse in Cape neddick, ME (near York). All of these can be Googled for more info and driving directions.

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2. Re: One week in October itinerary help please

Thanks, Maineronthego, for your post, very helpful. I have re-organised our itinerary and can get to Boston on October 5 instead of the 17th. Its not as early as would be ideal but I guess better than mid October. Great tips on the lighthouse. I agree, no need to go to Nova Scotia to get those 'postcard shots'.. many thanks again.

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3. Re: One week in October itinerary help please

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