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Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

England
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Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

Just came across Lubec/Campobello whilst trawling through the Maine forum and thought this would make a worthy stop on our road trip of the (northern) US east coast.

We , (mum, dad & 15&17 yr old teens) are travelling late July/early August from NYC (4 nights) via Boston to Portland (tickets booked for Sea Dogs game) where we have provisionally booked two nights to see the region, we have then 5 nights booked in Bar Harbor before returning back to Boston for the last 3 nights.

Now having looked at the Lubec area we are wondering if it makes sense to stay for just 1 night in Portland to see the game and continue the next morning to Lubec for a 1or 2 night stay, explore the area in the afternoon and next day and then continue on to Bar Harbor.I have read some previous TRs and we have decided that a day trip from Bar Harbor does not make sense (too long) but would be willing to skip 1 day in Portland region or cut short our Boston stay to2 nights to accommodate this itinerary change.

Also is the whale watching better from Lubec or Acadia NP ?

Please advise or give your view on this. So many places to see and so little time :-(

P.S : What would be the best route to take from portland to Lubec ?

Central Maine
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1. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

Whether or not a night in Lubec is "worth" giving up a night in Portland or Boston is not a decision someone else can easily make for another person... it basically boils down to a subjective preference on how someone wants to spend their time.... Boston is a great, historic city with more to do than can easily be done in a single day and night.... likewise with Portland.... unless you're willing to settle for seeing "the high points" that all tourists see but not really "experiencing" what either city really has to offer. Lubec, on the other hand, is an essentially a small, Maine coastal town that really hasn't been commercialized by the passaeg of time -- primarily because of geographic remoteness and small population.... it's far less commercial annd far less developed than Bar Harbor, but also lacks many of the amenities folks sometimes expect in a vacation destination. Campobello is generally even less developed, but is home to the unique Roosevelt International Park -- the former summer home of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.,,, If your family, including the kids, can appreciate small-town coastal life and an unspoiled coastline, Lubec and Campobello may be worth the trip....but lodging and dining choices will be limited compared to Boston, Portland or Bar Harbor. Only you can decide which kind of experience better fits your expectations and wishes for this trip.

If you decide to go -- best route from Portland to Lubec would be: From Portland, I-95 north to Bangor; then I-395 east to Brewer; then Maine Rt 9 east to Wesley; then Maine Rt 192 South to US Rt 1 in Machias; then US Rt 1 east to Maine Rt 189 east in Whiting; then Maine Rt 189 to Lubec. Should be about 240 miles and take about 4 1/2 hours driving time.

From Lubec back to Bar Harbor along Rt 189 from Lubec to US Rt 1 in Whiting and then US Rt 1 to Ellsworth and Maine Rt 3 to Bar Harbor should be about 100 miles and take about 2 1/2 hours.

Can't help with the whale watch question - been too long since we've been on one...

We normally caution folks headed for Campobello to remember to bring a passport since it's part of Canada, not the US -- but since you'll need one to get here from the UK, shouldn't be a problem for you...

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

I agree with everything Mainer said and would add that, given the cautions above, you would like Lubec and the area between Lubec and Bar Harbor if you are in to seeing some very dramatic tides. We took a friend up there last summer and she said that she could have sat at her B&B window, or on the park bench at the lighthouse, and just watched the tide come and go. You can see the change in just 15 minutes of sitting. You can see the eddies and swirls at the short bridge that connects Lubec with Campobello Island.

Also there is some very dramatic hiking along the cliffs near the lighthouse outside of Lubec and also on the Bold Coast trail outside of Cutler. Here's an article with pictures about that trail: yankeemagazine.com/article/features/bold-coa… .

England
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3. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

Thank you both for your generous advice and opinions.

We are just completely overwhelmed by all the wonderful places in Maine we could go and see apart from being very indecisive.

When we first started planning this trip it was NYC, Boston and Cape Cod because they are the usual tourist choices (at least in the UK) but the more we researched and looked places up the more we were determined to go a bit off the normal tourist trail.

I just love the idea of seeing something very uncommercialised as well but I guess we will have to consider all options and advantages and disadvantages but might just have the one night in Portland to see the baseball.

We merely chose Portland for a stopover as it was about halfway between NYC and Acadia and found the tip for SEA Dogs on TA, where else ;-)

West Lawn...
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4. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

I agree with the previous posters. We love the Lubec area because its so non-commercialized. No chain restaurants or hotels. Its also incredibly beautiful and there are very few tourists especially compared to Boston, Portland, and Bar Harbor. We spent a week there a few summers ago and really enjoyed it. We did lots of hiking and basically just enjoyed the solitude. Some people thrive on that sort of thing and others don't.

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

Like folks said above, it's really all about what you want to get out of your trip.

I went to Bar Harbor twice and don't really need to go back. Then again I'm a tourist who doesn't really like other tourists ;)

I just skip right up to Lubec to get away from the tourist areas and relax. There is enough up that way to spend a few days just hiking and sight seeing.

If you do head up, Make sure to go to West Quoddy Head Light House to hit "The Eastern Most Point in the US."

And if you go to East Quoddy Head Light on Campobello Island, go at low tide so you can walk out to it.

One great thing you can do at Lubec, is find out what time the sun rises while there and witness it before anyone else in the US. (Although some people say you can do the same thing in Bar Harbor on Cadillac Mountain.)

Bar Harbor, Maine
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6. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

It depends upon the time of year whether Lubec or Cadillac Mountain sees the sun first. Lubec is further east, but Cadillac Mountain has the advantage of elevation.

As for the previous posters comment about Bar Harbor, some of us visited Acadia National Park five or six times over the years and then moved here so we could enjoy it year 'round and forever. There are ways to avoid the tourists and, even at the height of the season, the tourists aren't really all that bad.

Portland, Maine
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7. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

If you're considering going to Lubec you should definitely cross the short bridge to Campobello. Just make sure to bring your passports. You actually don't need them to enter Canada, but you'll need them to get back to the U.S.

England
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8. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

Thank you for all your input. I still love the idea of stopping at Lubec/Campobello but the rest of the family is reluctant to make any more stops so will probably have to give it a miss this time.

Guess we will stick with the original schedule :-((

Maine looks like a wonderful place and can't wait to experience it all.

Will definitely feed back after our trip.

Thank you again for all your helpful advice, I just love the TA Forum.

Edited: 04 May 2014, 23:06
9. Re: Lubec- is it worth the detour from Portland to Bar Harbor ?

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