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Day trips from Portland

Texas
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Day trips from Portland

My wife and I will be visiting Portland in late Sept. and were wondering if any knowledgeable people out there could give us some ideas for great day trips from Portland (our base). Kennebunkport?, where to see fall foliage the best? etc... thanks to all for any info

Gorham
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1. Re: Day trips from Portland

There are many day trip options, but you will find much to do right in Portland. If you look to stay outside of Portland, look in Gorham. From there you can head north to the Sebago Lake Region or East to Freeport and yes, south to Kennebunk.

Hard to say where leaves will be but you are about at the right time, Although October is a better bet. There are various site that will post leave turning reports, try www.visitmaine.com for starters.

Good time to visit some apple orchards for nice walks.

Maine
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2. Re: Day trips from Portland

Hi nonnativetexan,

You'll be able to take quite a few fun and interesting daytrips from Portland :).

To the south you could drive to Ogunquit, about 30 minutes or so from Portland. Here there are beautiful beaches, the Marginal Way to walk (a path that sits high above the ocean with spectacular views), tons of neat shops and galleries (though you'll have plenty of those to browse in Portland), and neat old homes to admire.

After you've made the trip to Ogunquit, you could drive a bit further north (on the way back to Portland) to Kennebunkport and explore the downtown and beaches there. Also check out Bush 41's summer home on Walker Pt.

From there continue north on route 1 and if can get directions or a good map, drive out to Biddeford Pool. This is a lovely location with turn of the century summer homes, rocky coast and shoreline which is great to walk, and offers gorgeous views out to sea.

Then head towards Cape Elizabeth and check out Portland Head Light. There's a nice park there also which is great for picnicing if the weather cooperates as well a little lighthouse museum and gift shop. Not to mention the stunning views out to open ocean and the shipping lanes of Portland city.

In that same area is Two Lights Lobster Shack. It has some of the most beautiful ocean views ever along with the quintessential boiled lobster dinners, blueberry pie/cake, wine and beer.

North of Portland you can drive up to either or both Popham Beach and Reid State Park Beach. Both are beautiful beaches though each is different.

It'll roughly take you about 45 minutes to drive to either.

Popham is a wide beach with lots of tide pools and at low tide you can walk out to an island which offers great views of open ocean and Sequin Island Light to the north.

Reid State Park Beach is really a combination of 3 different beaches.

The largest is the ocean beach with huge waves, sea roses, and a rocky headland.

Next is the small lagoon type beach which families with toddler age kids love as its' shallow, extremely calm, and is right next to the snack bar and rest rooms.

The third sits on the Sheepscot River is a mixture of rocks and a bit of sand and offers distant views to Hendricks Head Light. Here you find a big old rock to sit on and watch the boats go up and down the river and out to sea.

All 3 beaches are within 5 minutes walking distance of each other.

Further north, about an hour and 10 minutes from Portland is Boothbay Harbor.

This town sits at the very southern tip of a peninsula and offers tons to do. Of course I am biased as I live here, but it truly is a lovely area.

In Boothbay Harbor you can take one of many boat tours to take in the beauty of Maine from the water. There are short and very tame trips for those who easily get seasick and ones out to Monhegan Island (11 miles out to sea), up the Kennebeck River to Bath Iron Works where you can see ships being built or renovated (many for the U.S. Navy), to Pemaquid Light further north.

In addition to the boat tours there are many scenic drives only minues away where you can see lighthouses, open ocean, rocky shoreline, and quaint and cozy harbors.

Some of the best drives are out to Ocean Pt. where you can see 4 lighthouses off shore and view rocky coast and crashing waves. A drive out to Hendricks Head Light and the Town Dock where you can see the Cockholds Lighthouse on Southport Island is another nice drive. Each trip is about 15 minutes from downtown Boothbay Harbor. There are many more, but you get the idea.

Downtown BBH itself offers lots of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and accomodations. The Whale Park right in town is great with views out to the very busy harbor, picnic tables, benches, and rest rooms. Often there is live entertainment here.

A few suggestions for lunch or dinner would be the Blue Moon Cafe, Ebb Tide, Lobster Dock. All very casual with great food. A little more upscale would be the Thistle Inn, 93 Townsend, and Rocktide Inn.

I could go on and on but I'm going to stop here as you only want to take a day trip and not stay a week!

If you want to go even further north you could check out Pemaquid Light which sits high on a rocky bluff and offers some ofthe most spectacular views out to sea anywhere. That'll take you about 1 1/2 hours from downtown Portland.

Or you could drive a bit further to Camden (about 2 hours north of Portland). This is where the mountains meet the sea and Camden in Fall is beautiful, less crowded, and offers great shopping. If you get up this far north, definitely don't miss taking a ride to the top of Mt. Battie for some great views out to open ocean, islands, the towns of Camden and Rockport to the east and mountains, and rolling farmlands to the west.

I think that most likely you won't want to go much further north.

Oops, almost forgot Freeport, just 20 minutes north of Portland. It's home to LL Beans and tons of outlet/discount shops and is quaint in it's own right. A nice place for lunch or dinner would be the Haraseekeet Inn right on Main St. It's perfect in the fall as it's very cozy and historical in feel. The food is good too.

Try and log onto to www.visitmaine.com for everything you'll ever need to know about accomodations, sites to see, how to get there, etc.

Guess that's it. Hope I haven't overwhelmed you! There's just so much to do and see in mid-coast Maine that you'll have to come back again and again :).

cozyharbor

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3. Re: Day trips from Portland

thank you so much cozyharbor! this is great

Maine
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4. Re: Day trips from Portland

You're welcome! Have a great trip :).

cozyharbor

5. Re: Day trips from Portland

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