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5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

Haymarket, Virginia
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5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

Hello:

We are a family of 4 (w/2 kids - 11 and 6) and are planning to drive up to Maine and other close by states (New Hampshire, Vermont, others?) from Washington DC.

We've heard a lot of good things about the North-West and want to spend some time there this summer (August). We have a total of 6-7 full days excluding the drive time needed to get up there.

What would your key recommendation (no to miss) be in Maine and the surrounding states that we could drive by and see? We can't go trekking etc as our younger one has special needs but he can walk and enjoy sight seeing with us.

How many days should we spend at each state/location out there?

Much appreciate all your help. Thanks so much in advance!

- Dodz

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1. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

You might be surprised to find that the NE states are bigger than a map might have you think:)

Unless you want to be seeing New England through a car window, I'd pick two areas, not states mind you, as a maximum.

How about a combination of ocean and mountains? If that suits you, perhaps the southern Maine coast, then the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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Haymarket, Virginia
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2. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

I did not realize that, LOL :). Thank you.

I'll look into both of these places.

Central Maine
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3. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

Happygoin is right about the size of just Maine, NH and VT.... for example, Kittery ME (southernmost point in the state) to Fort Kent (northernmost point or almost) is about 350 miles (in round numbers) and six-plus hours driving time non-stop. Eastport, ME (easternmost point in Maine to Burlington, VT (western Vermont on Lake Champlain) is over 400 miles and about eight hours driving time non-stop. I would deefinitely agree with his suggestion that you pick a couple of "base" locations and work from there.

One popular loop for many folks involves coming into southern Maine at Kittery (at least 500 miles and 8 hours from D.C. depending on your choice of routes). Spend a day or two in southern Maine seeing lighthouses, sand beaches, Kennebunkport Trolley Museum etc. (York, Kennebunk and Ogunquit are places that come to mind first -- although accommodations may be hard to come by if you haven't booked for August yet). If you don't find anything in those places, Portsmouth NH and Portland ME are both larger places (more likely to have vacancies) and are within day-trip distance. When you're ready to move on, head north on the Maine Turnpike (I-95) to Gray, ME for a stop at the Maine Wildlife Park -- operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife it's home to virtually every animal species native to Maine,,,, think moose, deer, bear, raccoon, etc. -- easy walking in a park-like setting and most kids love it. After your visit there, cut across to US 302 in North Windham and follow it north into New Hampshire to North Conway or Jackson, NH for a couple more nights -- plan at least two days for exploring the White Mountains -- lofs there for parents and kids: Storyland theme park in Glen, Mt Washington Auto Road or Mt Washington Cog Railroad, Flume Gorge, Cannon Mountain Tramway, Franconia Notch State Park, Kancamagus Scenic Highway, Cathedral Ledge, Conway Scenic Railway train rides, easy walk into Diana's Baths,,,,

That should take care of 5 days at least -- if you wanted to add one more stop on the way home, someplace in the NH Lakes Region around Lake Winnipasaukee would fit nicely -- the MS Mt. Washington provides cruise that loop through five different ports on the lake, the Loon Center offers unique views into those great birds, and fun activities for the kids as well....

All (or almost all) of the above places can be Googled for more specific info and information,

Would love to have included Acadia National Park on the Maine coast in the above itinerary, but with the amount of time you have, and the distances you need to cover, it would need to be your only destination in order for you to enjoy a visit there.

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Haymarket, Virginia
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4. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

This is so much of useful information. Thank you so very much.

No, we don't have any reservation an yet. So will get that done this Friday. I hope vrbo.com has some available. If not will pick the other alternatives you mentioned.

I'll google up all the locations and build and itinerary. Will reach back if I run into issues with planning :)

Thanks so very much again.

Southern Maine
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5. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

It may be hard to find a place on vrbo for just a 1-2 day stay. Hotel/motel rooms are also in short supply in southern Maine right now as we are having a glorious summer weatherwise. I would suggest booking ASAP. As usual, Maineronthego has made excellent suggestions, and his point about Portland and/or Portsmouth having more availability, at least on paper, is spot on.

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Haymarket, Virginia
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6. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

I agree, I have been trying since morning, no luck yet on vrbo.com. Even if I find one place, I can travel around and return in the nights. I am guess the farthest point should not be more than an hour away. Here in DC, we travel 2 hours, one way :)

Will continue looking.Thanks again!

Central Maine
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7. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

Would agree with your keeping your driving distance to an hour or less, if possible. Driving two hours in an areas you're familiar with to a destination you know is considerably different than driving that far in unfamiliar highway and traffic conditions to someplace you've never been before.... Some of the best destinations in Maine or New Hampshire can be a bit challenging to find if you haven't been there before.

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Haymarket, Virginia
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8. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

@MainerontheGo, true! No luck yet with the accommodation for 6. Ready to Spend $2000 (maybe more) for a week but all have been taken. Trying hard to use TripAdvisor's map layout and comb property by property :). I found one on peak island and hope to hear from the owners. How does one get on and off that island? I assume there is a ferry dependency and timing constraint?

Thanks much, Dodz.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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9. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

Ferry service is pretty frequent: cascobaylines.com/schedules/…

Haymarket, Virginia
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10. Re: 5-6 day Trip to Maine and surrounding areas

Thanks Bonnie :). Left them a message and will call back again. The schedule after 5:30pm shows no "CF" so I am guessing the cars are allowed on the ferry until 5:30pm. Would that be true?

Thanks.