Kennebunkport area -- check out Dock Square area and Ocean Drive.... maybe Seashore Trolley Museum, A bit further afield, Perkin's Cove in Ogunquit and The Nubble Lighthouse in York aren't all that far away, Might even be able to work them into your trip the day you drive up to Kennebunkport (and save back-trackiing).
Portland to Camden -- Portland Head Light lightouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine Audubon Society's Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, Wolf's Neck State Park in Freeport, Peary-MacMillan Arctc Museum on the grounds of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine Marine Museum in Bath, coastal village of Damariscotta, Maine State Prison Store in Thomaston, General Henry Knox-Montpelier Museum in Thomaston, Owl's Head Transportation Museum in Owl's Head, Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse, Camden Harbor (the actual harbor behind the downtown shops and restaurants), and the Mount Battie Auto Road in Camden Hills State Park aree all popular choices..... Most (if not all) can be Googled for more info, photos, directions etc.
While moose can be, and have been, sighted almost anywhere in Maine, they are less prevalent in the coastal areas than in the upland areas of inland Maine. The most popular areas for moose sightings and moose safaris will be at least another 100 miles and two-plus hours of driving further north and west from Camden. If actually seeing one is more important than the setting itself, they have moose in residence at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, ME -- just off I-95.... lots of animals native to Maine in re-creations of their natural habitat. A side trip over there would be far less distance and time than trying to get to Rangeley, Carrabasset Valley, Moosehead or other popular moose-spotting areas (unless, of course, your trip is going to extend further north than your original question suggests....).
We have changed our plans and are flying into Portland instead of Boston. There is so much to see in the mid-coast we are thinking of staying in that area. We want to add a schooner tour and maybe a lobster boat tour or some kind of tour on the water to see the coast from a different view. If we concentrate on the mid-coast, where we would we want to stay and for how many days in each place considering hitting he highlights in the area? Also, I have researched some schooner tours on Trip Advisor but am confused about where and with whom would be the best choice. Would it be worth taking the train for a day trip or too confusing? It's difficult to stop adding on adventures because there is so much to do. Any suggestions appreciated.
How many days do you have total, and what time do you arrive into Portland and have to be back there on departure day?
We arrive on Sept. 10th around 5:30pm and depart on the 17th at 11:30 am.
If you want to focus on the "mid-coast", with the time you have available, I'd consider something like: Day 1 (the 10th) - arrive Portland, taxi to local hotel (preferably in Portland's Old Port District - we like the locally-owned Regency, convenient to everything and great customer service), an evening stroll through the Old Port with dinner at one of the many great restaurants there. Day 2 (the 11th): Pick up rental car and head for Boothbay Harbor, with a possible en route stop at L.L. Bean in Freeport. Arrive Boothbay, find your lodging, and, if the weather is good, visit Coastal Botanical Gardens before driving out Rt 96 through East Boothbay to Ocean Point for a great view of the sunset. Day 3 (the 12th): Boothbay Harbor sights/cruise/etc. Second night in Boothbay Harbor. Day 4 (the 13th): Drive Boothbay Harbor to Rockland/Camden area, with possible en route stop to see the coastal community of Damariscotta. Once in Rockland/Camden, check out the Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse, maybe the world-famous Farnsworth Museum or the nearby Owl's Head Transportation Museum, the Mt Battie Auto Road in Camden Hills State Park just north of downtown Camden, and, of course, Camden Harbor -- a variety of ways to get out-on-the-water from folks who sell their tickets right on the town pier. Dinner at one of the many "foodie" places in Rockland. Day 5 (the 14th) Continue exploring Rockland-Camden, cruise, features noted yeserday, drive down the peninsula to small coastal towns like Port Clyde, or pick up a picnic lunch (we like The Brown Bag in Rockland) and take a Maine State Ferry Service ferry to the island of Vinalhaven, walk into their small downtown and back, enjoy your picnic at the picnic area overlooking the water near the ferry terminal and catch the next ferry back to Rockland (would only consider this on a day when weather and seas were "friendly" -- it's a long ride in rough weather. Overnight again - Rockland/Camden area. Day 6 (the 15th): More Camden-Rockland exploring, or take a day-trip ride up through Belfast to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory and Fort Knox, just south of Bucksport. Overnight again in Camden/Rockland. Day 7 (the 16th): From Rockland, take Rt 17 to Augusta, and on from there to Portland via I-95 with a stop at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray to "see a moose". Back in Portland, take the short ride over to Portland Head Light lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth before returning your rental car. One final night in Portland, a leisurely breakfast, maybe another stroll through the Old Port, and off to the airport for your flight home.
Not sure by "train ride" if you meant the Amtrak Downeaster between Brunswick and Portland, or the Maine Eastern Railroad Scenic Railroad between Rockland and Bath.... If the Downeaster, I'd check their schedule carefully -- not sure it's terribly day-trip conducive. Maine Eastern Scenic Railroad can be fun for rail-fan folks and does offer some nice scenery, but again, be sure the schedule, (amount of time it takes out of your day, amount of time spent in towns, etc) fits the way you want to spend your day.
Thank you for the info, MainerOnTheGo. Again, great suggestions and a very thorough list of things to see and do. I think we will follow your plan very closely except we will skip LLBean and shopping. Per husband's request! Thank you for your time in helping us plan a wonderful trip to Maine. Will let you know how it goes!
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