A couple of key questions: Are you driving? And what is your feelings about going to Boston? Not exactly the place for nature, but a lot of other beauty. We would be remiss if we didn't highly suggest going there. You could spend much of your 5 days there.
You could stop in Mystic, Connecticut first as a thought by spending a few hours there checking out their shops & restaurants, then head up to Boston. Spend the night there & enjoy Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Paul Revere's House in the North End and around 5PM or so have dinner at La Summa's on Fleet Street or Mamma Maria's @ North Square, it's up to you on where you want to go to dinner, you'll have lots & lots of choices, believe me.
After breakfast the next morning, drive further north to either Newburyport, MA or Portsmouth, NH, spend a few hours at either town & then you could head up to Portland, Maine, where it's only an hour drive from Portsmouth any way, just cruise up I-95 to the Maine Turnpike, bear off to the right for it, you'll see the signs for Maine in around Portsmouth, NH...
In Portland, Maine see if you can get a room at the Holiday Inn By the Bay. They have really nice views from their bay rooms of Casco Bay. It's located in a convenient location to walk to "Old Port" for dining & shopping. They have an indoor pool & an outdoor pool, it'll still be too early for their outdoor one, but keep it on the back burner for when you return in the summer months!
While in Portland, you really should get over to Rte 1 just a little south of Portland to see Lenny the Chocolate Moose, I thought I was seeing things when I saw him! Here's info on him:
Also if you like lobster & other seafood? GO to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, it's located at the end of Two Lights Road on the rocky shores of Cape Elizabeth, Maine--The Lobster Shack is an award-winning restaurant that has been a local landmark since the 1920s. Enjoy your meal oceanside on the picnic tables, that are just above the crashing surf, below the lighthouse and next to the fog horn. Or stay in their dining room, watching the ships entering Portland Harbor and the local fishermen haul up their daily catch:
Enjoy your New England visit, hopefully you have nice weather for it, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
I forgot to tell you, GO to see the Portland Headlight while you're visiting Portland, even cruising along past the Old Port to Shore Road is awesome as you head in to Fort Williams Park for the lighthouse, wait till you see it...park your car & bring comfortable shoes for this little jaunt in this park, it's well worth it...it's a beautiful time of year, bring your camera, the flowers are out & everything is so beautiful & it's all starting right now...
I should have mentioned that we are driving. Thanks so much for your suggestions they sound just like the things we're looking for, your food and sightseeing descriptions are right-on for our group (all that talk of a chocolate moose is making me hungry).
Since we don't have a lot of time and we'd like to save Boston for another time, do you have any other suggestions for a first night stay? Is Cape Cod too far out of the way, or too cold that time of year or what about Newport?
That's a good thought, if it were me, I'd go right to Newport in a heart beat where it doesn't matter what time of year you're there. Checking out a mansion or two would be pretty neat. I would save Cape Cod for another time when you can stay for a few days...
Thank you all so very much.
Newport it is, with a stop along the way in Mystic for the first night. We actually have one additional night along the way, we don't have to be in Portland until the 3rd night and then we've got 2 additional nights in Portland, any suggestions for the 2nd night. What about Newburyport or Portsmough, NH or Kennebunk or whatever you suggest?
Also, any suggestions for restaurants in Newport?
(Sorry, I keep asking more questions)
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