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Where to stay and what to see

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Sheffield England
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Where to stay and what to see

We're coming to Main next year - first timers and I have wanted to visit for a long long time.

We're from the UK and it will be a two week trip. I'd appreciate any help with an itinerary and suggestions of places not to be missed.

I've posted this on the general Maine forum and from there had advice that September was a good time to visit. That's looking like good advice and I'm now planning my trip around early to mid September.Any thoughts on that?

Re. places to stay - I in serious need of would suggestions for good accommodation options. I would prefer to avoid over fussy décor and don't need four posters etc., we also need to combine some modest pricing amongst our choices for the two weeks as the budget isn't endless. I thought 50/50 between the more upscale and the simple but comfortable. However.... and this is the big wish. We are coastal people and also like to be in walking distance to the 'hub' of the town/harbour area.

I think I'm narrowing my choices to Oniquit/Marginal Way, Camden and the Arcadia National Park areas but as we have 14 nights in total we can fit more in - would people agree?

Any help to select the resort and/or places to stay will be very welcome.

Many thanks, Sharon.

Cincinnati, Oh
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1. Re: Where to stay and what to see

I visit Maine every year from 2-4 weeks. I've been doing this for about 15yrs. I have visited from mid May to mid September. My favorite time is last 2 weeks in June-first 2 weeks July. Before lodging prices really get to high season and before there are more people than I feel comfortable with!!! I stay midcoast (St. George) to downeast (Cutler).

You will find people who LOVE southern Maine and others (like me) once was enough and the other groups who are mid coast, MDI, way downeast(we don't hear much from them) and the ones who love the lakes and mountains. So see there is something for everyone to fall in love with!!!

The members on TA will try their hardest to help you plan your trip, one that you will remember forever.

Remember to go to the various town websites and order the visitor guides since you have a year to plan, these are great. I order them every year so I don't miss anything!!!

Sheffield England
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2. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Traveltoo, thanks for the tip about visitor guides. I had not thought of that For reading other than directly off the web I'm using published travel guides but they are for the whole of New England and it's hard to get in depth info on specific places.

Do you have favourite lodging you can recommend?

Thanks again, Sharon

Cincinnati, Oh
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3. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Sharon,

I always rent a house when I'm in Maine. Sometimes the same one, if I'm staying in that certain area again. I have used real estate companies and private owners. There is a magazine I know you would love to read and see Maine through mostly Mainers eyes. It is DownEast. You can check it out at www.DownEast.com but it is so much better in hand!!! The order info will be there.

I know 2 weeks sounds like a long time, but to cover the coast and really SEE it takes years!!! I've been trying for that long!!!

When I stay in Bar Harbor it is usually only 2-3 days before my trip for my longer stay on Swan's Island.

I always stay at CastleMaine Inn (B&B) on Holland Ave. The owners are wonderful, breakfast is served inside or outside on the big wraparound porch. I stay on the 3rd floor for more privacy and my own balcony. MDI has lots of lodging, all types and prices.

Camden is smaller than Bar Harbor, more compact,nice shopping.Everyone will have their favorite place to eat no matter where you are for the day or night.

I can recommend places to stay from St. George pennisula to Cutler. I've only been to the southern part of Maine once.

I hope I have helped some for right now, hopefully more as you make more decisions.

Texas
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4. Re: Where to stay and what to see

traveltoo,

Can you tell me if the CastleMaine Inn is walking distance to downtown? I was looking at that location this morning, and the map looks walkable, but I've never been to Maine. Thanks for your help.

London, United...
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5. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Hi Sharon

We came over to Maine earlier this year and stayed in York Harbor, Camden and Southwest Harbor. We loved all three towns. York Harbor is an easy drive to Perkins Cove where you can walk the Marginal Way. If you go to Camden, do try and visit Marshall Point and Owls Head State Park and go up Mount Battie.

We stayed in B and B's, so I probably can't help with accommodation but you will love Maine - it is beautiful! Have a fun trip.

Cincinnati, Oh
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6. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Castlemaine Inn is walkable to town, I do it every year. You can leave your car there and not worry about finding a place to park, so many parking spaces and lots have a 2 hr. limit. What can you get done in 2 hours??? There are also plenty of places to eat close by and even the Village Green is probably a 15 min. walk. This is where the Island Explorer bus is located and you can go all over the island on these buses and they are free.

Cincinnati, Oh
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7. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Sharon,

If you decide to stay in Camden as a home base would it be for a week?? There are weekly rentals surrounding the harbor, depending on your price point. If you just want to spend a few days and be within walking distance of the harbor and restaurants/bars/pubs try the following:

www.camdenmaine.com This is Camden Riverhouse Hotel & Inn, I believe they have indoor swimming,etc.

www.theinnatcamdenplace.com

www.lordcamdeninn.com

These are all in a great intown location. You can walk across the street to the harbor, book a cruise, eat breakfast,lunch, or dinner. Stroll in the park surrounding the harbor. They have summer concerts here and art fairs. Camden is on my top 3 list!! There are lots of B&B's, I'm sure they're not all frills and flowers!!!

If you want Maine HOT weather it would probably be last 2 weeks in July and possibly thru August!! Which of course is their high season.

Sheffield England
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8. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Thanks so much for your replies traveltoo - I looked up the Down Easter as I'm sure I would love to read one or two issues. Problem is that it's over $30 shipping to the UK which did put me off a bit. I might wait 'til later in the year back order the summer issues which will feel better value for the hefty shipping cost.

Thanks also for the links you posted I will have a look at them.

I was thinking of a weeks rental but I'm not sure now - we may just rey and fit in some other stopovers. That might include Boston as well, we will be flying into Boston anyway so we might as well have a look at it!

Back to Camden. I'm now considering the Hartstone Inn - it is B&B but the rooms are lovely on their website and rates for some of their rooms look really reasonable. Do you know this Inn?

Finally.... I think I'm coming down in favour of the last two weeks in August for our trip. That's always a good time for my husband in any case and I thought it seemed like the weather is more reliable then - but I note you've just suggested late July and 'possibly' August for the best weather. Is August unpredictable?

Anyway, thank you again Traveltoo, and other posters, for your helpful replies - all of which have been helpful.

I'm not done yet, so more questions will follow I'm sure.

Sorry one more quick question - what size is a Queen bed? It may sound like a really dumb thing to ask but in the UK a queen is smaller than a double - more like a large single bed about 4ft wide. Looking on the various lodging sites they often have queens as an option.

Maine
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9. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Hi smh1954,

Welcome to the U.S. and the state of Maine :)!

From your most recent post, it sounds like you'd like to visit Boston a bit, then maybe stay on the southern Maine coast and then hit the Acadia/Bar Harbor area. Sounds like a plan.

One of the best books that may really help you choose which towns to stay in, what accomodations are for you and what there is to see and do in any area in Maine is Christina Tree's 'Maine: An Explorer's Guide. I've used this guidebook for years and its never failed me. Her recommendations are updated, the descriptions pretty accurate and she lists accomodations, restaurants and activities for all budgets. If you can't find her book in the U.K. purchase it through Amazon. It'll be worth whatever shipping fee is charged.

Next check out www.visitmaine.com. This is a wonderful site chuck full of info. You'll be able to order maps and brochures online which will either be free or for a small fee.

Definitely spend a couple of days in Boston if you can. I lived there for 12 years years ago and still visit from time to time and its a lovely, compact little city with lots to do and see. The only place I've recently stayed in Boston that I can recommend is the Lenox Hotel in the back bay. Try googling it for further info to see if its your cup of tea. What I like about it is that its a small boutique type of hotel with lots of personality, charm and is in an excellent location walkable to tons of shopping, restaurants, art galleries, museums, the Charles River, the Public Gardens, etc.

Kennebunk/port, York, or Ogunquit are all charming summer resort communities on the souther Maine coast with lovely beaches. You couldn't go wrong staying in any of them.

Old Orchard Beach is a funky beach resort town with an old time amusement park and great beach and arcades. Its crowded, full of families and teens and a whole lot of fun.

Portland is a small city with lots of restaurants, cafes, galleries, shops, and is located on Casco Bay.

Midcoast Maine is where the scenery changes from beachy to rocky coast. Lots to do and see. Boothbay Harbor, the Pemaquid peninsula, the St. George peninsula, Rockland and Camden all have something to offer. Some are very busy little resort towns, some are more quiet and off the beaten path. Read the guidebook I recommended to get a feel for what you're looking for.

Acardia National Park and Bar Harbor have alot to offer as well as the Deer Isle and Schoodic peninsula's. Again check out the guidebook and the website listed and see what appeals to you.

If you have two weeks to visit Boston and Maine I think it might be nice to split the time as follows:

Boston 3 or 4 days. Southern coast of Maine 3 or 4 days. Midcoast 3 or 4 days and Bar Harbor 3 or 4 days. This way you'll get a good taste of what Boston and Maine have to offer as each area offers something a little different. However, it may be too much traveling, packing and upacking for your taste. Then you might want to split your time between the southern coast and further downeast. Without more info on what your interests are, its hard to recommend more specific places.

Good luck!

cozyharbor

Sheffield England
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10. Re: Where to stay and what to see

Tanks for your reply Cozyharbour. I'd already read your recommendation of the travel guide in another post and I've ordered if from Amazon. I'm really looking forward to getting it.

I'm enjoying the planning of this trip so much, and do appreciate everyone's help.

Our interests are quite varied. We like to walk here in the UK but we're the kind of people who like to end up at a pub/bar - if not for a meal at least for a beer or two! I need the terrain to be fairly easy although we usually have our border collie with us and she keeps the pace up.

We enjoy eating out and love seafood. My husband will probably live on lobster for the whole time! I can't wait to see a Lobster Pound - although to be honest I'm not exactly sure what one is.

We love socialising and meeting new people and I want to see the quintessential Maine so we'll do some sighting etc. We also like the sea and want to combine some beach time.

Thanks for your help. If you have any other tips or and recommendations I'll be very please to read them

Cheers,

Sharon.

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