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July mini-trip

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Atlanta, GA
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July mini-trip

My husband & I (both in our early to mid 50's) are planning a 3-day weekend during mid-July. We currently have reservations at a bed & breakfast in Old Orchard Beach, but looking at some of the postings, it seems that may be too noisy for us. We're flying into Manchester on a Friday afternoon & renting a car. My questions are:

1) Will traffic be horrible?

2) Is all of Old Orchard Beach a "teen enclave"?

3) Any recommendations for good, but inexpensive seafood restaurants in the area?



Brunswick, Maine
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1. Re: July mini-trip

Old Orchard is the closest Maine gets to having it's own version of the Panama City Beach strip, if you know what I mean. If your B&B is in the middle of the activity, you could find it too boisterous.

Take a clue from this: when you go to http://www.oldorchardbeachmaine.com and click on Things To Do, the first picture is of a ferris wheel and the first activity listed is Amusement Parks.

If you are looking for classic Maine fishing villages, rocky shorelines, lighthouses, quiet, relaxation, etc., you might be happier in a B&B in another Southern Maine location, such as Kennebunk/Kennebunkport or Oqunquit.

Mid-July is peak season, so it should be crowded, especially if you are driving into the state on a Friday afternoon. But, unless there is an accident the traffic will keep flowing.

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2. Re: July mini-trip

I think some folks do go to OOB just because of the "boistrousness" of it. Indeed, it is a beautiful beach, but absolutely filled with tourists and surrounded by carnival/motorcycles/fried dough atmosphere. If your B&B is off the beaten path a bit, it won't be too noisy, and lots in southern Maine is an easy drive from OOB.

The best, freshest seafood isn't really unexpensive, unfortunately. (Unlike when my Mom served us scallops, lobster and swordfish more often than hamburger!) That being said, I'd recommend the Clambake at Pine Point (just up the road from OOB) and the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. Both are very reliable for good seafood. If you go to Cape Elizabeth, you get the added attractions of Two Lights State Park (next to the Lobster Shack) and Fort Williams, home of the Portland Headlight lighthouse. Both worth seeing!


Atlanta, GA
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3. Re: July mini-trip

Thank you both for your help! ---Margclan

southern maine
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4. Re: July mini-trip

I just wanted to say that unless you're getting an incredible deal at Manchester, you'd be much better off going to Portland airport or maybe Pease in Portsmouth, NH (pan am has flights there, but limited). It's got to be at least a 2 hour drive from Manchester to OOB.

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5. Re: July mini-trip

I don't agree that it's better to fly into Portland rather than Manchester. Until very recently, it's been way cheaper to fly Manchester. We live 40 minutes north of Portland and fly out of Manchester frequently. It consistently takes us 2 hours and 15 minutes, so it should take less than 2 hours to get to OOB, unless there's something disastrously wrong with traffic.

One thing that might change that is the arrival of JetBlue at Portland in late May. The other airlines are apparently starting lowering their fares in anticipation of JetBlue's competition. So, starting shortly, it might not be so much more expensive to fly out of Portland than Manchester.

It does happen sometimes that 95 gets backed up pretty badly around the toll booth at the Maine/NH border. If that happens, you should consider getting off, if possible, and taking side roads.

OOB is not all a teen enclave but, as a 50-something myself, I can't imagine you'd be too crazy about it. If you're thinking southern Maine, I think you'd much prefer Ogunquit, York or Kennebunk.

If you want to get in a little shopping at the discount outlets in Kittery (just over the border from NH), a good, relatively inexpensive seafood place is Bob's Clam Hut on Route 1. If you're hungry, you might want to stop in there on your way from the airport.

Hope you have a great time!

Southern New...
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6. Re: July mini-trip

All prior post on OOB are right on. I'm your age and that is not where I would go. But the Maine coast is my FAVORITE summer long weekend.

Check out Boothbay, a little more driving (north of Portland but not much) but a LOT more of what you are describing. Ogunquit is very nice but very crowded. Freeport has wonderful shopping, if you are a shopper.

The best of the Maine coast will be out of reach for a three day weekend. I love Camden, but when I go from So NH it's at least a four day weekend or preferably five. It's maybe 80 miles north of Portland.

The drive from Manchester Airport to Portland is two hours assuming you know how to avoid the Rt 95 NH toll booth which when I drive on an overpass on a Sat afternoon I can see mile long backups in each direction.

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7. Re: July mini-trip

Manchester to OOB (without traffic) is about an hour 40 minutes- traffic will depend on the weather and early morning is your best bet except for Saturday.

Agreed, that there are better choices than OOB for a B&B- if you have teenagers looking for something to do within walking distance, then it's fine.

Ogunquit is beautiful, lots to walk to, and many good restaurants. I also love Booth Bay, but not much to do and not much for beaches within a walk- more of a boating/fishing harbor. If you want a beach I would go for Kennbunk or Ogunquit- plus they are a shorter drive.

Augusta, Maine
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8. Re: July mini-trip

I am your age, and there's not enough tea in China to get me to go to OOB in the summertime. If you want beaches, then the southern coast is the place to go, but you will have to put up with the crowds. If you are willing to go for slightly LESS beach activity, but want to be in a beautiful area that is decidedly less congested, try up around Pemaquid. There is nice, small beach there, and there are many nice b&b's in the area. There is also the Hotel Pemaquid, which is really neat in an old fashioned way. There is a b&b in Round Pond, which also has a couple of nice little shops, and the Musgungus Bay Lobster Company, where you can get a lobster meal and eat it on the deck by the bay. I moor my sailboat near there in the summer, so I am familiar with the area. It is lovely and quiet, at least by comparison to Southern Maine. No real night life. Damariscotta is near by, and it is also a nice town with many shops and stores.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: July mini-trip

Check out billowhouse.com, it is a long walk down the beach from Old Orchard in quieter Ocean Park.

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10. Re: July mini-trip

if you are looking for quiet, Old Orchard is not the place for you.

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