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Coming from Manchester NH

Champaign, Illinois
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224 posts
58 reviews
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Coming from Manchester NH

I want to visit the Portland area the end of September, but the free airline tickets that I have will only let me fly into Manchester. So I was thinking of renting a car and driving to Portland, does anyone know long this will take and what route I should take to get the best views ? Is there anywhere I should stop along the way, such as Kennybunkport? I will only have four days. I was also wondering how long the ferry is to Nova Scotia?

Maine
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1. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

It's an easy drive, little less than 2 hours. Route 101 East to Route 95 North. There aren't any great views of anything from these routes, but you could jump off of 95 anywhere along Maine's coast to see different towns (such as Kennebunkport); the highway's not that far from the coast. Look at a map (maps.google.com or mapquest.com for example) and then read about some of the different towns for ideas.

The CAT ferry's website states that the crossing is 5.5 hours.

west
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2. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

Book your car rental now in Manchester, as rates go way up when the foliage is in full swing and lots of last-minute trips get planned. Alamo.com probably has the best rates.

USA
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3. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

If you select Alamo here are some useful coupons I have used:

AD3829MRB : $25 off five day rental

AD395OL2VN : $15 off weekend rental

Good until 12/15/07.

Champaign, Illinois
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224 posts
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4. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

Thanks for the advise. I'm not much for driving outside Illinois, so what kind of Traffic is there on this route? Is this a huge freeway or just a couple lanes? I'd like to know what to expect!

Maine
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830 posts
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5. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

Route 101 is 2 lanes each way, and 95 has 4 in part of New Hampshire but goes down to 3 where it remains until Portland, then goes to 2 lanes each way after Portland. No traffic like you're probably used to, especially that time of year. No worries...

west
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6. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

On the way BACK to Manchester, the 101 exit off the 95 isn't very well marked in my opinion. It creeps up on you. That's the only thing to watch for.

Champaign, Illinois
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7. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

I've been looking at a map and was wondering if it is a good idea to get off somewhere on route 1 and take a scenic drive up to Portland. Is this a good route, it looks closer to the coast?

Catlin, Illinois
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8. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

Hi dutchtravlr,

We were there in early August and it was as crowded on Route 1 as it could be. There are no ocean views along Route 1. But they are not far away.

In downtown Ogunquit turn east on the Shore Road and drive down to Perkins Cove. It about a 5 minute drive at 25 mph. There is a parking lot ($) there. You then can walk along the shore on the Marginal Way. IMO this is one of the best shore paths in Maine. TA reviews link:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g40790-d10…

We also flew into Manchester. It is a small 15 (?) gate airport that is easy to get thru.

Enjoy your trip!

Champaign, Illinois
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224 posts
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9. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

Thanks RWDW

Did you rent a car at the airport or did a driver pick you up? I see you are also from Illinois, what airline did you fly and out of what airport?

Minneapolis, MN
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10. Re: Coming from Manchester NH

I go to this area every year, and spent summers in Ogunquit many years ago. I also recommend the "Marginal Way" walking path in Ogunquit for the physical beauty, but the town is extremely touristy and overbuilt. The beach is also worth walking, as there is no building on the beach there. If you are seeking a little more "authentic" Maine site, you could drive through Kennebunkport, which is equally tourist-y, but continue on Route 9 (also parallels Rte. 1 and 95 in this area, but closer to the beaches), and drive through Cape Porpoise, a small fishing/lobstering community, along the way North to Portland. Stop for a meal at Nunan's restaurant if you want lobster or clams, although it is probably only open weekends by then -- check first. The beach areas as you continue North, such as Fortune's Rocks, Cape Elizabeth and Goose Rocks Beach, can all be reached from turn-offs along Route 9 and are all gorgeous and relatively unspoiled.

Enjoy!