We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Which Portland hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
BC, Canada
10 posts
Save Topic
Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

We're arriving Aug 26 and leaving Aug 30. We're definitely looking forward to eating lots and lots of lobsters. What are the reasonably priced restaurants we should go to?

We're on a budget. If staying in Portland is pricey, what city/cities around Portland would be more affordable? We will rent a car so distance is not too much of an issue. We would just need a very clean, safe place to stay.

Any suggestions as to where we should rent a car?

Do you have other tips on how tourists like us we can stretch our dollars?

Southern Maine
Level Contributor
645 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

I've been thinking about this all day.

First, I'd try to select a hotel with kitchen facilities. This way, you could get basics for breakfast and lunch and the never ending snacks that teen aged boys need. At most grocery stores you can pick up Shain's Ice Cream/Sea Dog biscuits that would do well for dessert back in your room and save some money there too. Bring your water bottles and refill them each day!

You will be able to rent a car right at the airport, which is closer to South Portland than Portland proper. This hotel is nearby in Scarborough, and although I have never needed to stay there, it is close to the airport, convenient to the highway and would be a good starting place. It's not going to give you a scenic view, but should save you some money.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g40861-d235246-…

Generally, tourist safety is not much of an issue in Maine.

A season pass to the state parks is available for 70.00. You could visit a different one each day and try lots of beaches. There's more information at http://maine.gov/doc/parks/

These parks are within 50 miles of South Portland

maine.gov/cgi-bin/…search_town.pl

(Hope that works)

Lobster is priced daily, depending on the market. Generally, the restaurants with more frills and the nicer views charge more. You can plan on about $100.00 a night for dinners out, more if everyone wants lobster.

Try picking up your touristy souvenirs at the "Christmas Tree Shop" in Scarborough/South Portland instead of the pricey gift shops in the coastal town.

Be aware that you are coming during one of the busiest weeks of the year. This is the last hurrah for most families with kids, although some may be back at school already. Make reservations, plan ahead for the must-see areas. Have fun!

Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
29 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Welcome to Portland. Portland is a very reasonably priced city especially if you have been to NYC or Boston. One thing to keep in mind: the legal drinking age is 21 in Maine not 18 as in Canada.

Lobster: Two local shacks - Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth and Harraskeet Lunch in So. Freeport. In Portland, check out Gilbert's Chowder House on Commerical Street and Susan's Fish and Chips on Forest. All very reasonable.

Local Activities: We enjoy the ferry rides on Casco Bay lines. Check out going to Peaks Island where you can rent bikes and spend the day. Also check out the longer rides - such as the mailboat cruise - which stops at a few islands and is great on a hot day. The Maine Today website has a list of all local events by type and date.

Have a great time.

BC, Canada
10 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Thanks Mainemom3 & StevensAve!

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
253 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Hello

We just returned from our yearly visit to the south coast of Maine. We usually rent a cottage for a week but as you are only going to be there 5 days you should be able to find a room with efficiencies (small fridge, coffee etc) We found that helps save money as we can have breakfast in our room and even make sandwiches for lunch.

I would recommend staying in one of the smaller towns in the area instead of the city but I guess it depends on what kind of holiday you are looking for. There is Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit and York. We always stay in the Wells area as it is close to Ogunquit beach which is the longest, most beautiful beach.

We usually visit the other towns for different reasons.. they are all quite close. We always check out the outlet shops in Kittery. Also, shopping just across the border in New Hampshire is fun as there is NO TAX! We usually get the kids shoes and clothes for school as the prices are much lower than in Canada.

You might want to visit York where they have a shop that makes salt water taffy and you can watch it being made. They also have an amusement park and we usually visit there at least once for the kids. They can buy a bracelet to go on all the rides for $10. They also have go-karts.

Carol

BC, Canada
10 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Thanks, thebestmom24!

Are clothing prices better in Freeport or Kittery?

How far is the drive to New Hampshire?

From Maine, we've decided to head on to Boston. I believe there's also a good factory outlet center there (Wrentham Village). Where would clothing prices and sales tax be better - in Maine or Massachusetts?

USA
Level Contributor
86 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Sales tax in Maine is 5% vs. 6.25% in Massachusetts. Clothing is taxed in Maine but only an article over $175 is taxed in Massachusetts. I'm guessing that the prices in Freeport, Kittery and Wrentham are about the same. Many of the same stores are in all three locations.

The disadvantage of Kittery is that the stores are spread out over several strip malls requiring you to drive between them. Freeport is a small town with most of the shops within easy walking distance. Wrentham is a large complex of one story buildings laid out similar to walking streets. Wrentham is about 35 miles south of Boston.

USA
Level Contributor
86 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

If you are still deciding on where to stay, you might consider Freeport. They have a lot of hotels so it's probably easier to find a bargain than it would be in Portland. The downtown part of Freeport is loaded with shops but the coastal area is beautiful. Winslow Park is owned by the town and has an inexpensive admission. It's beautiful, has a beach, lots of scenic rocky coast and a great place to have a picnic. It's rarely packed. It's less than 20 miles from Freeport to Portland.

Southern Maine
Level Contributor
645 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

Kittery's on the way to Boston and New Hampshire is about 20 minutes south of there. Take the first exit on the right after you go over the BIG bridge on rte 95 and keep turning right onto Woodbury Ave. You will find all the same mall-type stores in that area as you would in Maine, Wal-Mart, etc.

Another thought- beer and wine are sold in grocery stores. In Maine, there's a 5 to 15 cent deposit on all beverage cans and bottles, soft drinks and water included. Not so in New Hampshire. Alcohol in Maine is sold in some grocery stores (look for sign that say "Agency Store") and in state liquor stores in New Hampshire.

9. Re: Family of 4 with 2 teenage boys from Canada - 1st time visit

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 17 February 2010, 05:18