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Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

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Bishop, California
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Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

My husband and I are flying from the west coast to Portland in mid-September 2006. We want to see as much as possible from Ogunquit to Acadia National Park. How long should be plan to be gone. We will be renting a car, but hope to take some boat trips, too. Also, where should we stay in Portland? We are hoping to stay at as many B & Bs as possible, but would be open to a small hotel/inn.

Maine
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1. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Hi wannabe,

If you have a moment, read my response to alicedaisy. I wrote a pretty long post about how to see alot of Maine by staying in 2 different locations.

I also recommended a place to stay in Ogunquit. It's called the Beachmere Inn and I can't say enough good things about it. I've stayed there several times over the years and have never been disappointed. It is part B&B, part motel units, and part private cottage rentals. The location and ambience can't be beat. Google the Beachmere Inn and their site will come up and provide you with great pictures of their rooms, the grounds, the views, and rates. I can almost guarantee that you'll want to stay there if you're a B&B person!

Anyway, if after you read my response to alicedaisy and still have questions, post again and I'll help with whatever I can.

Meanwhile, enjoy planning your trip. You'll love it here and September is the BEST time to come. Everything is still open and lively, but the crazy summer crowds are gone making for a more leisurely pace. Plus the rates will be cheaper. Try and plan at least 2 weeks if you can as there's so much to see :).

cozyharbor

P.S. A must do/see trip would be to Monhegan Island. It is about an hour's ferry ride from Boothbay Harbor and about the same (give or take a few minutes)from Port Clyde. It is one of the most beautiful, uncommercial islands and is summer home to many artists. There are trails out to high bluffs overlooking the ocean (and you might even spot a whale or 2), a lighthouse, the cathedral forest (with miniature ferry houses), little beaches and inlets, and gorgeous views everywhere. There are also a few B&B's and the Monhegan Inn and Island House for accomodations if you think you might want to spend a night.

P.P.S. Another suggestion; if you can find a copy of Christina Tree's An Explorer's Guide to Maine, it will list and describe all kinds of accomodations, scenic drives, boat tours, restaurants, etc. I've used her guides for all over New England and love them. Amazon.com I'm sure will have it.

Southern New...
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2. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Make time to get to Camden, the prettiest harbor on the Maine Coast and a great place to hire onto a 2-3 hour schooner sail for a fair price.

Last August I stayed at Glenmmor By The Sea. It's not a B&B but it was great accomodations. Check out the area as there are many, many B&Bs.

Brunswick, Maine
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3. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

If you can stay two weeks, that would be awesome.

I'd suggest that you try to stay three places and use each as a base to explore.

Maybe 4 days in Portland (explore the southern maine coast, explore greater Portland & Freeport, and take a day to go up to the western Mountains & Bethel & the Sunday River covered bridge.) If you can afford one of the downtown hotels, it would be fun to stay in the Old Port. A nice small hotel not in the Old Port is the Danforth.

Then take your time driving Route 1 to Camden stopping to nose around in Bath & Wiscasset. Spend four nights in Camden. Take one day just to explore the Pemaquid Penninsula (go to Pemaquid Point and New Harbor, Damariscotta). Another day take a cruise either to Monhegan (from Tenant's Harbor) or to Vinalhaven, and using one day to just poke around downtown Camden and downtown Rockland.

Then pack up the car and head to Acadia where you can really spend the rest of your days just on Mount Desert Island. If you aren't dead tired, you can drive one day to the Blue Hill Penninsula (Stonington, Blue Hill, etc.) but I'm guessing you will be dead tired.

Of course, to see everything, you'll need to move here. :)

Brunswick, Maine
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4. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

I meant to mention that Compass Guide Maine (Fodor) is a great travel guide, and if you have time to read it, it will help you plan your trip/decide what's important to do.

Bishop, California
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5. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Thank you all so much for your generous suggestions. Whew! I hope we have enough time to see/do all you've suggested. I ordered the books and checked out websites of the various places mentioned and they are all right on.

The idea of "base camps" sounds perfect. So, it looks like we'll stay in Camden, Bar Harbor and some place on the southern-most coast. Is there any reason to actually stay in Portland? We want to see the old port, but would a day just walking around to the galleries and shops be enough to get the flavor of the town? We had originally thought to stay there for 3-4 days, but the lodging there gets mixed reviews and where we stay eat is a big part of the experience for us. We like to come back to our room before dinner, have a glass of wine, clean up and relax before going out again. We are wondering if it is feasible to drive from Kennebunkport to Portland for the day. How long is that drive? Also, what are some good restaurants in the three areas we'll be visiting. We don't care so much about the atmosphere (except for maybe a couple of nights), but we are sort of foodies and love wonderful food. I had to laugh at some of the other posts that were asking about night life and the responses because we live in a tiny resort town that also rolls up the sidewalks at 7:00 P.M. Our restaurant choices are pitiful, at best, so we really look forward to trying new places.

Again, thank you all. How fabulous to have "locals" to help us out.

Wannabeguide

Bishop, California
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6. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Oops, I should have edited my post re: Portland more carefully. What I should have said is: Where we STAY and where eat is a big part of the experience for us.

Wannabeguide

Bar Harbor, Maine
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7. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

I'm a Bar Harbor local rather than a Portland local. But I have a suggestion for Portland. When we travel down there a number of times a year for our "big city" fix, we stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Old Port. It's always been a wonderful place to stay. But, for us, the biggest attraction is that the hotel is literally a few steps from Portland's best restaurant, Fore Street.

If you really are foodies, don't miss a dinner at Fore Street. The space is attractive, being an old brick factory. The kitchen is on view from most of the tables, including the wood-burning oven. The food is incredible. Fresh fish, game, and wonderful bread and veggies. The menu changes often. It has a full bar, good wines, and homemade desserts including an assortment of handmade chocolates or a plate of artisan cheeses.

In Bar Harbor the better restaurants, in my opinion, are Mache Bistro, McKay's, Maggie's, and Havana's. On the other side of the island, Red Sky in Southwest Harbor is a must-eat. All of these places have the freshest ingredients from local farmers and fishermen.

Bishop, California
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8. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Yum, can't wait to give those places a try. We'll keep Portland as a maybe.

Thanks

Maine
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9. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Hi again wannabeguide,

You asked about the drive between Kennebunkport and Portland. It's only about 1/2 an hour, unless there's lots of traffic, which usually isn't the case.

Portland is a fun little city worth visiting. However I'd still recommend Ogunquit as a southern base for several reasons. First it's extremely easy to get around as you can leave your car at your hotel and then walk EVERYWHERE i.e. to the beaches, the Marginal Way (a path along a bluff overlooking the ocean and very picturesque), Perkins Cove, restaurants, shops, galleries, etc. There's also summer theatre too. If you're into antiqueing, a drive along route 1 (just a few minutes from downtown Ogunquit) offers tons of shops. There are also trolleys that run all day so if the thought of walking a few blocks is not appealing or if you're loaded down with packages from shopping, just hop on and most likely it'll stop near your destination.

From Ogunquit you can easily drive to Kennebunkport (about 10 or 15 minutes), to Portland (about 30 to 45 minutes), to Freeport's discount outlets and of course LL Beans (about an hour or so). You could even take a day trip inland to the mountains.

From Oqunquit to Camden is about 2 hours or less depending on traffic and what speed you like to drive :).

Just thought I'd add my two cents in response to your last post.

cozyharbor

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Fall 2006 Maine Vacation

Hi~

I just read your post and it sounds identical to mine just posted. We are wanting to explore this September and have asked for advice on what to see. We love the food and the quaint B&B's. Planning a trip like this is fun but you really can benefit from a site like this. Good luck with your plans and have a great time.

We are traveling from Portland, Oregon.

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