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2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

Ventura, California
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2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

2 adults & 2 children (13 & 17) from coast of California visiting Maine for 2-3 days June 29-July 1 then onto Boston. We want to maximize our time. Love the outdoors, beautiful beaches, little bit of history and quaint towns (for mom), good food. What would you suggest we see and visit in such a short period of time and try and make everyone in car happy. Made reservations for 2 nights in Portland as a base. Can change if availability elsewhere.

Thank you

Central Maine
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1. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

With the limited time you have available, Portland can make a good "base" location....

Since there's no indication of how your're arriving in Portland (car, train, plane) or what time of day you'll arrive, I'd use whatever time you have available on the 29th exploring Portland itself -- the Old Port District of rehabilitated waterfront buildings which now house an interesting collection of shops, botiques and great restaurants. If you have time, take a Casco Bay Ferry ride (the Mail Boat Run is a popular trip if you have the time) for an interesting view of the city and Maine island life. Or take the short ride over to Portland Head Light lighthouse in nearby Cape Elizabeth to see the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Atlantic seaboard (and get some great photos as well) -- you can Google it for pics and driving directions.

The next day, the 30th, head north for a day-trip that could include stops at world-famous L.L. Bean's flagship and outlet stores in Freeport, a visit to downtown Bath (Mom's small town), and then take Rt 127 (off Rt 1 just after you cross the bridge over the Kennebec River between Bath and Woolwich) down to Reid State Park for one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in Maine. Could be fairly busy on a Saturday if the weather is good, but so will the other beaches in Maine....this one offers a chance to check the chilly Atlantic or swim in a somewhat warmer lagoon area. Straight-thru driving time from Portland to Reid, with no stops, is just over an hour, so you might think about spending the morning in Freeport, having lunch overlooking South Freeport harbor at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster, then continuing on to Bath and Reid after lunch. If you have time on your way back to Portland, check out the Maine Audobon Society's Gilsland Farm in Falmouth for a chance to spend a little more time outside, walk the mixed habitat (woods, fields and shoreline) and enjoy being outdoors in Maine.

And on the 31st, head south for a day of poking your way along the southern Maine coast on your way to Boston. Potential stops along the way could include: Scarborough Marsh Nature Center, village of Kennebunkport, Kennebunkport Beach, Old Orchard Beach (although a bit more commercial and honky-tonk than most of the other southern beaches), village of Ogunquit and it's Perkin's Cove area (could be busy on a Sunday so plan on exercising patience for driving and parking there), York Beach, and another great lighthouse at The Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach. Then on through New Hampshire to Boston area.

Note: Most of the locations and attractions noted above can be Googled for added info, driving directions, etc.

Wolcott, Connecticut
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2. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

Portland is good base. There are great places to eat and shop and they have a really quality art museum. Lots of places to walk along the shore. Casco Bay ferries are always a hit. Kettle Cove State Park and Crescent Beach State Park are just south of the city on Cape Elizabeth. Nice places to swim if you're ok with cold water. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is just up the road. Best location to get lobster rolls (and other food) as it's right on the water. Loads of outdoor seating. The kids might like the Delorme Map store just off the highway in Yarmouth/Freeport. It has a huge, revolving globe of the earth (to scale). It's pretty cool and on your way to LL Bean. Perkins Cove in Ogunquit is lovely; if you can find a place to park try to walk along Marginal Way. It's one of those big bang for your buck places. The one thing to keep in mind is that traffic on Rt 1 will be heavy in July, especially on a weekend. You may want to spend your time exploring the Portland area and then just drive straight back to Boston on the highway.

Ventura, California
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3. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

Thank you so much! We were considering Camden and Lincolonville, but with our limited time, do you feel we would get the same sort of experience just going to all the places you mentioned?

Southern Maine
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4. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

Camden and Lincolnville are nice, but on a weekend leading into the Fourth of July, you'd be dealing with traffic and not getting as much time to explore.

You've received great suggestions so far. I would add that your kids may really enjoy Old Orchard Beach. Great beach and a waterfront amusement park. It is a bit "honky-tonk," but I've yet to meet a tween or teen who doesn't enjoy it.

Ventura, California
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5. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

Thank you!

Central Maine
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6. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

Camden and Lincolnville are great little towns....but given the age of your kids, I suspect they'll be much happier using Portland as your base....and you'll save all that extra driving on one of the busiest traffic weeks of the summer.

7. Re: 2 &1/2 - 3 days in Maine. Where should we go?

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