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So Many Questions.....

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Succasunna, NJ
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338 posts
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So Many Questions.....

First, let me say that I love the state of Maine. I think I must have lived there in another life. My wife and I have visted quite a few times, (York, Ogunquit, etc. We've visited Portland, Freeport and spent some time in Boothbay Harbor about ten years ago. However, we've never been north of Boothbay. (Shame on us.) So we plan to correct that this August. I've read about the traffic but late summer is our only option this year.

We will have 7-10 days and would like to visit several towns along the way. We will be driving up from NJ and would like some feedback from you on where to spend our time. We are both 61, and as evidienced by our frequent visits to Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, etc, we like to visit small towns, do some shopping, walking/light hiking, spend some time at the beach, finding great little places to eat your amazing seafood and take in as much of your gorgeous scenery as possible. We were thinking of spending a couple of nights in Boothbay and maybe the same in Camden and of course up in Bar Harbor. My questions are.....

Would you suggest more than two nights in each of those towns and how many for Bar Harbor?

Are there other towns you would suggest we visit along the way?

What are some of the must see things to do and see downeast?

I've read conflicitng suggestions on whether to stay along Rt 1 and the coast or go back out to the main roads to avoid traffic. We always prefer sticking to the backroads for all the obvious reasons but we understand the traffic concerns especially around Wicasset. So what would be the best way to travel, considering the time of year?

I'm sorry for the long question but I wanted to give you an idea of what we enjoy doing, where we've been and your feedback on where we should visit.

As always, thank you so much for your time.

Wolcott, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
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907 posts
156 reviews
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1. Re: So Many Questions.....

Although I love Camden and Rockport and Rockland I would avoid them all at the end of August. The traffic on Rt 1 just kills it for us. You could take Rt 95 all the way up to Augusta and then cut over to the coast. Deer Isle, Blue Hill, Stonington are lovely places to visit for a 2-3 days. Not a lot of people go there because they really are out of the way. You'd get to go over the great bridge in Bucksport and ride to the top to the observation room if the weather is good. It's a pretty short trip from that point over to Bar Harbor. Since you've never been there I think you'll be totally blown away by the sheer beauty of the area. I love Maine and also spend time in York, Portland etc just because it's closer. However, every year when we go back up to Bar Harbor and Acadia we are overwhelmed all over again by the rocks and the views and the ocean. It's an amazing place and it looks like nowhere else on the coast.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5,793 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: So Many Questions.....

I agree with mrsomes. It always seems like the traffic in Bar Harbor is far less than the traffic in Camden and Rockland. I suppose that makes sense because Route 1 goes right through the downtown areas of those two towns, whereas Bar Harbor is the end-of-the-line. Noone goes through Bar Harbor headed to some place else.

My suggestion would be to come straight up to the Acadia area, settle in some place, tour the Park, and then do some day trips to places like Stonington (maybe even taking the boat out to Isle au Haut) and also go east to what is truly Downeast Maine: Machias, Lubec, Eastport.

Succasunna, NJ
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338 posts
113 reviews
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3. Re: So Many Questions.....

Thank you both for your suggestions. I know I"m coming at a very busy time but I have no choice since my wife teaches. I've always wanted to see Camden so I'll have to think about the traffic situation a little more. We're from NJ so to a certain extent traffic is relative for us.

How many days would you suggest for Bar Harbor and can either of you suggest a beach where we can relax for a good part of a day?

Thank you again for the suggestions. I'll be checking on those little towns to gather more information.

Wolcott, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
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907 posts
156 reviews
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4. Re: So Many Questions.....

Sand Beach is by far the largest beach on the island. It's a nice place to hang out for the day. There are trails that you can pick up from there if you decide to do some hiking. It's lovely but it's not like the beaches in NJ. The water temp is really cold, even at the end of the summer. There is also a beach over at Echo Lake on the other side of the island. Sandy with warm water swimming. As far as how much time in Bar Harbor...we spend 3 weeks there every year and have been doing so for over 20 years. Every time we go we discover some place we've never seen. So my answer would be as much time as you can.

New York, New York
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5. Re: So Many Questions.....

If you follow Bonnie's advice and come right up to the Acadia area, you'll be able to fulfill a lot of your goals. To visit small towns, you should see Bass Harbor (including the lighthouse) and Southwest Harbor. For shopping, go to Bar Harbor. For walking/light hiking, explore Acadia's carriage roads. The site below gives lots of ideas for lobster pounds and other restaurants on Mount Desert Island:

www.ouracadia.com

6. Re: So Many Questions.....

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