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Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

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New York, NY
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Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

Hi all!

Planning a trip with mom to Bar Harbor-first time for both of us.

I'm Interested in making the most of the trip there and back, so thought it would be nice to get there on a leisurely pace so we can make a few scenic stops along the Maine Coast along the way

Was thinking should drive as far as possible, to maybe NH/ME border, stay at a motel for the night, then get up early the next morning and make our way to Bar Harbor.

1. Do you think that's a good idea, or do you think that still leaves too much ground to cover to get to Bar Harbor by dinner time? (IF so, is there a specific town/village along the Maine Coast you'd recommend staying in for that night?)

2. Which route do you recommend-- Route 1 all the way, or Taking 95 and then making select exits at the specific points/places we want to make pit stops at?

3. Which towns/places do you most recommend seeing/visiting en route to Bar Harbor?

4. When we return, I want to do the opposite, and go back as quickly as possible (I have to take mom all the way back to PA), so what is the quickest route?

THANK YOU!

Central Maine
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1. Re: Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

I like your idea of splitting up the trip -- NYC to Bar Harbor driving straight through would be about nine hours, not counting stops for bathrooms/food/gas etc....

On the other hand, NYC to, say, Portsmouth, NH is about five hours, giving you time for stops along the way, something more than a drive-thru for lunch, a chance to see a bit of Portsmouth (check out the Strawberry Banke section) and a nice dinner -- we like Warren's, across the bridge in Kittery, Maine for it's seafood. Then, the next day, it's about four hours from Portsmouth to Bar Harbor (depending on route)... A few thoughts for that day: -- just after you cross into Maine, swing over to York Beach for a quick peek (and a photo or two) of The Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach (you can Google it for driving directions from I-95). Then get back on I-95 and head north (you could take Rt 1 north and see the village of Ogunquit, but it's a notorious traffic choke-point and could slow you down by as much as an hour by the time you get through town -- and depending on your/Mom's interests, you could stay on Rt 1 (or get off I-95 at Kennebunk) for a ride by Pres. George Bush's family compound and a visit to the Dock Square area of Kennebunkport....taking another hour or more). Stay (or get back onto I-95 at Kennebunk) on I-95 to I-295 north to Gardiner, then back on I-95 to Augusta, where you'll pick up Maine Rt 17 east at Exit 109 and follow it to Maine Rt 90, which will connect you to US Rt 1 in Rockport. Then take Rt 1 North to Ellsworth, with possible stops at the Camden Harbor Waterfront, the Mt Battie Auto Road in Camden Hills State Park in Camden, or the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory just south of Bucksport. Maine Rt 3 joins Rt 1 along the way and you'll follow Rt 3 all the way to Bar Harbor. Or -- to save about an hour, stay on I-95 to Exit 113 in Augusta, which will put you on ME Rt 3 east, which you'll follow all the way to Bar Harbor -- this would eliminate the chance to see Camden, but you could still do the Penobscot Narrows Observatory if you wished.

When you're ready to leave Bar Harbor and get back to NYC/PA as quickly as possible, take Rt 3 from Bar Harbor to Ellsworth, US Rt 1A North to Brewer, I-395 to Bangor and I-95 south from there. It's slightly longer than retracing your route along parts of US Rt 1, but will give you more divided, controlled-access highway driving and fewer small village downtowns to slow you down....

Wolcott, Connecticut
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2. Re: Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

So how long is your trip and what time of year are you going? If you only have a week and it's in the summer I'd go up to southern maine, spend the nite and go up to Bar Harbor the next day. I'd take 95/295/95 all the way up to Bangor and then shoot over to Bar Harbor from there. The traffic on Rt 1 in the summer can kill the best laid plans. If it's off season you could take 95/295 as far as either Brunswick or Augusta, cut across and go up the coast. From Augusta you could go to the top of the bridge in Bucksport that MOTG mentions above; you could also take a few hours and go down to Deer Isle/Blue Hill/Stonington. All beautiful spots.

New York, NY
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3. Re: Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

We're looking to go in mid or late September, which brings me to my next question--is that a good time to go? We prefer to travel off season when crowds aren't at their peak, but don't want to go too offseason when things aren't fully up and running

NYC area
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4. Re: Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

I would suggest stopping in Kennebunkport, Maine, rather than Portsmouth, NH. Your mother would probably be interested in driving by Walker Point, the Bush estate, and the area around there is gorgeous to look at. I would also drive out to Cape Porpoise to see the lobster boats and perhaps have a lobster there. The town of Kennebunkport has a number of cute little shops and some very good restaurants. I would suggest the Green Heron Inn as a possible place to stay in Kennebunkport. It is about a 1/2 mile or so walk into Dock Square and right next to Mabel's which is where Barbara Bush likes the lobster rolls. If you like real fried clams, the whole ones, be sure to try The Clam Shack. Whatever you decide, have a wonderful trip. Maine is beautiful.

Wolcott, Connecticut
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5. Re: Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

Mid to late Sept is beautiful. It's one of our favorite times to be there. It's after the summer rush but before the leaf peepers. Everything is still open but there are very few people.

6. Re: Trip with Mom to Bar Harbor from NY - a few questions :)

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