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Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

chicago, IL
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295 posts
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Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

Spending a week in August, first in Portland, then visiting relatives in Raymond. From there we've got three nights booked in Bar Harbor. I'm wondering about how to route us to Bar Harbor. I know the quickest route is the highway, but I'd really like to see at least some of Rt 1 on the way up, perhaps the Camden area? We only have the day to get to Bar harbor, no time to overnite elsewhere, but I would like to experience the beauty of the Maine coast as much as possible. I would really appreciate suggestions on how to plan our day of travel. We'll be traveling on Monday, so traffic should be less difficult than the weekend.

Thanks for all suggestions.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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1. Re: Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

At that time in August, it doesn't make much difference re: week days vs. weekends---at least not once you get past the stretch of I95 from Boston to Portland. I'm hoping that Mainer on the Go will weigh in with more specific advice. I wouldn't get on to Rte. 1 until at least Rockland. The Rockland/Camden area can be slow going because Rte. 1 carries all of the local and business traffic as well the tourism traffic, and all of it goes through the center of those towns.

One possibility is Rte. 17 from Augusta to Rockland or 17 to 90 and on to Rockport (which would allow you to avoid Rockland).

Central Maine
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for Maine
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2. Re: Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

Thanks for the reference, CW.....

Original Poster posted her question on both the "Maine" and "Bar Harbor" Forums.... I happened to see it on the Maine Forum first and posted my suggestion(s) there....

But, just in case she missed it, I've done a cut-and-paste (which I believe is still OK under Trip Advisor rules since it was my own post originally) so it also shows up here...

A couple of possible choices that will give you a look at some of the Maine coast and still get you to Bar Harbor in reasonable fashion....

Not sure just where you're staying in Raymond, but from wherever it is, you'll want to start out by getting yourself to Gray, ME so you can take I-95 north to Augusta.

Option 1: Coming north on I-95, take Exit 109 for Augusta and bear right toward US 202/ME 17 East. From Augusta, take ME Rt 17 east to Rockland, check out the Rockland breakwater and lighthouse, then head north on Rt 1 for stops at Camden Harbor and the Mt Battie Auto Road in Camden Hills State Park just north of downtown Camden. Then continue north on Rt 1 past the small rocky beach at Lincolnville Beach and on through Belfast, the coastal town of Searsport, and on to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory just south of Bucksport. After your trip to the top of the observatory and back, continue north on US Rt 1 and ME Rt 3 (they're running together at this point) to Ellsworth, where Rt 1 and Rt 3 separate.... then take Rt 3 on to Bar Harbor. This route should take about four hours driving time, not counting stops along the way.

Option 2: Take I-95 north to Exit 113 for ME Rt 3 in Augusta. Take ME Rt 3 east to Belfast, where it joins US Rt 1 east. Follow US Rt 1/ME Rt 3 east to Ellsworth, passing through Searsport, stopping at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge obsevatory, and on to Ellsworth, where Rt 1 and Rt 3 split. Follow Rt 3 from Ellsworth to Bar Harbor. This route will take about three and one-half hours driving time not counting stops.

Either of these routes will give you more coastal scenery than taking I-95 north all the way to Bangor, then using I-395, US 1A and ME Rt 3 to get to Bar Harbor. It's really a matter of how much time you want to spend along the way and how much of the mid-coast you want to see. But remember: neither Option 1 nor Option 2 has long stretches of continual coastal views... US Rt 1 runs just inland enough along most of the Maine coast that you get occasional glimpses of an ocean inlet or bay, but it's not mile-after-mile-after-mile of beside-the-water driving.

chicago, IL
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3. Re: Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

Thanks so much. Yes, I saw your response in both forums. I wasn't really sure which one to use. I think we'll try your route into Rockland, this sounds like we'll hit a lot of the highlights before Acadai. Once we get to Acadia, any suggestions other than the obvious, hiking and biking the park?c We should have 2.5 days there. Any boat trips you recommend? Best places for lobster? Thurstons or otherwise? Made one dinner reservation at Fathom based on numerous reviews, need two more nights of eats, and we're big foodies! I really appreciate your help.

Cheri

Bar Harbor, Maine
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4. Re: Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

Make a reservation at Mache Bistro. Really, really good. It's my favorite on the island. Thurston's is good, but I wouldn't say you HAVE to go there. It's just lobster, which you can get almost anywhere. Lunch or afternoon tea at the Jordan Pond House is great.

Lots of good boat trips. I wouldn't bother with the whale watch. It takes too much time for what it is. Maybe Diver Ed. Or the mailboat from Northeast Harbor out to Isleford, but with only two and a half days I wouldn't do that.

chicago, IL
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5. Re: Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

Thanks so much. Took your advice and made a reservation at Mache. Laughed at your comment that " you can get lobster anywhere." I'm from Chicago, and in Chicago, "not so much"! I love lobster and plan on eating it at least once a day in some form during our week in Maine!

6. Re: Traveling to Bar Harbor from Raymond

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