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More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

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More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

I have 4 days to explore Boston (5 nights) with an extra night beforehand in mid-May. We would like to go North by way of Salem to Southern Maine or south by way of Plymouth to Cape Cod. We are not shoppers, but enjoy beautiful scenery (especially on the water), good food and some history. (Hubby will tire of that, though)

Which is more scenic? Is Rockport as scenic as going further north or south?

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Salem
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Plymouth
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Cape Cod
Cape Cod
Massachusetts
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1. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

You could also look into Newport, RI....a few more things going on Mid May than the Cape and easier to cover if you just have 1 day....

check out:

www.cliffwalk.com

www.oceandrivenewport.com

www.gonewport.com

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PlanetX
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2. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

This is bound to be an interesting thread. It's open to debate I think. Here's my opinion. I'm sure you'll get plenty more to compare...

Rockport is a lovely seaside town that reminds me of many spots on the Cape. It's tiny, but it's great for tourists who plan to be based in Boston and would like a taste of that Cape Cod artsy seaside town feel. Southern Maine has a variety of locales...famous lighthouses, honky-tonk beaches with amusements (York, OldOrchard)...incredibly great seafood places, etc. Boothbay Harbor (much farther up) is a very charming town...

Plymouth has a lovely seaside area with shops and a Mayflower replica, restaurants, etc. Very pretty. Plimouth Plantation is farther inland. The Cape has truly lovely tiny little towns, oceanfront areas, etc. The thing about the Cape I love is the SMELL... nopace smells quite like the Cape... I love the fresh scented Cape air. Beautiful. Newport RI is not impossibly far from the Cape.

If you like scenic drives, the Cape offers the bonus of the Canal and the roads alongside it, the two bridges and the various lookouts etc. There are also many different towns on the Cape, so... there's a lot to choose from.

You might take the opinions that this post generates and do some web surfing of your own to get a better sense of the various places mentioned.

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Cape Ann, MA
Cape Cod
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3. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

I think both ideas are super, but I'll put my vote in for Cape Cod. It's a really easy 1 hour drive to reach the bridge and your on the Cape. Less confusing roadtrip since it's 93 south to route 3 south. Plymouth is right off of 3, so it's an easy pit stop. If you love quaint little towns, cute shops, sandy beaches with grassy dunes, lots of flowers, then the Cape will be forever etched in your minds. This is not to say that Maine is not beautiful because it is, but since you only have one day, the Cape seems a better choice.

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4. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

I'd vote for the Northern route, since I hate the traffic on the Cape. Rockport can get busy too, but at least you don't have to put up with the bridges when heading up there. You could catch a little bit of history on the way back down to Boston by visiting Minuteman park in Concord and Lexington, before heading into the city for your stay.

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Cape Ann, MA
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5. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

My Favorite places that are less than a 2 hour drive from Boston:

North - Coastal

Rockport, Gloucester, Newburyport, Portsmouth, NH, Ogunquit Maine

North - Lakes and Mountains- Favorite places:

Meredith, Wolfeboro,North Conway, Franconia Notch, all in NH

South-Coastal

Cape Cod- (Hyannis, Chatham, Falmouth) or Nantucket

Newport, Rhode Island is a great choice (tour the Mansions, walk the Cliff Walk or eat a fantastic meal)

Historical- Lexington/Concord (including Walden Pond) Salem, Plymouth

(You also have the coast for both Plymouth and Salem)

I am sure this did not help you decide. We are blessed that there are so many choices here in the Boston Area.

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Rockport
Rockport
Cape Ann, MA
Gloucester
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Cape Ann, MA
Newburyport
Newburyport
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Cape Cod
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Hyannis
Hyannis
Cape Cod, MA
Chatham
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Cape Cod, MA
Falmouth
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Cape Cod, MA
Nantucket
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Newport
Newport
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Lexington
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6. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

Ogunquit in southern ,maine has a lovely walk called the marginal way,lots of scenery directly on the rocky coast and only a little over an hour from boston.Great food and some beautiful scenery without a very long drive. Portsmouth in n.h. also has a historic old downtown.

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7. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

Here are some ideas for the northern MA coast, New Hampshire coast, and southern Maine.

On the way to Ogunquit (80 miles, 1 1/2 hour from Boston), you could stop in Newburyport with its charming town center, interesting shops and Colonial mansions, and the lovely Plum Island national seashore park.

Back on route 95, over the Pisquataqua River bridge (You could also stop here in Portsmouth, N.H., which has lots of restaurants, shops and activities such as harbor and island boat excursions.) and into southern Maine to see the classic lighthouse in York.

http://lighthouse.cc/capeneddick/

Then up the shore raod to Ogunquit and its Perkins Cove, shops in town center, Marginal Way coastal walk, beautiful beach and river and restaurants for lunch.

A few miles further is Wells with the Laudholm Farm seaside nature reserve.

If you go even a little further, you can go into Kennebunkport and out to see the 1st Bush's house, before returning to Boston.

It's a very long day, but doable (We have often done some combination of the above when we have hosted visitors in Boston.), if you make some choices of the abovementioned places.

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8. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

Just be careful if you decide to go out and see the Bush compound. Some who have gone were never seen or heard from again! {being from Texas, I think you'll be ok} JK Ya'll

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9. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

I'm interested in this post, because I am trying to make the same decision and based on the responses I STILL don't know which way to go! So much to choose from and so little time! I've narrowed mine down to driving out to the Cape or up around Orunquit to enjoy the ocean views. Decisions, decisions! My husband is about to strangle me for my indecisiveness! He wants to make a reservation out of Boston heading North or South for when we arrive, but I can't tell him which way to go. (Well actually, I do quite often, just not for this trip!)ha

Quincy...
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10. Re: More scenic: Lower coast of Maine or Cape Cod?

Hi,

I really think this is a basically un-answerable question. It's like asking which one is better, London or Paris? They are different, and both very much worth visiting.

I'd flip a coin, pick a direction, and plan to visit us again sometime, to see what you may have missed.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France