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Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Clarence Center...
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Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Early Sept '14 trip from Boston to Ogunquit. We are really looking for the best small, walkable towns along or near the coast from Boston. I see so much on TA about Marblehead, Gloucester & Rockport. They all look great but we also want a place to land that we can explore during the day by car, and come back and walk to dinner/drinks. We will stay in several places over the course of about 10 days. I can investigate the things each town has to offer but would really appreciate a list of towns up the coast btw Boston and Ogunquit that we should not miss! Thanks to all for your help!

13 replies to this topic
North Shore, MA
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1. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

You can explore the area north of Boston by car from any of the towns you named. Depending on the accommodations you choose, you can walk to a downtown area with restaurants in each town. You could add Salem and Newburyport, MA and Portsmouth, NH to your list of places to consider staying. Include Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex, and Newbury in your daytime explorations.

Winchester...
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2. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Newburyport MA and Portsmouth NH.

MA
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3. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Second Portsmouth, NH. if you stay downtown, you can keep your car parked and walk to many different restaurants for dinner, some with a water view. Downtown hotels include Residence Inn, Sheraton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hotel Portsmouth. You can also walk to Strawbery Banke, an outdoor museum of restored old Portsmouth homes.

Sudbury...
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4. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Newburyport and Portsmouth are definitely the easiest to access. Gloucester, Rockport, Marblehead, etc will take you at least 30 mins out of your way whereas the other two are right off i95 on the way to Maine.

Both towns are on the water, easily walkable, cheap and usually easy parking except on busy summer weekend nights, tons of restaurants, bars and shops to choose from.

North Shore, MA
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5. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

I understood that the OP wanted to stay in several places over 10 days in which case detours to Marblehead and Cape Ann would be inconsequential.

Boston...
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6. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Being a big fan of Portsmouth, may I suggest the Hotel Portsmouth? Rather than a chain, it's a recently re-furbished old inn. It's in one of the lovely old Victorians, an easy and pleasurable walk from downtown. Also within easy walking distance to many good restaurants.

I stayed there in May, and recommend it highly. The staff is eager to please. They really want you to love the place.

http://www.thehotelportsmouth.com/the-hotel/

Boston...
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7. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

I think the experts have given great suggestions, just want to add -

If you have lot of time, I would leave Boston for Salem,MA. With Salem as a base, I would explore Marblehead & Cape Ann towns - Rockport & Gloucester.

From Salem, head to Newburyport & Plum Island for a day or two. After leaving Newburyport, drive to Salisbury beach & from there take Route 1A all the way to Portsmouth. After spending sometime in Portsmouth, continue on Route1/Route 1A to Ogunquit.

North Shore, MA
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8. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Good ideas from RelaxByTravel.

On the tiny NH coast be sure to cover Routes 1A and 1B. Search the NH Forum for more detailed information on this pretty area.

Massachusetts
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9. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

All above are great ideas. Add in Hampton NH and York ME and have fun.

Clarence Center...
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10. Re: Driving from Boston up to S. Maine-Need list of best towns

Fantastic suggestions! Thanks everyone--you have given me lots to work with. I should have mentioned that we probably will not do Boston this trip. It was just our starting point for what we really want to see. We have explored much of the Maine coastline and now want to get everything in-between Boston and Southern Maine. I'm sure I'll be back on here to get restaurants and places to stay once I can get our itinerary mapped out. Thanks again, you are all wonderful!!

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