View Full Version : Maine Coast tips
The Village Idiot
05-19-2011, 04:53 PM
I'm looking at a 5 day trip along the Maine Coast, probably flying into Portland and out of Bangor for June (hopefully). We'd like to spend 2 days at Acadia/Bar Harbor and think we'll spend the first day/night in Portland, but beyond that we're just looking for suggestions. I've found some itineraries online, but thought I'd ask around here for any personal suggestions/faves on what to see/where to eat (endless lobsta and oysters please)/places to stay. While some shopping would be ok, it's not the main focus of our trip.
I'm looking at the 2nd itinerary here (starting at Portland) as a starting point so if there's any commentary on that, that'd be awesome:
Thanks in advance. :)
05-19-2011, 05:01 PM
Town festivals are a big thing in Maine. Listing here (http://www.maine.info/events/festivals/june.php). If it works for your schedule, the Wells Strawberry Festival is really fun. Too bad you're too early for the blueberries (July) or the Rockland lobsta festival (August).
05-19-2011, 07:32 PM
My girlfriend raves about a restaurant called Fore Street in Portland. I've not been but would dearly like to.
05-19-2011, 08:11 PM
I just went to Bar Harbor/Acadia last week for two days actually! I had never been there before, but it's really beautiful and I'd love to return. You're a bit luckier than my group was because we got there slightly too early for the "in season" so a lot of places were closed, but they'll be open in June.
I can only make recommendations for the Acadia portion of your trip, but hopefully, you'll find them useful:
-The sights along Park Loop Road. Some of the things that we stopped for were the Thunder Hole, Otter Point, and Sand Beach. They made for some great photo opportunities along the coast.
-The restaurant at Jordan Pond House. Unfortunately, this was closed when we were there, but I heard the food is really good (including seafood), and they have famous popover treats.
-HIKING! The hiking is really awesome in Acadia. I'm a hiking novice and was improperly dressed, but I still enjoyed it. An easy one to start out with is Gorham Mountain, since it's not that high and the rocks are smooth. A really fun one is up Sargent Mountain starting from Jordan Pond. It's more difficult, but the sights along the way are amazing. I felt like I was traveling through Middle Earth, haha. The Beehive is also really popular, but a lot of the trail goes straight up and you climb ladders/iron pegs to get to the top. I was too scared to do it, but I heard great things.
-If you can get up early enough, I also suggest driving up Cadillac Mountain to see the sun rise. It's really beautiful.
-Bar Harbor cruises. There should be whale watching cruises in June (wasn't available for us) but we did the Nature Cruise which was also nice. A bit pricey though.
-Bar Harbor itself is a nice little town with cute shops. My favorite restaurant was Geddy's because of the lively atmosphere. I think almost all of the restaurants there serve lobster and other seafood.
-Instead of a motel/hotel, we stayed in a cottage (http://www.hinckleyscottages.com/) which was fun and interesting. I was worried about cleanliness, but it turned out to be quite clean.
05-19-2011, 10:06 PM
Here in the Portland area, you might want to head out to Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. Classic rocky Maine coast. And you can grab something to eat at the Lobster Shack (http://www.lobstershacktwolights.com/directions.html). Their Lobster and crab rolls are the best. Very little mayo, mostly meat. Yum!
Stop in at Ft. Williams (http://www.capeelizabeth.com/visitors/attractions/fort_williams_park/home.html) on the way and you can see the iconic Portland Head Light (http://www.portlandheadlight.com/).There are the Freeport outlets if you’re into shopping. It does get crowded, though, and not much for quaintness.
Up the coast, try Boothbay Harbor (http://www.boothbayharbor.com/activities/). Again, there is a lot of shopping, but also boat cruises, and it does have some good coastal views. I recommend The Ebb Tide for meals, and if it’s in season, their peach shortcake. :swoon: It’s reasonable priced and it’s where the locals eat.
ETA: If you like Art Museums, The Portland Museum of Art is worth a look.
05-19-2011, 11:00 PM
Maine is one of my favorite places...wish I could go back soon! My husband and I have been to Bar Harbour a few times and mainly used it as a jumping off port-taking the wonderful "Cat" catamaran over to Nova Scotia. WOW! Great fun! LOVE Nova Scotia too.
But we also spent some time in both Camden and Rockport, which was exquisite. I think Camden was having a festival where everyone had "adopted" wooden bear sculptures and decorated them-painting or decoupaging them....they were adorable. Rockport was just gorgeous. I highly recommend it. Boothbay Harbour was a disappointment for me. It looked great with the tide in, but not out, and it was also really touristy and kinda cheap. I'm sure it had great places we just didn't get to. Had a really bad hotel experience there too. Like I said, maybe it was just us....I hate to be ugly about it.
If there's time, I greatly recommend Moosehead Lake. It's in the interior, but it doesn't take all that long to get there from the coast. It's beyond beautiful-by all means google it and look. We stayed at a lodge there and went on a moose sight-seeing EARLY morning venture - NOT hunting! - just trolling to see moose out in the wild. The guy who led us had a jeep and on the front he had a big sign that said "Moose Whisperer." Great guy, great experience. WAH! Now I want to go back!
05-20-2011, 01:15 AM
Depending on how long you have in Portland, think about taking one of the ferries around Casco bay. Too bad you only have a few days because you could spend so much time exploring up and down the coast.
05-20-2011, 11:04 AM
True. Maine has something like three thousand miles of coastline if you could stretch it all out...:)
The Village Idiot
05-20-2011, 02:45 PM
Yeah, it's longer than the coast of CA, if I recall reading correctly. We've never been before so we figured focusing between the 2 airports is a good start.
Thanks for the tips everyone! I'll check them out. I might be back with some more questions this weekend as planning progresses. :)
05-20-2011, 10:13 PM
My niece and I took a whale watching trip from Bar Harbor. We saw quite a few whales close up (they gather in the Gulf Stream in the summer). We were impressed. It is approximately a 2 hour boat ride in the open ocean and quite windy, so if you are prone to seasickness beware. No one on our trip got sick.
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