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Thread: Coast of Maine

  1. Default Coast of Maine

    Iím planning a short roadtrip driving along the coastline of Maine for the end of this month. Iíll be leaving from my cousinís house near Portsmouth on a Friday morning and Iíd like to be in Portland by Sunday. I'll probably be headed past Portland and back-track to it on Sunday.

    Iím interested in taking a scenic drive along the coast, mainly to take nature / beach photos and short hikes (less than 2 hours). I was thinking of covering the southern coast on Friday and stay somewhere near Freeport. Then on Saturday either drive along some of the mid-coast or head to Camden and Mt. Battie Ė then head back and camp near Boothbay Harbor. Iíll be exploring Portland Sunday and Monday.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on places to stop along the way? Or perhaps a possible scenic route?

  2. #2
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    Default 53 miles in two days of travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by chameleon79 View Post
    Iíll be leaving from my cousinís house near Portsmouth on a Friday morning and Iíd like to be in Portland by Sunday.
    Um, is this Portsmouth, NH? If so, it is only 53 miles to Portland. I was going to recommend going to Deer Isle and Stonington Harbor -- but that is way north of Portland. Perhaps you could clarify this a little?

    Mark

  3. Default

    Yes, Portsmouth, NH. I was planning spending some time around Freeport and also camping, so I'd like to end up there in the late afternoon. I guess I wasn't sure if there were a lot of points to stop off at between the 2 places. If it means that I can sleep in, then I'm all for that!

    For the first leg, I was thinking of Marginal Way in Ogunquit, drive along Rt. 9 in Kennebunkport and maybe just walk along the beach and eat lunch. Anything else?

    If there's not much to see in the southern coast, then maybe I can plan to drive further up, camp near Boothbay Harbor the first night and then go to Deer Island. What's there?

  4. Default

    I just came from my first trip to Maine in July. I loved it. You can see some of my pictures here. We went and spent time mostly around Bar Harbor / Ellsworth area.

    On the way home we took Route 1 all the way down the coast. We stopped and had a bagel in Camden, looked in some shops and checked out the boats in the harbor. We also stopped in Wiscasset on our way to Bar Harbor in the beginning of the trip where a friend of ours wanted to stop and eat at Reds Eats which is supposed to be pretty good, but after waiting for 45 mintues they still weren't opened for business around 11:30 am, and the line was down the street, so we had to abandon that idea. But I got a lot of good pictures in the area.

    We went to Bailey's Island and to Cook's Restaurant for lunch - Cooks is really a popular place now, but my partner went when she was younger when it wasn't so well known. We kept up the tradition : )

    We had stopped in Freeport on our way into Maine, and besides the outlets we didn't really find much there.

    Continuing down 1, we headed into Portland to check out the lighthouse. I can't wait to go back to Portland to spend more time there - seemed like an awesome city.

    This long trip down the coast on our way back was unplanned (we initially planned to just drive home on Saturday) so we didn't have any lodging reservations for that night. I had read a lot about Ogunquit and I really wanted to check the town out and stay for the night, but there was no place with a vacancy that accepted pets. So we found a place in Kittery and headed down there.

    The distance you are traveling is very short - I agree with Mark that maybe you should venture North a bit. There is a lot of Southern Maine that I read about that I would like to explore next time we go up.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-08-2007 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  5. #5
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    Default Southern Maine Coast

    As a former resident of the area, here are just a few of my favorite spots on that stretch of coastline. Starting from Portsmouth, consider a stop at the Kittery Trading Post just over the river, especially if you don't think you'll be getting to L.L. Bean's in Freeport. Then be sure to see the Nubble just a short way up from there in York. The Marginal Way, of course, but poke around a bit in some of the other great coastal resorts such as Kennebunkport and Biddeford Pool. In Portland, the Portland Head Light and the nightlife in the old port district, but also take a quiet walk along the Eastern Promenade. North of Portland, you start getting into the 'rock-ribbed' coast, and if you get beyond Freeport and Bath, check out Colonial Pemaquid, and by all means, consider taking a ferry from Rockland to one of the islands in Penobscot Bay.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
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    Default There is plenty to see and do

    Quote Originally Posted by chameleon79 View Post
    I guess I wasn't sure if there were a lot of points to stop off at between the 2 places. If it means that I can sleep in, then I'm all for that!
    Sorry, but in over a decade of answering such queries, this was the first time that anyone has ever asked for ideas over such a small range of area over a two day period and I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. As you can see from the previous posts, there is enough to keep you busy for a week or two between Portsmouth and Portland.... (Much less two days...)

    Mark

  7. Default The evolution of this trip plan

    Thanks everyone for your replies so far – all of them have been really helpful.

    For Day 1, it’s looking like York (for Nubble), Ogunquit (for the Marginal Way), then Rt. 9 through Kennebunkport and maybe Biddeford Pool (which looks really cool), then to Cape Elizabeth (Two Lights State Park, Crescent Beach State Park, Portland Head Light), then to Freeport (there’s a brewery there I wanted to go to) and then to Boothbay Harbor. I saw a campgrounds nearby that seems promising.

    So Day 2 looks up in the air. I’m not sure a ferry ride will be possible – trying to keep the costs down on these 2 days so we can treat ourselves nicely in Portland on Day 3. Does the drive down to Pemaquid and then along Muscongus Bay provide a lot of scenery? Is there a better “peninsula” to drive along the bay (I’m just looking at the map – haven’t researched these areas yet). Maybe after, drive to Mt. Battie and find a campground either near Camden or Rockland – any suggestions?

    I think the Bar Harbor area is a little out of reach because we wanted to be in Portland before noon on Day 3. Maybe if the views aren’t so grand on Day 2 we’ll keep driving to Ellsworth / Bar Harbor and find a campground there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Sorry, but in over a decade of answering such queries, this was the first time that anyone has ever asked for ideas over such a small range of area over a two day period and I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.
    I read this forum a lot and I wanted to make sure I didn't over-extend myself and miss anything. I guess I did a complete 180deg from what I intended to do!

    We'll be driving from NJ > Portsmouth the night before, after work, and probably arriving after midnight, so we didn't want to hop back on the road in the morning and rush around trying to see everything.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-08-2007 at 12:52 PM. Reason: continuation of same idea

  8. #8
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    Default Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by chameleon79
    Does the drive down to Pemaquid and then along Muscongus Bay provide a lot of scenery? Is there a better "peninsula" to drive along the bay?
    Yes and no. All of the drives down the fingers that stick out into the Atlantic are scenic, and I really can't rate one as being "better" than another, Ocean Point, southeast of Boothbay Harbor is certainly nice, but my two favorites are the ones just east of Boothbay: Christmas Cove and Pemaquid Point. Leaving US-1 from Damariscotta, ME-129 will take you to Christmas Cove at the south end of Rutherford Island, and ME-130 will take you to Pemaquid Point. ME-32 will return you to US-1 at Waldoboro.

    Quote Originally Posted by chameleon79
    Iím not sure a ferry ride will be possible - trying to keep the costs down on these 2 days so we can treat ourselves nicely in Portland on Day 3.
    The ferries from Rockland over to either North Haven or Vinalhaven are only about $15 per person round trip. There is absolutely no need to drag your car over and back, particularly if you're just making a day trip to the town of Vinalhaven. But the "ocean cruise" and the chance to experience a unique way of life (Lobstering is still the major industry on the island) are worth the time and money, and something few tourists do.

    AZBuck

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    The ferries from Rockland over to either North Haven or Vinalhaven are only about $15 per person round trip. There is absolutely no need to drag your car over and back, particularly if you're just making a day trip to the town of Vinalhaven.
    Good to know! I'll definitely add this to the list because it would be great to visit at least 1 of the islands.

    Thanks!

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