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  1. Default Road Trip to ME from NJ - stay at Bangor and Portland,ME

    OK guys, I did some research on Maine coast lands in fodors and Google maps and other posts tagged as "ME" and trip reports on ME.

    Here's what I wanna do and below are my Qs :

    I'm planning to drive all the way up to Bangor,ME from NJ (where I live) and stay at a Hilton/Marriott in Bangor(racked up some points).I've skipped Boston/NH so I can concentrate on ME and I have about 5 days free of stay in Marriott/Hilton based on my points.I'm also thinking of splitting my stay betwen Bangor and Portland,ME.(Oh god,I have to tag ME for every Portland(ME) reference here,AAHHH!!)
    This is because Graduation Day's coming up on May 8-10 and hotels may not be available in Bangor,I heard.Hence the change of plan.

    After Portsmouth,NH,I'm planning to take RT-1 and drive to Bangor due to scenic route/coastal line, based on other responses.

    Places considering to visit are :

    Acadia NP
    Blue Hill Peninsula
    VinalHaven Island
    Mount Desert Island
    Bar Harbor

    Interests :

    Ocean related views
    Sea View
    Boats/Short Boat Trips
    Whale/Dolphin/Sea Life watching
    Light Houses
    Anything related to sea/water/ocean
    Places and Drive similar to Key West,FL

    Not Interested :

    Guided Tours
    Trails more than 2 miles
    Long Walking
    Standing in long Queue for visiting a place/center
    Wild Life, as am traveling alone, didn't wanna fall off the river (happened near Houston :-()

    Questions :

    Is Bangor a central spot to stay and drive to the above mentioned places?
    Is RT-1 a scenic route or should I stick to I-95?
    Is 3-4 days enough for these places for my interests?
    What places to skip to squeeze my Bangor Stay for 3-4 days?
    What places to not to miss while I stay at Bangor for 3-4 days?
    Should I split my stay in Bangor for 4 days to Portland,ME 2 days and Bangor 2 days? would that be helpful to cover places around Portland,ME and Places around,Bangor,ME?
    Should I reach first Bangor and cover the places around and descend to Portland on 3rd day ?
    Should I take RT-1 while driving from NJ to Bangor or drive all the way to Bangor on I-95 and cover RT-1 while returning? There's addl 50-75 miles,if I take RT-1,you know.
    Being an Asian/Indian,I have to ask this,Is ME safe?I'm concerned of hate crimes,racial discrimination etc (had some unpleasant experience in Arkansas,Missouri),Not to offend anyone?
    Are the above places mentioned are safe for driving in daytime/evenings?
    How about the traffic from NJ,I-95 to Bangor?
    Is it iffy,bumper to bumper,construction,bad roads,too many tolls?Any aDvice on that?
    will 10 hrs be realisitc for 440-498 miles from NJ to Bangor, thru I-95 direct, or I-95 and RT-1?

    I can stretch the stay to 5 days,if needed.Hence, any response would be great and thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Mostly Answers

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Bangor is NOT centrally, or even conveniently, located to the places and interests you have listed. It is, in fact, both too far 'Down East' and too far inland to serve as a good home base for a tour of coastal Maine. Take a look at Portland, Camden, Rockland or any town in that general area.

    South of Portland, US-1 is moderately heavily developed and not terribly scenic. but there are smaller highways and roads that follow the coast more closely, so get yourself a good, large scale map of the state. North of Portland, US-1 does become more scenic, but again, it does not follow the coast as there are a lot of inlets and peninsulas. You'll just have to drive out some of those 'rock-ribbed' fingers for the best of Maine.

    3-4 days is enough time to get a taste of Maine as long as that's in addition to the day to get there from NJ and the day to get back.

    Places to really try to get to include Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, some of the peninsulas between there and Portland, Camden and Portland, and L. L. Bean's in Freeport.

    You should have absolutely no problems in Maine. You would be hard pressed to find a more laid back and accepting group of people. Although I haven't lived there in over 20 years, I still consider myself a Maine-iac at heart. Finest kind.

    Between New Jersey and Maine, don't use either US-1 or I-95. Take I-287 around New York City and then I-684 north to I-84 through Connecticut to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) to I-495 well around Boston finally connecting with I-95 just before entering New Hampshire.


  3. Default Thanks AZBuck

    When I started planning,I didn't think of 2 addl days of driving,to and fro.
    The trips is now modified for 5 days incl 2 days of drive and my car rental's gonna be for a week.

    Thanks for the recommendation. am seriously thinking about your suggestions,BH and Acadia,Portland-ME,Camden.

    It's funny you mentioned that CT route.

    I used to live in Waltham,MA 7 years ago and to see my dudes in Stamford,CT,I used to take a parallel route similar to what you said.

    I forgot what it was,maybe it's your route,there used to tunnels on the way.

    Lemme Google it to verify.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I think the tunnel you are thinking of is on the Wilbur Cross Parkway.

    I would get to Rt 1 by taking 95 (Maine Tpk) to Portland, then 295 to Brunswick. Pick up 1 there for your run up the coast. LL Bean is off 295 in Freeport.

    If you are looking for a central location that's going to have a Hilton/Marriott property to see the whole coast from Portland to the Canadian border, I'm guessing that Portland, Augusta, and Bangor are going to be your only choices. Most towns on the coast don't have upscale chains, but mostly mom and pops and B&B's.

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