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  1. Default From Maryland to Maine/New England

    Hi Guys!

    We will be taking a much needed short vacation this coming weekend. We would be leaving from Baltimore, MD to stay at a BnB in Bingham, ME. We plan to leave on this Thursday morning and come back on the 4th. Plan to make Bingham as staging base for taking day trip to close by location. We employed a similar strategy 2 summers ago when we went to the Outer Banks, NC and did day trips to nearby locations.

    I love to drive and can do 300 miles or so day trips. So, with the help of you fantastic guys at this forum, I would like to come up with a must see places list which we can see in the limited time without tiring ourselves to death. This is the few places we have come up with so far:-

    1. Towns and Places to see on the Maine Coast line (Please suggest the must see places)
    2. Foray into Canada?
    3. White mountain National Park, NE
    4. Arcadia National Park, ME

    I know the time is short and there is only can see. Therefore, hoping to relying on the expertise of you guys to undertake an enjoyable vacation in the most efficient manner possible.

    Thanks in advance to everyone

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,546

    Default

    A few summers ago, we spent a few days in Maine - drove a bit along the coast on two occasions, and went into Acadia (no r) NP. I would guess that lobster is already "in season" and may be reasonably priced this year. My husband's "must" was to have fresh lobster, and he got it.

    As for your foray into Canada....if you aren't aware of it, American citizens are required to carry a passport, passport card or Nexus (sp?) card for reentry into the US after that "quick foray" into Canada.



    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Hard Drives

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I used to routinely 'commute' between the very southern tip of Maine and Wilmington DE. I had the advantage of driving at night (those were my normal working hours) when there was essentially no traffic whatsoever. Even so, that was a full eight hour drive with no stops. You're proposing to drive an additional 200 miles through the teeth or one of the worst traffic weekends in existence. On the face of it, 620 miles 'only a bit' over the 550 miles we recommend as a full day's drive and 'just a hair' over what's legally permissible for a professional long-haul driver. But given the route of your drive (the infamous Ho Chi Mihn Trail up through the BosWash Corridor) and the time of your drive (as noted, one of the worst traffic weekends of the year), this is not a drive that will leave you in any condition to enjoy the Friday after you arrive, certainly not one that will leave you wanting to drive another 300 miles.

    So, obviously I don't envy you your drive. But assuming you make it in one piece I'd strongly suggest that you stick pretty close to home on the Friday. Bingham ME is essentially in the middle of nowhere and that's what you should enjoy. Perhaps a short drive on scenic US-201, perhaps up to Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake, or (in the other direction) Mount Blue State Park near Farmington some hiking or boating.

    Then, when you've recovered a bit from your drive up, a longer day trip on Saturday. The nearest 'interesting' destination would be northern New Hampshire, but with a caveat. Throughout this long weekend, you're going to have to watch out for temporary closures of major roads as the small towns that sit athwart them shut them down for an hour or two so that they can have their Fourth of July Parades. This is a tradition in this area (and others). While I would expect most of those parades to be on Monday the 4th rather than Saturday, I wouldn't be terribly surprised at parades on any day that weekend, even all three of them in different towns. But with that in mind, you should be able to get to some combination of (but not all of) White Mountain National Forest, the Mount Washington Auto Road, the Patte Brook Auto Tour before returning home. I would strongly recommend that you avoid the Kancamagus Highway west out of Conroy NH because it is going to be absolutely bumper-to-bumper all weekend. An alternative would be ME-113 south from US-2 near the ME-NH state line through Evans Notch.

    That leaves Sunday for your coast day, and that's perhaps best since most folks will already be at their destinations by then rather than on the roads. For the same reason I cautioned against the Kancamagus, I'd also suggest that you skip Acadia and head for a less well visited coastal site. One of my favorites is Pemaquid Point, a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic south of Damariscotta. It's relatively easy to get to from Bingham via US-201, I-95 ME-9/ME-27. and US-1, and besides the great views of Muscongus Bay there's Colonial Pemaquid, and the ferry over to Monhegan Island for a taste of Maine that few tourists avail themselves of.

    And finally, you'll have to repeat that brutal drive back down the east coast to Baltimore. I hope you don't have to work the next day!

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    You are going to be just a bit early for lobster season.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the generous advise. I am kind of thinking twice about the whole thing after reading about the packed roads. I cannot stand bumper to bumper traffic jams.

    For now, I am thinking the following:

    - A stop in Boston for the Freedom trail.
    - A drive along the Maine coast.
    - Trip to Pemaquid Point and the ferry over to Monhegan Island
    - Finally, if possible the Mount Washington Auto Road tour

    One thing I would like to ask, if there is a way bypass NYC on road to Boston from Baltimore? I would ideally have skipped the entire NJ Turnpike as well if it would not take that long. I prefer backroads and small town drives but the downside is the time it takes to get there. However, there is always a cleaver way to get around without sacrificing too much time. In case anyone knows about this? This is where the forum and you guys come into play.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-28-2016 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Removed quote of entire previous post

  6. Default

    I know! But still hoping to grab a good bite.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    You are going to be just a bit early for lobster season.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default In This Case

    Yes, there are ways around New York City and to avoid the New Jersey Turnpike, but the main thing that would make using such routes possible in your case is the fact that you are shortening this trip by over a hundred miles and only going to Boston. That (with the detour around New York) will lower your total miles on Thursday to right around 500. But note that it will have you arriving in Boston during rush hour at the start of a holiday weekend.

    In any event, the 'detour': Take I-83 out of Baltimore up to Harrisburg and get on I-81 up to Scranton. There switch over to I-84 through Connecticut and into Massachusetts. Finally I-90, the Mass Pike, will take you all the way into downtown Boston. If you want a break from the Interstates, you can take I-78 east shortly after Harrisburg, take that to Allentown-Bethlehem and PA-33 north. That will eventually join up with US-209 which you'd take through the Delaware Water Gap and pick up I-84 at its northern end. Then continue as above. That alternative route is a little bit shorter in miles but will take just a bit longer to drive due to the slower roads.

    If you spend your last night in New England somewhere in central Massachusetts/southern New Hampshire/southern Vermont, then you can use the same 'detour' to get home.

    AZBuck

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    A few summers ago, we spent a few days in Maine - drove a bit along the coast on two occasions, and went into Acadia (no r) NP. I would guess that lobster is already "in season" and may be reasonably priced this year. My husband's "must" was to have fresh lobster, and he got it.

    As for your foray into Canada....if you aren't aware of it, American citizens are required to carry a passport, passport card or Nexus (sp?) card for reentry into the US after that "quick foray" into Canada.



    Donna
    A rather important thing to note. Thanks Donna! We will keep our passports handy incase we need to hop into Canada.

  9. Default

    @AZBuck - The plan is still in place for Maine. The route you suggested - I edited it out on Google Maps and it does not seem too bad. The key is to leave early. I have done this before so I am pretty sure I can do this again.

    I will have the report for you guys post trip.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default In Which Case - No

    Quote Originally Posted by maestro96
    The plan is still in place for Maine. The route you suggested - I edited it out on Google Maps and it does not seem too bad. The key is to leave early. I have done this before so I am pretty sure I can do this again.
    Sorry, but using the route around New York City, through Harrisburg and using I-81/I-84, makes it over 700 miles to Bingham ME. That just isn't possible to do safely in one day. That you have made such a drive before, gotten away with it, and are "pretty sure [you] can do this again" is akin to someone playing Russian Roulette, living, and then doing it again. It is not safe, no matter how many times you 'succeed'.

    AZBuck

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