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Old 07-08-2012, 12:21 AM
 
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Hi all,
I am driving from NYC to Maine. I plan to stop by Portsmouth NH, Portland, and Bar Harbor along with Acadia National Park (will see the sunrise there). Any suggestions? How many days should I dedicate for this trip? Would three be enough?

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:55 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
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Three wouldn't be enough for me. The places you mention are nice places to stop and look around but don't limit to just those. Check out the Desert of Maine in Freeport (also home of the yuppie with LL Bean{joke}). Pemiquid is another place as is Wiscassett, Boothbay Harbor region. Rockland, Camden, Belfast, Ellsworth downtowns. Acadia is nice but keep heading north and see Schoodic Point, Roques Bluff State Park, Eastport. Just get off I-95 and take your time up Rt 1. The key is "take your time"; lots of traffic and sights on Rt 1 in the summer.

Then there's the mountains in the west also. Rt 2 from Bangor and follow the glacial path over to NH and down Rt 16 to Portsmouth. And that's not even talking about north of Bangor to Katahdin and beyond. I could see many trips in your future to see some of the Maine beauty. Hope you have an enjoyable time.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:57 AM
 
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Be careful and have a safe trip.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
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I recommend a lightning run direct to Bar Harbor.Then stop where it's convenient on the way back. If you follow your original plan, you won't make it to Acadia.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
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Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
I recommend a lightning run direct to Bar Harbor.Then stop where it's convenient on the way back. If you follow your original plan, you won't make it to Acadia.
NMLM is right. You're going to blow the better part of 2 days with the drive up and the drive back, which leaves only one day to mess around with. You should take more time.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:39 AM
 
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Many nice places to see. Maine is big. Three days won't begin to cover it all for sure but you will probably enjoy it most anywhere suggested, or where you happen to wander. Some stops we often make because they are easy and well located from a drive time perspective include:

1) New Hampshire State Liquor Stores at the border (nice selections, frequent sales, easy off/on Interstate, clean facilities, good place to stretch legs) and

2) Maine Diner in Wells (5-10 minutes off the Interstate). It is a 'classic' and a bit touristy, but we always enjoy it. We usually stop if we can time arrival day/time, we try for a late breakfast on the way north, but they have good meals all day long. It gets very busy and waits are not unusual ... they use beepers etc.

3) Oh and we often stop in Freeport to walk around (briefly). LL Bean is worth seeing at least once. We sometimes buy stuff in the Bean Outlet store (not in the main retail complex but a BIG place of its own). The stuff isn't really all that cheap, but bargains are sometimes found and Freeport is a good place to 'experience' and stretch the legs (you will see a lot of people from wherever you came from ).

Yes, they are all sorta trite but, depending on what you seek, may be worth the time to check off the 'checklist' and have been part of a lot of people's Maine visits.

If you are traveling at peak season and times these places (many of the side highways and towns) can be VERY crowded and trafficy, maybe not what you picture. "Off season" and days are calmer if you can swing them. In all likelihood, no matter where you wander you will enjoy Maine but you won't 'see it all' in a few days.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:51 AM
 
1,464 posts, read 2,628,648 times
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Originally Posted by adelashk View Post
Hi all,
I am driving from NYC to Maine. I plan to stop by Portsmouth NH, Portland, and Bar Harbor along with Acadia National Park (will see the sunrise there). Any suggestions? How many days should I dedicate for this trip? Would three be enough?

Thanks!
Sounds like a fun vacation trip but I do think a week if you can spare it would be better. Sounds like once you get to Portland, Maine you will be close to Rte. #1. Stay on Rte #1 for more touristie type things to do. Parts of it will be quite woodsey and kind of "out there" but it is a gorgeous ride. How far North are you planning to go? You should try to see some more of Northern Maine. It is super nice up that way and the people are very friendly and helpful. Have a great trip!
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
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Like others have said - you won't see much in such a short time. If you are really constricted for time it might do you well to keep yourself pre-occupied in the Portland area. The drive would only be about 5 hours one way and down there, you can cover lots of stuff in a day or two without having to make much traveling. If you are able to secure more time (one day to drive, one day back...plus 4-5 in the stretch) I would suggest you stay along the coast. No offense to inland, but such a short trip would involve long stretches of driving through North Woods just to get to a nook or cranny. More time would be spent driving than seeing much, compared to the coast.


Lots of good suggestions above. If I were you, I would highly suggest a trip to West Quoddy Head to see a sunrise. I've done it, it's the most surreal experience being in the easternmost point in the US (bucket list material as it is without the sunrise), some sweet pics can be had of the lighthouse (one of the most recognizable in the country) and the cliffs of Grand Manan (300 foot high) being backdrops for a dramatic sunrise. You can even climb down the stairs below the cliffs for another vantage point (if the tide is low). Best part is the DEAD silence...all except for waves, wind, and seabirds conversing all around you. Good chance you'd end up with the whole place to yourself. Acadia you'd be surrounded by tourists. And since you'd already be in Lubec, you can experience some top-notch chocolatiers, great food, authentic untouched Maine coastline (see Hamilton Cove Preserve, Bold Coast/Cutler, Roque Bluffs, Cobscook Bay Park, Great Wass Island Preserve). You can make a day out of all of those, depending on how much you hike. Machias, Milbridge, Route 182, all offer great photo-ops and more great food. Fox Pond on 182 is a favorite of mine. Fun windy road. Sullivan and Hancock offer some amazing views MDI from the mainland as well. All of this would be on the main drags. Eastport is just as good but you'd have to make the 1 hour drive to swing that. So that depends.

Mid-coast is full of lighthouses, lobster pounds, and beautiful architecture. Another out-of-the-way (but not too far) would be Castine (an old Acadian stronghold) and Caterpillar Hill (massive panoramic view of the Penobscot bay) down the Blue Hill peninsula. More photo-ops and windy country roads. Fort Knox atop Bucksport and the big bridge is on the way, Belfast has a great downtown. Camden is really busy this time a year but another great downtown, Searsport offers the Penobscot Maritime Museum among other things. Then there are the long fingers of Boothbay, Harpswell, etc. Owl's Head light in Rockland is something else.

Whale-watching tours abound Downeast. There were two in Lubec alone. There are others in the Penobscot area and Bar Harbor. Don't forget the Winter Harbor/Schoodic portion of Acadia Nat'l Park. Beautiful dramatic scenery and a great view of Bar Harbor/MDI in the distance.


EDIT: I think the best way you could organize a trip is to pick exactly what you aim to do. Are you a food-type? Hiker/nature/park person? Water person? A "true tourist"? Nook and cranny visitor? Photo-op visitor? History/museum person?

Last edited by michael_atw; 07-08-2012 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else. Driving from NYC to Acadia and back with only 3 days to see things would be pretty miserable. Depending on when you leave NYC, you'll probably hit a lot of traffic until you get out of Boston. That trip can take as few as 4 hours or as much as 8. From Boston to Acadia, you're looking at around 5-6 hours. To get there and back that's a full 2 day drive, then when you're at Acadia, resting from your drive, you're probably going to have to spend the entire "rest" day driving to see everything because Acadia is such an enormous place, the only way to see 1/2 of the sites in a day is to drive around the entire island. So, you're looking at three solid days of driving. Not my idea of a good time, plus you'll miss out on so many of the great places that Maine has to offer. I would never visit Acadia unless I had a minimum of 3 days to spend in the park. For a three day trip, I would consider something closer to NYC. You could visit Lake Placid and the Adirondacks or even DC.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:19 AM
 
74 posts, read 232,313 times
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Hello all, thanks for the amazing feedback. I decided, based on your replies, to save the trip until I have more days off (about a week or so). I will refer to this thread once I start planning it again so feel free to keep adding suggestions.

Thanks again!
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