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Old 09-10-2016, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,892 posts, read 32,658,014 times
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I'm so excited! My husband and I just booked our vacation flights and hotels for a week in Maine the first half of October! We will be flying into Boston and staying in the Boston area for two days and then will have a few more days of meandering along the coast before flying out of Portland.

We are renting a car in Boston and dropping it off in Portland.

We do not plan to venture far from the coastline.

I am eager to see the beaches and the lighthouses along the way, as well as nice little harbor towns, maybe some maritime museums. I'm a history freak and I love the rich maritime history of New England, and the era of the "tall ships."

We also want to eat some fabulous seafood (especially looking forward to the lobster), and we'd like to poke around in some interesting antique shops, though we can't take anything large home of course. We have no interest in outlet malls - we have plenty of them here in Texas. However, we would be interested in some locally unique shopping. Any suggestions for anything specific we should buy in the way of knickknacks or clothing? I'm bringing an empty suitcase just in case! But we're going back home to Texas so I probably don't need to buy any heavy coats or boots - LOL.

We've already booked our hotels along the way, so I'll share them with you. However, nothing along the coast between Boston and Boothbay Harbor seems like too long of a drive, so mainly we're just looking for quaint, picturesque towns with good walkability and some historic sites, and a great restaurant to eat at each night. I've had great luck with the Trip Advisor app, but I'd like to hear suggestions from people who live in the area if possible.

Sunday and Monday night - Boston. Tuesday morning driving to Concord. Staying at Concord's Colonial Inn (I know that's not in Maine - LOL).

Wednesday am, Salem MA and then driving to the Scarborough, Maine area. Staying at the Black Point Inn Resort - which to my delight turns out to be "haunted." I would love to hear things that go bump in the night there! Ogunquit looks interesting. We are going to be gone from Salem by noon and have the rest of the day before checking into the inn that night - any suggestions for must sees that day? I do want to see the House of the Seven Gables in Salem that morning - is it worth it, or do you recommend skipping out of what is probably rank commercialism in Salem and just heading toward the Maine coast?

Cape Elizabeth and it's lighthouse look interesting - are there better lighthouses along the way?

Thursday morning we are headed to Boothbay Harbor, and staying at the Spruce Point Inn. My husband went to Boothbay many years ago and loved it. We plan to spend all Thursday and Friday in the Boothbay Harbor area - any suggestions for that area?

At some point in the afternoon on Friday, we are headed for Portland because we have a morning flight back home to Texas on Saturday. Any suggestions for the Portland area and especially our final meal? We'd like to wrap up our trip at a really nice restaurant. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it needs to be romantic - this is our tenth anniversary trip!

I don't anticipate any issues "with the natives" - my husband and I have traveled extensively and haven't had any significant problems with anyone anywhere in the world. However, we are from Texas and both have a Texas accent. I have never traveled any further north than Delaware and Pennsylvania, but I do notice a difference in demeanor the further north I go - people tend to be more reserved. I'm fine with that but both of us have very outgoing personalities. That shouldn't be a problem, should it? I mean, we're not weirdos - we're not going to bulldoze our way into conversations or suddenly burst into "DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS" singing (complete with claps!). I'm guessing that if we could get along fine with folks in England, we can get along fine with folks in NEW England.

For the week of 2-8 October, what's the weather typically like? I know I can look up historic stuff and averages and ten day forecasts, but please understand that in October in Texas, it's still HOT. I mean, the highs are in the 80s and sometimes low 90s and the lows are in the 60s. I typically feel chilly at 60 degrees. Do I need to bring sweaters for the evenings?

The maps I'm looking at say fall colors along the Maine coast should reach their peak later in October but should begin turning the first half of October. Does this seem accurate to you? We really had no leeway in the time frame - wish I could catch the colors at their peak but this was the week we had to book the trip for various reasons.

Anyway, those are my questions - looking forward to your suggestions and most of all, to our trip!!!!!

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 09-10-2016 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,484 posts, read 2,534,004 times
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Google is your friend: Intellicast - Bar Harbor Historic Weather Averages in Maine (04609)

look up the city. Go to historic averages at the top of the page.

Fall colors will probably got red and then brown this year since most of the state is in a drought. But that may not be true everywhere. The first week in October is often beautiful. Last year it had some days in the low 70's.

However, if you feel chilly at 60 degrees, you may be in trouble. Average high temps are ab out 63 in bar harbor then. Often they are a lot lower. Average evening temps are in the low 40's, sometimes the high thirties. On the coast with the sea breeze or up on the mountains, it not unusual for temps the drop even lower.

You will need more than a sweater, just in case.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,892 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfox2 View Post
Google is your friend: Intellicast - Bar Harbor Historic Weather Averages in Maine (04609)

look up the city. Go to historic averages at the top of the page.

Fall colors will probably got red and then brown this year since most of the state is in a drought. But that may not be true everywhere. The first week in October is often beautiful. Last year it had some days in the low 70's.

However, if you feel chilly at 60 degrees, you may be in trouble. Average high temps are ab out 63 in bar harbor then. Often they are a lot lower. Average evening temps are in the low 40's, sometimes the high thirties. On the coast with the sea breeze or up on the mountains, it not unusual for temps the drop even lower.

You will need more than a sweater, just in case.
I know that Google is my friend. I've been googling away for weeks. I was hoping to get some first hand advice and feedback from folks who live in or are very familiar with the area in addition to my online research.

The weather actually sounds gorgeous from my perspective. I love fall and fall in Texas is often hot and dry, even though in northeast Texas we do have some surprisingly good fall colors - albeit in late November. I don't anticipate "being in trouble" if the weather drops into the thirties or so - I just want to bring the right clothing. I've lived in colder climates than what you're describing, but since I've lived in Texas for twenty something years, I may need to dig out some warmer clothes for this trip. The weather you're describing is typical of December or January weather here.

I'm not going to Bar Harbor, by the way. The furthest north we're going is Boothbay Harbor. So it won't do me much good to google "Bar Harbor" or check out the link you provided. But thanks anyway.

Like I said, I am asking about this on the Maine forum to get some positive feedback. I'm sure there's plenty of it out there - the areas we're going to go to look GORGEOUS and we're really excited about the trip. I've never been to Maine or Massachusetts before! And I love a great coast line.

I'm thinking the weather may be a lot like the weather my daughter had near the coast in Yorkshire, England. It sounds similar. The coast line looks similar too. And throw in the names of some of the towns and it really seems similar to England in many ways. I'll find out whether that's true or not in just a few weeks!

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 09-10-2016 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:57 AM
 
165 posts, read 113,389 times
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Oh, happy anniversary!

It's lovely that you'll be spending it in Maine. Boothbay will be delightful in early October, and maybe not too, too busy.

Be sure to take the short ride to Pemaquid Point while you're in Boothbay.

I'm sorry I can't recommend any restaurants, but I'm sure you'll find excellent seafood in both Boothbay and Portland.

Next time you come I hope you'll fly into Bangor and visit the part of the coast you'll miss this time. It's really quite different.

Have fun!
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,892 posts, read 32,658,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTYankinME View Post
Oh, happy anniversary!

It's lovely that you'll be spending it in Maine. Boothbay will be delightful in early October, and maybe not too, too busy.

Be sure to take the short ride to Pemaquid Point while you're in Boothbay.

I'm sorry I can't recommend any restaurants, but I'm sure you'll find excellent seafood in both Boothbay and Portland.

Next time you come I hope you'll fly into Bangor and visit the part of the coast you'll miss this time. It's really quite different.

Have fun!
Thank you for the info!

Yes, I'd like to visit northern Maine as well as Vermont in the future. Sadly, we just had a week this time, and wanted to fit Boston into the mix as well, so I feel like we're not really giving Maine as much attention as I'd like to, but I have a feeling I'm going to love it. I love maritime history, a rugged coastline, beaches in the fall and "off seasons" (not just summer beaches), etc. I think I am going to fall in love with what we see of Maine on this trip.

I am so excited I can hardly sleep! And I'm so happy that two of the hotels we've booked are supposedly haunted. (I don't really believe in that stuff but it's fun to think about, especially in October!)

I spent many happy years of my childhood living along the Virginia and North Carolina coasts, and I spent a lot of my formative years in the Historic Triangle in Virginia - Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg. So I really love Revolutionary War and colonial history, and that's one of the elements I think I am really going to groove on in New England.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Hi KathrynAragon!

The timing of your trip should be nice weather-wise between Boothbay Harbor and points south. Not sure how much fall color we'll see this year due to the unfortunate drought. This has been the driest summer (that followed the mildest, low snow winter) in 30 years, many say. But the temperatures should be seasonably pleasant and should only require comfortable layers--long sleeved shirt, sweater/sweatshirt/light fleece, water-resistant or waterproof coat, scarf for neck/head. Definitely wear comfortable, functional shoes and bring good socks (or buy some at Renys or LL Bean)!

Cape Elizabeth has the Portland Head Light park (free). In addition to the much-photographed lighthouse, there are a few scenic paths to walk along the coast and a tiny cove with a beach. It is a short drive south of Portland's downtown. Plenty of restaurants in Portland (I'd recommend the online restaurant guides for those).

On your way to Boothbay Harbor, there's Solo Bistro in downtown Bath, and there are a few restaurants in Wiscasset. Have you planned to stop in Freeport? There are plenty of things to see walking around the LL Bean area, and it might take half a day to explore it. Reid State Park is a good option for a beautiful walk along the coast.

People-wise, you should be fine here in Maine! Mainers are generally very live-and-let-live with others and more than willing to give a helping hand when needed. They are usually pleased to see tourists up this way in autumn.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:31 PM
 
75 posts, read 74,262 times
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I am a little shy on time at the moment but here's a few you might be interested in given what you said you were looking for. If I can I'll come back and add another post with more ideas.

Remember to bring a jacket with a hood or hat. October can be windy and cool.

Portland Headlight (Fort Williams Park)
Two Lights State Park (Cape Elizabeth)
Scarborough Marsh Trail Walk (Audubon) - easy gravel path and pretty walk
Portland Observatory
Wolfe's Neck State Park (Freeport) - nice place for a walk
Popham Beach State Park and remnants of Fort Popham (Phippsburg) - a little extra drive south when coming or going to Boothbay but a walk along the beach or at the fort remnants can be relaxing especially since that time of year traffic will be light.
Maine Maritime Museum (Bath)
Pemaquid Point (Bristol)
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,892 posts, read 32,658,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern435 View Post
Hi KathrynAragon!

The timing of your trip should be nice weather-wise between Boothbay Harbor and points south. Not sure how much fall color we'll see this year due to the unfortunate drought. This has been the driest summer (that followed the mildest, low snow winter) in 30 years, many say. But the temperatures should be seasonably pleasant and should only require comfortable layers--long sleeved shirt, sweater/sweatshirt/light fleece, water-resistant or waterproof coat, scarf for neck/head. Definitely wear comfortable, functional shoes and bring good socks (or buy some at Renys or LL Bean)!

Cape Elizabeth has the Portland Head Light park (free). In addition to the much-photographed lighthouse, there are a few scenic paths to walk along the coast and a tiny cove with a beach. It is a short drive south of Portland's downtown. Plenty of restaurants in Portland (I'd recommend the online restaurant guides for those).

On your way to Boothbay Harbor, there's Solo Bistro in downtown Bath, and there are a few restaurants in Wiscasset. Have you planned to stop in Freeport? There are plenty of things to see walking around the LL Bean area, and it might take half a day to explore it. Reid State Park is a good option for a beautiful walk along the coast.

People-wise, you should be fine here in Maine! Mainers are generally very live-and-let-live with others and more than willing to give a helping hand when needed. They are usually pleased to see tourists up this way in autumn.
Oh, I hope we get to go to the LL Bean outlet!!!!!

I have lots of sweat shirts and light jackets so I should be fine. The difference is that I'm usually wearing those in January here! LOL

I need to look more closely at Wiscasset and Freeport. I haven't run across those areas in my search yet, but I think those may be north of Boothbay? I don't know - I'll definitely look into those.

I am excited about meeting Mainers - I am actually not even sure I've ever met anyone from Maine before!
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,892 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by River Runner View Post
I am a little shy on time at the moment but here's a few you might be interested in given what you said you were looking for. If I can I'll come back and add another post with more ideas.

Remember to bring a jacket with a hood or hat. October can be windy and cool.

Portland Headlight (Fort Williams Park)
Two Lights State Park (Cape Elizabeth)
Scarborough Marsh Trail Walk (Audubon) - easy gravel path and pretty walk
Portland Observatory
Wolfe's Neck State Park (Freeport) - nice place for a walk
Popham Beach State Park and remnants of Fort Popham (Phippsburg) - a little extra drive south when coming or going to Boothbay but a walk along the beach or at the fort remnants can be relaxing especially since that time of year traffic will be light.
Maine Maritime Museum (Bath)
Pemaquid Point (Bristol)
See, I have to go to Bath now - so many positive comments. Cape Elizabeth and Fort Williams Park keep surfacing as well. And we are spending one night in Scarborough and the Audubon Trail looks really nice.

I had never heard of Fort Popham which sounds very interesting.

Thank you so much!
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:44 PM
 
24 posts, read 26,554 times
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Slyfox2's link will help you. If you change the town from Bar Harbor to Boothbay Harbor, it will give you the historic averages for October or any other month you want to check out. You can get the idea of roughly what to expect during the time period that you are here for temps. That's a great link, Sly. Thanks!
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