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Destination: Maine
Old 06-24-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Destination: Maine

Destination: Maine
Planning a vacation for July. We are either going to rent a class C, go to a resort or stay in hotels with our dogs. No more camping on the ground for DW. Researching the rental RV now.

Any tips on things to see in Maine?
Renting RV tips (I am research this)?
Questions, comments, photos or nasty remarks welcomed.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
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L.L. Bean in Freeport. Open 24 hours!

They have a 2-1/2 hour kayaking "discovery" tour aimed at beginners for only $20. We had a great time.
Kayaking Courses from L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools(R)
Of course, someone named "Free to Canoe", might be interested in another class, like fly fishing, biking, archery, stand-up paddleboard, etc.

Lobster shacks along the coast. This one was our favorite, only a few miles from "downtown" Freeport.

Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company | Lunch counter and lobster pound | South Freeport Maine Harbor
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:19 AM   #3
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Reprising one of my posts from a few years ago:

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For the past ten years, we have rented a place in Damariscotta, Maine for two weeks every summer. Here is a list of things that I would recommend, going north from Portland to Bar Harbor on Route 1:

1. Go to the gigantic L.L. Bean store in Freeport, as well as some of the other clothing outlets on the main street.

2. Go to Orr's and Bailey's Islands in Casco Bay (yes, you can drive there). Have lunch at Cook's Lobster House on Baileys Island. If you don't sit outside, get a table with a view of the famous Bailey's Island Bridge, the only cribstone bridge in the world (over which you will have driven to get there).

3. Stop in Wiscasset, Maine and shop in all the antique and used book stores and art galleries. You might be tempted by a lobster roll from Red's, but Sarah's across the road is a better place to eat.

4. Go to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: Discover Spectacular Gardens and Waterfront Landscapes on 250 Acres in Boothbay, Maine - Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens You might visit Boothbay Harbor while you are there (we think it is kitschy and prefer Camden instead)

5. Damariscotta has a nice downtown shopping area. The Coastal Maine Book Store is a great independent book store. A good meal can be had at the Damariscotta River Grill or, if you've not yet had your fill of them, go to Larson's Lunch Box for a lobster roll. We think they're the best in Maine. Drive down the peninsula to Pemaquid Light, which is one of the most picturesque lighthouses on the Maine coast.

6. Stop at Moody's Diner in Waldoboro for the blueberry pie. Moody's Diner

7. Stop in Rockland and take a windjammer day cruise on Penobscot Bay. Look online as there are a variety of choices. While you're there, visit the Farnsworth Art Museum, particularly if you are fans of Andrew Wyeth. Farnsworth Art Museum | Celebrating Maine's Role in American Art You might also enjoy a drive/hike out to Owl's Head light, which has got to be the best base housing in the Coast Guard. Owl's Head Lighthouse, Owl's Head, Maine. Don't miss all the historic cars and aircraft at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum. Welcome to the Owls Head Transportation Museum, Celebrating Transportation History for over 35 Years

8. Go to Camden, which I think is one of the most beautiful towns in existence. Hike up Mount Megunticook, in Camden Hills State Park for a spectacular view of town (you can start on the trail right from downtown) or drive out five minutes and climb the trail to the Maiden Cliff on the other side of the mountain. Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands - Search for Parks and Properties When you get back down, have lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant. Home | The Waterfront Restaurant, Camden Harbor, Maine

There is a lot more to do in Maine, but for the part between Portland and Bar Harbor, I think these are the best.

Have a great trip!
Here is the link to that thread so you can see the ideas other people had.
Bar Harbor Maine
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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Was there last July. Stayed in Rockland as a base camp (rented a house). From there it was a two hour drive to Bar Harbor and Acadia Park. You pay once at the park to enter and can go back multiple days. Agree with Camden and Camden Park. Bought live lobster along the road for $4.25/lb. Going through the small towns is SLOW. You have to stop for pedestrians (lots) at every intersection. LL Bean is worth a stop, but touristy. We enjoyed the town of Bath and the museum on ship building. From the museum we went on a cruise down the river the ships took out to sea. Lots of light houses and forts from the Revolutionary War. Weather was great mid-70's every day. Have fun
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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Hey, thanks for the inputs so far!
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #6
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You are going to love your Maine (The Way Life Should Be) visit. We are visiting our son in Portland in late October.

DH and i met in Portland, Maine and lived there a couple years. Trips since then have centered around Portland and/or Sebago Lakes region. July is touristy; be certain to NOT be on I-95 near Maine border on a Friday afternoon....nor heading out of Maine on Sunday afternoon. The traffic can be horrendous. Route 1 is scenic and i always loved taking that from Boston area north, but in the summer, it is usually bumper to bumper, especially in Ogunquit area.

Please report back when you return! The suggestions you are getting sound great- hoping DH and i can use some of them.

I second recommendation for Sarah's in Wiscasset!! One of my favorite restaurants ever.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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Gumby, that post makes me want to start driving east right now.

We did a five-day driving trip through the state a couple of years ago and did not expect to fall in love with it. We did.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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We have been to Maine a couple of times. Once, as part of a "leaf peeping" mission. Been up and down the East Coast, and gotten as far as St. John, New Brunswick.

Still missing quite a few places. Need to revisit New England states, but with an RV. And lots more time. MS Streets and Trips says 3,000 mi one way. Yikes!

What a rabid travel lover ( - search for that adjective on this site) to do? What to do? Changing one's screen name to NE-Bound after the Alaskan trip?

Oh, what to do, what to do? Time is running out, and the summer is short.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:50 AM   #9
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The service employees we encountered were all friendly and helpful. It is obvious they made their money during the short summer and wanted you to return. At the museum in Bath we went to the Info desk to get brochures for some of the boat tours they offered. The older volunteer woman at the desk provided us some brochures and then answered a phone. We went out to our car to leave. We heard someone call out. The volunteer had left the desk, walked down about 30 steps, and across the parking lot and proceeded to give us more info - her favorite tour/what time to arrive/call before if weather is bad/bring a jacket/have fun, etc. Just really impressed us. We found that to be the norm.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #10
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If you're not restricting yourself to just the Maine coast, the best beer bar in the world is Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell (western Maine near the New Hampshire border in the White Mountains).

Seriously, I'm not kidding at all about this, and yes it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the visit if you truly enjoy great beer (especially Belgian styles).

Ebenezer's Pub

Another really interesting place to visit, just over into Canada, is FDR's summer home on Campobello Island. You can drive to it.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Gumby: What a post!
Braumeister: Your post is making me thirsty! Can you stay overnight near the pub? Don't think I would be ready for prime time driving after a visit there.
Thanks everybody!
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #12
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We have been to Maine twice in our lives. Once to Arcadia NP. Once to the Rangeley Lakes. The last time we visited, we were sauntering up the coastal highway on a sunny summer day. Man was it crowded! We ended up at Rangeley and liked that, too. Probably hard to avoid the crowds in July along the coast. Probably can be done if you plan in advance. You must plan in advance.

I am desperate to get a plan going. DW is turning the big 60 in July and we don't want to doing chores around the house for the event.

We are making progress but the process is slow. Now we are leaning toward hotel / resort stays.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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We used to go to Ogunquit every summer for a week when the boys were little. Great beach town with lots of restaurants and shops. Also has a fantastic tidal inlet to swim in - the water is warmer than the ocean, and you can ride it like a river when the tide is going out. Lots of fun and highly recommended.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
Braumeister: Your post is making me thirsty! Can you stay overnight near the pub? Don't think I would be ready for prime time driving after a visit there.
Thanks everybody!
Yes there are B&Bs and inns within a few minutes drive.

In the summer (especially when they have their annual Belgian beer festival) there are people who simply pitch a tent on the lawn. The owners understand.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
L.L. Bean in Freeport. Open 24 hours!

They have a 2-1/2 hour kayaking "discovery" tour aimed at beginners for only $20. We had a great time.
Kayaking Courses from L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools(R)
Of course, someone named "Free to Canoe", might be interested in another class, like fly fishing, biking, archery, stand-up paddleboard, etc.

Lobster shacks along the coast. This one was our favorite, only a few miles from "downtown" Freeport.

Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company | Lunch counter and lobster pound | South Freeport Maine Harbor
Kayaking tour every day! Wow!
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:37 PM   #16
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We're back! I want to thank you all because without this thread, I couldn't have taken DW on a trip for her big 60 birthday. I was really fishing for direction on this.

Truth of the matter is, we did not end up in Maine. We went to Gaspe, Quebec and New Brunswick. The vacation was really great. Something special, which is what I was shooting for. Once we decided on Maine, it got DW off of the dime and I found out what she really wanted to do. I bet not much of this makes sense.

When we passed through Maine, I noticed that many people had canoes on top of their cars /trucks for "just in case". I liked that. Saw many good opportunities as we travelled. We opted not to take the canoe this time because the focus was on touring.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:41 PM   #17
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Tried to rent the Motor Home but DW would have none of it. We stayed in motels a couple of times but we were tent camping for most of it. The air matress was a big help. We will rent one for a trip one day. Mileage for this trip was 3600.

Cost for the Motor Home would have been over $5k. Would have done it without question if it was what we wanted. Actually, for this trip it would have diminished our enjoyment lugging that thing around.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:47 PM   #18
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Probably just as well. Maine gets really crowded this time of year.

Glad you had fun!
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:26 PM   #19
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I recently read that they caught a lot of lobsters this year. Some fishermen complained that it was not worthwhile to go get them to sell at such low prices. Hope you enjoyed them.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #20
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I recently read that they caught a lot of lobsters this year. Some fishermen complained that it was not worthwhile to go get them to sell at such low prices. Hope you enjoyed them.
We enjoyed the fresh seafood being near the coast. We cannot get really fresh seafood where I live. Fresh fish is a different product than just "fish". Really enjoyed some halibut and salmon. Figured we would get some lobster when we got down to Maine but we did not get to it.
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