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Questions about trip in Sept.

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bgreene13
posts: 24
reviews: 4
Questions about trip in Sept.

Hello! My husband and I are visiting Maine for the first time next month. We'll be staying at a hotel near the airport...the Regency Suites I believe.... We plan to spend 5 days in and around the Portland area. How convenient will it be to get around without a car rental if the hotel has a shuttle service to and from the hotel? If we want to travel up to Freeport, is there any other way besides a car???

We want to do as much on foot or bike as possible, but don't want to wear ourselves completely out. =) Am I being too idealistic? Any advice or expert experience would be appreciated! I've always wanted to visit Maine (have never been to the northeastern states), and want this trip to be as memorable as possible. Thanks!!!

Westbrook, Maine
posts: 33
reviews: 14
1. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

regency hotel i believe is a bit of a haul from the airport. taxi will get you there though. up the road from the civiic center. maybe 15 minute walk to the waterfront and old port area. easy to get around portland without car. bus runs frequently.

freeport is a bit of a drive. either rental car or taxi. recommend rental car for a day and driving route 1 through falmouth and yarmouth too. if you want tourist type areas check out old orchard beach as well.

Washington D.C.
posts: 82
reviews: 5
2. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

Honestly we saw about as much of Portland as we wanted to in 1 day, but we are not city people, we like to be out in nature, away from the sounds of the city. So I definitely recommend having a car so you can take some day trips from Portland.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 217
reviews: 7
3. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

Just last week we took a day trip to Portland and Freeport. You can walk around the town of Portland - there are lots of shops and pubs.

The best part of the trip that I liked was visiting Portland Head Light Lighthouse. You can walk right up to it and there is a small museum inside and a gift shop. But this is actually in Cape Elizabeth or South Portland.

We then drove to Freeport (about 10 minutes up the highway) and there wasn't really much there to see. Of course there is the L.L. Bean stores and a few outlet stores along the main street.

In both towns, I was disappointed because I wanted to find a nice restaurant overlooking the ocean and couldnt find one.

If I was going to Maine for the first time, I would plan to go further south and visit the scenic villages of Kennebunkport, Ogunquit etc.

Southern Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 3,134
reviews: 11
4. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

The Regency is actually in town, not by the airport. I checked their site and it lists airport shuttle service as complimentary. The Regency is right in the Old Port and has valet parking (for a charge, if reviews are correct). There are suite-type hotels by the airport, so I'm not sure where you're staying.

The Old Port area of Portland has many shops and restaurants. The Congress Street area has more mainstream shops and an LL Bean outlet, as well as the Portland Art Museum. Anything in Portland is possible to do on foot. Parking in the Old Port is in garages or on the street with meters. There are also walking/biking trails if you want a break from shopping/eating.

If you want to go to Freeport, you will need a car. LL Bean and outlet shopping is the draw in Freeport. There is also a wide variety of outlet shopping in Kittery.

There are restaurants on the water in Portland and South Portland. Check the reviews to find what you like. I am guessing the previous response meant open ocean views. Some of my favorites are technically on the Fore River, but there's plenty of waterfront activity to watch.

Kennebunk and Ogunquit are also great day trips and have plenty of activities and restaurants to keep you busy.

Maine
posts: 826
reviews: 41
5. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

So, where are you staying? It makes a difference. There are suite places by the airport (but none named Regency), and the Regency Hotel in Portland's Old Port district. If you're staying in the Old Port, you'll be able to walk to plenty of spots to keep you busy for a day or maybe two (depending on your interests.) Otherwise, you'd be grateful to have a car to explore the many places to visit within an hour or so of Portland.

Do some exploring of the postings on this forum. You'll find plenty of folks have received answers to very similar questions! (Just type keywords into Search box above to search within this forum, or scroll through other postings.)

Wolcott, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
posts: 747
reviews: 127
6. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

If you really want to get a sense of Maine I would spend 1 day in Portland. You can bike all around the waterfront in Portland. Exploring the city on foot is a lot of fun. I would spend the rest of the time just north and just south of the city. The coast up by Boothbay Harbor and Pemaquid is beautiful; Wolfe Neck State Park in Freeport is a lovely place to hike on the bay; Cape Elizabeth and Two Lights State Park are just south of Portland. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is the absolute best place to get lobster if only for the view of the ocean. These places all give you the rocky coast of Maine; it's quite beautiful. South of Portland gives you a whole different feel. Pompham Beach and the area around Kennebunk are beautiful. Get off Rt 1 and explore; you'll love it.

bgreene13
posts: 24
reviews: 4
7. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

Thanks to all for your advice! I checked our itinerary. We'll actually be staying at the Embassy Suites. It looks pretty nice from the photos and reviews. So, my previous question applies...I think this is right near the airport. Will it be convenient to walk to Old Port?

Based on what you all have suggested, I think it would be fun to rent a car on at least 2 or 3 of the days we are in Maine to explore the Kennebunks and more natural settings. I am so excited to be traveling up there in September! We are from GA, and after these sweltering past couple of weeks, I'm ready for a change in climate!

Southern Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 3,134
reviews: 11
8. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

The Embassy Suites is at the airport, so you will not be able to walk to the Old Port from there.

Maine
posts: 826
reviews: 41
9. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

Do some research on mapquest or google maps. Put in PWM (airport code) to 100 Commercial St, Portland, ME. That'll give you an idea. There are hotels intown (thus convenient to Old Port/Waterfront) and ones out where you're staying (car ride anywhere.)

SC
posts: 2
reviews: 13
10. Re: Questions about trip in Sept.

I'm grew up in South Portland and moved away about 15 years ago. Staying out by the airport - you will need a car. If you want to do the typical things, public transportation (except cabs) are not really an option. It would probably be cheaper to get a compact car than deal with taxis alot. I do not believe buses run to Portland Head Light (which is a must) or Freeport (LL Bean). Without a car you will not get a good sense of the area.

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