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Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

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Apple Valley...
posts: 23
reviews: 4
Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

First time to Maine with spouse. Would like to see ANP, lighthouses, coastal driving and eat lobsters.

Wed - Fly to Bangor, arriving around midnight - check into airport hotel.

Thur - spend day in Bangor. Drive to Bar Harbor late afternoon and check into B&B (not booked yet - suggestions welcome).

Fri - ANP

Sat - Coastal driving

Sun - drive to Portland, check into airport hotel, eat lobsters

Mon- leave bright and early from Portland airport

Is this too rush? Need comments on whether we should skip going to Portland and fly our of Bangor instead. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 3,103
reviews: 7
1. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

That really is a quick trip, with only four days to see a pretty big state. The Bangor Airport Hotel is a good choice. It's connected to the airport, recently updated, good breakfasts. It's a Four Points Sheraton. It would be worth it to spend a little more to stay right there, especially coming in at midnight. The other motels in the area aren't nearly as nice and involve a drive to get to them.

There's not much to see in Bangor for the day. You should be able to get out of there before noon and make the hour's drive to Bar Harbor. If you get into town before check-in time, stop at the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center to browse the brochures and pick up a map. You might even be able to drive the Loop Road and up to the top of Cadillac Mountain on that first Thursday afternoon.

Look around at www.sleepbarharbor.com to choose a Bed and Breakfast in the area. There are a number of them listed there, with amenitites and links to individual web pages. The Hearthside, Aysgarth Station, and Atlantean are three of the nicer ones. Saltair and Bass Cottage Inn are two of the higher-priced but very nice ones.

On Friday you should be able to rent a bike for the carriage roads, book a kayak tour, have popovers at Jordan Pond House, maybe even take a lighthouse boat tour. Their are easy trails to walk and very difficult trails to hike. Or you can just sit on a rock near Thunder Hole or Sand Beach and watch the waves splash high on the granite shore.

Driving down the coast on Saturday may or might not be a good idea. Just staying on Highway One will give you only coastal glimpses. If you go down the peninsula to Deer Island and Stonington you will see more, but it will take time. You don't mention a place to stay on Saturday night. Camden might be a good overnight stop. But it's only about a two and a half hour drive to Camden, depending on traffic.

On Sunday you will again need to get off of Highway One to see much of the ocean. The towns along One are all on large rivers and don't really have any water view. You might just go on straight to Portland and see the Portland Head Lighthouse and the few others in the area.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
posts: 978
reviews: 8
2. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

You can eat plenty of lobsters and see lighthouses while on Mt Desert Island. I would skip the drive to Portland and spend the extra time in Acadia. The drive down the coast is nice and Portland is a great city but I don't think you're going to enjoy either with only the one day.

Instead you can take the lighthouse boat tour where you see six lighthouses located around Mt. Desert; you can drive to the Bass Harbor Headlight at the southern tip of the island, and you can also take a couple hikes or great walks and sit and relax and enjoy the beauty all around you.

We always make the mistake of trying to drive around and see too much and by the time vacation is over you feel like all you did was drive in the car.

Apple Valley...
posts: 23
reviews: 4
3. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

Boniemaev, thank you very much for your suggestions. Will leave Bangor before noon on Thursday and drive to Bar Harbor. I like the idea of renting a bike to do the carriage trail. Will check out the B&B that you suggested. Jordan Pond House looks good will add to our list to do.

LovingBarHarbor - Thanks for the feedback. We agree with your comment and have decided to skip Portland. I really like the idea of Lighthouse Boat Tour. Should I book the tour before I go or can I just sign up when we are there? Mt. Desert Island looks beautiful. Will definitely add that and Bass Harbor Headlight to our list.

Thank you both, so much, for taking the time to provide your comments! We really appreciate your suggestions.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,137
reviews: 112
4. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

ccmn -- Like your revised itinerary much, much better.... will give you more time to "get out of the car" and experience the coast of Acadia National Park.... and give you some wiggle room in case you get a bit of bad weather.... Many folks spend an entire week in Acadia/Bar Harbor/Mt Desert Island and still don't feel like they've done/seen all they want to. Bonniemaev's advice about making the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center your first on-island stop is a good one (most of her advice is...). The staff and rangers there can help you plan your Park visit to best use the time you have and suggest specific things to see or do to match your interests.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
posts: 978
reviews: 8
5. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

Check with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch website. They are the ones that run the lighthouse tour. The tour usually runs early in the season. You probably don't have to book ahead of time because it's a large boat and early in the season.

Southern New...
posts: 508
reviews: 26
6. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

My thoughts:

Yes it's quite rushed. I have done many trips to Maine leaving from SO NH. You could spend a week of even more just driving up the coast between Kittery and Bar Harbor/ANP. I would want 2 to 3 days in Bar Harbor/ANP, 1 or 2 in Camden, 1 in Boothbay Harbor and Wiscasset, 1 along the coast from Boothbay to Portland with a stop in Ogunquit and 2 in Portland which is (in my opinion) New England's BEST city. That would all change if you were flying into and out of same city.

Southern New...
posts: 508
reviews: 26
7. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

Oops just noticed you're skipping Portland. Good idea.

Asheville, North...
posts: 1
reviews: 6
8. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

My wife and I love SW Harbor and the Lindenwood Inn, http://www.lindenwoodinn.com/ Down side is it's not close to BH and much of the active side of MDI. That's not all bad though.

Jordan Pond House is a must as is Cadillac Mountain. I agree on renting bikes for the carriage trails and may want to do the same for a paddle around a "pond". A Maine pond would qualify for a lake in North Carolina and it can be quite windy. Regardless of what you do make sure to get out of the car and have fun!

9. Re: Maine -Mid-May- Need help with Itinerinery- skip Portland??

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