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Best places to see...

Twin Cities, MN
Level Contributor
6 posts
1 review
Best places to see...

Hello, Maine experts. I need some advice. We are looking forward to being in Maine between Sept. 9th and 14th this year. We will definitely be visiting Acadia N.P. and taking in some of the scenic drives as well as looking for the best places to take some moderate length, fairly easy hikes (we are in our late 50's) and most definitely looking for the best places to view the area's wildlife, especially moose. We know we will be driving along the Coast on our way up to Acadia from the Boston airport, we will then continue North along the coast but are looking for suggestions on locales that would provide the most/best scenery, hiking and wildlife viewing on our way back down through the state, we are open to all areas of Maine. We will have at least 6 days and 5 nights before having to catch our flight back to the Midwest. Can anyone advise me on the best places to stop and spend some time as we meander our way through Maine, as well as suggesting the best places to find inexpensive but clean and comfortable lodging. We would rather spend our money on whale watching and things to do rather than on sleeping. From what I've seen on the internet it seems like it would be easy to blow the budget on lodging. We are also looking for suggestions about the best places to find really good lobster while avoiding the tourist traps, you know, like where locals go on a regular basis for really good, inexpensive food. Thanks to any help you may be able to offer.

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
9,277 posts
248 reviews
1. Re: Best places to see...

Our favorite place on the Maine coast (in addition to Bar Harbor and Acadia) was Pemaquid Point. Very old hotel, Hotel Pemaquid, which has been totally redone. Stayed in a bunglow there and could walk to the coast and lighthouse. There is nothing else there. Very quiet-- small restaurant by the lighthouse had the best blueberry pancakes ever and Shaw's (a local restaurant on the water) offered whole lobster and 2 sides for $15. Paper towels on the table and plastic plates and utensils. Loved it! :) You might enjoy it for an over night?

On the same trip, we spent 2 nights in Millinocket to spend some time in Baxter State Park. All assured me I would see moose. There for 2 days and not one moose! sigh... is supposed to be a good place to see them tho-- I was just unlucky ALL the way around when it came to Millinocket! :)

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,946 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Best places to see...

You don't say how long you are prepared to stay in any one place, or if this is to be a whirlwind tour. Somehow, I suspect the latter.

1. If you are driving up the coast, i.e., Rtes. 1 and 3, then the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory near Bucksport is worth a stop.

2. Regarding Acadia---the conventional answer is sunrise or sunset atop Cadillac Mountain. One of the great views is the Jordan Pond area as well as the ocean and islands to the south from the top of Penobscot Mountain (a longish hike but not a particularly strenuous one).

3. In the Acadia/Bar Harbor area, check out the Bar Harbor Motel---reasonable and very highly regarded.

Twin Cities, MN
Level Contributor
6 posts
1 review
3. Re: Best places to see...

Thank you so much for the information, it really helps to plan and get the most out of our trip. I appreciate the time you've taken to share your knowledge and, most of all, your willingness to help. Keep the info coming!

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
7,246 posts
160 reviews
4. Re: Best places to see...

Can help a bit with the desire to see a moose.... Moose are generally not coastal animals....they tend to prefer upland woods and water areas in inland Maine -- primarily the "big woods" areas in northern and western Maine.....although they have been sighted everywhere else in the state from time to time, including some of the more highly populated areas....

That said, if I had my heart set on seeing a moose, there are two places I would try...

1. A pond adjacent to the Baxter State Park hiking trail bewteen Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond campgrounds. I have never been there without seeing a moose. That's the good news...the bad news is that Baxter State Park is northwest of Millinocket, which is between two and three hours driving time from Acadia N.P. And after you get to the Park, it's another 10 miles or so of gravel roads to Roaring Brook, and about another two miles of hiking to the Pond. The Park Gatehouse or the ranger station at Roaring Brook can give you precise information on reaching the pond. Be aware that Baxter Park was given to the State on the condition that it remain "forever wild." No modern amenities within the park, so gas up and eat up in Millinocket on your way through. Google Baxter State Park for full details and operating hours. I think the park will still be open when you get here, but I'd check to be sure.

2. Tbere are several places along Maine Rt 16 between Rangeley and Oquossoc and along Maine Rt 17 between Oquossoc and Rumford/Mexico where moose are frequently seenl Those areas could be combined into a loop trip from Bar Harbor, but it's going to be a fairly long day if you try to do it starting in and returning to Bar Harbor. But, in addition to the possible moose sightings, it also includes some of the greatest scenery in the western Maine mountains. A loop from Bar Harbor to Bangor to Farmington to Rangeley to Oquossoc to Mexico, back to Farmington, Bangor and Bar Harbor will include about 360 miles and take about eight hours of driving time.

And, the reality is, there is no guarantee you'll absolutely see a moose on either of these trips! Maine moose don't read calendars or keep schedules, They generally go where they want to when they want to...and while your chances are better in some locations than others, there's never a guarantee of seeing one in the wild.

The one "sure thing" I know of would be to build some time into your trip back to Boston, plan a slightly inland route, and plan to visit the State of Maine Wildlife Park, just off I-95 in Gray, ME. It's operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife and features animals native to the State of Maine. Admission is reasonable, staff is knowledgeable, and it's a great place to take a travel break and spend some time. Google Maine Wildlife Park for details.

PA
Level Contributor
916 posts
147 reviews
5. Re: Best places to see...

While visiting Maine, we were lucky to see seven moose. We had our best and closest sightings while hiking Baxter. I also spoke to many people who were hiking at the same time as us and they never saw any. Friends of ours did the same trip (in reverse) and they also never saw moose. We didn't go looking for them; just ran into them! Just enjoy your trip and if the moose are there, you won't be able to miss them!

Twin Cities, MN
Level Contributor
6 posts
1 review
6. Re: Best places to see...

I am so excited to have the personal expertise of all who have contributed so much wonderful information to help us enjoy our much anticipated trip to Maine! I can't thank you all enough for the kind and much appreciated replies to my post. I look forward to hearing even more about places to see, stay and enjoy. Thank you again to all of you, you are great!

Twin Cities, MN
Level Contributor
6 posts
1 review
7. Re: Best places to see...

Hi, again everyone. What are your opinions on the Vacationland Inn in Brewer? I'm thinking of making this my reasonably priced base camp for four days. It looks pretty good on the website for under $100 bucks a night. Any advice/opinions?

8. Re: Best places to see...

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