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5 days

Merritt Island
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5 days

Hi,

We are planning a trip to Maine in the summer. We will have about 5 days, and know we want to see Portland but are clueless other than that. What would you say are the must-sees in this short time frame? Suggested itinerary? Thank you!

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
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1. Re: 5 days

Rianna -- Welcome to Trip Advisor and to the Maine Forum....

I was about to say that I'm surprised that no one has responded to your original question yet and thought I'd try to help out.... but, in re-reading the question, I think I've figured out why many of us may have looked at it and gone on to others instead...

To be blunt, it's too general.... in order to offer meaningful travel advice for five days in Maine, we really need a bit more information.. for example:

A little more info about your mode of travel would be very helpful. Will you be flying to Maine and then looking to drive around before returning to the same airport? Or flying in to one airport and hoping to leave from another? Or, will you be arriving by car, looking for five days in Maine, and then leaving by car -- and if that's the case, will you be coming into Maine from southern New Hampshire, northern New Hampshire, Quebec, or New Brunswick and where do you want to leave the state from....? Or are you planning on arriving by train or bus and hoping to use public transportation while you're here?

Is "we" two adults, two adults with a couple of kids, grandparents-parents-kids, how big a group? Things we'd recommend for an adult couple might or might not be good suggestions for pre-schoolers or grand-parents.

Is there a "focus" to your trip -- some follks want to see coastal scenery; some are looking for lakes-and-mountains; some want to know about historical places to visit while others have no interest in visiting historical places; do you want to see as many different parts of Maine as you can in five days, or do you prefer to use one place (or maybe two places) as a base for day trips?

Folks who frequent the Maine Forum have seen almost all of the above scenarios (and more) during our time with Trip Advisor. And we've helped folks put together trips to meet the above criteria, and more. But to begin thinking about how to suggest someone spend five days here without the answers to some of those questions requires us to make all kinds of assumptions -- many of which could turn out to be wrong. I can think of answers to your question which would have you spending all of your overnights in one place and taking day trips from it, an answer which would have you in a different location every night with short or long drives between locations, answers which will show you coast, lakes and mountains, or ones which will let you put your feet up and relax while enjoying just one or two of those features.

You'll get much better, more helpful, more useful advice if you tell us a bit more about how you like to travel and how you plan to travel on this trip....

Thanks -- Mainer-on-the-Go

Merritt Island
3 posts
1 review
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2. Re: 5 days

Thank you. The reason for the generality of the post is we are pretty flexible with our travel, but here are a few more details. We are a couple in our 30s traveling alone without our preschool

aged children (looking for a getaway). We will be flying in and renting a car, but we are very flexible about where we are flying into and whether we fly in and out of one airport or leave from another airport. We really want to see a lot of coastal Maine, and also Portland. If there is time we would like to see some of Bar Harbor/Acadia but are not sure if this is feasible given our short time frame. Historical sights are not our focus. Based on these details can you give some recommendations? Thank you.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
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149 reviews
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3. Re: 5 days

Thanks -- added info really is quite helpful.... would suggest you consider --

Day 1 -- Fly into Portland -- depending on arrival time, get your rental car, then check out Portland Head Light lighthouse (Cape Elizabeth, just outside Portland), then back to Portland for dinner/overnight. Old Port District is great for dinner and we like The Portland Regency Hotel in that area as well (independently owned, very friendly and handy to the rest of the Old Port and harbor).

Day 2 -- Drive I-295 to "Coastal Connector" in Topsham, then US Rt 1 north to Camden/Rockland area -- with a stop at L L Bean flagship store in Freeport on the way if it's of interest. Check out harbor breakwater and lighthouse in Rockland, Camden Harbor (and maybe one of the shorter afternoon cruises on the bay), and lunch in Camden or Rockland before pushing north on Rt 1 to Ellsworth and on the Bar Harbor. It;s a little over four hours driving time without stops, so should be do-able in a day.... Overnight Bar Harbor (or nearby).

Day 3 -- If you didn't have time to do it on your way into town yesterday, check with the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center (on Rt 3 in Hull's Cove before you get to Bar Harbor proper). The staff there can help you with a plan to make the best use of the time you have available. Then off to tour Acadia National Park -- Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond are all on the "must see" list. Spend as much time in the Park today as you like, then back to check out Bar Harbor village. Overnight Bar Harbor or nearby).

Day 4 -- More Acadia and Bar Harbor touring. If you have an early-morniing flight, you might want to leave mid-to-late afternoon to drive back to Portland an dspend the night there. If you have an afternoon or later flight, spend another night in Bar Harbor and drive back to Portland the morning of Day 5.

Note: When you're ready to return to Portland from Bar Harbor, instead of back-tracking down US Rt 1, take Rt 3 to Ellsworth, US Rt 1A to Brewer, I-395 to Bangor, and I-95 back to Portland.... fewer small-village slow-downs, more Interstate driving, almost always quicker than using Rt 1.

Merritt Island
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4. Re: 5 days

Thank you, this is awesome!! Will be very helpful in pulling together an itinerary.

5. Re: 5 days

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