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Planning a first trip to Main

Mid-West US
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Planning a first trip to Main

A friend and I want to visit some place different and we thought Maine might be nice. We know nothing about Main or the best place to stay, but I choose Boothbay because of some of the post I read. We are planning on going sometime in October. Would we miss most of the touristy crowd? We like shopping in old vintage type shops, and want to see some of the realistic fishing towns, and not the touristy trap type places. I read that there was some sort of festival in early October. When is it, and is it something visitors would enjoy or is it mostly for locals? We would like to stay in a B&B rather than a hotel or Inn. What can you suggest? We don't want to spend a fortune, but are not looking for the cheapest way to go either. Long beaches are not neccessary, but would like to be near the ocean. What are some other things to do and places to visit? We will have a rented car. We need to make our plans soon so that we might get the best flight prices and be able to book our accomadations in a B&B before they are all booked. Any help anyone can give me will be greatly appreaciated. I will check back to this site often.

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Maine
Maine
United States
Boothbay
Boothbay
Mid Coast Maine, ME
Maine
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857 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Planning a first trip to Main

Hi glittering,

Boothbay Harbor would be a great home base as it has a little of everything you're looking for.

To get started check out www.boothbayharbor.com. This is the Chamber of Commerce's website and offers tons of info on just about everything you'd need to know about the area. It also includes a calendar of events so you can find out about the festival you mentioned, when and where its located.

Then you may want to borrow or purchase a copy of Christina Tree's 'Maine: An Explorer's Guide'. I think its one of the best around and has chapters on just about every area of Maine, what to do and see, where to stay and dine, maps, etc.

The above being said I can recommend a few B&B's that have great reputations though I've only stayed at one and that was a long time ago. They are: Welch House Inn, Topside Inn, Admiral's Quarters, and Greenleaf Inn. These are all in town and/or very short walking distance to town. I've been insie 3 of them and they looked very well maintained and are nicely decorated. I've stayed at the Admiral's Quarters years ago and though the rooms were small, the location, ambience and Innkeepers couldn't be nicer.

You mentioned coming in October. If you visit before or during Columbus Day Weekend, the harbor will still be pretty busy and most places will be open. If you come after Columbus Day Weekend, things quiet down, some of the shops, restaurants, etc. close and there is alot less hustle and bustle.

So it depends on what's important to you. If you want a huge choice of happenings and things to do and places to dine and stay, then come before or during Columbus Day Weekend, if you want a more peaceful, laid back sort of vacation then come after.

All of the B&B's/Inns I recommended I believe are open throughout the Fall and possibly even till Christmas. You'll have to check if you decide to come later in October.

Boothbay Harbor is a typical tourist town with all the typical shops, eateries, etc. and its alot of fun. But honestly, the best areas are outside of the downtown area if you want authenticity and a bit less hustle and bustle.

Make a point to visit the Boothbay Region Trust Trails, The Botanical Gardens, both of which offer lots of easy to intermediate hiking trails with beautiful views of the water, gardens, sculptures, and scenery.

Take drives out to Ocean Point, King Phillips Trail in East Boothbay where the views out to sea are panoramic, you can see 4 lighthouses and the summer homes very quaint and charming.

Head out to Southport Island to see 2 lighthouses (Hendricks Headlight and the Cuckholds Light), a small sandy mid-tide beach and quaint working harbor.

Go to Barter's Island and Trevett and meander the backroads there. Lots of cozy little inlets, coves, harbors, bridges. Stop at the Trevett store for lunch. Its open year round.

For antique shopping go to Wiscasett and check out Avalon, a huge co-op with 3 floors of great and interesting stuff!

Definitely make a daytrip to Pemaquid Point, home to Pemaquid Lighthouse which sits high on a bluff w/panoramic views of the ocean. It can really be dramatic just before or after a storm with waves crashing, wind, etc. Visit the little shop and restaurant or browse the art gallery near the parking lot.

I could go on and on with suggestions but I don't want to confuse or overwhelm you. Check out the site/book I mentioned and they should help tremendously.

Good luck!

cozyharbor

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Maine
Maine
United States
Topside Inn
Topside Inn
1,101 Reviews
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Greenleaf Inn at Boothbay Harbor
Greenleaf Inn at...
778 Reviews
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Southern Maine
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for Maine
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4,060 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Planning a first trip to Main

As usual, cozyharbor gives the best, and most complete answers:)

I would just add to a couple of points made: Downtown Wiscasset also has good shops for antiquing. Don't forget to poke around on the side streets.

Pemaquid Point is a favorite spot of mine. The waves can be dramatic and enticing, and many tourists get too close, not understanding the power of the ocean. I lived in that area for several years, and never ceased to be amazed at the people who would go as far down as possible to get that perfect picture, then get nailed by waves (even in the winter). So please enjoy carefully.

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3. Re: Planning a first trip to Main

We always use Columbus Day weekend as our guide to visit, a few days before or after the weekend are all good. This year we made reservations at the Topside Inn, and I looked at them all in Boothbay. We wanted view, walk to town and not flowered wallpaper all over!

Thanks for all the good information.

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Topside Inn
Topside Inn
1,101 Reviews
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Boothbay
Boothbay
Mid Coast Maine, ME
4. Re: Planning a first trip to Main

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