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kennebunkport/cape elizabeth driving/hotels

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kennebunkport/cape elizabeth driving/hotels

My husband and I will be concluding a tour of New England this October by spending 3 nights along the coast of Maine before flying home from the PORTLAND airport. We would like to spend some time in Kennebunkport area – shopping at Dock Square, dining in some waterfront restaurants, touring the coast /beaches, maybe visiting to Lighthouse Depot shop The other area we are very interested in is Cape Elizabeth because we want to spend time looking around the lighthouses and perhaps up to Freeport area.

We can’t decide whether we should just spend our 3 nights in Kennebunkport (considering the Beach House Inn) which would require driving one day to Cape Elizabeth for sightseeing, and our final morning to Portland airport for a noon flight . OR our second option would be to just spend 1 night in Kennebunkport, and then drive to Cape Elizabeth (considering the Inn by the Sea) and stay the final two nights there so we would be closer to sightseeing in the area before heading home from Portland Airport on our final morning.;

Our main Question is the ACTUAL Drive times between those areas the second week of October. Mapquest says it takes about 1 hour. We would need to make the drive to visit the Portland Light Lighthouse on a Thursday or Friday, - just not sure how much time it might take. When we drive to the airport, it would be a Saturday, -Our thought is that perhaps if the drive up to the Portland area is crowded, perhaps it might be beneficial to move to a different hotel the last 2 nights so we are closer to the airport and the Portland Lighthouse area.

Any suggestions of other places to stay that might be more central between these two points??

Central Maine
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1. Re: kennebunkport/cape elizabeth driving/hotels

If you get on the Maine Turnpike at the Kennebunk exit, you definitely can be at the Portland Jetport in an hour.... Ditto to the Portland Head Light. It means you won't see much of US Rt 1, but with all due respect to the folks who live there, Rt 1 through Biddeford, Saco and into South Portland is far enough inland from the coast that you won't see the ocean -- mostly just the shops, stores, motels, restaurants and occasional residences along that section of roadway. Rt 1 serves as the major local commercial highway through those communities, with fairly heavy delivery and service vehicle traffic year-round. Add in the fall foliage traffic and it can get busy and slow at times. By contrast, while sounding less exciting, the Turnpike is built to carry heavy traffic volumes and is three-lanes-in-each-direction between the Portland and Kennebunk exits.

If you're truly concerned about travel time to the Portland area and/or airport, why not consider spending the last night at a hotel somewhere near the airport, driving up to Portland the afternoon before your flight, checking in, and then going out to the Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth Lobster Shack, etc and enjoying your last day in Maine without worrying about getting to the airport on time.

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2. Re: kennebunkport/cape elizabeth driving/hotels

You can pretty much consider traffic to be a non-issue as far as its effect on your driving time goes.

Kennebunkport to the Jetport via the turnpike is an hour max - I would be surprised if it took much more than 45 minutes actually.

Kennebunkport to Cape Elizabeth is probably about an hour utilizing the turnpike there as well.

Cape Elizabeth to the Jetport is realistically a half hour - this would be the only trip that would have traffic to really slow you down.

More time in Cape Elizabeth would keep you closer to Portland (shopping and dining in the Old Port, perhaps a ferry ride around the islands), Portland Headlight, Two Lights and Freeport. A leisurely drive from Cape Elizabeth to Kennebunkport via Route 9 would be pleasant and take you through Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Biddeford, more along the coast. It would probably be closer to 1.5 hours but would be worth it for the extra scenery.

The Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth is VERY nice. I am not familiar with the Kennebunkport hotel you mentioned.

Cape Elizabeth...
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3. Re: kennebunkport/cape elizabeth driving/hotels

I agree with mainesunseeker----Mapquest's "one hour" is a worst-case scenario. In normal traffic at that time of year, it will take you much less.

You didn't mention where you are coming from prior to your arrival in Kennebunk, and so while I am sure you will enjoy that village I'd explore it then continue onward to the Portland area. Without a doubt, I would spend no more than 1 night in Kennebunkport then go onward to Portland (or as you suggest, Cape Elizabeth, which is a Portland suburb). You've so many more options on things to do that way.

I adore the Inn By The Sea, but you might also consider Black Point Inn (www.blackpointinn.com). The service is similar to Inn by The Sea, but this is an older property with a long history of elegance. It sits between two beautiful beaches, and has a nearby cliff-trail around Prout's Neck which is to die for. It is, however, probably 5 to 10 minutes farther rom Portland than is Inn By The Sea. I guess it depends on your preferences; Inn By the Sea is probably just a hair more modern in its rooms, but I think the location is not quite as good as Black Point. I am a "foodie" and on that score I think they are equal.

In Kennebunk I also do prefer The White Barn Inn to the Beach House Inn; in particular I favour "Mays Cottage" at the White Barn.

Edited: 3:03 pm, March 27, 2010
4. Re: kennebunkport/cape elizabeth driving/hotels

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