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Big city?

Farmingdale, New...
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86 posts
14 reviews
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Big city?

We're driving up to Maine for one week and after spending hours and hours online reading itineraries and reivews, we're completley overwhelmed. We were thinking of making our first stop Portland. But is it a big city? We're going to Maine to get out of the suburbs and the city, into a more rustic and relaxing environment for a vacation. We're not sure if we should stay in Portland for 3-4 days and do little side trips, and then head to Bar Harbor and stay there for a few days before heading home. Or, not stay in Portland at all. We're looking to relax, but also do stuff.... looking forward to touristy stuff but also not everything being commercialized and touristy. We want to do some nature stuff too- afterall, it's maine! we know there will be tons in Acadia (kayaking, trails, shops, etc.) but can't get a grip on all of this.

Thanks!

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Maine
Maine
United States
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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3,907 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Big city?

Portland, our largest city, boasts roughly 65,000 people and probably more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the northeast, maybe in the country.

Plan on staying in the Old Port area---check this forum for past threads on lodging, food, and activities.

As for Acadia,

http://www.acadiamagic.com

provides links to a wealth of information on lodging, activities, and the like. There are two forums devoted to the area: Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, which also are searchable and provide a lot of information and opinion.

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Old Port
Old Port
978 Reviews
Portland, ME
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor
Mount Desert Island, ME
Southern Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
4,037 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Big city?

Portland isn't a big city in the way of Boston or New York City. It offers plenty of "stuff", both touristy and not. As you mention, it would be a good base for day trips in southern Maine.

For something different, you could do a couple of days there, then either head to the mid-coast (Boothbay or Camden) or to the Sebago Lake/Naples area to sample the lakes of Maine.

Then you could finish in Acadia. Come to think of it, maybe you could do this whole thing in reverse, then you'd be closer to home when you have to leave.

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Boston
Boston
Massachusetts
Maine
Maine
United States
Camden
Camden
Mid Coast Maine, ME
Sebago Lake
Sebago Lake
33 Reviews
Maine
Naples
Naples
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Portland, Maine
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31 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Big city?

To add to the previous comments, in and around Portland I recommend: a walk around Back Cove; a walk along the Presumpscott River; and, the mail run on the Casco Bay ferry.

Have a great time.

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Casco Bay
Casco Bay
216 Reviews
Portland, ME
Portland, Maine
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23 posts
19 reviews
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4. Re: Big city?

Portland is a small city by most standards but offers some really great activities. Three days should be good.

Make sure to get out to Portland Head Light to see the lighthouse and state park. If it's nice (and hot-- like today) make your way to the beach-- Crescent or Scarborough are good choices, although you will have to pay to park. Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth is at $4.50 per adult (which is outrageous for those of us who live here, but alas, they have to make some money I guess). Scarborough is a nice beach in my opinion, but you'll still pay.

Acadia will be amazing for your outdoorsy activities. Enjoy the amazing food in Portland (as someone mentioned, we're actually second in the country for restaurants per capita, after San Fran I believe). I recommend a lobster roll at the Lobster Shack (may be pricey, but the view is priceless), 555 in Portland for a fancy meal, good food also at David's, Ribolita (italian), Pom's Noodles (thai food), Emilitsa (greek and pricey), The Greek Corner (not so pricey, good greek), Walters (America), and there is a great Indian food place on Congress st-- i'm blanking on the name.

HAVE FUN!

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Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light
1,780 Reviews
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Lobster Shack
Lobster Shack
889 Reviews
Ogunquit, ME
David's Restaurant
David's Restaurant
436 Reviews
Portland, ME
Emilitsa
Emilitsa
700 Reviews
Portland, ME
Walter's
Walter's
416 Reviews
Portland, ME
Wolcott, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
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1,002 posts
173 reviews
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5. Re: Big city?

We go to Maine many time during the year; just returned from a 1 week vacation. We stay in Portland on our way up for 2 nights. This gives us enough time to enjoy the city plus get out to Cape Elizabeth, Two Lights State Park (and the Lobster Shack), Crescent Beach etc. Originally from Long Island myself I never find Portland to be busy or congested compared to NY. We then take Rt 1 all the way up to Bar Harbor. Rockland and Camden are lovely towns to visit on the way up. The bridge in Bucksport is amazing and has a tower at the top you can go up to. We love Acadia so we wind up staying 5 days up there. Loads of outdoor activities to do so if that's what you really enjoy, Acadia is where you want to spend most of your time. Get a good map and you can find some wonderful places that most day tourists miss. On the way back we usually stop in/around Freeport or Yarmouth. LL Bean is always worth a stop but Freeport has a lovely State Park (Wolfes Neck) and the coast around Yarmouth is beautiful. Again, get a good map and just drive. It's amazing what you can discover.

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Maine
Maine
United States
Lobster Shack
Lobster Shack
889 Reviews
Ogunquit, ME
Rockland
Rockland
Mid Coast Maine, ME
Camden
Camden
Mid Coast Maine, ME
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Yarmouth
Yarmouth
Southwest Nova Scotia, Canada
6. Re: Big city?

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