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summer in new england

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california
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summer in new england

We have about 10-12 days in May to travel in New England. Where is the best place to go for scenary? From Massachuset to maine. any key areas?

scituate, ma
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1. Re: summer in new england

Spend some time in Boston for the history, the culture, the resturants.

In New Hamopshire, see the White Mountains. Jackson, NH is especially nice wtih nearby North Conway for outlet shopping.

Maine has teh coast. You really should spend some time in Acadia National Park, and the Bar Harbor area.

What type of activities are you looking for? Outdoor adventure? Antiquing? Fine Dining? How about some hints.

california
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2. Re: summer in new england

Thanks for the information. I have a 7y.o. so we mostly will be sightseeing. We like to do some limited hiking. We love to go to museums(if my son can stand it),monuments, see the foliage.

We will be coming from the west coast. Any suggestion as to a starting point(northen new england or southern part)? Flight ticket is cheapest with roundtrip so likely wherever we arrive will be the place to depart. Therefore I need to account for "driving all the way back" time to depart.

Thanks again for your advise

Scott

Maine
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3. Re: summer in new england

As a general rule, it's cheaper to fly to Boston. However, you might want to check out JetBlue. They begin flying to Portland, ME in May. Another option is to fly to Manchester, NH. It's a very nice small airport with a number of cheaper flights (like Southwest). It's 45 minutes from Boston and 90 minutes from Portland.

I agree that Boston is a must for sightseeing. White Mountains of NH are great, too. The southern Maine coast is fun for kids. Old Orchard Beach is very kitschy and kids tend to like it. Not sure when the arcade opens for the season, though. Portland is a lot of fun. The Old Port and Public Market are well worth seeing. Portland Museum of Art is excellent. I also recommend taking a boat trip around the Casco Bay islands from the Portland harbor.

Freeport is only about 20 minutes north from Portland and this is where you'll find tons of outlet shopping. (Even more outlets in Kittery, which is right on the southern tip of Maine, but Freeport stores are mostly in converted village houses.)

Another 20 minutes north and you come to Brunswick and Bath. Brunswick is a nice college town (Bowdoin college). Bath is an old-fashioned maritime town. It includes the Maine Maritime Museum, which I think you all would enjoy.

Within 15-20 minute drives of Bath are two of the best and most beautiful beaches in Maine: Popham Beach in Phippsburg and Reid State Park in Georgetown. Popham includes a the historic Fort Popham.

Within 30 minutes further up the coast from Bath you get the towns of Wiscasset (very pretty seacoast village with the best lobster roll anywhere at Red's Eats), Boothbay Harbor (another harbor town with lots of shops---quite touristy but shouldn't be too bad in May. On the way to Boothbay Harbor you'd want to be sure to stop in at Edgecomb Pottery), Damariscotta and Newcastle (on the ocean but also on the gorgeous Damariscotta Lake. Take a drive around the lake for beautiful views).

Acadia and the Bar Harbor area are great, but you should be aware that they are HOURS to the north.

Southern New...
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4. Re: summer in new england

When going through Wiscasset I must agree that you should try to hit it at around noon and do stop at Red's Eats. It just before the Bridge on the left. Don't let the little bitty trailer fool you as they have one serious lobster roll. The line's can be long but once you wait you'll know why.

Also if you go further north on Rt 1 Camden would be a nice stop. You can charter out on a two hour sail on a schooner, or a lobster boat or go on an island tour. Camden is the best little town on the coast.

Brunswick, Maine
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5. Re: summer in new england

I'd include a trip to the top of Mt. Washington if you hit that area on a clear day. Be sure to have warm clothes as it's a good 30 degrees colder at the top. Cool if you could pack a picnic lunch and stop part way up to eat and take in the view.

You didn't mention what part of May. Be aware that spring is very slow to come to these parts. Late May is way better than early May if you want to see green grass. :)

Boston is GORGEOUS around Mother's Day. Thousands of bulbs in bloom in the Boston Common. But, get reservations early as college graduations bring lots of folks to town.

Cape Cod is very pretty. Long beaches.

Acadia National Park is my favorite stop in Maine. You could spend a couple of days there. Very easy hikes. Take a boat ride, check out ranger-led activities.

st paul MN
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6. Re: summer in new england

we are also going to Maine this fall, and thinking of going to Boston for a couple of days.We are concerned about driving in out of Boston.Any thoughts on that ?? Would it be easier to maybe fly to portland? How far is Boston from Portland anyway.

I am getting some very good travel tips, as always from this sight. thanks, cathy

Maine
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7. Re: summer in new england

Cathy: If your destination is Maine, you might want to consider flying directly to Portland instead of Boston. The airfare will be higher, sometimes considerably, but might be worth it for convenience. Portland is less than 2 hours from Boston, and now that Amtrak goes between the two cities, as well as a comfortable and non-stop bus, I don't drive to/from Boston. (Logan airport is an exception - far enough away from downtown Boston that it's not a hassle to drive to Maine.)

Augusta, Maine
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8. Re: summer in new england

If you fly into Boston be sure to spend some time there. It is one of the great cities of America. Take your seven year old to the Boston Aquarium, and be sure to do the Duck Boat Tour, which is a real hit with kids. Drive to southern Maine---Old Orchard, as has been noted, is a great town for families, and there are several amusement parks in the area. It is a great beach, and has many, many motels and hotels. Spend a day in Portland and Freeport. Head from Portland to Bethel, Maine, about 70 miles, then over to Gorham, NH. Gorham is about 20 miles from Bethel. Just before getting into Gorham (actually, it is in Shelburne, NH) there is a motel called the Town and Country Motor Inn. It is not expensive, but has a GREAT pool area for your child. (Check it out on this website). This is the gateway to the White Mountains. There are hundreds of hikes, ranging from really easy to really hard in the Whites. Take the gondola ride up Wildcat Mountain. It is cheap and really fun, does not take too long, and gives you great views from the top. You can drive up Mount Washington, too. As noted by Michele, bring pleny of clothes. It may be 70 degrees at the bottom and snowing at the top, even in late spring. Be advised that the ride BACK DOWN Mt. Washington often entails stopping from time to time to let your brakes cool off. Be sure to stop at the Mt. Washington Hotel and check out the grounds and lobby. Unless you have a bundle of money, you probably won't want to stay there, but it is something to see. Then, head to North Conway, NH for some more good outlet shopping. Drive to Fryeburg, then head south back to Boston to fly out again.

In the time you have alloted, you can't see all of Maine, not really much of it, but the Southern Maine beaches are great, and the Whites give you a taste for the mountains of New England. Bon Voyage.

california
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9. Re: summer in new england

Hello folks,

Thanks for the boatload of info.! Your thoughtful suggestions are truely appreciated. It will take us sometime to digest this. It turns out that my company won't let me take the May vacation, instead it is more likely I will be let out of the cage in early October. I think it is still a fine time to watch the leaf changes and not too cold at the time.

I think your suggestions about the outlet will be great news for my wife and the White mountain is great for me. My son will enjoy the beach as well.

It sounds like NH is the place to arrive and stay. Which airport for direct flight is best to land in NH? Do you think it's reasonable to spend about 4 days to visit NH, Maine and Vermont. 4 days to New York and New Jersey,Massachusets. Add two days of traveling(arriving at NH and departing there). Or is that too crazy of a schedule?

Scott8888

Thank you again

Scott

Brunswick, Maine
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10. Re: summer in new england

I vote for "too crazy." Just do Boston & North on this trip. NYC deserves its own trip some other time.

Speaking of Freeport, you will probably want to visit LLBean's flagship store. The seven year old will probably get a kick out of the indoor trout pound and the dozens of taxidermied animals (moose, fox, etc.) located at various spots in the store.