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Mid April road trip

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Mid April road trip

Posting this on a few Maine forums so please forgive if I seem to be repeating myself.

Husband and I will be flying into Boston on the 11th April and staying there for 2 nights. We then have hire car and 7 more nights to explore the Maine coast before returning to the Boston area on the 20th for our flight home on the 21st. This is what we have been thinking so far, any comments or suggestions are welcome. Leave Boston on the Saturday morning and drive north, but not too far, maybe stopping for the night in Salem, Rockport or Gloucester. We intend to book accommodation in advance for this night as it's a Saturday and I believe it's a State holiday that weekend so maybe busy (?).

Question - any preferences to which town to stay in on that Saturday night? Hotel / B&B recommendations also welcome, budget will be up to $150 a night hopefully less. We are both early 40's and enjoy eating out, going to bars and would like to chat to friendly locals during our trip. During the day happy to potter about and look at nice views.

After that Saturday night we have no fixed destinations or places to visit although we would like to keep to the coast. We realise that the weather probably won't be great in April so not planning on going too far north, probably as far as Portland as I hear it's a foodie city. Would have liked to get as far as Bangor, yes I know it's not on the coast, as I'm a huge Stephen King fan but if the weather is rubbish don't fancy travelling all that way just to see some spiderweb gates.

Personally I want to make sure to see Ogunquit and Kennebunk as they look lovely. I'm assuming we will be able to get last minute accommodation there mid week in April, will be taking a tablet so will be able to book on line as we go.

We don't want to plan too much as if we find ourselves somewhere that we really like we want to be able to stay an extra night without worrying about getting to the next hotel booking.

Question - other than the places I have mentioned, any other must see Maine towns on our way up to Portland?

If we have time on our hands after that, we may come back down south of Boston and try and see some of Cape Cod or Rhode Island. Is it feasible to travel from there to Logan airport on the Sunday morning in time for our evening flight or should we aim to stay closer?

Thanks all in advance, Jane & Chris

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1. Re: Mid April road trip

Monday the 15th is the day the marathon is run. Hotels in and around Boston will be booked and/or expensive that weekend. Salem Mass is only about 30 minutes from Boston. Rockport & Gloucester are a bit further but neither has lots of hotels.

I would suggest you take a leisurely drive and visit these areas but plan to spend the night further north. Maybe Portsmouth NH.

Boston to Salem to Rockport to Gloucester to Portsmouth is about 110 miles. Not bad at all especially with stops on the way.

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2. Re: Mid April road trip

Boston to Portland is only a couple hours drive. You could drive further and explore the Camden area as well. Boothbay Harbor is on the way. Just south of the Maine state line is Portsmouth, NH, which is a great seacoast town with lots of interesting old houses. For the first day of your drive, I would stop in Salem first to explore. The Peabody Essex Museum downtown is wonderful. There might be a greater chance of finding inexpensive lodging for one night in Gloucester or Salem. Rockport is lovely, but smaller.

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3. Re: Mid April road trip

You mention Salem, Rockport and Gloucester. Are you planning to visit places in those towns or just pass through? If you are just passing through then you should plan on staying further north. Those towns do have some things to see. Salem has the witches, or course. You might be interested in that if you are a Stephen King fan. Salem has much besides the witches too. Salem Maritime is interesting and House of Seven Gables.

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4. Re: Mid April road trip

Thanks for the quick responses, have heard that Salem is a nice place to visit aside from the witches so had thought about staying there or in the area on the Saturday night but perhaps if it's an expensive weekend we should look at further up perhaps Portsmouth then see Salem on the way back down. If we don't make it back down with time to do south of Boston, sounds like Salem would be a good choice to stay the Saturday before we fly home as we could go straight to Logan from there. sound like a plan?

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5. Re: Mid April road trip

If you do stay in Salem I can recommend the Hawthorne Hotel.

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6. Re: Mid April road trip

Thanks for the tip, will keep it in mind!

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7. Re: Mid April road trip

You would be crazy not to drive up to Bar Harbor.

I can certainly recommend Newburyport as a destination for your first night out of Boston, April 13th, but searching the web a bit I think you may have trouble finding any vacancies at this time. It looks like you should probably head further north on the first night, as others have said, to get as far away from Boston as possible (it's one of the most popular weekends of the year because of the marathon).

You could stay in some place like Ogunquit, ME on your first night.

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8. Re: Mid April road trip

Another option might be to drive straight to Portland and make your way south, spending the last night or two in Salem.

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9. Re: Mid April road trip

Given the number of days you have, I think you have time to spend a night in Salem (or Gloucester, Rockport, or Newburyport). You may find more accommodations available in this area at the end of your trip than over the Patriots' Day weekend; you could follow forgotmypword's suggestion above. The Hawthorne Hotel is a lovely historic hotel, but I just checked and found no availability that first Saturday; later in the week there were some rooms available, but all were over your budget. Salem also has a number of B&Bs as do the other three communities I mentioned. Ipswich and Essex are other nearby places to check for B&Bs.

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10. Re: Mid April road trip

Thanks all, have posted this message on a few Maine websites too and the concencous seems to be to drive further north for our first night so that's probably what we'll do, then see how the mood takes us the rest of the time we have. If the weather is good and we have the time then we may try going further north than Portland, would love to get to Bar Harbour but I think we'd need good weather to make the most of it and we won't know about that till we get there.