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Consult a currency exchange website, such as www.oanda.com/convert/classic, to check up-to-the-minute rates.

 

Costs

Here's a scene I've seen repeated dozens of times in Maine. It's late Saturday afternoon, maybe early in July. A young (or not-so-young) couple has driven up from the city by car or motorcycle, "just for the day," in sparkling clear weather. But something magical has happened.

They've fallen in love with each other all over again, and with the quaint lovely Maine-ness of (insert town here). They've decided to stay for the night in a feather bed, eat a nice meal, and maybe watch the sun set over the (ocean/mountains/lake) and have a beer, and head home tomorrow morning fully assured that all is right with the world. 

Except that here they stand, before a tourist information center staff member, looking despondent (or even desperate) as the staffer holds a phone in one hand, waiting for an answer.

"Isn't there anything cheaper?" pleads one of the lovebirds. "No, and that's a good price," responds the person behind the desk as kindly as possible. “You won't find anything better. Now, do you want me to book it, or not?"

Yes, travelers are in for a little sticker shock on the coast of Maine, at least during peak travel seasons. In midsummer, there's simply no such thing as a cheap motel room in places such as Portland, Camden, or Bar Harbor. Even no-frills mom-and-pop motels can and do sometimes happily charge $100 a night or more for a bed that could fairly be described as a notch above car-camping. Blander-than-bland chain hotels demand even more.

To be fair, innkeepers in some of these tourist areas must reap nearly all their annual profits in what amounts to just a 2- or 3-month season each year, so that's one reason for the approaching-bank-stickup rates. It's not like they enjoy your misery (I don't think).

Anyhow, take heart. Outside of peak foliage season and holidays, the cost of rooms, meals, and day-to-day expenses is generally a lot less here than you'd pay in a major non-New England city. You can find excellent entrees at upscale, creative restaurants for around $20, comparing favorably with similar dishes at big-city restaurants that would top $30.

Still, lodging here is more expensive than in almost any other rural part of the United States, and planning can prove tricky for budget travelers.

It's highly recommended that you travel with at least one major credit card. You must have one to rent a car, and hotels and airlines usually require a credit card imprint as a deposit against expenses.

WHAT THINGS COST ON THE MAINE COAST: US$

Taxi from Portland airport to downtown Portland: 25 + tip

Double room, moderate: 130

Double room, inexpensive: 85

Three-course dinner for one, moderate, no wine: 25–35

Bottle of domestic beer: 2

Bottle of Coca-Cola: 1.29

Cup of coffee: 2–3

1 gallon of gas: 2.35

Admission to Ogunquit Museum of American Art: 9–10 per person

Admission to Acadia National Park, May–Oct: 12¬–25 per vehicle

Admission to Acadia National Park, Nov–Apr: Free

 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.