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Forums » Massachusetts » Day Trip from Boston to Maine

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PHeymont

Day Trip from Boston to Maine

by PHeymont »

It would help to have a bit more idea what you're interested in seeing and getting a feel for in Maine. For instance, four immediate thoughts for southern Maine on a day-trip or short overnighter, but only one, or maybe all, will be what you're looking for!

If you are an outlet shopper, there are big clusters of outlets in Kittery, just over the border from Portsmouth, and at Freeport (north of Portland), which is also home to LLBean.

If you're in to wacky-tacky fun with a nostalgic feel, the amusements pier and beaches at Old Orchard Beach (south of Portland) are open through mid-October (although I wouldn't count on go-in-the-water temperature

At Wells, a bit further south than OOB, you'll find the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, which has wonderful walks through extensive wooded areas and down into tidal salt marsh (on a dry boardwalk). Depending on day or time, you'll either be on well-explained self-guided walks, or with a ranger.

If food is your thing, Portland is your place. Over recent years it's become a tremendous foodie scene, with lots of good food and bread. Don't go only for the big gourmet deals, though. Two of our favorites are Becky's Diner on the Commercial Street waterfront (it's definitely a diner, but much more; really good dinners and it serves as a community meeting place) and the Lobster Shack, south of Portland at Cape Elizabeth. Reasonably priced, fresh lobster, lobster rolls and more, in a simple room or out on a terrace right on the beach.

More details obviously on anything that interests you...

 

 

3850/1200/5050

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jamejamerz

RE: Day Trip from Boston to Maine

by jamejamerz »

You make a valid point PHeymont. I edited my original post with a bit more of what I'm intereted in. I'm not interested in the outlet shops or the wildlife refuge. And I'm definitely not in this for the food. Unforetunately I'm allergic to seafood (good luck in Boston, I know!) I'm more interested in a nice drive along the ocean, seeing the water, dripping my feet in, maybe seeing a light house. Thanks.

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PHeymont

RE: Day Trip from Boston to Maine

by PHeymont »

One thing you'll find in Maine is that there's quite a lot of variety in the beaches, including sand that ranges from soft to coarse, and in some places (Higgins Beach, near Scarborough, for instance) it's mostly pebbles. You'll find that there's seldom a through north-south road directly paralelling the shore in southern Maine; it's actually true further east as well.

The pattern is that the through road is a bit inland, the towns and villages are on the water, and you'll need to use a good map to show you where to leave the main road for your "shunpiking." The good news is that Maine will give you a good one free. Go to this site for the Maine Tourism Association and request their travel planner (request the paper version). They will mail it to you along with a copy of the map.

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jamejamerz

RE: Day Trip from Boston to Maine

by jamejamerz »

I requested it! Thanks for the insights.

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PHeymont

RE: Day Trip from Boston to Maine

by PHeymont »

Enjoy your trip...it's one of my favorite areas...and if the weather is right for it this summer, you may get some great leaves, too...

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jamejamerz

RE: Day Trip from Boston to Maine

by jamejamerz »

I booked a trip to Boston this upcoming October (2nd-11th) and looking for some advice. I think I'm fairly set on most of the things I want to do in downtown Boston. I'll be arrive in Boston at 9pm Saturday night via Amtrak from Chicago and leave the following Saturday at 12:00 (noon). I'd like to spend one day heading north. I'd like to stop in Salem and also hit New Hampshire and Maine. A friend of mine is from York, Maine and mentioned I might be able to make a 24 hour up from Boston to just get a feel of the coast and (I know it's corney) knock 2 more states off my list. 

I was thinking of renting a car in Boston at 8am Friday morning and heading up to Salem to be there by 10 to hit up a museum or two. Then continue on North from there. I have reservations at my hostel for Friday in Boston but would be willing to stay somewhere north and drive back to Boston Saturday morning if I think I can make my noon train home. Some people have recommened I move the trip north to my first day there (Sunday) since Friday would be the beginning of the Columbus Day 3-day weekend and it may be crowded on the roads/shore.

I guess also I need to research how much time I think I'll be in Salem. I suspect I'll just be there a few hours (3-4) to do the museum and walk around a bit. I expected to maybe stay overnight in Maine and then drive back the next morning. But that's sort of what I'm looking to get help with. 

I think my best bet is to drive to Salem first thing Sunday morning. I'll have to make sure everything I want to do in Salem is open on a Sunday. Then from there hop on 95 N to Salisbury where I switch over to Route 1A and drive through Hampton (is this smart?) up to Portsmouth. Then take the 103N to 1A to Cape Neddick/Nubble Light House. If I do nothing but drive, Salem to York is 2hrs 5 min and 64 miles. 

Anyways, I think if I leave Sunday morning around 8, do what I need to do in Salem and be back on the road by 3-4 I can make it to Maine by nightfall and probably stay overnight somewhere in Maine. And then drive straight back to Boston the next morning (I can take the 2 hours scenic drive home too).  What do you think????

I should note - 28/f traveling alone for the first time but well versed in road trips. 

I should also note, I'm most interested in just seeing the coastline. Not very interested in shopping, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, etc. I'd like to walk down to the ocean and dip my feet in the water (even if it's cold!) but more just looking for a good scenic drive along the water. If there's time, I'd maybe like to walk around a lighthouse. I'm not a foodie and can't eat seafood. I know I have limited time so my option would be just to drive along the water and dip my feet in and soak in a good view every couple of miles or if I have time to check out a light house and possibly a short board walk.

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