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Maine recommendations

Old 10-04-2019, 08:37 PM
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Default Maine recommendations

Heading to Maine in January....on purpose. Not really interested in ultra touristy but we like exploring the area. Unless someone tells me different, probably heading to Bar Harbor. Haven't reserved lodging yet. Wouldn't mind something interesting, preferably on or near the water. Open to suggestions. Thanks in advance.
Old 10-04-2019, 10:13 PM
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Its going to be cold. And dead. If you are not going skiing, snowmobiling, or ice fishing then might as well visit Portland instead of some boarded up tourist trap.
Old 10-05-2019, 06:56 AM
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I just came back from Bar Harbor and Portland.Thats not a place you want to be in January.End of September or October is best. If you still want to go Portland is your best bet,you can day trip from there.
Old 10-05-2019, 07:25 AM
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Bar Harbor has maybe 3 hotels and 5 restaurants (highly recommend Blaze) open in the winter. NE Harbor is a ghost town and IIRC, SW Harbor has only the Dry Dock Inn, 2 restaurants (Sips, Red Sky) and the grocery store open.

That being said, it's a gorgeous time to be there. Though many of the roads within the Park are closed to motor traffic. So just be prepared.
https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvis...activities.htm

Old 10-05-2019, 07:29 AM
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Also just got back ,Bar Harbor is cruise ship stop but not in winter. Boothbay is much quieter and more picturesque and near by Camden is nice take snow chains.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweetwater500 View Post
Also just got back ,Bar Harbor is cruise ship stop but not in winter. Boothbay is much quieter and more picturesque and near by Camden is nice take snow chains.
Boothbay is a virtual ghost-town in the winter too. In our NE Tourist spots, there is a VERY different atmosphere between Labor Day to Columbus Day and post-Halloween. Even moreseo in Jan/Feb.
Old 10-05-2019, 10:21 AM
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Agree with those above BH and BoozeBay will be ghost town and many places completely close up after leaf peeping season. I’d suggest renting some sleds and going to Sugarloaf or possibly the Forks area.
Portland is always nice for “foodie” stuff and the most brew pubs per capita in the USA. Stay down on Commercial St to be able to walk the Old Port section.
Old 10-05-2019, 11:57 AM
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I completely hear you all but we actually want to be there in January even knowing it will be dead. I appreciate the info so far. Anyplace that would be fun to explore, let me know.
Old 10-05-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JAGSARE1 View Post
I completely hear you all but we actually want to be there in January even knowing it will be dead. I appreciate the info so far. Anyplace that would be fun to explore, let me know.
Cool, as long as you go in with eyes open!

The West House Inn in BH is smack on the main drag, and in the winter, a few minutes walk from everything. If you want a B&B, The Elmhurst Inn is still downtown, maybe a 5 minute walk from Main Street...hosts a fair amount of folks visiting Jackson Lab (and has a very good breakfast, along with a great innkeeper). Trailhead Cafe is a great spot for hot coffee or a snack, as well as the three restaurants I noted upthread. I've stayed at Dry Dock Inn during the winter, nice place (very cheap off season) and you may very well be the only person in the Inn. Good thing is that they do accept pets

Old 10-05-2019, 06:20 PM
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More thanks. We will drive anywhere within reason if there is anything we have to see. Probably not more than an hour away or we don't even mind staying in different places each night or every 2 nights. This is a different kind of vacation. No real plans. We are literally going to fly in, get a car and go wherever sounds interesting.
Old 10-05-2019, 06:34 PM
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My limited SC knowledge would recommend Kittery Trading Post, Bobs Clam Hut and lobster at Newicks. All in Kittery / Portsmouth. All must do Maine things. BH is a bit north though.
Old 10-05-2019, 06:51 PM
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A hour trip downeast or north up the coast you can visit some fishing villages. January is the inshore scallop season. In Lubec “it borders Canada” you can watch the fleet drag then go to local restaurants and have a nice dinner.
Its pretty windy and cold that time of year it can be really beautiful when zero degrees and there is sea smoke on the bays and the sun is rising.
Old 10-05-2019, 07:32 PM
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You could do a loop up out of Bar Harbor, through Ellsworth, Blue Hill (cool little town), Brooklin, Sedgwick, across Eggemoggin Reach on the bridge to Deer Isle, eat lunch in Stonington, then head back, maybe looping back through Castine and Penobscot, that would take all of a long day and you'd see some cool sights.

Staying in Ellsworth opens up more north and south options than staying in Bar Harbor but Ellsworth is kinda junky along Rte 1. Going north from Ellsworth up through Gouldsboro and Steuben and on up to Jonesport is another nice ride. Also from Ellsworth, Bangor is in easy reach and it's kind of a cool place in its way and there might even be a couple people around!
Old 10-06-2019, 03:50 AM
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The two winters we spent in Presque Isle was so bad, I dont think we ever got out of the house.

The old man was stationed at the AFB and I always wondered who the hell he pizzed off to get us sent there.

One morning he backed the car out of the garage and slid down the driveway. When he finally stopped sliding he was a block away.

Have fun!
Old 10-06-2019, 06:44 AM
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Acadia National Park all ways must see out of Bar Harbor but it may be closed due to snow and wind bundle up.
Old 10-06-2019, 07:10 AM
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Rt 1 from Portland north is a good road to day trip on.Try Bath its got a great maritime museum and Bath Iron Works.There are two destroyers and a stealth boat being built.Camden,Rockport all good to see.
Old 10-06-2019, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by triumphrick View Post
The two winters we spent in Presque Isle was so bad, I dont think we ever got out of the house.

The old man was stationed at the AFB and I always wondered who the hell he pizzed off to get us sent there.

One morning he backed the car out of the garage and slid down the driveway. When he finally stopped sliding he was a block away.

Have fun!
That’s a whole different world up there. Coastal Maine is a different climate
Old 10-07-2019, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by icemang View Post
You could do a loop up out of Bar Harbor, through Ellsworth, Blue Hill (cool little town), Brooklin, Sedgwick, across Eggemoggin Reach on the bridge to Deer Isle, eat lunch in Stonington, then head back, maybe looping back through Castine and Penobscot, that would take all of a long day and you'd see some cool sights.

Staying in Ellsworth opens up more north and south options than staying in Bar Harbor but Ellsworth is kinda junky along Rte 1. Going north from Ellsworth up through Gouldsboro and Steuben and on up to Jonesport is another nice ride. Also from Ellsworth, Bangor is in easy reach and it's kind of a cool place in its way and there might even be a couple people around!
I completely agree with Ice. The Blue Hill Peninsula/loop is one of my favorites in Maine. Castine Inn is a great inn with very good food. IIRC, Brooklin Inn is open in the winter, and their food is excellent. Buck's in Brooksville is another yummy stop (dinners only). The other loop that is excellent is Boothbay/Damariscotta/Newcastle/Bristol/South Bristol. (well, more like a figure 8).

And, Ice is 100% right that Route 1 in Ellsworth is strip mall h$ll. Hideous. Though downtown is cute. Helen's has good hearty food (very good lobster chowder) at reasonable prices.

Word of warning, though..most of 'tourist' Maine shuts down in the winter. Call in the morning to make sure you can get a room for the night...because:
1. It's often not super clear from websites if Inns/Hotels/B&Bs are open during the winter (look for seasonal in the verbiage. Seasonal usually = closed between Columbus and Easter/Memorial Day)
2. The innkeepers may not pick up right away
3. Cell phone reception in Coastal Maine, north of Portland, is spotty.
If all else fails, the major chains in Augusta and Bangor are always an option (and less than an hour from the coast)

Also suggest picking up a DeLorme Map (due to spotty cell service) and don't underestimate the amount of time it takes to drive from point A to point B in winter. Maine has a lot of roads to clear, and some of them may be very ice or snow covered, even for quite some time after a storm. Be prepared (always have warm clothes, snacks/water, and a 1/2 tank of gas).
Old 10-07-2019, 06:23 AM
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Skiing and snowmobiling are the only rational things to do that time of the year around here. Being on the water is going to be as cold as a witches tit. Even though the coast tends to be warmer, it feels significantly colder.
Old 10-07-2019, 11:42 AM
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Bar Harbor is good in January, its a ghost town compared to summer but still cool in its own right.. Make sure you read Storm of the Century before you go.
Bring microspikes to do some real exploring around Acadia Park.

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