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Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

London UK
Level Contributor
47 posts
75 reviews
Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

Hi

After flying to Boston and having just a couple of nights there, we then have 11 nights to tour Maine and/or New Hampshire and/or Vermont. Just 2 of us, no kids :)

We definitely want to include at least 3 nights on the Maine coast and had thought of

3 nights Green Mountains

3 nights White Mountains

3 nights Bar Harbor area

We fly out of Logan airport late afternoon. Could we do that from Arcadia area in one day? Or are we better overnighting near Gloucester or somewhere?

Or another option is just to meander up the coast staying 2 or 3 or 4 different places - but where?

Bar Harbor looks nice but expensive and full - alternatives?

We don't mind the odd 1 or 2 one-night stops but prefer 3 or more night stays.

We like to be able to walk somewhere for dinner most nights. We like scenery, moderate hiking, finding nice places that the masses pass by.

I'll also post this in Maine and VT forums, but all suggestions welcomed

7 replies to this topic
Boston...
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4,765 posts
1 review
1. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

Best case scenario for Boston to Bar Harbor is just under 5 hours. I probably wouldn't want to do even that after a flight from the UK but for purposes of you deciding you need to factor in the day of the week and exactly when is "late afternoon".

For example leaving Boston at 4:00 on a Friday would be a traffic nightmare. Late Sunday would be close to the best case scenario. In between would be somewhere in between.

London UK
Level Contributor
47 posts
75 reviews
2. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

Thanks Hank but its the other way round. We need to be at Logan about 5pm on a Saturday

Antrim, New...
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2,258 posts
23 reviews
3. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

Acadia National Park and the whole of Mount Dessert Island is worth the time and the cost. I would recommend staying on the island. And while Bar Harbor is the main town on the island, there are also lodging options in and near the smaller towns - Southwest Harbor, Northwest Harbor, etc. We were just there last month and we stayed at a wonderful inn in Bar Harbor, walkable to everything, at about $175 per night. There is higher, but there is lower. Three nights is a good amount of time, though you could easily spend more days.

I don't know if i would devote 6 night to the White and Green Mountains. While there is a lot of uniqueness, there is also a lot of similarity. Maybe two nights in the Stowe and Burlington area, and 2 or 3 nights in the Whites.

Wherever you go, keep in mind that fall foliage is high season in NH and VT, especially on the weekends in late September and early October. Lodging, especially on weekends, may require 3 night minimum. If you can, avoid the Columbus Day weekend October 6-9 in the Whites due to crowds and cost.

If you can cut a day or two from the mountains, i would consider 2 or 3 nights down the coast in the Portland, ME or Portsmouth, NH area or any of the ocean side towns from north of Portland to Portsmouth. A different experience from Acadia. Make this the end of your trip and you will have a more reasonable drive to Logan on Saturday. Allow an extra hour for your drive into Boston that day, as the roads can get pretty congested as you approach the downtown area.

Massachusetts
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5,086 posts
265 reviews
4. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

Please consider that youa re coming at (or near) peak foliage season and the Oct 6-8 weekend is a long holiday weekend (Columbus Day in the US, Thanksgiving in Canada - and Canadians do come to the US for it!). Lodging for that weekend books early (with multiple nights required) leaving the expensive options.

You may need to base your itinerary on where you can find lodging for that weekend.

We found some very small cabins a couple of miles outside Bar Harbor (but near the main park entrance) that suited us for a few nights.

As to the Acadia to Boston question - what day will this be? Should be fine to get to Logan any day except Columbus Day, Oct 8, when southbound traffic will be the heaviest (and slowest).

new hampshire
Level Contributor
109 posts
93 reviews
5. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

You mentioned Bar Harbor is full. I suggest looking into Ogunuit for your days in Maine. A plethora of restaurants to walk to! Very scenic, with the Marginal Way and Perkins Cove, and an easy drive to Kennebunkport and York for excursions.

Edited: 11 September 2018, 08:58
Antrim, New...
Level Contributor
2,258 posts
23 reviews
6. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

I couldn't imagine that Bar Harbor is full. So I did a quick check of a couple of places for the busiest dates - Columbus weekend, Oct 5 thru 8. The Comfort Inn at the edge of town had no vacancies for those dates. I also checked the Holland Inn, in town, where i recently stayed (also wrote a TA review). They seemed to have a number of rooms available. I am sure there are other vacancies.

It may take some time, but I'd recommend you do a Google Maps search for Bar Harbor Lodging. It will flag a lot of places. You can put in your dates and it will show rates and availability, usually with links to third party sites. But do check the actual website for each place, especially the small independent inns and B&Bs for a more reliable look at vacancies. I am certain you will find nice lodging at a reasonable(for BH) rate.

London UK
Level Contributor
47 posts
75 reviews
7. Re: Slow road trip help please End Sept, beginning Oct

Thank you everybody. I love tripadvisor forums!

Ok, we've now decided to concentrate on Maine which seems to have everything. We've booked a cottage near Penobscot as a base for nearly a week so will do days out from there. Prior to that we will head to the hills and do some of the scenic drives and hikes

For the last couple of night we'll head to Ogunquit which we last visited 25 years ago.

Then a Saturday drive back to Logan for flight back

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