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Using the 1A

Bridgend, United...
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Using the 1A

My wife and I are planning to drive between Boston & Portland / Freeport on Tuesday 2nd Oct. Checking out on Google map the most direct route is via the '95' which should take around 2.5 hours.There is another option taking the '1A' that should take around 3.5 hours.

Is it worth taking the longer route scenic wise or is it better to go off the '95' to each of the coastal towns en route ?

Boston...
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1. Re: Using the 1A

I might suggest a combination route. Take the highway out of Boston and switch over to route 1A when you reach York Maine. That stretch is very near the shore and has some pretty towns. You can switch to route 9 for more coastal sites. The highway runs parallel to these roads so you can switch back when you want.

Penny

http://www.bostonzest.com/

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2. Re: Using the 1A

1A? from where ... I've followed RTE 1 from Portland to Boston and it was interesting but slow .... but 1A ... I think it would take more than 3.5 hours. 1A from Boston to about Salem is a secondary road, not particularly scenic and with a TON of traffic lights and for all of it except for the first few miles from the airport to Revere, the speed limit is 35mph or LESS ... it takes me 15-20 minutes to follow 1A from Lynn near the train station to Salem near the train station,

Maybe I don't understand the route you are proposing?

Edited: 10 May 2012, 22:04
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3. Re: Using the 1A

PS ... I like Penny's idea!

Boston...
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4. Re: Using the 1A

I have to disagree. The ride up the coast of New Hampshire on 1A is immediately beside the open ocean. It's a gorgeous ride. Even further, when you get to the Portsmouth city line, you can take a right on to Rte 1B and drive the loop road around New Castle. Another gorgeous ride with places to stop eat or enjoy the ocean Rte 1B brings you right to the city proper of Portsmouth. You can then get back on 95, getting off again in York and continue up 1A again or stay on the highway.

If the OP has no reason to hurry, I strongly suggest you go over to 1A immediately before the Hampton toll booth. The sign is for Hampton Beach.

The only thing you should know, is that once you get to Portsmouth, there are three bridges to get you over the river to Kittery, ME. The one you get to first, when traveling 1A, is out. It's being replaced. You'll need to go to either the second bridge (if you want to stay on 1A) or to the high level bridge which is Rte 95.

Edited: 10 May 2012, 22:30
North Shore, MA
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5. Re: Using the 1A

I agree that the New Hampshire piece of Route !A is lovely and very worth doing. If you're not in a rush, you could also take 1A through northern Massachusetts, starting in Beverly. The first mile or so will be strip miles and stop lights, but then you'll go through small New England towns like Wenham, Hamilton, and Ipswich and beautiful coastal marsh as you head on to Newburyport.

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6. Re: Using the 1A

If you want to add the northern Mass. leg of 1A, take Route 1 north from Boston, exit on to Route 128 north in Peabody, then exit on to Route 1A north in Beverly, taking it towards Wenham.

Also, you'll get great advice about coastal routes in Maine on the Maine Forum.

Boston...
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7. Re: Using the 1A

I agree that Route 1A in Massachusetts is pretty and worthwhile, but only north of Beverly.

Bridgend, United...
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8. Re: Using the 1A

Thanks to everyone for their speedy posts to this question !

It looks like back to the maps to check the options.

Boston...
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9. Re: Using the 1A

HappyGoing's bridge note explained why I was keeping you on the higway until York Maine.

But, I should have noted that if you like outlet stores you could get off in Kittery. I'm not a shopper so I skip those.

If you plan to return to Boston you could include a New Hampshire or Massachusetts coastal stretch on the return trip.

Boston...
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10. Re: Using the 1A

It should be noted that the signage is pretty good. The OP shouldn't have a problem doing any of these scenarios if he watches for signs.

BostonZest, I think the beauty of the shore route makes up for the inconvenience of having to drive through Portsmouth to get to one of the other two bridges, although I'm quite sure it's a pain in the patoot for any locals. Good idea to split up the shore rides though.