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Maine coast in July

Brooklyn, ny
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Maine coast in July

I'm planning a trip with my husband, son, daughter and son-in-law for a week in July. I love Acadia, but it's just awfully congested. I'd like to find a scenic spot along the coast which is not as touristy as Camden, but has cottages for rent, restaurants (fresh lobsters, of course), lovely walks, and some other things to do. Any suggestions?

Boothbay Harbor...
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1. Re: Maine coast in July

I would like to suggest Boothbay Harbor, but it is might be "as touristy as Camden," however the adjacent communities -- West Boothbay Harbor, Southport Island, East Boothbay -- might fill the bill. They are much quieter while still offering access to the amenities in the Harbor. We have the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and the Boothbay Region Land Trust conservation preserves which offer extensive opportunities for lovely walks. Plenty of cottages to rent, many right on the water, and plenty of restaurants and other things to do, too.

Another alternative might be Damariscotta and the Bristol - South-Bristol - New Harbor - Pemaquid penninsula.

Brooklyn, ny
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2. Re: Maine coast in July

Although your reply is informative, I thought this forum was supposed to be for travelers, not hotels or resorts. Harborfields is a resort near Boothbay, so obviously your view is not exactly objective. However, since you listed your name openly, it does not seem as though you were trying to deceive anyone. Meanwhile, we definitely are considering the Boothbay area as a possible destination.

Bass Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Maine coast in July

Have you considered the western "quiet" side of MDI centered around Southwest Harbor? I don't think most people consider SW Harbor touristy, but there are lots of cottages nearby, a few very good restaurants, and excellent lobster pounds (see http://www.AcadiaChamber.com). Also, the trails on the western side of Acadia are much less traveled than those near the Loop Road.

Brooklyn, ny
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4. Re: Maine coast in July

You're right; I had not considered Southwest Harbor. I think we once drove through Southwest Harbor, and it definitely was much less touristy than Bar Harbor-- seemed more real. What you say makes sense, but I think if we were on MDI, we'd want to go by Ocean Drive, Sand Beach, Mt. Cadillac-- all the great sights there, which would all be a pretty long drive away. I have never been to the western side of the island, so I wonder if the trails there are as scenic as the ones near the Loop Road.

One other point: we live in NYC, and one of the appeals of the Boothbay area is that it's not quite that far away.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5. Re: Maine coast in July

It's about a 20 minute drive from Southwest Harbor to the top of Cadillac -- not really "a long drive away"! From Southwest Harbor to Bar Harbor is only about a 15 minute drive.

As for the trails on the Western side of MDI (called The Quiet Side or The Back Side) they are every bit as scenic as the trails on the more popular side of MDI. The view from the top of Acadia Mountain is spectacular. You can see all of Somes Sound and out to sea. The Perpendicular Trail up Mansell Mountain has steps carefully laid in the path. It's very nice. And if you have never been on The Quiet Side that means you haven't done the Ship Harbor trail or Wonderland -- both short, easy, and very nice trails.

Brooklyn, ny
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6. Re: Maine coast in July

Thanks for the info. I had thought the distances were more than that. And the trails you describe sound very appealing-- esp. the short, easy ones. My husband and I are "seniors," and not looking for challenging climbs. I will discuss your suggestion with my family.

Boothbay Harbor...
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7. Re: Maine coast in July

Bonniemaev's right, the island and the park are a pretty compact place all in all, and it is definitely not necessary to stay in the center of the hub-bub to enjoy the park. When I was a kid, my family would visit MDI on our sailboat while my grandparents were camping at Seawall or Black Spruce campgrounds. We spent a lot of time in Southwest Harbor, and I always thought _that_ was the center of the action at Acadia (we rarely got up to that little place called Bar Harbor back then).

Yes, I do represent a specialty lodging provider in Boothbay Harbor, but I am also a traveler. I try very hard to respect the Community Guidelines in my participation here. There is more to the Maine coast than Acadia (although that is spectacular), and I'm glad to see you are considering the Boothbay region despite my intrusion.

Wolcott, Connecticut
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for Bar Harbor
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8. Re: Maine coast in July

We go up to Acadia every summer; most recently during peak weeks in July/August. There are many, many places on the "quiet side" of the island to go where you'll see very few people. There are places to swim (Echo Lake, Somes Pond and Long Pond), there are places to hike and walk (we go with my 80 yr old parents and they're right there beside us), wonderful places to eat and shop. It's not a long drive over to the Bar Harbor area. When we go into Bar Harbor we avoid the cruise ship days. When we want to go to Sand Beach or Cadillac Mountain we just do it earlier or later in the day and avoid any traffic. If you're flexible and willing to do a little exploring it is totally possible to have a wonderful trip but not get caught up in the congestion.

Brooklyn, ny
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9. Re: Maine coast in July

Thank you all for your contributions. I apologize to Harborfields, and I don't feel you "intruded." You're right: you do have a right to participate as a traveler. I will discuss the choice of Boothbay vs. Sourthwest Harbor with my family. I do appreciate all your recommendations. Thanks again.

Brooklyn, ny
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10. Re: Maine coast in July

I was impressed by the posts from both you and bonnimaev, and we have in fact decided to look for a place on the "quiet side" of Acadia. We are 5 adults, and my son-in-law requres the internet for work, so we are looking for a pretty large house (preferably 3 bedrooms) which is not too expensive. (Less than $1500. for a week) Any recommendations?

Thanks again for your suggestions.