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Camden or near Bar Harbor?

Philadelphia, PA
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Camden or near Bar Harbor?

We're thinking of exchanging time share with Interval International into either the Samoset in Rockport/Camden or Harbor Ridge in Acadia National Park. Does anyone recommend one over the other? Planning on spending a week and want to see some of the the area, not just spending time at the resort.

Also, how far is the Bay of Fundy from either resort?


Central Maine
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1. Re: Camden or near Bar Harbor?

Have never stayed at Harbor Ridge.....but have visited friends who had a unit at The Samoset.... Samoset is away from any hustle-and-bustle in downtown Rockland (actually is next door in Rockport), but is handy to both Rockland and Camden (great tourist destinations). If I recall news reports correctly over the years, both resorts have had some rocky times in the past financially. The Samoset timeshares share some facilities with The Samoset Resort hotel. As I remember it, last winter the resort closed its restaurant for a time because business at the resort hotel was off substantially. However, my understanding is that the timeshare units, their access to the indoor pool, etc. continued to operate normally. Seem to recall that Harbor Ridge went through similar hard times several years ago, but haven't heard anything about them since. Have you checked the Trip Advisor reviews (use the "Search" box on the upper left corner of this page and type in the town or name of the resort to see what other Trip Advisor users have to say.

While the Bay of Fundy generally describes most of the water area between Maine and Nova Scotia, with Bew Brunswick as it's northern boundary, the most common references to it refer to the area nearer New Brunswick and Nova Scotia -- especially if your interest is in the "tidal bore" in St John, NB or the drastic changes in tides (best seen along parts of the New Brunswick coast or the New Minas tidal basin in Nova Scotia.) However, the Maine downeast ports of Lubec and Eastport also can see significant tidal fluctuations if you don't want to drive all the way to St John (or beyond).

In rough terms, Rockport to St John, NB will take about six hours via US Rt 1 through downeastern Maine. For your planning purposes, remember that you'll lose an hour when you cross the border between Maine and New Brunswick because you go from the Eastern Time zone in the US to the Atlantic time zone in Canada. (Of course you'll get the hour back when you come back across, but it may affect your plans regarding meals, timing for any scheduled events, etc.) And don't forget you'll need a passport or passport card to get back into the US on your way back!

From Acadia/Bar Harbor, driving time to St John is about 4 hours if you go by way of Bangor and take Maine Rt 9 to the border at Calais, ME (lots of undeveloped woodlands and blueberry fields along this route, but it's faster and generally in better shape than US 1 between Ellsworth and Calais. However, you should add a bit of time to this route to allow for the major reconstruction project on Rt 1A between Ellsworth and Bangor. Acadia to St John via US 1 through Machias will take you about 5 hours. The note about time changes at the border also apply to this route of course.

Points on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia require several additional hours of driving or a ferry boat ride from St John, NB. Not something I'd suggest for a day trip from either Rockport or Bar Harbor.

As far as access from either resort -- Rockport will give you access to the mid-coast area (think Brunswick to Bucksport) including Camden and Rockland (nice areas) and access to inland day trips to places like Augusta, Hallowell or Waterville. Bar Harbor/Acadia has Acadia National Park in it's back yard and provides better access to "downeast" places like Deer isle and Stonington, Blue Hill, and extreme eastern Maine. Guess its a matter of what you might want to see while you're here. And to help advise you on that, we'd really need to know more about your interests..... but this should get you started.

2. Re: Camden or near Bar Harbor?

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