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Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

Bethlehem...
Level Contributor
52 posts
12 reviews
Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

We'll be taking a one- week road trip up the coast, starting at Boston/ Logan, and ending up somewhere in Maine. Then we will need to return to Boston Logan 8 days later. We love any quaint, New England towns, history, hiking, bike- riding, sight-seeing. We're into quality more than quantity, but love exploring. Not into chains or commercial build-up. We get a lot of that where we live in Cali. Should we go straight up & spend our first night in Portsmouth or go a little out of the way & include Gloucester or Rockport? Also, would love advise on how far up the coast of Maine to go & which towns/ experiences are recommended.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
166 posts
484 reviews
1. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

Rockport is very nice, nice downtown to walk around. Gloucester has some really great places and then some not so great, some areas are tight roads, and the fishing industry is not very touristy. If you go you can follow rt 133 over to the highway to head north. Once in Maine you have Kittery, York, Kennibunk and Kennibunkport as well as Wells which are all nice. Old a Orchard is next, we love it there with a great beach and tons of amusements. Further up is Portland, Freeport, up to the Boothbay area and then Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is probably 6 hours from Boston and Boothbay is prolly 3.5 or so hours. Any and all would be great, we like to visit them all from time to time, sometimes on a drive and sometimes on vacation. Good luck.

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
6,066 posts
183 reviews
2. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

Don't miss the short, but pretty NH coast as you head north. Take Routes 1A and 1B to explore it. Also, if you take Route 133 from Gloucester to I-95 as suggested above, you will pass through the quaint town of Essex, which is worth a stop.

Bethlehem...
Level Contributor
52 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

Thanks so much. This is all very helpful. We'll put all of these places on the list. I appreciate the suggested routes.

Bethlehem...
Level Contributor
52 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

TX also for the heads up about NH coast & Essex!

NH
Level Contributor
3,864 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

Susan, when will you be traveling? That's is important info for us to know in helping you plan "must see!" places.

Bethlehem...
Level Contributor
52 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

We're going 7/24 through 8/2. TX

Antrim, New...
Level Contributor
2,258 posts
23 reviews
7. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

So, you now have too many places to visit in the week you will be here, especially considering the quality vs quantity experience, which I am sure everyone here will applaud. Portsmouth and Portland are cities, small and very personal. Many of the others suggested are towns of varying sizes and robustness. There has been buildup all along the coast as tourism has boomed and year round population has grown. But it is easy to avoid the malls, outlets and commercial strips, though part of tourism means many small, independent shops, some unique and special, and some junky for mass sales. But most of the cities and towns trade on their closeness to the water - beaches, rocks, cliffs, etc., as well as some cultural and historical connection to the sea, including effort to preserve the feel of the old parts of the town or city.

All or most will have a mix of lodging, including some chains, especially in the citieis, smaller independent hotels, inns, B&Bs, etc. many at the beaches/coast and/or in town. They will all offer a mix of dining, with many excellent local restaurants and cafes. You will find various night life in the towns, but definitely in Portsmouth and Portland, including music, stage, dancing, and more.

So, pick two or three destinations to center yourselves for a few days. Keep in mind that from any location, it is easy to explore 20 to 30 miles or more in either direction for a day. So, if you stay in Portsmouth for a couple of days, you can easily get to Nubble Light in York, as well as Ogunquit, Wells, and other locations along the coast. LIkewise, Portland will afford access to towns north and south along the coast, as well as access by ferry tot he islands in Casco Bay.Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Acadia National Park, is a place all its own. I have generally spent a week there, but 2 to 4 days will give you a good experience of the towns - BH as well as Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor - as well as the national aprk and the opportunity to get out on the water.

8. Re: Road trip: Glouchester? Rockport? Portsmouth?

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