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Thread: Things To Do Heading Home From Baxter To CT

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Things To Do Heading Home From Baxter To CT

    My wife and I are going to Baxter via the North Gate in early September. Kind of a weird question but we're looking to break up the 7.5 hour ride home with some sort of fairly inexpensive diversion/attraction/etc in Maine somewhere. The possibility of staying the night (in a hotel/motel not camping) and finishing drive the following day is an option (although we'll be coming home on a FRI which may restrict our options given the time of year). And of course we'll be coming off 4 shower free days in the woods so a plush 5 star restaurant won't make much sense unless we can get into a hotel first.

    Can anybody think of any kind of noteworthy place between say Bangor and say Saco or Portsmouth,NH? Maybe a brewery/restaurant or an off the beaten path spot on the seacoast, etc. Been randomly scanning the map and nothing is really jumping out at me. We haven't ruled out cutting across to NH in Gorham or Conway if that affects anyone's thoughts but we'll likely go straight down Rte 95.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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    Well there is always LL Bean in Freeport and Wolfe's Neck State Park https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parksearc...nwbrochure.pdf which is a nice mix of Maine Coastal Habitat not that far off I 95. Plenty of brew pubs in Freeport.

    I have been meaning to stop at the Maine State Museum in Augusta one of these years. I think there is brew pub down near the river in Augusta but have not tried it. Plenty of chain hotels just off the highway but you need to drive into town a few miles to see the state complex and Old Augusta down along the river.

    FYI the drive across via RT2 can be very frustrating. Its a major truck route with Canadian truck traffic (its shorter to drive from the maritimes to southern Ontario via RT 2 then via the Transcanadian). There is also a lot of papermill traffic, tourist trafffic and law enforcement along the way. IMHO Its not particularly scenic until you get in the western foothills west of Rumford. I always head out really early and bypass part of it by cutting over from the interstate in Clinton to Norridgewock to skip the very boring stretch from Pittsfield to Skowhegan.

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    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    How about the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?

    Lots to see there.

    http://www.mainegardens.org/
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    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Portland or Portsmouth are nice places to stop for visits. Both offer plenty of eating and drinking options and walking opportunities. I see the Press Room in Portsmouth has re-opened.
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardsgirl View Post
    How about the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?

    Lots to see there.

    http://www.mainegardens.org/
    That seems like it might fit the bill nicely. I'll add that to the list of possibilities. Thanks.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Well there is always LL Bean in Freeport and Wolfe's Neck State Park https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parksearc...nwbrochure.pdf which is a nice mix of Maine Coastal Habitat not that far off I 95. Plenty of brew pubs in Freeport.
    That might be a good spot. I go to LL Bean corporate offices every July for work so I wasn't really considering Freeport because I was hoping to do something more unusual and/or go somewhere I've never been before. The so called "hidden gem" I was not aware of. It's hard to deny the amount of stuff available to do in that area though.

    Coincidentally, I used to go to Norridgewock every NOV for work too (thankfully my boss goes now becasue it coincides with hunting season) so I am aware of what a "great" ride Rte 2 is in that area. Figured it might be worth tolerating is there was something noteworthy to visit.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbo View Post
    Portland or Portsmouth are nice places to stop for visits. Both offer plenty of eating and drinking options and walking opportunities. I see the Press Room in Portsmouth has re-opened.
    Wife and I both like Portsmouth but we've gone several times before and it will likely be packed on a FRI afternoon. Looking for something a little more off the beaten path.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    I will 2nd Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. I am not a garden/flower guy but I truly enjoyed my two visits so far. The place is big and can involve more walking than most people are willing to do. I recommend a short kayak paddle on the Sheepscott River as you can rent kayaks from within CMBG

    Portland is also a nice, easy access spot for a short visit.

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Getting there (and back) is half the fun. We typically stop, frequently overnight, in both directions whenever we go to the North Maine Woods and Canadian Maritimes. We call it our "touristing day". The Botanical Gardens is a favorite but here are several more side destinations for this trip or another:

    1. Maine Wildlife Park, Gray
    2. Eagle Island, Portland Harbor (Adm Perry's summer home)
    3. Perry Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College (actual name is Macmillan museum)
    4. Laudholm Farm in Wells
    5. Maine Maritime Museum, Bath (while in the area Kennebec Cabinet has always kept us dreaming of the ideal kitchen, for 40 years!)

    While you're in Freeport I suspect you've already been to Bradbury Mtn SP. Look along and near your route in DeLorme and you'll find all sorts of fascinating historical, geological and other attractions. Audubon Sanctuaries always have an appeal to us and there are at least two along the route, Mast Landing in Freeport and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth. BTW, my wife could not hike but her choice of these kinds of places kept her interested in joining our trips and "base camp" was always important ... just saying.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Excellent. I'll research these.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    A walk and lunch in "Old Port" in Portland would be nice. A lot of history and right on the water.
    Last edited by sierra; 08-24-2019 at 06:52 PM.

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    If I have time to kill in Portland I like the walkway around Back Cove and then under the bridge and along the eastern Prom over to the Old Port. The walkway is down near the water. The best parking lot is the one on Back Cove across from a grocery store. The walk around the bay is nice on its own but the out and back along the eastern prom is the best stretch along the Portland water front.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Not specifically what you are asking but if want want to do a quick hike, outside the park but near by, I highly recommend Mt. Chase. Pretty much 360 views and an awesomw one of the Baxter peaks. 1,5 miles to the summit. And there's a short spur to a sub-peak called Eagle's Point. It'd in the AMC Maine Guide.

    Joe

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