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Maine (Portland) timing

Maine (Portland) timing

Old Jan 18, 17, 10:36 am
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Maine (Portland) timing

Generally speaking, are lobster shacks open Memorial Day-Labor Day? Any known to be open longer? Trying to figure out when we want to visit Maine (husband hasn't been, I haven't been since I was a kid and used to sail up there in the summer, driving up from CT) We tend to prefer visiting places in shoulder or off-seasons for cheaper prices and fewer people, but since husband wants to eat lobster lobster lobster (and drink craft beer, but I'm not worried about seasonality there) I want to make sure we visit when at least some of the shacks are open because that's such a fun way to eat lobster in Maine

I'm sure I'll be back with specific questions as we do further planning, but timing is the first thing to figure out. Thanks!!
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Old Jan 18, 17, 11:38 am
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Some open sometime in April, and stay open through most of September. I think Bob's clam hut in Kittery is open year round, although that's an hour from Portland. (Their food is really good though.) You really have to look up the individual places you're interested in.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 12:08 pm
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Yup, it depends. IMHO, the best lobster roll in the Portland area is Eventide, and that's a restaurant open year round.

I would say that for shoulder season, you're better off with October than, say, April/May. A lot more places stay open later into the season versus opening before summer. The reason is, Sept/Oct/Nov are great months to visit with fall weather and scenery, plus school's in so the crowds lessen (but the demographic does skew older, with more busses full of seniors). April and May, though, usually still suck - it might snow, it's almost definitely muddy, and temperatures are not hitting 60 quite yet. You're almost better off coming here in the dead of winter than visiting in April, in my opinion.

Last edited by PWMTrav; Jan 18, 17 at 12:13 pm
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Old Jan 18, 17, 12:27 pm
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Thanks - fall typically works better for our schedules anyway, but good to know it's a nice timing option. I hadn't thought the coast of ME would get crowded with leaf peepers but I suppose it's a possibility?

(I do recall the seasons of upper New England - winter, mud & summer , correct? :-)
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Old Jan 18, 17, 3:34 pm
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My summers in Maine start the first weekend of June, and it is _quiet_ at that time. Many others don't show up until the Independence Day holiday in July.

The summer people in Maine do however linger until the end of September, so it's not like Cape Cod where everyone vanishes after Labor Day.

My favorite lobster roll is "Bite into Maine," a food truck in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, just south of Portland.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 3:44 pm
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We visited May 10th to 13th, last year. Sunny weather and most restaurants opened. Both the fancy and the shacks on the docks were all open. We event did a lobster boat tour on May 10th, were we helped the boat pull up lobster pots and clean out the unwanted sea life. Bonus: 5 breweries were open and all were within a 2 mile walk in old town Portland.
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Old Jan 27, 17, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by mareh View Post
I think Bob's clam hut in Kittery is open year round, although that's an hour from Portland. (Their food is really good though.) You really have to look up the individual places you're interested in.
The farther you roam from Portland, the quieter it's going to be before May and after Labor Day. In Boothbay Harbor, where Mom retired, we used to visit in mid-April and the place was dead as a doornail -- might as well have been January. Same for post-September 15. If you visit out of season you might be well-advised to stay and eat in Portland, which is lively year-round, and do daytrips into the quiet surrounding regions.
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Old Jan 30, 17, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
If you visit out of season you might be well-advised to stay and eat in Portland, which is lively year-round, and do daytrips into the quiet surrounding regions.
I think that's what we're leaning toward for this trip. As we are craft beer fans, we're eager to be able to walk & try beers & not have to worry about driving or getting a ride back to our bed.....
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Old Feb 1, 17, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
I think that's what we're leaning toward for this trip. As we are craft beer fans, we're eager to be able to walk & try beers & not have to worry about driving or getting a ride back to our bed.....
Definitely lots of great breweries, with new ones popping up every month or two! As your date gets closer, check out this site: http://mainebrewersguild.org/map/

They may have more up-to-date hours/info that hasn't quite made it's to BeerAdvocate, etc.
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Old Feb 2, 17, 9:20 am
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You're killing me!

(I have to "survive" a trip to Boulder before I can think about planning a beer trip to Maine)
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Old Feb 3, 17, 9:37 am
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@Hoyaheel - for future reference, then, if you like hoppy beers Maine Beer Company in Freeport is a must-do. In Portland, Rising Tide and Austin St Brewing are my favorites.
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Old Feb 3, 17, 10:07 am
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Just go to the Great Lost Bear, get some dirty wings and try some great beers from most of the good Maine micros.
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Old Feb 4, 17, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
@Hoyaheel - for future reference, then, if you like hoppy beers Maine Beer Company in Freeport is a must-do. In Portland, Rising Tide and Austin St Brewing are my favorites.
My husband will enjoy that - he loves hoppy IPAs. I prefer malty belgians and sours ;-)
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Old Feb 5, 17, 1:45 pm
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We like Happy Hour at Dock Fore. Enjoy a pint of the seasonal Shipyard for something like $1.99. Love it!
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Old Feb 6, 17, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
@Hoyaheel - for future reference, then, if you like hoppy beers Maine Beer Company in Freeport is a must-do. In Portland, Rising Tide and Austin St Brewing are my favorites.
Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
My husband will enjoy that - he loves hoppy IPAs. I prefer malty belgians and sours ;-)
+1 You can never go wrong with some Lunch and Another One from MBC. Would definitely also suggest you hit Bissell Brothers while in Portland.
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