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Salem MA & Old Port - Portland Maine

Salem MA & Old Port - Portland Maine

Old Mar 28, 18, 12:36 pm
  #1  
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Salem MA & Old Port - Portland Maine

GF and I are dropping the kids [2 teen boys] off at summer camp on Sebego Lake in Maine mid July.

We are taking Amtrak from DC to NYC [5 nites] then train to Portland ME

GF wants to stop over in BOS so that we can go to Salem, MA - she wants to see whats there re: witch related stuff [my interest is meh but if thats what she wants so be it]

Questions for Salem

Are we better off staying in Boston and taking the commuter rail up to Salem? any better options?

Once in Salem
What do we do? How does one get around? How long should we expect to spend there?

Old Port Portland Maine

Have a room in the Old Port for four nights - Will rent a car to take the kids to Sebago so I might have it for 2 of the 4 nights.
2 nights with the kids and 2 nights just her and I

Other than eating and drinking, is there much to do around there? Not looking to drive all over the state of Maine.

thanks
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Old Apr 1, 18, 7:10 pm
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I can answer your Maine questions. What do you like to do? There are many short hikes within an hour or so of Portland (as well as within Portland). There are also breweries, boat trips, islands, etc. But I'd say food/drink are the easiest attractions in the Old Port. Sightseeing in Portland can really be done in a day - it's not that big.

You can also check out Portsmouth NH, which is a smaller version of Portland. Other options include the beach life in the area of Old Orchard beach (think lots of Quebeckers coming south for the beach...to Maine).
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Old Apr 2, 18, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I can answer your Maine questions. What do you like to do? There are many short hikes within an hour or so of Portland (as well as within Portland). There are also breweries, boat trips, islands, etc. But I'd say food/drink are the easiest attractions in the Old Port. Sightseeing in Portland can really be done in a day - it's not that big.

You can also check out Portsmouth NH, which is a smaller version of Portland. Other options include the beach life in the area of Old Orchard beach (think lots of Quebeckers coming south for the beach...to Maine).
Thanks for the response. Wasn't sure anyone on FT was in Maine Ha

Since we will have the kids the first two nights it will have to be kid friendly. I'm thinking OOB one day and walk the Old Port another. For the Mrs and I, I think we would be more into some sight seeing, maybe a bay/harbor cruise dinner if that exists [any tips on this?]? Definitely want to find some lobster [not in a typical restaurant in the OP] - maybe we will have to drive up the coast a bit to do that. She does love her seafood and adult beverages [as do I ] IDK. How far is Rockland? Maybe we just go to Boothbay or something like that. Not sure how far all of that is though. Portsmouth is out. I don't see myself going that way.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 4:07 pm
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Bay dinner cruises probably exist, but I would think there's better food available in town. Portland has a great restaurant scene for a city its size. I would do something like a whale watching cruise and then come back for dinner.

There are lobster places everywhere. If you want a traditional "lobster pound" type place then I'd just pick one that's near where you plan to be. They are everywhere along the coast. There was one a friend said was the best in Maine, but I don't remember which it was (and everyone has a "this is the best in Maine" favorite).

Rockland is about an hour and 40 mins. I believe Boothbay is a couple hours.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Questions for Salem

Are we better off staying in Boston and taking the commuter rail up to Salem? any better options?

Once in Salem
What do we do? How does one get around? How long should we expect to spend there?
I'd stay near North Station in Boston and take the commuter rail. The commuter rail station in Salem is walkable to most of everything you'd want to see, and you can do it in a day. Given your GF's interest in the witch related items, I'd start at the Salem Witch Museum and walk around Salem after that.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
I'd stay near North Station in Boston and take the commuter rail. The commuter rail station in Salem is walkable to most of everything you'd want to see, and you can do it in a day. Given your GF's interest in the witch related items, I'd start at the Salem Witch Museum and walk around Salem after that.
thanks for the tip on the commuter rail
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Old Apr 13, 18, 6:03 am
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We are taking Amtrak from DC to NYC [5 nites] then train to Portland ME

GF wants to stop over in BOS
You will have no issue stopping in Boston as there is no direct train service between NYC and Portland. You'll have to make your way to North Station for the train to Portland. If you were not spending time in Boston, you could get off at Back Bay and take the Orange Line directly to North Station.

So much to do in Maine in July. Easy hikes at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park outside of Freeport. Visit lighthouses especially Portland Head Light. On a rainy day, one of the best regional museums in the country is Portland Museum of Art. If you need a break from seafood and want a sports bar, Bingas Stadium has great wings and is a fun night out with or without your kids. Sebago Lake State Park is great for walks and swimming. I went to sleep away camp near Sebago Lake so I know your kids will have a WONDERFUL time. Our girls' camp had an 8 week program and what a way to spend the summer!

How far is Rockland? Maybe we just go to Boothbay or something like that. Not sure how far all of that is though. Portsmouth is out. I don't see myself going that way.
You said you didn't want to do a lot of driving. There will be traffic in July so keep that in mind. Parking in Boothbay Harbor will be a challenge. If you're going to go to Rockland, drive a little further to Camden. It's a beautiful town and you can drive to the top of Mt Battie to see a fantastic view of the Penobscot Bay region if you don't want to hike the mountain. In Rockland, visit the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. To get there, you will enjoy walking on a jetty into the bay.
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Old Apr 13, 18, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
If you need a break from seafood and want a sports bar, Bingas Stadium has great wings and is a fun night out with or without your kids.
Bingas also has the best happy hour special in town: any draft is $3. They have probably 40 beers on tap, mostly local ones.

You said you didn't want to do a lot of driving. There will be traffic in July so keep that in mind. Parking in Boothbay Harbor will be a challenge. If you're going to go to Rockland, drive a little further to Camden. It's a beautiful town and you can drive to the top of Mt Battie to see a fantastic view of the Penobscot Bay region if you don't want to hike the mountain. In Rockland, visit the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. To get there, you will enjoy walking on a jetty into the bay.
[/quote]

I live here and didn't know about Camden. Will have to check it out. We tried walking on the breakwater to the lighthouse but the waves were pretty big and I didn't want to get washed into the bay...

Also a nice day hike with kids is Pleasant Mountain, about an hour away. Good climb to the top with nice views.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Bingas also has the best happy hour special in town: any draft is $3. They have probably 40 beers on tap, mostly local ones.
Yes, the Happy Hour specials! Forgot about that.


I live here and didn't know about Camden. Will have to check it out. We tried walking on the breakwater to the lighthouse but the waves were pretty big and I didn't want to get washed into the bay…
Camden's harbor is beautiful. Also, definitely go to the top of Mt Battie at Camden Hills State Park which is about 1-2 miles north of Camden off Rt 1. I think you'll enjoy it. I hope you go back to Rockland Breakwater perhaps during a lowtide. Walking along the jetty is such fun.

Also a nice day hike with kids is Pleasant Mountain, about an hour away. Good climb to the top with nice views.
That's a blast from the past. I remember climbing Pleasant Mountain on a trip day from camp.
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