New England!

dhodo

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I'm excited to be heading to Maine next week with my family and would love to hear some recommendations for things to do/ places to go. It'll be my first time up there.

We'll be in Portland for a couple of days, then to Newry for a wedding on the weekend, then to Mt. Desert Island for 3 nights.

Will be quite limited because we have a 1.5 and 3.5 year old, but maybe I could sneak off to do a couple things during naps or if some of the other family who'll be in Newry, or my cousin who lives in Seal Cove, will babysit for a bit. Kid friendly suggestions (or even take out) would be especially great.
 

wokeupnew

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I'm excited to be heading to Maine next week with my family and would love to hear some recommendations for things to do/ places to go. It'll be my first time up there.

We'll be in Portland for a couple of days, then to Newry for a wedding on the weekend, then to Mt. Desert Island for 3 nights.

Will be quite limited because we have a 1.5 and 3.5 year old, but maybe I could sneak off to do a couple things during naps or if some of the other family who'll be in Newry, or my cousin who lives in Seal Cove, will babysit for a bit. Kid friendly suggestions (or even take out) would be especially great.
Cc @sjaygray
 

KenKaniff

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I'm excited to be heading to Maine next week with my family and would love to hear some recommendations for things to do/ places to go. It'll be my first time up there.

We'll be in Portland for a couple of days, then to Newry for a wedding on the weekend, then to Mt. Desert Island for 3 nights.

Will be quite limited because we have a 1.5 and 3.5 year old, but maybe I could sneak off to do a couple things during naps or if some of the other family who'll be in Newry, or my cousin who lives in Seal Cove, will babysit for a bit. Kid friendly suggestions (or even take out) would be especially great.
I only know Portland out of the places you mentioned above. Walking around Old Port is good bet. Fishing piers, cobblestone streets, cool charming bars, shops, etc..

If you're looking for some cool casual seafood while eating outside, I like Portland Lobster Co. They frequently have live music as well. Bull Moose is recommended for record stores.
 

mgp

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I'm excited to be heading to Maine next week with my family and would love to hear some recommendations for things to do/ places to go. It'll be my first time up there.

We'll be in Portland for a couple of days, then to Newry for a wedding on the weekend, then to Mt. Desert Island for 3 nights.

Will be quite limited because we have a 1.5 and 3.5 year old, but maybe I could sneak off to do a couple things during naps or if some of the other family who'll be in Newry, or my cousin who lives in Seal Cove, will babysit for a bit. Kid friendly suggestions (or even take out) would be especially great.
My family rented a house in South Portland a couple of summers ago. We had 5 kids in the group ranging from 1 (twins) to 6, and managed to have a good time despite the little ones.

We went to the Portland children't museum, which is geared towards younger kids (my oldest was 6 at the time, and she was aging out of it) so it should work for you. It's right in the downtown, so it's pretty accessible. There is a really great coffee shop within walking distance called Tandem Coffee & Bakery. They have outdoor seating with some breakfast options.

Just south of Portland (Cape Elizabeth) there's a park called Fort Williams Park. It's got a ton of paved jogging/biking/stroller paths, amazing views (quintessential Maine lighthouse) and tucked in the middle is a food truck that serves lobster rolls (bit into maine). This would be an easy outing with kids (bring a picnic blanket).

If you couldn't tell, I love that city. I used to go up there pre-kids, and it's well suited for both... you're just going to get a bit of a different experience than the food/beer scene. Enjoy!
 

dhodo

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My family rented a house in South Portland a couple of summers ago. We had 5 kids in the group ranging from 1 (twins) to 6, and managed to have a good time despite the little ones.

We went to the Portland children't museum, which is geared towards younger kids (my oldest was 6 at the time, and she was aging out of it) so it should work for you. It's right in the downtown, so it's pretty accessible. There is a really great coffee shop within walking distance called Tandem Coffee & Bakery. They have outdoor seating with some breakfast options.

Just south of Portland (Cape Elizabeth) there's a park called Fort Williams Park. It's got a ton of paved jogging/biking/stroller paths, amazing views (quintessential Maine lighthouse) and tucked in the middle is a food truck that serves lobster rolls (bit into maine). This would be an easy outing with kids (bring a picnic blanket).

If you couldn't tell, I love that city. I used to go up there pre-kids, and it's well suited for both... you're just going to get a bit of a different experience than the food/beer scene. Enjoy!
Sounds great, thanks! I do plan on at least grabbing some local six-packs if we don't feel like trying to deal with a brewery (I find it's generally hard to relax with kids even if they are kid friendly because mine don't want to sit still) so regional beer recommendations I can find easily in bottles/cans would be great too. I know Allagash and Maine Beer Co. of course.
 
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dhodo

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I only know Portland out of the places you mentioned above. Walking around Old Port is good bet. Fishing piers, cobblestone streets, cool charming bars, shops, etc..

If you're looking for some cool casual seafood while eating outside, I like Portland Lobster Co. They frequently have live music as well. Bull Moose is recommended for record stores.
Thanks! Sounds good, we'll check it out.
 

mgp

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Sounds great, thanks! I do plan on at least grabbing some local six-packs if we don't feel like trying to deal with a brewery (I find it's generally hard to relax with kids even if they are kid friendly because mine don't want to sit still) so regional beer recommendations I can find easily in bottles/cans would be great too. I know Allagash and Maine Beer Co. of course.
I'm not sure which Maine brewers are distributing these days, but I guess I'd say it depends on what style of beer you like?

For farmhouse/funky beers I'd say Oxbow or Allagash. For hoppy, Battery Steele, Austin Street, Lone Pine, and Foundation (foundation makes a ton of other styles too).

Allagash, Battery Steel, Austin Street, and Foundation are all in the same industrial complex, so it's an easy trip if you wanted to visit. Bissell Brothers is probably the biggest of the hoppy brewers in town, but I don't think they send out cans (you can find their beers on tap).

There's a great beer store in Portland called The Bier Cellar that will have a good selection of local (maine and New England) stuff.
 

sjaygray

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I'm excited to be heading to Maine next week with my family and would love to hear some recommendations for things to do/ places to go. It'll be my first time up there.

We'll be in Portland for a couple of days, then to Newry for a wedding on the weekend, then to Mt. Desert Island for 3 nights.

Will be quite limited because we have a 1.5 and 3.5 year old, but maybe I could sneak off to do a couple things during naps or if some of the other family who'll be in Newry, or my cousin who lives in Seal Cove, will babysit for a bit. Kid friendly suggestions (or even take out) would be especially great.
It's funny to think about these areas because I've spent extensive time at each of them, but mostly before I had a kid so I may not have the best kid-oriented suggestions. Portland is a super cool city, but it's mostly trendy in a way that adults appreciate. There are many cool bars (check out Novare Res Bier Cafe if you can!) and breweries. A stop at Bull Moose in downtown is a must! I wish I had more kid suggestions. There's a ferry company out of the Old Port that does some cruises in the harbor. As someone else mentioned there's a children's museum. If you're keen to leave town a bit, there's a couple of amusement/water parks in Saco, maybe 30 minutes south of Portland.

MDI will likely be more family oriented. There are whale watches, other types of cruises, and Acadia National Park. If you guys are into hiking I would suggest spending as much time in the park as possible. If you plan on checking out Bar Harbor, just go in knowing that it will be a ZOO this time of year. I honestly don't see what the big draw to that town is, but people flock to it. It's very touristy, and maybe that just gets super old super fast for someone who lives here! Acadia is the gem of the island though and really shouldn't be missed, even if you just drive the loop road the scenery is breathtaking. A drive up Cadillac Mountain was always a love of mine as a kid too (though the road can be a bit of a gut-check if heights are bothersome).
 
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dhodo

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It's funny to think about these areas because I've spent extensive time at each of them, but mostly before I had a kid so I may not have the best kid-oriented suggestions. Portland is a super cool city, but it's mostly trendy in a way that adults appreciate. There are many cool bars (check out Novare Res Bier Cafe if you can!) and breweries. A stop at Bull Moose in downtown is a must! I wish I had more kid suggestions. There's a ferry company out of the Old Port that does some cruises in the harbor. As someone else mentioned there's a children's museum. If you're keen to leave town a bit, there's a couple of amusement/water parks in Saco, maybe 30 minutes south of Portland.

MDI will likely be more family oriented. There are whale watches, other types of cruises, and Acadia National Park. If you guys are into hiking I would suggest spending as much time in the park as possible. If you plan on checking out Bar Harbor, just go in knowing that it will be a ZOO this time of year. I honestly don't see what the big draw to that town is, but people flock to it. It's very touristy, and maybe that just gets super old super fast for someone who lives here! Acadia is the gem of the island though and really shouldn't be missed, even if you just drive the loop road the scenery is breathtaking. A drive up Cadillac Mountain was always a love of mine as a kid too (though the road can be a bit of a gut-check if heights are bothersome).
Thanks for the suggestions.

Yeah, I'd love to go brewery hopping half the time, but what can you do.

We are primarily going to MDI for Acadia so definitely plan on trying to do some hiking. I'm borrowing a backpack to put the 1 year old in and the 3 year old should be good for at least a couple of miles.

That zoo doesn't sound terribly appealing to me as someone who lives in a pretty touristy area. We got an Airbnb in Tremont, so hopefully it won't be quite as crazy as Bar Harbor. Counting on my cousin to have some good recommendations as she has been living on MDI for a couple years and works with elementary school kids.

Excited to see this beautiful part of the country for the first time!
 

sjaygray

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Thanks for the suggestions.

Yeah, I'd love to go brewery hopping half the time, but what can you do.

We are primarily going to MDI for Acadia so definitely plan on trying to do some hiking. I'm borrowing a backpack to put the 1 year old in and the 3 year old should be good for at least a couple of miles.

That zoo doesn't sound terribly appealing to me as someone who lives in a pretty touristy area. We got an Airbnb in Tremont, so hopefully it won't be quite as crazy as Bar Harbor. Counting on my cousin to have some good recommendations as she has been living on MDI for a couple years and works with elementary school kids.

Excited to see this beautiful part of the country for the first time!
You should be golden in Tremont! That side of the island is typically much quieter and arguably more beautiful. Enjoy Maine!
 

dhodo

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So, @dhodo, how was the trip? I hope you survived the travel with the little ones!
Thanks for asking! Still getting back into the groove of normal life.

We had a really great trip. Luckily the weather was perfect for all of it except for the last day.

First full day we had, we went to Fort Williams Park, which was a really great suggestion! My 3 year old was obsessed with the lighthouse and was really disappointed that we couldn't go in it. We walked around a lot, stopped at the little beach for a while and really enjoyed it. Ended the visit with lunch at the lobster roll truck, which remained probably the best one I had all trip, for one of the more reasonable prices. We also got some amazing ice cream downtown and went to the Eastern Promenade area so the kids could play at that great playground and huge hill. Then my son noticed the Portland Observatory looked just like a light house, so we had to climb it, which he found pretty underwhelming, because he didn't care about the great view 😂. We ate at Bob's Clam Hut, which was great. I'm really glad we squeezed that much into that day because we really didn't accomplish much the other half days we were there. We made it to the children's museum the next morning, which was great. Tried to make a ferry but missed it before we had to head out.

We picked up a bunch of beer while we were there. I was especially impressed with Oxbow and Lone Pine. Tandem Coffee was awesome, loved the everything scones (never heard of that before!). Also made it to Bao Bao (really good dumpling spot) and Portland Lobster Co.

Sad I didn't make it to Bullmoose or try to get to Soulfolks but had no time to get away from the kiddos.

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Sorry that was a lot for a couple days. I'll put up more about the rest of the trip when I have some time later.
 

mgp

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Thanks for asking! Still getting back into the groove of normal life.

We had a really great trip. Luckily the weather was perfect for all of it except for the last day.

First full day we had, we went to Fort Williams Park, which was a really great suggestion! My 3 year old was obsessed with the lighthouse and was really disappointed that we couldn't go in it. We walked around a lot, stopped at the little beach for a while and really enjoyed it. Ended the visit with lunch at the lobster roll truck, which remained probably the best one I had all trip, for one of the more reasonable prices. We also got some amazing ice cream downtown and went to the Eastern Promenade area so the kids could play at that great playground and huge hill. Then my son noticed the Portland Observatory looked just like a light house, so we had to climb it, which he found pretty underwhelming, because he didn't care about the great view 😂. We ate at Bob's Clam Hut, which was great. I'm really glad we squeezed that much into that day because we really didn't accomplish much the other half days we were there. We made it to the children's museum the next morning, which was great. Tried to make a ferry but missed it before we had to head out.

We picked up a bunch of beer while we were there. I was especially impressed with Oxbow and Lone Pine. Tandem Coffee was awesome, loved the everything scones (never heard of that before!). Also made it to Bao Bao (really good dumpling spot) and Portland Lobster Co.

Sad I didn't make it to Bullmoose or try to get to Soulfolks but had no time to get away from the kiddos

Sorry that was a lot for a couple days. I'll put up more about the rest of the trip when I have some time later.
Sounds, and looks, fantastic. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I just booked a last-minute airbnb in Portland for labor day weekend: near the eastern promenade, which I've never been to before, so I'm going to steal some of the other suggestions!
 

dhodo

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Sorry, I'm slacking on the rest of the update. Didn't have any days quite as crazy busy as that one in Portland. From Portland we went to Newry to the Sunday River ski resort where my wife's cousin was getting married. It was nice, if basically deserted. We did a couple hikes on the mountain between/on the slopes that were cool. First steep hike my older son did. We thought it would be flat because it was listed as easy, but it turns out their difficulty rating was more easy is a mostly dirt normal trail and difficult is loose rocks or other dicey things :ROFLMAO:. Went to a pretty good burger/beer bar in Bethel.

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Then we made the trek to Mt Desert Island, which seemed like it took forever, although the back roads were nice, but wasn't very fun since my 1 year old suddenly decided he hated car rides during this trip. Mt Desert was incredible. Pretty much everywhere there was a break in the trees was breathtakingly beautiful. We really enjoyed the stay and definitely wish we were there longer. We did most of the big name sites, Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, Jordan Pond (not for very long since we could not getting a parking spot, so i just went with the 3 year old while my wife drove around/parked other places for like an hour). Didn't go to Thunder Hole because it was never convenient near high tide, but I heard it wasn't too exciting usually unless the seas were rough, which they weren't. We also did the Gorham Mountain trail; my son hiked his first mountain! Only 525' :p but a great little hike with amazing views. We did the Wonderland tail on the last day, as it was by where we stayed, but it wasn't crazy beautiful because of how foggy it was. It did have a lot of tide pools that had really cool plants in them, didn't see many interesting animals besides crabs and (thousands of) snails though.

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Ate lots of delicious haddock and way too much (money wise) lobster. Got to see my cousin for a bit, which was nice. Her friends had started a brewery in nearby Ellsworth, Fogtown, which we weren't able to visit, but the beers we tried from them were excellent. Also got to enjoy a Singlecut, which we don't have down here.


We really loved it there and would love to return and spend more time in the park especially. So glad we had a great excuse to take a trip to Maine!
 
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