You’ll be able to get around fine up here, even with snow on the ground-- just hope you’re not actually driving WHILE there’s a nor’easter or something. Sounds like you’re driving up? Are you going straight to Isle Au Haut? I think there’s a ferry in Stonington.
Everything on the coast is scenic
Depending on your route, if you get near Rockland, there is a granite breakwater where you can walk out to the lighthouse-- it’s almost a mile:
Just north of Rockland is Camden where you can actually ski or old-school toboggan (Camden Bowl) and see the ocean.
Dec/Jan there will probably be snow on the ground and iced lakes/rivers by then. If you’re up for an adventure, try ‘smelting’-- it’s like ice fishing on the river but in a shack and you pull in the smelts by hand (small fish). You can catch a whole bucket of them. Of coure, Allen’s Coffee Brandy is a must for this activity.
For timing, Bar Harbor (Acadia Nat’l Park) is easily 3.5 to 4 hours from when you cross over from NH, especially if there is snow/ice on the roads.
Let me know what you have in mind and what kind of stuff you like and maybe I can point you in the right direction.
I was just doing a quick google search the Isla place looked like it was situated in a place that would be nice to see.
From here in MD to there is 13 hrs 690 miles. If I could find a place that would be just as nice a little further south around say Wells Beach? that would be great too. But, I don’t mind driving an extra 2-3 hrs if there are better places to be had. I don’t forsee us going back to Maine any time soon, so would want to hit the most scenic spots.
Any places that are pet friendly would be a super bonus as we like taking our Great Dane along with us to places. We usually stick to light hiking in parks, going into small shops (her deal not mine). Nothing too crazy.
that Rockland place sounds like a good one to go to for a day trip
steely is right in that prettymuch everything on the coast is nice. that’s where all the money is. bar harbor / acadia is a great place, and one of the few i’ve been to down in that area. most of my vacation time is spent in central maine on one of the most relaxing lakes you could ask for. been going there damn near every summer since i was born. you really can’t go wrong with any of the lakes though, they’re all beautiful.
LOL 13-16 hours in a civic with a Great Dane! Good luck.
Just remember that Dec/Jan is cold, so if you’re planning on outdoor stuff, you might be relegated to snowshoeing, ice skating or skiing. Right now is great hiking weather, but snow usually flies at any time now (none yet). Last year was a fluke and I think you probably had more snow in PA/NJ/MD than we did up here, but that’s not normal.
Rockland/Rockport/Camden/Belfast (and all of ‘mid-coast’) are very accessible, have great shops/restaurants, and pet friendly (I lived in Rockland for a year and had 2 G.Shep dogs). Camden is a little more upscale, but has the mountain right there for hiking/snowshoeing/etc. You tend to get a lot of bang for your buck there because there are hilly/mountain coast, working towns/villages, good food/shops, etc. and aren’t “seasonal” like the southern sand beaches.
You missed the Lobster and Blues festivals (Rockland)-- they’re summer events. There’s always the ferry to Vinalhaven.
Of course Acadia (Bar Harbor) is the gem with Cadilac Mtn and the national park.
Inland winter destinations are Sugarloaf or Sunday River (ski mountains).
Here’s some webcams:
Portland is the ‘big town’ (largest city, 60k people). The “old port” section is easy to get around, too.
If you drink beer, then Allagash, Geary’s, Shipyard, and Sea Dog are the most well known local micros. Cold River vodka is made here from Maine potatoes
The whole state is a big park, so it can be overwhelming. We’ve been up here over a decade and still haven’t hit all the destinations.
Just trying to help you get the most out of your visit. From now until June it’s all about cold, snow, and mud.
If you’re still planning on driving up Dec/Jan, and especially ‘downeast’ where you’re planning, just be sure you check that things are open that time of year because traditionally, unless it’s winter sports or outdoors related (ice fishing/hunting/etc), that time of year is when stuff is closed and folks start waiting for ice-out and tourist season (June-Oct).
Seriously, put an extra flashlight, some matches, and a heavy blanket in your trunk.
Bummer you didn’t realize fall has already ended in Maine. The good news is the coast doesn’t get much snow. I lived in Bar Harbor for a number of years, so you have a decent chance of getting some hiking in with minimal or no snow. Even if there is snow you could always walk sections of the park loop road along the coast. http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=park+loop+road+bar+harbor Things will probably be cold but if you have a sense of adventure, a jacket and some gloves I think you will be golden, and your dog will have a blast. Portland would be great especially if you would like a night out at the bars, as others have said the “old port” is where it’s at, 20 or 30 bars along coblestone stone streets (I would check out gritty’s, bull feenies, or Ri Ra’s). If your headed north to bar harbor I would head up 295 and get off at route 3 (which is the coastal route to bar harbor). I would say the coast south of portland is pretty boring, mostly just beaches. You might want to hit up freeport and L.L. Beans with the lady friend (also off 295) as this is a big shopping town. Also there on route 3 is a large number of scenic pullouts, parks, or boat landings where you can take a break with the dog.
“Ayuh, going to Maine are ya? Enjawy your stay, but if saum-one you love dies, dontcha bury them in the Pet Cemetary! That cemetary’s gotta histaury! Indians abandawned it when the grauwnd went sour!!”