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First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Chicago, Illinois
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First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

My husband and I would like to do a coastal road trip to Maine this summer from Chicago. We have 3 kids (9 years, 7 years, and 5 years). We were thinking about one week total in Maine. Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park is the first town that comes to mind. Should we spend a full week IN Bar Harbor, or should we split the trip between two cities? If so, which cities and how much time in each one? Any hotel recommendations would be appreciated as well. We love swimming, hiking, anything outdoorsy. Our typical vacations are beach vacations. Any recommendations for excursions and great local seafood places would be great!

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Maine
Maine
United States
Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor
Mount Desert Island, ME
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
11 replies to this topic
Maine
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1. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

I would do 4 days in Acadia for a different outdoor experience with lots to do along the rocky coast, then 3 days in southern Maine, maybe Old Orchard Beach to give you some of the more typical beach time you enjoy. There are no sandy beaches up by Acadia.

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Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Maine
Maine
United States
Georgia
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2. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Just a small correction. There is at least one sandy beach in Acadia, aptly named Sand Beach.

It is appx 200 yards long, rocky headlands on either end. And would be very cold, but scenic.

There is a fresh water beach at Echo Lake.

In addition to Old Orchard Beach and other beaches south of Portland, you may want to make a visit to Popham Beach and Reid St. Park. Both are about 15-20 minutes south of Bath ME, on separate peninsulas. Both have nice water, though cold. Nice rocky headlands, miles of beach and a small river or two to ride the tide in. There are two forts a mile or so from Popham Beach, Ft Popham and another, to explore. One Civil war era and the other WWI, I think.

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Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Sand Beach
Sand Beach
729 Reviews
Mount Desert Island, ME
Echo Lake Beach
Echo Lake Beach
112 Reviews
Mount Desert Island, ME
Bath
Bath
Mid Coast Maine, ME
Chicago, Illinois
6 posts
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3. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Thank you for the suggestion. Old Orchard beach sounds like fun!

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Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Thanks for the info!

Kennebunkport, Maine
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5. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Sounds like fun! I’m a dad so I love to point out the obvious.... Acadia is gorgeous, and the car ride is, well... long.

Half the time there, enjoy the majesty of the park and then head south. I’d skip OOB personally. Portland would be cool. Children’s museum, take. Ferry ride to little diamond island... or land south. Kennebunkport. Wells. Ogunquit.

The beaches aren’t as busy. The towns are cute, clean and classic Maine coast. You can enjoy a little spa treat and some shopping.

Hope that helps!

Cheers

Edited: 23 April 2018, 11:43
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Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport
Kennebunks, ME
Wells
Wells
Maine
Maine
Maine
United States
Chicago, Illinois
6 posts
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6. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Ooh, a ferry ride..... the kids would love that! I looked up info on Portland.... it sounds great! And, out of the 3 beaches you mentioned, which one would be your top choice? The car ride is about 20 hours total, but we’ll break it up into 2 days. We just did a road trip to Marco Island, FL over spring break (also 20 hours total). It’s long, but doable (it saved us over $3,000 driving.... the price of flights are RIDICULOUS over spring break).

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Kennebunkport, Maine
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7. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Hands down Goose Rocks Beach.

Check out timber point and timber island as well.

Beach is gorgeous, when the tide is out there’s tons of sand and rarely are the waves anything more than awesome for kids to play in.

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Goose Rocks Beach
Goose Rocks Beach
167 Reviews
Cape Porpoise, ME
Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Thank you for the great info!

Southern Maine
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for Maine
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9. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Here's the scoop on Kennebunk's beaches:

gokennebunks.com/pages/visiting/beaches

A lot of parents also like Mother's Beach (as the name implies!)

Kids really like Old Orchard Beach - the beach, the rides and games, the Pier Fries...

If you want other play options, there's Funtown/Splashtown in nearby Saco:

https://www.funtownsplashtownusa.com/

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Mother's Beach
Mother's Beach
109 Reviews
Kennebunk, ME
Funtown Splashtown USA
Funtown Splashtown USA
370 Reviews
Saco, ME
Saco
Saco
Maine
Maine
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10. Re: First time trip to Maine with my husband and 3 young kids

Portland and Acadia both have lobster boat rides (there may be others) where, along with the beautiful scenery you bring in a couple lobster traps and learn about the animals. My kids loved it as did I.

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Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, ME
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