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Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

Denver
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Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

We are planning a trip to Kennebunkport the first week in October. We fly into Boston arriving around noon. After researching some posts, now concerned that the drive to Kennebunkport may be a nightmare. I found this suggestion on a previous post - any thoughts regarding this route?

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Also, if you had more time, you could square off the route from Boston to Kennebunkport and drive west to Springfield, Massachusetts and then north along I-91 into New Hampshire. Some beautiful fall scenery in that area. Then you could drive east through the White Mountains of NH before taking 302 into Portland and down to Kennebunkport. In the very beginning of October that would be a stunning route.

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Thanks so much for your guidance. We are a retired couple setting out to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary Hope its not spent stuck on the highway...

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14 replies to this topic
Rockville, Maryland
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1. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

IMO the biggest risk of traffic is actually getting out of the Boston area. You are getting into Boston fairly early. A quick luggage/car pick up and you could wind up being ahead of the worst traffic. I actually think you risk worse congestion if you go west to Springfield (everybody is leaving Boston and going West). If it is peak or close to it the back roads of the White Mountains have a lot of traffic. Do you have to be in Kennebunkport the nite you fly in? You can also, just north of Boston, go along the coast of New Hampshire into Portsmouth instead of the highway. It's a beautiful ride and Portsmouth is a lovely small city to stop and explore. Cross over into Maine and from there you can still hug the coast and go through York Harbor, Ogunquit, Wells and ultimately wind up in Kennebunkport.

Edited: 20 April 2018, 19:11
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Denver
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2. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

Thank you so much for your response.

We are arriving on a Saturday at noon. As you suggested, we hope to get out of Boston as soon as possible. We are renting a car and don't mind a meandering drive - just hoping to get to Kennebunkport by dinner time.

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3. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

I agree with mrsomes: get out of MA and New Hampshire, then do your meandering in Maine. Your timing for arrival is good. You don't say how long your stay is, but I think getting settled in then heading out if you're still in the mood would be best. Remember that it gets dark earlier in October.

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Georgia
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4. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

OK, I'm trying to understand what you want to do.

If you simply want to get from point A to point B, Boston to Kennebunkport, it's an 85 mile, 1.5 hr drive up the highway.

THe other route only makes sense if you are mapping out a 2-3 day weekend itinerary. Boston > Springfield > Littleton NH > Portland/Kennenunkport is appx. a 420 mile excursion of almost 8 hrs without a stop.

The latter route would probably be a very scenic drive in early October. But....

The former route would probably be trouble free on a Sat afternoon. No weekday commuter traffic coming out of Boston and even the tide of day tripper traffic (Mass residents heading to Maine and/or the White Mtns) will have turned. People would be heading home in the afternoon.

Now, if you wanted to take a more scenic/leisurely route there are a number of interesting places to visit in that 85 miles. Maybe Cape Ann in Mass (Rockport, Gloucester), Newburyport, Portsmouth, York and Ogunquit. Check out these places to see if you're interested. Rt 95 isn't really close to the ocean. Get off on Rt 1A.

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Denver
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5. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

Thank you all for your help! Your responses have helped me to clarify my thinking. Ultimately, our primary goal is to get to Kennebunkport as quickly and as easily as possible. If I am understanding your guidance correctly - we should head directly up Rt 1A - and if we make good time and traffic is acceptable, we have opportunity to stop along the way?

Does that sound right?

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6. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

Heading directly to Maine is definitely your best bet as you want to get to K'port as quickly as possible.

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Rockville, Maryland
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7. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

You should be fine with traffic on a Saturday that early in the fall. Lovely towns in Mass to visit (Rockport, Gloucester etc) but there is a lot of driving to see them. I would take the highway out of Boston and pick up Rt 1A around Salisbury. Take it north along the NH coastline. As you get further north swing out onto Rt 1B to Newcastle and approach Portsmouth from that route. Really pretty and you get to see some of the oldest homes in the city (from the 1600's). If you have time stay on the coastal roads in Maine all the way up. (Memorial Bridge out of Portsmouth). If you need to make better time just hop on Rt 95 North to the Kennebunk exits.

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Denver
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8. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

Thank you so much for your guidance! It has helped immensely...

Now if we could settle on lodging.. haha! So many wonderful options - all with great reviews!

Delray Beach...
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9. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

The problem with the traffic is usually around Boston. Head north on Rt. 1 from Logan Airport, then get on 95 North. It will slow down at the NH tolls, but then it will pick up again. Going west from Boston is a mistake. Try coming back to the Portsmouth circle on Rt. 95 South on your way back and then go to the White Mountans form there, much easier.

Edited: 21 April 2018, 23:11
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10. Re: Did we make a mistake? Boston to Kennebunkport?

If you want to get to Kport asap do not take any scenic routes. Get out of Boston head N either take the Tobin Bridge to Rte 1 N to 95 N to exit 25 which is Kport or 93 N to 128 N To 95 N straight to Kport. Your goal is to get there asap. The bridge route is probably faster. You'll have an opportunity to explore OGT or Portsmouth once you're settled in. The direct route will take you a little less than 2 hrs as you're not familiar with the area. I have a place next door in Wells. It is 75 miles from my house and it takes me 70 minutes.

I have never stayed on Kport. But before buying in Wells I stayed in OGT at The Anchorage for 25 years. Very average rooms but you cannot beat the location. But that's not your goal. Go there for lunch!

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The Anchorage By the Sea
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