Must-do, must-see New England activities for a family
April 5, 2015 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Mrs. Ferg and I are planning a trip to New England in June with the smaller Fergs. Since my previous questions about travel activities have been successes, I'm here to query the hive-mind about what our agenda should include to get the maximal "New England" experience. Of course, there's

Roughly, we're looking at about 2 weeks - probably flying into NYC and visiting my sister for 3 days (trying to hit some high points but not do *all the things*), then taking the train to Boston and spending a couple of days there before renting a car and heading up the coast for the next several days.
Mrs. Ferg and I have been to Boston and NYC before, so I feel like we have that under control, but don't know as much about NH, ME, and VT. What places should we head for to get some true New England flavor? What are the best places to experience the nature? Recommendations for interesting places to stay? Eat? Museums? Aquariums? Etc?
The smaller Fergs will be 7 and 9 when we travel - we all love nature, scenery, the ocean, mountains, trees, etc, but are also interested in cities, transportation, science, and all varieties of other nerdy things. Less interested in things like amusement parks, children's museums, etc, unless they're something truly different from the variations of those things we can do here in the Midwest. Any and all suggestions, recommendations, advice as to why this is a terrible idea, etc is welcome!
posted by jferg to Travel & Transportation (22 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Acadia National Park, in Maine, is pretty awesome.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:42 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: White Mountains, white mountains, white mountains. They are very kid friendly (for your age group) and there are tons of trails in the area that are for small mountains (day trips) or longer as well as nice lodges to stay in, if you so desire. Check out the AMC for more:

If you are going to be in NH anyway, there are tons of great kid-friendly diner/beer/burger places to stop by after a full day. Also loads of great lakes and ponds to swim in. Basically NH is great fun for outdoors stuff.

I'm less of a fan of Maine - the ocean is just a little too cold there for me and the black flies a little too bitey - but others may disagree. And also Maine lobster is the best, right?

Vermont is absolutely lovely, if you can make it to Shelburne Farms and the Shelburne Museum, do it. And Burlington has a funky downtown area. Of course Ben & Jerry's factory is a must go too. Vermont has the green mountains, which are also nice, but I just never got into as much as NH.

If you are driving up from Boston - stop at Crane's Beach. Nicest beach, in my mind, near the city, and there is a farm you can stop at on the way to get snacks, cider donuts and dandelion wine.

Also the second you get a chance to go to a clam shack, do it. Get fried clams and lobster rolls and a diet coke. Enjoy the magic.
posted by Toddles at 8:42 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Go on a whale watch! They leave from anywhere between Gloucester, MA, and Portland, ME and all go tot he same spot - I like this small boat that leaves from Rye, NH. Quiet harbor, it's pretty quick cruise to get out to the feeding grounds, and there are just gobs of whales out there. This line has someone from the ocean conservancy on board to talk science!, too (ask how whales sleep - it's fascinating). Also, you can go to Petey's for dinner after, which has the best lobster bisque I've ever consumed.
posted by amelioration at 9:13 AM on April 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Mystic Seaport and Gillette Castle, both in Connecticut.
posted by easily confused at 9:15 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Strawberry Banke and a Shaker community.It looks like Canterbury Shaker Village will be closest to your route.
posted by brujita at 9:19 AM on April 5, 2015

Best answer: Vermont is wonderful! I spent many summers there as a kid, highlights include:

The Maple Museum - it's a little kitschy but it ends with the yummiest maple syrup tasting!

Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill - you can watch them press the apples to make cider. Cold Hollow has fantastic apple cider donuts, too. (Located just a few minutes away from the Ben and Jerry's factory.)

Alpine slides at Bromley. The place I used to go alpine sliding closed a few years back, but this one looks rad too. It's a ton of fun, if a little pricey.
posted by nerdcore at 9:52 AM on April 5, 2015

Best answer: It looks like Canterbury Shaker Village will be closest to your route

Actually Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is closer to the ME coast and is the only Shaker still inhabited by Shakers. The museum tour is worth it. And if you are so inclined, you can join the Shakers in worship on Sunday mornings in their meetinghouse. There are only three full-time Shakers, but they are usually joined on Sundays by 20 or more non-Shakers; you would be welcomed.
posted by beagle at 10:29 AM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: if you can make it to Shelburne Farms and the Shelburne Museum, do it

This is a really fun place to go with a family and it's just south of Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center which I think is really nice. That said if you decide you don't want to go alll the way across the state, the Montshire Museum and/or the Fairbanks Museum (and planetarium) are both a really good time.

Acadia is amazing and really worth it. It gets busy but it's like nothing else, a lot of outdoor opportunities for all ages and just strikingly beautiful. I also liked Campobello Island (neat hikes and nbiking areas) but it might be too far out of the way if you don't want to spend your whole time driving.

The Kancamagus Highway is the scenic route through NH which is totally worth the drive. Lots of neat NH to be seen and it will help connect you to VT, don't drive down and back up again, drive across!

I live in VT (stop by exit four on route 89 if you want) and I am shruggo on the Ben and Jerry's thing unless you're already ice cream fans. I've never heard of the Maple Museum (but I'm sure it's nice) and would suggest going to Morse Farm as you go through Montpelier (smallest state capital in the US and the only one without a McDonald's - go have a picnic on the State House lawn, it's on the way to Burlington) for a maple creemee (soft serve).

So I guess if I were doing this I'd go

Boston - Portsmouth NH/Portland ME (strawberry Banke is great if that's your type of thing)
Portland ME - Acadia Park (stay a day or two)
Acadia - Kancamagus - White Mountains Somewhere
White Mountains somewhere - Hanover/Norwich (canoeing on the CT, Montshire museum)
Hanover/Norwich - Montpelier (state house, Ben and Jerry's, Hubbard Park with a cool tower)
Montpelier - Burlington (stay a day or to)
Burlington down into Western MA and across to Boston (maybe see the Quabbin Reservoir, some great places to hike out there)

Depends on how much time you have and how much you like driving but those are the spots I would try to hit.
posted by jessamyn at 12:43 PM on April 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A lobster pound on the coast. Roadfood lists several.
posted by brujita at 3:00 PM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Rhode Island beaches, New Hampshire's White Mountains, cheese and beer in vermont, pizza and chowder in CT, history in MA or Cape Cod if you're not into Boston.
posted by mearls at 6:16 PM on April 5, 2015

Best answer: I am pretty passionate about New England travel and do it a lot. While I enjoy our museums and aquariums I don't think they are stand out. My theory is I don't think you should waste a day doing something that you can't get better elsewhere.

A couple unique places are Plimoth Plantation (and the Mayflower II) and Sturbridge Village.
They are both living history museums with costumed reenactors. Plymouth's recreates 1600's and Sturbridge is about 1850s. I love both and think they are both great for that age. Sturbridge is about an hour and a half from Boston and Plymouth is an hour. Both have lots of room to run for energetic kids. I think Mayflower II (a replica of the original) is worth the trip. When you see the size and realize what was on board, you recognize what a grueling journey it was.

It sounds crazy but you will want to book immediately for beach lodging. New England season is so short that good places are gone fast.

Beaches. My favorite beach in New England (after literally researching and experiencing about 60) is Popham beach in Maine. It's huge and gets enormous at low tide and there is a island to walk to (only at low tide). To eat near by - North Creek farm or Percy's - but only for breakfast. Bonus for Percy's is the free fort "Fort Popham"close by. Staying close and feeling adventurous. The hike over Morse Mountain to a secluded beautiful beach though HUGE pines and amazing stone boulders. It's a bit secret. Shhh.

Go a little up the road and there is Reid State Park. Another highlight. When you are there eat at the famous Five Islands Lobster.

Want to hit a busy beach town? You could pick Ogunquit. I like to stay at the "Dunes on the Water". Big lawns, nice pool, cute clean cabins. You row over to the beach. There's a trolley to town. Walk marginal way, go to footbridge beach, go to Perkins cove, ** go to Wells Reserve at Laudholm and walk to the beach (Drakes Island) **, Rachel Carsons NWR, Mount Agamenticus (quick drive up and great views).

Further up the coast is Acadia and Bar Harbor. Drive Park Loop road, go to the Long Pond Cliffs with the locals, walk Bar Harbor and eat lobster ice cream, and go tide pooling. People love the Maine Lumberjack show but I have never been.

If possible I would stay at least 3 days in Vermont. A museum like no other is the Shelburne museum. Another place with wide open spaces for kids. Shelburne farm is great. So is Billings Farm and Museum. Burlington is close by and on Lake Champlain. In Vermont it is a local tradition to cool off in swimming holes. Go to and choose a close by favorite. Vermont has great waterfalls- check for good ones on Driving in Vermont is a joy. Little traffic outside Burlington area and no billboards and rolling hills. I love Vergennes and that corner of Vermont. Basin Harbor club is overpriced but I LOVE the location.

I could go on and on... Memail if you have any questions. I'd be happy to answer whatever I can.
posted by beccaj at 6:54 PM on April 5, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Lost River Gorge
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:39 PM on April 5, 2015

Best answer: If I had kids with me, I would stop and show them the various coastline on Route 1.

Rye Beach, NH is very pretty.

Scarborough Marsh, where you can rent a canoe from the Audubon Society and paddle around the marsh. If you don't want to canoe, they have a pathway with a long foot bridge over the marsh.

Two Lights State Park has some great rock formations, and down the way is The Lobster Shack, where you can eat right next to the ocean, overlooking the waves breaking over the rocks. Be prepared to wait for your clam burger, but they are pretty efficient, and have an indoor dining area if it happens to be raining. There is also a little gift shop next door with all kinds of whacky souvenirs.

Then, a short drive up the road is Portland Head Light, which was commissioned by George Washington. There is plenty of parking, and there is also a fort near the lower parking lot by the horseshoe cove.

All of the above could reasonably be done in one day, or you could do Rye Beach and then stop in Portsmouth, NH, and do Strawberry Banke. Then either stay overnight there or continue up the coast to Maine.

If you think the nature stuff needs some livening up, Old Orchard Beach has a pier, arcade games, and an amusement park (as well as the beach!). Be sure to try some poutine if you go there. Ferry Beach State Park is also a nice beach, just south of Old Orchard, and usually not nearly as crowded. Be aware that there are no amenities at Ferry Beach, beyond a port-a-potty, so stock up on water and snacks if you plan to stay a while.

Continue up to Portland from Cape Elizabeth and Portland Head Light (about 15 minutes), and drive through the Old Port. A few blocks up, there is a little park on Middle Street where a guy named Mark sells hot dogs, and has been doing so for years. There is also Bard Coffee, for the grown ups, right next to Tommy's Park. Try their giant mug of Irish Breakfast Tea, very warming for chilly days. Most street parking is metered, except it is free on Sundays, or park in a garage. There is so much food in Portland, it's hard to tell people where to eat. Duckfat is really popular, be prepared to wait, because they are small. A good place for kids is Silly's, which serves all kinds of food from vegan on up, plus they have board games and whacky decorations that kids will love. Silly's is closed on Mondays, fyi.

Portland has some great views, on the Eastern Prom, which has a cannon, and there is a beach down below, and a railway museum, with a little train that goes up and down the waterfront, on Fore Street (on the way up to the prom from the Old Port). The Western Prom has views of the White Mountains, and people gather there at sunset. Both locations have some great architecture, gorgeous old homes.

Continue up Route 1 to Yarmouth, and stop at the DeLorme Map store, home of the giant rotating globe. The shop has a ton of cool things for kids.

There are a few clam shacks a bit further up on Route 1, on the way to Freeport. Stop at LL Bean and take your picture in front of the giant boot. Nearby is Wolfe's Neck Farm, where you can take the kids to see the animals. There is also the Desert of Maine.

Bradbury Mountain is close to Freeport, and is a not-so-difficult hike up to the bald top to see some great views.

A word about clothing: make sure you all have hoodies. I have seen the temperature change from 80 degrees in Portland to 65 and cold and chilly at Popham Beach, in the same day. If a fog rolls in, you will want something warm to put on. You should all have sturdy walking shoes, and some sort of thick-soled rubber shoes for the beach and rocky areas, such as hiking sandals that you don't mind getting wet.

Popham Beach and the fort is a great area, just make sure you gas up and bring snacks, because there is one restaurant near the fort, but the drive from the Bath area is about 40 minutes (?) and once you leave Bath, there are no gas stations or stores. Same with Reid State Park, tho' I think they have a snack bar and good bathroom facilities. You might see seals at either location, we have seen them from Fort Popham near the restaurant.

Acadia National Park is indeed fantastic, but it is a bit of a drive from the Portland area, especially if you take the scenic Route 1, which I would recommend on the way up, and then maybe go back through Bangor and take the highway back south. If you do venture north, there is a lookout at Penobscot Narrows.

If you are going to come back down from Bangor area, you can get off the highway at Augusta and visit the Maine State Museum, which has a lot of cool stuff, including a great tourmaline display. We were just down there for a talk on tourmalines last week. It's right next to the capitol building.

Then take Route 202 to Winthrop, about 20 minutes, and go downtown and stop for some ice cream. There is a little park at the end of Lake Maranacook, a few blocks from the main drag. If you need to gas up the car, now is the time to do it.

Continue out of Winthrop, along the western edge of the lake. Bear left at 133 and take that to 219. Stay on 219 all the way to Route 26 in Paris (about an hour, gorgeous scenery, which changes to hills once you get closer to Paris). This is tourmaline country now. Take a right at Route 26 and head up a few miles to the little tourmaline sifting place. You buy a bucket, dig in the mine dumps and sift and sort for gems. They are really good with kids there.

Head back down Route 26 and stop off at the gas station for a sandwich. Take that and head down a few miles to Snow Falls Gorge, where you can have a nice picnic lunch in the shade overlooking the rushing water of the Little Androscoggin River.

Then go a bit further south to Norway, home of the popular Rough and Tumble hand bags. From Norway, it is about 50 miles to the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire.

Another recommendation is to get a good bird book so you can identify various sea birds. Maybe a geology book, or hit up the Maine geology site for some info before you get here.

And the rest I will leave up to other New Englanders, lots of good stuff above, these are just my personal preferences. Feel free to MeMail with any questions.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:34 AM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: One more, if you are going to Popham Beach, consider stopping in Bath at the Maine Maritime Museum. Popham Beach and Reid State Park are more or less opposite each other, each down its own peninsula on either side of the mouth of the Kennebec River. Both are beautiful, although Reid does offer some nice hiking vantage points, rocks and pines, as well as two beaches.

Five Islands Lobster Co., mentioned above, is just up the road from Reid State Park. Really gorgeous views. You get your lobster and eat at a picnic table.

Just wanted to mention that in terms of travel, I would pick either Popham or Reid State Park, because it's a drive down either peninsula from Bath.

I've never had a problem with black flies on the coast, more inland in the woods, but the water can still be chilly in June. However, great for exploring and collecting shells, looking at tidal pools in the rocks, etc.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:28 AM on April 6, 2015

Best answer: Note that Vermont has its share of black flies, with the normal black fly season spanning Mother's Day to Father's Day. If you happen to be in the Montpelier area on May 30th come North about 10 miles to the hamlet of Adamant for the annual Black Fly Festival. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
posted by baseballpajamas at 10:02 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! These are awesome answers! I'm now really excited about this trip and am really looking forward to it.

In case anyone is interested, I've been plotting these on a Google Map to help with our planning. If you want to check it out, it's here.
posted by jferg at 10:03 AM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: If you're going to be driving up the coast from Boston, consider stopping in Salem for a day or afternoon. The witch stuff is kitschy but one or two of them would be fun for kids that age. The Peabody Essex Museum is a gorgeous real museum (as opposed to the million witch museums) with great art and history stuff. We have lots of awesome restaurants, a lovely bit of ocean for a harbor cruise if that's your thing, and the Salem Willows is unique and your kids would probably love it. There are so many charming old houses and so much history in Salem, I feel like it's a must-see New England experience (though I'm biased because I live there).

Old Orchard Beach in Maine is awesome, I totally recommend a day there finished with staying the night in Portland. I love the pier area, but you can also walk far down the beach to escape the tourist press and enjoy the ocean more peacefully.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 10:45 AM on April 6, 2015

Best answer: Seconding the living history museums, Mystic CT, and many good suggestions above. A few other misc thoughts -

Most every town in New England has its own local ice cream place. IMO, forget Ben and Jerry's, you'll get better ice cream in most towns. Look for peppermint stick ice cream, which at least once upon a time, was only a New England thing.

St Johnsbury VT (which is probably out of your way, but I mention it in case you end up going that way) has the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium which is a small, charming, late-1800s natural history museum with all the taxidermied animals and little oddments you could want - art made of bugs, collection of arrowheads, all that kind of thing, and a little planetarium. Nearby, if you're dog or outsider-art lovers, the Dog Chapel.

One of the most fun things about New England is how close everything is -- enjoy the fun of driving through four states in one afternoon.

Living history museums are probably better for your kids, but there are lots of real hisotrical sites too -- Concord/Lexington, you can go stand on the rude bridge that arched the flood, the shot heard 'round the world - also nearby is Salem, of witch trial fame. Lots of birthplaces/houses of famous American historical writers in this area if either of you are into that.

New England beaches are more-often rocky than sandy, so check in advance to be sure you get the kind you're aiming for. Also when on the coast - you'll want to be aware that some things are only accessible at low tide or high tide.

Up the coast, there are lot of old port/fishing towns, which might be interesting to just drive through a bit of (eg, Gloucester in Mass). In Maine, we drive up Rte 1, which is the scenic (slower) route up the coast that takes you through a succession of cute little towns, any of which is a nice place to have lunch and spend some time walking around. Be aware that Rte 1 is insanely trafficky on Friday night/Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon, when visitors are coming and going - you want to avoid it then.

Rte 1: Again, in each town: ice cream. Each will have its lobster pound too. In most you should be able to rent kayaks and spend a few hours paddling around, which is very fun and leisurely and will keep you out of the cold water. Or get a sailboat ride out to a lighthouse island, go for a whalewatch (dress warm), etc. (Check in advance for these, since not every town has all, but just to give a sense.) Damariscotta has art/souvenirs, a Reny's (general/surplus store) and a fish ladder (and great bookstore, and Melissa's Cafe - parking in back); Camden has beautiful hiking views; Wiscasset has a great stationery/toy store, and the famous Red's Eats where you can wait in line around the block for "the best" lobster roll; Boothbay Harbor is a charming town (Red Cup for good coffee; Sherman's for basic souvenirs and books/stationery/toys, Wannawaf for ice cream; Mama D's for lunch) and a short distance away has a Railway Village with life-size working trains, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (expensive but cool - fairy house area for the kids), several editions of mini-golf/rope course along the route too. Also the Hodgdon Island manual swing bridge (video shows the worker manually turning the whole section of road that goes over the bridge, so that a boat can come through, below) - lots of little odd things like that in this part of the country, old rail lines, old fishing infrastructure or old mills, etc. In Bath, as you go over the bridge, you'll drive past the Bath Iron Works (look for the Christmas tree on top of their tallest crane).

Portland art museum is good, nice collection of classic boys-adventure type illustration art (Wyeths). The Old Port is the nice area to wander around in Portland, with lot of shops and restaurants etc.

LL Bean's main store in Freeport is 24-hours and is one of those traditional suggestions for a Maine trip - the whole town is an outlet shopping destination, that's up your alley.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:25 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Forgot to mention, state parks have fees. For instance, if you went to every state park I listed, it would be $65. There may be other places you want to stop, Kettle Cove or Crescent Beach, and entry fees range from $4.50 per adult, plus $1.00 per child, to $6.00 per adult. Wolfe's Neck Farm and Portland Head Light/Ft. Williams are free.

You can get a vehicle pass for $70. This won't cover Acadia, which is a national park, but just about everything else.

Mackworth Island, just outside of Portland in Falmouth, has a nice hike around the island (not quite a mile). One spot along the trail has an area where kids can build fairy houses. Parking lot tends to fill up on weekends (tiny).

The Back Cove in Portland is a nice walk, maybe too long for kids (almost 4 miles), but one side, on Baxter Blvd., has a park with a playground (Edward Payson Park), and the Eastern Prom has a playground as well, in a nice field overlooking the ocean. If you go down Congress Street from the Eastern Prom, that is the Munjoy Hill area, and there is a market/bakery called Rosemont a few blocks down, with great sandwiches and cookies, and a few restaurants, The Front Room is good. You will see a red tower nearby, that is the Portland Observatory.

Also forgot about the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland. Kids might like that.

Note that Portland is not that large, geographically, so you could be at one end and get to the other within 10 minutes. Hope you have a GPS tho', some of the streets can be confusing at first. Anyway, you can catch Route 1 from Baxter Blvd. and head up to Falmouth, Yarmouth, Freeport, etc. that way, look for snowy egrets in the shallows of the Back Cove while driving along Baxter Blvd.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:47 AM on April 7, 2015

Best answer: Acadia is amazing and really worth it. It gets busy but it's like nothing else...

Acadia is the only national park east of Ohio and north of Virginia, and for good reason. It's busiest in July and August – also filled with cruise ship hordes in September and October. June shouldn't be too bad. (Maybe the piles of snow still on the ground will even be gone by then.)

...walk Bar Harbor and eat lobster ice cream, and go tide pooling. People love the Maine Lumberjack show but I have never been.

Lobster ice cream (chunks of lobster plus butter, stuck in vanilla ice cream) is pretty terrible, actually; I would sample a small bit before buying. (There is very good ice cream in town, however.)

The lumberjack show is enjoyable, but loud, and in the woods. I would take earplugs and bug spray.

Go on a whale watch! They leave from anywhere between Gloucester, MA, and Portland, ME and all go tot he same spot...

There's whale watching in Bar Harbor, too.

* * *
Seconding the Fairbanks Museum and Shelburne Museum in VT; the Kancamagus Hwy in NH; Portland Head Light, also the Cape Neddic (Nubble) light in York Beach; the giant globe in Yarmouth (right off the highway, free, a good restroom stop); and the Maine State Museum in Augusta (lots of stuff to see, only $1 or $2 to get in). Route 3 heading east from Augusta, over to the coast, is also a good compromise between driving all the way north from Portland on Route 1, or driving all the way up to Bangor on I-295/95. About the same distance, but a half-hour shorter.

MeMail me if you have more specific questions about Acadia or Bar Harbor. I can look out my office window and (with the leaves gone from the trees) see Cadillac Mountain from where I'm typing this.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:27 PM on April 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I hope it's okay to add answers to this thread.

We just went on a drive yesterday, the first really nice day here, to Camden Hills State Park. You have to realize that Maine is a rather large state, so we do day trips in many directions each year, as the weather permits, so although I live here, and my folks were from Maine, I have not been to every location.

That said, if you are traveling up Route 1, and you don't feel you have time to visit Acadia (no slants on Acadia, if you do have time, go for it!), Camden Hills is a great place to either hike, or drive up and see the views, or both, as there is a place near the top where you can park and then walk up the last several feet to the bald top. It is 800 feet, so if you do hike, be aware of that. We drove.

The view of Penobscot Bay is astounding, and the only other way you will take in this view is from Mt. Cadillac on Mt. Desert Island. The Maine coast is a series of peninsulas and islands, each with their own magic. You can't describe the light or the beauty, until you've seen it.

If it were up to me, I would recommend both Camden Hills and Acadia, because Acadia has lots of things that Camden Hills does not, like Thunder Hole and Jordan's Pond, Bar Harbor, and the island itself, driving around that is great. You will see all kinds of neat stuff.

We took a road out of Waterville and missed a turn (which is why I recommend GPS) and ended up on Route 7 to Belfast. It happened to be a very hilly road.

I know there is also a great road up in Blue Hill that goes down to Deer Isle. We drove down that way one day from Ellsworth (when we lived up there) and stopped at the overlook, and saw people in straw hats picking blueberries.

Maine is huge, and it has many regions, where I live is sort of the middle, factory town (where they used to make Hathaway shirts), but drive a few miles in either direction and you could run into the ocean, the mountains, the farms, the rich, the poor, it's really great, no matter where you look and I love it here.

I have met LeLiLo and I highly recommend him as a contact, he is a great guy. I hope you have a fantastic vacation and also feel free to write to me with any questions. I am just so excited to see Spring here, and I thought of you when we took this day trip, and wanted to share it with you.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:50 PM on April 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was talking to my wife about this AskMe and she said, "You didn’t tell them about Diver Ed?"

For some reason – I have to stop reading MetaFilter before I even get out of bed in the morning – I didn’t register the part about the 7- and the 9-year-old. If you do make it to Acadia, the Dive-In Theater is hands down the best thing to do around here with kids that age. This has been known to locals for a long time; last year Yankee Magazine named Diver Ed’s tour “the best family cruise” not just in Bar Harbor, not just in Maine, but in all of New England. It works for all ages, actually, but from my visits to the tour (when we have young summer visitors) it seems like 7 and 9 are particularly good ages to appreciate Ed.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:32 PM on May 5, 2015

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