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I'm considering a birthday trip to Saco, Maine, third weekend of August

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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:06 PM
Original message
I'm considering a birthday trip to Saco, Maine, third weekend of August
My main(e) goal is to ride the roller coasters up that-a-way that I haven't ridden yet, but definitely want to do more on the trip.

What else should I absolutely see during my trip? Things that are within an hour drive of Saco, Portland, or Augusta would be best.

Which restaurants should I absolutely not miss, which should I avoid? I'm not a huge lobster fan (sacrilege, I know) but most other seafood works for me.

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WritingIsMyReligion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. What roller coasters?
We have roller coasters?



Saco and Portland are near each other, but Augusta is an hour and 55 or 60 miles north. So that's a monstrous area you're covering.

Okay, I'll stop teasing. :) What's your experience with Maine? I don't want to send you someplace you've already been, so lay it out and we Mainers will help.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes, you have roller coasters!
I'll definitely be spending time at Funtown/Splashtown, and a few minutes at Palace Playland (Old Orchard Beach).

I have zero experience in Maine, the closest I've gotten is Glen, NH.
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WritingIsMyReligion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Well, for starters, Portland is always good for a goggle.
By "Portland" I really mean the part of the city known as the "Old Port," where all the shoppers go. I'm not a restaurant expert by any means, but the impression I've always had of Portland restaurants is that most are acceptable at least, and a few are exceptional. In any case, a morning or afternoon among your fellow tourists in the state's only "metropolis" (and it's a far, far cry from the normal definition of "metropolis") is entertaining. Portland's a beautiful city, great for people-watching, mostly blue politics-wise and, overall, friendly. There will be tons of tourists at the time of year you're planning on coming, but that's true of nearly any area in this state with a population more than about 20 people. :D

Greater Portland is rife with various things to do, depending on your interests. There are a bazillion and three beaches within a stone's throw, if that suits your fancy. If you're a shopper the L.L. Bean experience, about half an hour or so north of Portland in the town of Freeport, really is not to be missed, and boutique shopping in said Old Port of Portland or in the pricer locale of Kennebunk, half an hour south, is renowned. Old Orchard Beach is popular with tourists but scorned by locals, mostly because of its terrible schools, relative tackiness and preponderance of "clubs" and such drinking establishments; it's entertaining, somewhat, but definitely not a snapshot of a genuine Maine experience.

The big tourist hotspots really are the Old Port, Portland Head Light (in the town of Cape Elizabeth and well worth a visit for the view alone), any of the beaches, and whole towns--Kennebunk/Kennebunkport, Saco/Old Orchard Beach, etc. etc. etc. The problem with recommending places in southern Maine is that it's so diverse, and things change from town to town. I guess if I knew what you were into, I could be more helpful!
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. Things to do: Portland edition
Fore St: Expensive, but one of the best restaurants in the country.
Demillos: Touristy, but still, it's a floating car-ferry turned restaurant
Blue Spoon: Really great and creative cuisine. Extensive use of truffles.

Take ferry out to Peaks island. Explore the old abandoned forts out there. Sit at top of ferry and wait until you can see five lighthouses from one vantage point.

Visit Admiral Perry's house/lodge on Eagle Island. Truly great, and one the tourists don't go to.

Take the narrow gauge railroad along the waterfront. It's a life size HO scale turn of the century steam train. Very cool and has a great museum

Visit the Desert of Maine

Go to Beal's ice cream in the old port and have a Maine only flavor: try Moxie or Teaberry ice cream

Be SURE to drink a Moxie. You have not been to Maine if you don't have a Moxie.
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