15 Replies Latest reply: May 19, 2014 9:18 PM by jakeal RSS

Spring drive thru the New England Coast

erc Platinum
Currently Being Moderated
United has excellent fares from Dulles to Boston throughout the year. Since even I, the Marriott pricing grid gnome struggle to find a Boston room for less than a mortgage, I decided last fall to fly to Boston this spring and head north (I follow a similar strategy with Buffalo - great airfares, then drive to Niagara on the Lake, Toronto, and beyond, deeper into Canada).

Landed at Logan on an early morning flight and drove to Portland Maine arriving prior to noon. Confident I could absorb the 'feel' of Portland in a day (I've visited before), I bypassed the very nice downtown Residence Inn and snagged the Fairfield Inn down the road already on the way back to New Hampshire, which resulted in substantial savings. The Fairfield featured friendly staff, 24 hour coffee (refreshed), an excellent breakfast, and something new, to me at least, a Fairfield manager's reception at dinner, with excellent soup and a caesar salad with real chicken in it, tasty.  Portland was quite enjoyable for walking around and an easy drive covering all the streets, the impressive waterviews (Eastern Promenade) and even attending a festival (they have cruises also). Loads of breweries (with tours) and brewpubs and several pleasant restaurants on the waterfront where we sampled the craft beers, ciders, and wines. They also had a Cabot (as in cheese) Store with samples just like Vermont, mmmm samples, and scores of interesting shops.

The next morning we had an excellent breakfast, just beating a Canadian soccer team down for a tournament (I enjoy talking to the kids and coaches, if I have already eaten!), which highlights why booking early often snags a good rate, because most all Marriotts will fill that sucker eventually either with weddings, quinceaneras, tournaments, greeks, etc,  - my m.o. which serves me well; book early/eat early and go shoulder season. We drove along the coast of Maine seeing the towns and ocean, very pleasant and easy going (this was the first weekend in May, 60 degrees) stopping at the Cape Arundel Inn in Kennebunkport and having a delicious meal across the inlet from the Bush compound, then headed into the delightful town and had closed on some terrific pre-season sales (for these prices, I'll gladly wear W's last year fashion). We kept driving the towns on down to Portsmouth New Hampshire where we stayed at the Wentworth as recommended by superchief, jerrycoin and other Insider travel pros.

The Wentworth reminded me of the former Marriott in Absecon NJ, the Seaview. Nicely situated on the harbor (the folks gave us a wonderful harbor view room) it's a pleasant enough property with friendly personnel, nice grounds and marina to walk around, and a marvelous restaurant, Salt Kitchen and Bar. They've also opened a new restaurant at the marina Latitudes, which given the quality of Salt, should be another excellent option. Portsmouth had a downtown similar to Portland easy to walk, and yes, loads of brewpubs (and a Red Hook Brewery out in the burbs) with solid food choices. We had another tasty lobster roll at The Beach Plum. Kittery Maine just across the river, was also a nice drive including some outlet stores with good outerwear deals like Orvis, Eddie Bauer, and Barbour (for that waxed cotton coat).

Back to Logan where I enjoyed the brand new terminal B for United along with the very nice club lounge and yes, a few final local brews and a lobster roll at the Legal Seafood restaurant. A fun time had by all.

So, this combined with painedplatinum's excellent writeup of  Maine...Downeast and Mid Coast, helps cover the coast. Now with ongoing inland insights from profchiara and sledchick, we've got the area covered.



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Our first stop in Portland. Mike the young (30ish) owner won me when he
argued with the lone dissenter on TripAdvisor - it was as good as he said.
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The first of many lobster rolls and clam chowders, and a twist, a lobster
BLT - delish. Caught that morning, it was an enjoyable lunch.
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Kittery Maine looking back across the harbor toward Portsmouth NH. A lot of
interesting (and new to me) history.
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Several old mills in Maine were successfully converted into office/retail spots.
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It must be the cold winters, because every 50 feet it seemed there was another
brewpub - all that I tried (and I tried several) were great. This one, The Thirsty Moose
in Portsmouth, had 116 taps - they actually needed a 'beer runner' between the two
ends of the bar - yeah baby.

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Sat here right next to distributors for Smuttynose - a great afternoon of good talk and cheer.
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Just down the road from Fairfield in Scarborough Me. - good times.

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Love those off season tables, deals, and service. Ocean Restaurant at the
Cape Arundel Inn (to the left of the Mrs. is George's summer hangout).

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Picture of the Bush Compound from the porch of Cape Arundel Inn.
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The new United Club Lounge in the new Terminal B at Logan. Enough to make
kharada, iahflyr, ssindc, and other aviation geeks get misty eyed.

Since it's considered the most photographed house in Maine, I didn't bother. But I swear, since I got back, no fewer than four neighbors asked if I took a photo of it - so, if any Insiders feel the same, here's one for you of The Wedding Cake House in Kennebunk.

http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/67/ed/fb/the-wedding-cake-house.jpg

 

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc,

     

    Wonderful report and great pictures!  Especially of you two.  That really looks like a great time and the food sounds very special.

     

    Thanks for sharing.  That sounds like a wonderful "Champagne trip on a beer (Brewpub), budget"!

     

    We need more stories like this, keep them coming!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    nice post!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    erc Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    Thanks ssindc, I appreciate the effort you make posting all of your great photographs.

    And of course thanks to you also jerrycoin. I agree, we do need more posts like this, which requires a large participant base. A larger participant base leads to wider and fresher perspectives and less posting burden on everyone. The disappointing news to me, is that Marriott (IMO) so greatly depleted the participating base through their ill conceived attempt to build a raw data base customer list with their baseball story and review contest interruptions (coupled with natural turnover and disgruntled Rewards member departures) that now, a techno numbnuts like myself thinks twice about extending the effort to post writeups when viewership is so low.

    Just this month we've had excellent writeups by painedplatinum, vaboywnder, and ssindc which received less than half of the views that fantasy (as in nothing will come of it) elite benefit requests like "Elites should receive free massages with each stay" and only a tenth of the participation compared to members offering various shiatsu techniques (before anyone goes to the search function - this is a metaphor).

    Again, I'm not opposed to us playing the 'what if' brainstorming game (I often join in), spitting into the wind with our 'demands' of Mother Marriott, but when it becomes the majority of energy expended by the forum, it may become time to play elsewhere. This forum has such tremendous potential value in terms of optimizing our travel, that it is sad for me to see the disproportionate energy going toward pissing and moaning and/or daydreaming about The Glory Days (or for forum newbies,  their version of Rewards Nirvana).

    Oh well, off to the Baltics a trip, like many of my trips, inspired by Insiders, in this case jasper, sg1974, chrisf, razorbackfan, GemPrincess (notice a trend here?) and jerryl (still active and posting, thank goodness). Perhaps if Putin's boys don't annex me, I come back all refreshed and ready to roll for another year or two. Either way, thanks for your great contributions, keep on keepin' on, my travel Master Po.



    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
      vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      erc,

       

      Great post and pictures!  Thanks for the shout out.  It does seem like our readership and participant activity is down a bit of what it used to be especially with blog postings. It's a shame hopefully our future community manager can turn some things around.

       

      Have a great trip to the Baltics!  Looking forward to hearing about your adventures when you get back!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc

     

    great post!  thanks.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
      jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      next time you are in Kennebunk stop at Maine Dinner in Wells it was featured on Diners, drive ins and dives . they have the best seafood chowder  clams, lobster, shrimp and scallops and you can get it to go

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
        Sledchick Platinum 9 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Oh jerryl, the Maine Diner recently become one of my favorite places.  My first trip there was last summer with a friend who had just built a house at a local country club.  That's where she wanted to go the night of her 60th birthday.  Wonderful seafood, plentiful portions, and down-home charm.  I concur, Insiders should definitely try to include this on their East coast itineraries!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    Sledchick Platinum 9 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    This looks like a fantastic trip!  I enjoyed your photos, especially the lobster BLT (you know you can eat them for breakfast, too -- no one will call you out on it!).  Thanks for contributing -- as always, I enjoyed your efforts!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Perfect. With the backing of a native daughter, there's no stopping me now!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc,

     

    Well done! Great adventure undertaken and conquered.  That lobster roll is huge!  Please share the cost of that monster. I'm glad the weather was cooperative. Wonderful detail that will provide a few extra options for my next trip north.  Thanks 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      $22.95 special - lobstah roll and chowda!  Wife's (which I got half of) was $17. It was so filling (and delicious) that the Fairfield Inn 'Manager's Reception' I wrote about above (soup and salad) was plenty enough food for the day, allowing me to invest additional funds toward consuming mass quantities like Beldar Conehead.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great photos and interesting dialogue erc.  Have traveled that route over the years and have very found memories.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    jjofriends Gold 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Scarborough, and ate at that Sebago, last year while visiting a close friend who lives in Scarborough. It was an enjoyable trip, and I liked the hotel a lot!

     

    I'm keeping this handy for the next visit, which will be later this year, as I love to visit new places along the way to keep the trip fresh, as I do it annually. Thank you for sharing!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spring drive thru the New England Coast
    jakeal Gold 15 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc - great write-up and glad you enjoyed the Wentworth (one of my favorite Marriott properties).  Next time you are up that way put When Pigs Fly Bakery (Welcome To When Pigs Fly Bakery) on the agenda - it is worth a stop. 

     

    Safe travels to the Baltics.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)