Hilary Nangle answered your questions about vacationing in Maine on June 1, 2004
Hilary Nangle: Aim for August or later.
Atlanta, GA: Into which airport would you recommend flying in order to travel to Maine? Thank you.
Hilary Nangle: You'll likely get your best fares into Boston or Manchester (NH), but Portland is closest for Southern and most of the Mid-Coast; Bangor's best for the Down East Coast (Bar Harbor and Acadia) and the Moosehead area.
If you do fly into Boston, Concord Trailways bus lines provides reasonable, regular service, picking up at each terminal and dropping you off at the Portland Transportation Center. It's much preferable than trying to rent a car and drive out of Boston.
Ennis, TX: If I vacation in Maine, how close could I get to Stephen King's house and might I be lucky enough to meet the man himself, even getting a book signed? Thank you.
Hilary Nangle: You can walk right by his house in Bangor. You can usually get signed copies of his books and other King-related goodies at Bett's Bookstore, in Bangor. Bett's is the best place to check in to see whether King is around or where he might be spotted (perhaps at the so-called Field of Screams Little League Park).
Mexico Beach, FL: We are going to be in Maine, staying in Portland from July 10 to 24. What are some activities such as festivals, plays, and music programs going on throughout the state during that time?
Hilary Nangle: Wow, there's so much that happens in that period. Your best bet is to log on to visitmaine.com and go to the calendar section. You can enter your dates, and all the events scheduled will be listed. I'm betting there will be pages of them.
Louisville, KY: Leaving our husbands behind, the two of us will fly into Portland, ME Sept. 22 thru Oct.7. We will rent a car and travel to the Canadian Maritimes and Maine coast. What places should we stop overnight, and please recommend hotels and B&Bs.
Hilary Nangle: Lucky you!
Spend your first night or two in Portland. The city has some wonderful small inns and B&Bs on its historic West End The Danforth, West End Inn, Inn on Carleton and the Pomegranate are all wonderful.
Mosey up to Freeport if outlet shopping and L.L. Bean are on your to-do list, consider a night at the Harraseeket Inn, a handsome full-service inn just a couple of blocks from the shops.
The Pemaquid Peninsula is another good bet. I mentioned a couple of places in the BT article, but if you're looking for something a bit fancier (and pricier): the Newcastle Inn or the Bradley Inn.
Everyone loves Camden, and you'll probably want to spend some time here, but just another 20 minutes up the coast is Belfast, where lodging and dining tend to be a little less expensive. I love Belfast as it is less touristy than Camden and has a real feel to it. Try the Jewelled Turret B&B.
You'll likely want to spend a few days meandering around the Blue Hill Peninsula and down to Deer Isle and Stonington, perhaps even out to Isle au Haut. Good places to call it a night are Castine (the Castine Inn or the Pentagoet), Brooksville you might be able to get a cottage or room at the Oakland House at that time of year; Deer Isle and Stonington (see other threads).
In Bar Harbor, my favorite inn is the Ullikana. It's tucked behind Bar Harbor's main street, within walking distance to everything, yet quiet and full of character. The innkeepers really know the park, and the inn itself comprises two buildings, one a tudor manse filled with antiques and contemporary art; the other a cottage done in Old Bar Harbor style.
Another choice on the quieter side of Mt. Dessert is the Island House, in Southwest Harbor.
In the Schoodic area, Oceanside Meadows is THE place to stay.
Lodgings get fewer and farther between as you continue up the coast, but this is one of my favorite areas. In Lubec, try the Homeport Inn; in Eastport, try the Weston House, lovely but shared baths.
New Hartford, NY: Hi. We are vacationing in Wells in August, and are interested in visiting some lighthouses in close proximity. Can you give us some information?
Hilary Nangle: Contact Lighthouse Depot in Wells (lighthousedepot.com; 207-646-0608). It is THE spot for lighthouse lovers and it has all the info you could possibly want about lighthouses in the area or anywhere.
Among the ones you'll be able to easily see is Cape Neddick Light. Most others can be viewed from various mainland points or on light-house viewing cruises.