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Philly to Maine- need stop suggestions 2 nights up and 2 nights back

Driving to Maine coast north of Portland. Need suggestions for places to stay and eat that are worth the stops. Can stay 1 or 2 night each way. Think Michelin 2 stars with rooms.
Leaving mid-July from Bucks county (outside Philly). Can go any route in each direction.
Need houndish suggestions, please.

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  1. If you are looking for suggestions in ME, you would probably be better posting in the Northern New England board. However, I will put in my vote for dinner at Fore St in Portland.

    1. You should definitely stop in Portsmouth NH if you are on your way up the Maine coast...I live here and we have wonderful restaurants! It is a great little town to stay as well. In downtown there is a Hilton Garden Inn and a brand New Marriot Residence Inn that is really pretty nice. There are also plenty of Band B's if you check with the chamber of commerce site. For great dinners try Jumpin Jay's Fish Cafe, The Green Monkey and Massimos for fine Italialn. For lunch try the River House on Bow St. or The Ferry Landing - both are down on the water and just fun spots to hang and eat or have a few cocktails. Whether you have been to Portsmouth before or not---you will be happy for the stop---literally a minute off of 95N!

      1. Spend a night at the Griswold Inn in Essex, CT. It's old. Food and drink is ok. Should be a pleasant layover before the push up to Maine.

        Griswold Inn
        36 Main St, Essex, CT 06426

        1. I drive monthly from Montgomery County to New England. You are just going to hate the traffic in Connecticut. on I-95. I try to leave PA around 9-10 am, to get into Connecticut after morning rush. My lunch stop is always La Salsa at 580 Post Road, Fairfield. It is about 3 hours into the trip, plus it is quick and right off the highway. After that, there are plenty of great places in Providence. My favorite hotel is The Hotel Providence. There are many restaurants that are walking distance and you may be lucky enough to catch a Waterfire. One of Providence's favorite attractions. From Buck Co. to Providence is about 5 hours (without traffic). If I were you, I would then head up to Maine, depending on how far you want to go... I would stop for lunch at Whole Foods in Portland. Again, quick, right off the highway. Whole Foods in Portland has a lovely cafe with many more dining options that you would think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sarahbeth

            Next time try the Merritt Parkway to the Wilbur Cross to 84 to the Mass Pike...or better yet, 287 to the Tappan Zee to 684 to 84...MUCH less traffic than 95...

            and to make this a chow topic:

            the 684 to 84 route takes you past Carole Peck's Good News Cafe in Woodbury, CT - surely worth a stop for lunch or dinner

            the merritt parkway route does not rule out the Fairfield suggestion

            if you MUST travel through Rhode Island (can't imagine why...) then you could also take the merritt to the crossover and pick up 95 in Milford, CT, which then brings you through New Haven for a pizza stop at Sally's or Pepe's (and I'm not suggesting one over another because we don't need to have THAT fight here!)

            Good News Cafe
            694 Main St S, Woodbury, CT 06798

          2. Arrows is one of the best restaurants in the US in Ogunquit between Portsmouth and Kennebunkport. The finest resort hotel I have stayed in that's in NE was The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport which happens to have a restaurant just as nice as Arrows. Both are just off I 95. Kennebunkport is a beautiful town. President Bush has a home there. The downtown is nice with lots of restaurants, shops and B&B's. Be sure to stop and visit. Good luck.



            1 Reply
            1. re: Littleman

              My in-laws ate at Arrows and could not stop raving about it - said it was the nicest meal they have ever had.

            2. The previous posters are right on the money with their Portsmouth & Kennebunk/Ogunquit recs. I live in Maine & work in Portland. Too many great restaurants in Portland to even list. Check out this iste for an up to date VERY extensive listing of Portland restaurants http://www.portlandfoodmap.com/. Portsmouth is a great smaller city as well. Jumpin Jays, Green Monkey are both great. In Portland you really must try Duckfat - it is a very casual almost takeout type of place with the most sublime Belgian style fries fried in duckfat , served with their own homemade aiolis & sauces. Also stop at Micuccis Market in the Old Port for the best slab of pizza you have ever had - simple with no extra toppings - just the best ingredients expertly prepared

              1. CT is a good half way point. Griswold inn is Essex has one of the greatest bars ever but food and rooms are better at nearby Copper Beech Inn in Chester. You could also consider Red Lyon Inn in Stockbridge Ma.

                Copper Beech Inn
                46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

                1. We are wondering if we should drive to Boston and stay two nights. We have gone many times to the Berkshires. The food has been great, but we're looking for something new. Sounds like Arrows is a place we'll go to while in Maine.
                  What we're really looking for is an experience like discovering Southern Brittany, but here in New England. If you've seen "No reservations', we want to find a place like Chez Jacky...this may just be am American fantasy, but it never hurts to ask the people who know good food. Especially love Razor Clams which I almost never see.

                  1. If you are in the market for a fine dining and lodging situation on your way up to Maine definitely go to the White Barn -stay at Inn and dine in their restaurant. Very memorable, great wine list. FYI something fun to check out is Peaks Island right off the coast of Portland, there is a sweet inn there ---. Back tracking to Portsmouth ---Anneke Jans in Kittery, Me right over bridge is also a delicious spot for dinner - great atmosphere - cocktails and seafood is amazing - so are the desserts!

                    1. p.s. what is "no reservations?"