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Mar 26, 2012 02:14 PM

Two couple traveling 1st week of April - want Lobster

Thanks for some input.

We're two couples traveling for the first time to the north Atlantic coast. We're traveling on a tight budget but have a real craving for Lobster. We don't need a fancy place, as a mater of fact, we would like to find a non-tourist type place... maybe an older restaurant, but with good inexpensive lobster. We have never enjoyed much lobster here in the mid-west, so we would like to enjoy the real thing.

Second, we'll be looking for a Bed & Breakfast, or a hotel that is unique. Again, on a budget, but clean, and warm.

We're traveling from Michigan, near the Mackinaw Bridge and Mackinaw Island, so we know all about tourist traps.. not our thing. We'll be staying with our daughter in Rutland Vermont, then traveling to Maine for a couple days just to see the Atlantic and enjoy the local stuff.

We prefer to stay away from big cities.

Thanks so much!

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  1. The Maine CHers are happy to help but will need more info. Specifically, where in Maine will you be traveling?

    1 Reply
    1. re: HDinCentralME

      We don't have a specific destination in Maine. All we know is that we want to see the ocean, enjoy some lobster, and take in some "old world" New England

    2. From Rutland, if you head to Concord NH and then take I93 to I393 to Rt 4 to the Seacoast, you will go almost right by Newick's. It used to be the most popular seafood restaurant in the area but I think it's only popular now with tourists. But, this is the prettiest route to the seacoast and then you can head to Petey's in Rye NH which is open year round and is a typical older restaurant - the floors are kind of uneven. My husband has decided it has the best lobster roll for a day trip.

      Maine is right across the bridge. Don't miss Portland ME for some local goodies like DuckFat's french fries, whoopie pies, etc. Sorry, can't help you with lodging. We really liked the Dunes in Ogunquit (like an old-fashioned cottage colony) but they won't be open that early.

      1. So when you say a couple that leave Rutland on Day 1, make it to Maine, spend the night, and then come back day 2? Or are we talking 2 full days in Maine...with travel days on either side of that day? It does matter, because Rutland to, say, Rockland/Camden ME is a good 5 to 6 hours with GOOD traffic. Portland would be more like 4 hours...and less Route 1 tourist traffic. I would say that if you want the vision of Maine that most people have in their head...go to the Midcoast (Rockland/Camden)...plenty of B&Bs. But a stop in Portland, in my book, is a must too...though it depends on what you mean by "stay away from big cities". Portland isn't in my book...but it's subjective...

        6 Replies
        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

          Just guessing, but I would suggest we will probably come over one morning, stay the evening, then all the next day, stay the night again (maybe another place), then the third day leave Maine.
          So, one full day, plus an evening before and a morning after.

          1. re: Tikvah

            Take a look on line at Rockland, Damariscotta or Waldoboro and see which appeals to you. These are mid-size towns that will be open for business in April. Rockland Cafe right on Main street in Rockland does a great breakfast (fish cakes!) and they have the full lobster/seafood menu as well. Make sure you get off route 1 and drive down the peninsulas to see the little fishing ports - that is real coastal Maine.

            1. re: Tikvah

              That being the case, here's what I would do. Leave Rutland early and take the most direct highway route to Portland (skip route 1 south of Portland). Have lunch in Portland (tons or recs elsewhere on Chowhound - it depends on your tastes). I will say that you can't go wrong with Duckfat. I would spend the rest of the day exploring Portland and spending the night there. Next morning take I95 to Brunswick and get off onto Route 1. Potentially stop into Freeport before that to see LL Bean if your're interested in that sort of thing. Spend the day exploring the coast and it's great towns - Bath, Damariscotta, Wicasset, maybe some of the peninsulas. Then base yourself in either Rockland (Berry Manor Inn or Limerock Inn) or Camden (Hartstone Inn or many other options in various price ranges). Lobster shacks aren't typically open this time of that's likely out. But you can still get it at places like those suggested by others here. You could also get lobster at Amalfi or Archers on the Pier in Rockland. Or head down to South Thomaston to the Weskeag Store ("the GIG") for a lobster roll or crab roll on a toasted bun. Doesn't get more local than that. That's on the way down the peninsula to Port Clyde...a very nice drive. That'll be your full day...then spend another night in the Midcoast...and head back the next day!

              1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                I, too, love both the B&B's you mention here in Rockland, but the poster is on a budget and both of those places, particularly the Berry Manor, are pricey, even in winter. I might suggest the Granite Inn, which is much cheaper and very well situated, too.

                1. re: Shooley

                  You can get rooms at the Berry Manor Inn for as low as $115/night and at the Limerock Inn for $ Tikvah, I guess it depends on what you consider "budget". Though all four of the big ones in Rockland are good...including the Granite Inn and the Captain Lindsey House. Granite & Captain Lindsey will probably run in the $80 range for the cheapest room. Hartstone in Camden would run you more around $150/night (though there are cheaper options in town).


                  And to circle this back to food (this IS chowhound after all)...I've heard they all have great breakfasts...but at the Berry Manor Inn you can raid the pantry for pies anytime!!

                  1. re: MidCoastMaineiac

                    Wow, I guess they've lowered their off-season rates considerably; I stand corrected!

          2. +1 for Petey's in Rye - great place! Also in the same general area is BG's in Portsmouth, NH - near the tidal river - not fancy - just opened this weekend, great food.

            Please report back!


            8 Replies
            1. re: defboater

              I really appreciate all the input... .this is a great board.

              We leave tonight, but won't see the east cost til early next week... so keep the suggestions rolling

              Thanks so much - you folks will make the difference between a good trip and a great one.


              1. re: Tikvah

                Best stays as previously, the northern mid-coast area Rockland, Camden, Lincolnville, Belfast B&B's with some of good olde fashioned "motor court" motel type with cozy little cabins.
                Plenty of frisky from the bay lobster at any restaurant. Try Young's Lobster Pound in Belfast is excellent if you want to tough it out.
                P.S. lobster isn't a cheap date out unless it's devoured at home.

                1. re: Tikvah

                  Cape Porpoise Motel and walk over to the Pier for your lobster. I dunno about "Lobster on a Budget", though.....even in Maine.

                  1. re: jackattack

                    As of yesterday prices at 3 sons on the wharf in Portland were high 8-10 $/lb, but they are all packed with meat! And they will cook em with several tables outside.

                  2. re: Tikvah

                    Thanks for all the input.
                    We had a wonderful time in Maine. The highlight was Ogunquit with the "Marginal Way" walk path, then the "Lobster Shack" after out long walk.

                    I'm doubtful that we would eat Lobster again... although I loved the lobster rolls. But the work, mess and such of eating the actual lobster was an experience!

                    Glad we did it, and glad for all the advice and help.... you have a great state!


                    1. re: Tikvah

                      Yeah, I'm starting to get to an age where I opt for lazy lobsters (which is the meat picked for you, hence the lazy) and I find myself not really struggling to get to the meat in the legs. I eat the tail and the claws, and the "arms" of the claws and I'm good. Those are easier enough to get that I don't mind so much. Or I'll go for a lobster roll (prefer grilled roll with just melted butter to cold with mayo).

                      1. re: Tikvah

                        wow. Well, you've done the Maine experience.