Popular Topics

Trip Report

Fall Foliage Road Trip Around Maine

5 days road tripping around the coast of Maine during fall foliage.

by charlottefromchicagoAbout Me:Hey you! My name is Charlotte but most people know me as Charlotte from Chicago. I have been to 50 countries and all 50 US states. I have traveled on a strict budget, more luxuriously, and everything in between. I am a huge aviation geek... read more

North AmericaUnited States4 days / September 2020

Highs & Lows

Fresh Lobster from a woman owned restaurant on the water.

We ended up being a little too early for peak fall foliage.

Itinerary Overview

My friend and I decided to drive from NYC to Maine for 5 days in search of some lobster, lighthouses, and fall foliage. We left from Brooklyn very early in the morning to beat traffic and it only took us about 6 hours to reach Portland, ME. Portland is not a huge airport but is the largest one in the state so if you are planning to fly in, that will be your best option. For us it was cheaper to drive from NY with my own car. Another option to help cut down on costs would be to fly in and out of Boston and rent a car from there. Since Boston is a much bigger airport theres a chance you will find better flight and rental car deals. 

  • 2 Nights: Portland
    Portland is the largest city in Maine. It has an incredible food scene and it is right on the water.
  • Day trip: Freeport
    L.L. Bean's Flagship store!!!
  • Day trip: Tenants Harbor
    The Forrest Gump Lighthouse!
  • 2 Nights: Bar Harbor
    Acadia National Park
  • Day trip: Bangor
    Bangor Airport History

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    We did not get to stop at Red's Eats in Wiscasset, ME and I really regret that. We had heard such good things and when we drove by the line was around the block. Next time we will make sure we stop there. I also would have added more time on our way back to be able to stop freely like we did on our way up.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    Bar Harbor is not a huge town. During peak season it can get pretty crowded in the restaurants. I'd recommend making reservations whenever possible. Sometimes we were ordering food to-go because there were was a long wait, then sitting and waiting for the order because it was too cold outside at night.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Get to Acadia National Park early! There will be less crowds and better parking. It might be colder in the morning but wear layers and go take a nap in the late afternoon when others are just getting to the park.

  • Packing tips?

    Layer layer layer! Fall time is unique in New England because things can start off super chilly in the morning and by noon you are sweating buckets. Especially if you are planning any hikes, make sure you have good layering options.

  • Any surprises?

    People were very nice, friendly, and even in the more rural areas we still felt safe the entire time. As being two young women (one American, one Filipina) we are always on guard with our safety and aware of our surroundings. We felt very safe the whole trip and had no issues which isn't always the case when you're in more rural and secluded areas.

Lodging

  • Tru by Hilton Portland Airport Area. We stayed at this location on our first night and again on our last night. It was our first experience staying at a Tru property and we loved it. Tru is Hilton's younger and more affordable option. It is more basic and barebones but clean and exactly what we needed. The lobby is very vibrant and friendly which encourages people to hang out there. It is supposed to somewhat resemble hostel culture while still being a hotel and still giving guests individual rooms and privacy. To keep prices down, Tru Hotels are often located slightly outside of city centers. This location was close to the airport and only a 12 minute drive from Downtown Portland. It saved us some money to stay slightly outside of the city and it had very easy access to the highway. Which was convenient when we were ready to hit the road and continue on our road trip north.

  • We stayed at an Airbnb. It was very old and quaint. It had a lot of communal space but we were hardly in the room and it was cheap so it was exactly what we needed.