Trip to Maine in May

Discussion in 'New England' started by BrewUrbanist, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Hey all-

    My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Maine for mid-May, and I was hoping to get some advice on where to stay. It will be a semi-beer trip, and thanks to other threads in this forum, we have a fairly good handle I think about what breweries and bars we want to hit (Allagash, Oxbow, Baxter, Great Lost Bear, etc.)

    I'm looking for advice on where we should say up there. We'll be there 5 nights - w/ at least 2 of those in Portland. We are also looking at 1 night driving to the Rangeley Lakes area to drive around looking for moose (we're both originally from Midwest, so indulge me here).

    For the other 2 nights, we are considering Boothbay Harbor. Is it interesting enough to warrant 2 nights? Anywhere else within a couple hours of Portland that would be a good place to spend a copule days? We considered Acadia, but are not sure we want to trek that far, and have heard the mid-May weather up there isn't ideal.

    Thanks for any recommendations!
  2. Looks like you got a nice list of breweries already. Maybe hit up MBC new location if you are in the area, and if it is up and running by then. I am sure some Mainers can give you more/better suggestions than I can.

    There are some amazing bars in Maine. Great Lost Bear and Novare Res are in Portland. Ebenezers in Lovell is a must IMO, but it is about 1.5 hour drive NW of Portland. You won't regret the drive there, trust me. The people who own and run Ebenzers also own The Lions Pride in Brunswick. If you make it up to Acadia stop by Nocturnem Draft Haus in Bangor.

    As for places to stay I can't say much on that. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

    I strongly suggest you visit Maine again in the summer. Mid-may is still mud season, and Maine is so awesome in the summer it isn't even funny.
  3. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Boothbay is gorgeous...and there's a new brewery up there...Boothbay Craft Brewery...which I haven't tried...though I would love to soonish.
  4. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    I second what Archemedies said. Novare Res in Portland is pretty legit. Also, you really should visit in the summer. Mid-May is less than ideal
  5. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Yup...we get roughly a week of summah up heeyah, ayuh.
    willbm3 likes this.
  6. Posting for suggestions as well my wife and I are considering a Maine trip this summer, probably in August. Keep any and all suggestions for areas to stay and places to check out for beer, food, and sighseeing coming
  7. MVP09

    MVP09 Savant (435) Massachusetts Oct 19, 2012

    Rising Tide has some good brews. Plus Marshall Warf has started canning a bunch of beers for Maine distro. Two solid breweries in my opinion.
  8. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (225) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    To what the original poster asked...places to stay:

    I would not stay 2 nights in Boothbay in mid-May. It's still early in the season then, some things not fully open, and the weather can be cool/damp (but it can be really nice, too, if you hit the right day). I've had Boothbay Craft Brewery's beer and found it to be OK, but nothing terribly exciting; worth stopping by if they're open, but not a major destination. There is little else beer-oriented in Boothbay, but of course Oxbow is near. (I've been going to Boothbay all my life, but rarely spend a night before Memorial Day)

    Likewise, Bar Harbor/Acadia seems like a lot of driving for a pre-season experience.

    If you're doing 2 nights in Portland, 1 in the lakes, that leaves 2. Consider heading up the coast to Oxbow in the early afternoon, then across inland Midcoast Maine to Marshall Wharf/3 Tides in Belfast. Belfast can be a fun town and is more alive in the off-season than Boothbay. You could make a day trip of this with late/long drive back to Portland, or stay in Belfast and head back towards Portland the next day through the coastal towns along (and off) Route 1. That could include a trip down to Boothbay for part of a day, or overnight. Map Portland - Newcastle - Belfast - Rockland - Boothbay Harbor and you'll get an idea of the loop. You've got the right time of year to avoid peak season traffic chaos on Rt1.

    Along the same loop you can hit Lions Pride in Brunswick, or do that as a day/afternoon trip out of Portland. Likewise, MBC in Freeport.

    Check hours for any place you're going: we're not known for consistency. Marshall Wharf/3 Tides especially can have odd off-season hours.

    I'll spare you a long discussion of the wonders of Portland, since there are plenty of threads on that topic. Just do Allagash, Rising Tide, the various bars and restaurants, and consider UFF and Maine Mead Works for fermented non-beer interests.
    CypherEnigma and bishopdc0 like this.
  9. lordofthewiens

    lordofthewiens Poobah (1,155) Maine Sep 17, 2005 Verified Subscriber

    You might also consider staying a day or two further south, as in the York area. Then you could do Kittery and Portsmouth.
    hoppusmaxximus likes this.
  10. bishopdc0

    bishopdc0 Savant (445) Maine Jan 23, 2010

    If your not set on when you come plan around one of the many beer events that occur here. The festival is this June for starters as well as craft beer fest in Boothbay has been in July that last two years. I'd also keep an eye on Novare Res website as they usually will have up to date event such as tap take overs and in May is their 5th anniversary and Belgian beer fest which are always a good time
  11. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (365) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    looking to spot moose...take an late evening drive along Rt 16 up there by Rangeley. I've almost died more times on that road than anywhere else thanks to flocks of moose hanging out. If you haven't seen one me, they're huge. Expect a long drive to get to Rangeley from Portland area though...heck you'll probably see moose on the way out there if you keep your eyes open.
    If you find any OPB, enjoy a Nut Brown for me, will ya? I always tried to keep a keg of an OPB beer on tap while in college up there.
    skivtjerry likes this.
  12. Not to thread highjack but my wife and I are planning on doing a vt to Maine back to vt trip towards the end of July. We are looking at staying at a vrbo or airbnb in Portland for at least three nights but we would like to be walking distance to great beer and food. Any suggestions for places or neighborhoods in Portland to stay at or avoid? There is a nice looking place on Pitt st we found but it may be too far from the action.....we'd also love to stay somewhere right on the coast with some nightlife and food options. Any towns you recommend?
  13. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (585) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    OP: What he said; you don't want to meet a moose at the wrong time/place. In early spring (i.e. mid-May in the Rangely area) moose wander onto the road to lick up the salt that's left over from winter. In terms of what will happen in a collision, imagine running into a Volkswagen bug on 5ft stilts. Drive cautiously. Also very slowly... Rte. 16 is about the worst allegedly paved road I've ever seen.

    And if you head north, don't forget about Ebenezer's!
  14. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

  15. No problem buddy.
    hoppusmaxximus likes this.
  16. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    I keed...don't know much about places to stay here...but I hope you and your wife enjoy your trip.

  17. I'd pick you up some when the time comes if you wanted to meet for a beer somewhere
  18. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (225) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    The Maine Brewers Guild fest is officially "TBD" both date and location, but unofficially, not Boothbay.

    As usual the Guild is hopelessly behind on publicity, still telling us to plan ahead for last July's event.
  19. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    I'd love that if you'd like to meet up for a beer at Novare or something...I was joking...but that's a very kind offer.
  20. Appreciate all the responses so far. Sounds like our timing is a little off, but hopefully mid-May will still be a decent time to be up there. I will look into Belfast, and also maybe just staying in Portland, but taking day trips to visit some of the other coastal towns, etc.

    Thanks for all the moose advice as well! We'll take it slow...

  21. I'll definitely keep you posted
    hoppusmaxximus likes this.
  22. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Awesome dude.