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Six Perfect Car-Free Vacation Destinations On The Maine Coast

Mar 1, 2019   //   by Paul O'Meara   //   Downeaster Packages Travel Blog
Bar Harbor Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse | Bar Harbor

From the golden sands of Old Orchard Beach to the scenic natural beauty of Bar Harbor, Maine offers some of the world’s finest coastal vacation destinations (and Lobster spots!). Here are six we love – and that you can visit car-free with one of our 2019 travel packages!

1. Kennebunkport


Perhaps most noted as the location of the late President George HW Bush’s summer home at Walker’s, Kennebunkport offers so much more. The art galleries, antique shopping, period architecture, boating opportunities are all featured nicely alongside lobster shacks and waterfront restaurants. Tours of historic homes of noted former sea captains and shipbuilders are available – and amazing treasures can be found in the unique shops and galleries of Dock Square and the Lower Village – all reachable on foot, by bike or trolley!

Distance from Boston: 90 miles
Recommended Travel Package: 5nt Ports of Maine by Rail (link)

2. Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Sunrise

Maine’s most popular beach destination offers it all for couples, families, and groups – and has been doing so for over 170 years! With the Amtrak Downeaster rail station located steps from the famous Old Orchard Beach Pier, Palace Playland Amusement Park, and the beach itself, you’ll have more time to gorge on cotton candy, fried dough, and ice cream – or just relax on the golden sands with a good book.

Distance from Boston: 102 miles
Recommended Travel Package: 3nt Ultimate Beach Vacation (link)

3. Portland & The Islands

Portland Casco Bay

Recently christened as “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine, Portland has long been established as one of New England’s most popular vacation spots. With dozens of waterfront restaurants and fish piers lining Commercial Street, and the pro sports teams and art museums that cater to locals and visitors alike, there is much to explore. However, hopping on a Casco Bay Lines ferry and experiencing the islands is also a must-do! From Bailey Island and the popular Cook’s Lobster & Ale House to Chebeague Island and it’s picturesque Inn to Great Diamond Island and historic Fort McKinley, the islands of Casco Bay provide an amazing journey back in time!

Distance from Boston: 112 miles
Recommended Travel Package: 2nt Portland & Casco Bay Explorer – NEW FOR 2019! (link)

4. Freeport

Freeport Shopping

Long considered Maine’s premier shopping destination and home to world-famous retailer LL Bean, Freeport offers a fantastic opportunity to engage in your own form of retail therapy! With almost 100 shops and restaurants, ranging from national outlet stores to locally owned boutique and restaurants, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Don’t want to bring a car? No worries as the Amtrak Downeaster rail station sits just off of Main Street behind LL Bean and a short five-minute walk from The Harraseeket Inn, one of our favorite places to stay in town!

Distance from Boston: 128 miles
Recommended Travel Package: 2nt Authentic Maine Freeport (link)

5. Rockland & Camden

Rockland and Camden – separated by just eight miles – are two of midcoast Maine’s prettiest spots. With the freshest seafood, boutique shops, award-winning museums, scenic photo backdrops, and beautiful architecture, you’re sure to love each town as much as we do! Make sure to stroll the Breakwater towards the famous lighthouse in Rockland – and ascend Mount Battie for amazing panoramic views of Camden Harbor!

Distance from Boston: 189 miles
Recommended Travel Package: 6nt Harbors of Maine Discovery (link)

6. Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor Sunrise

As the gateway to Acadia National Park, the historic seaside resort town of Bar Harbor is not to be missed! Under the backdrop of 1500-foot Cadillac Mountain – the very first spot to witness the sunrise in the continental United States – the town resonates with the Victorian splendor of bygone days. Fill your days with biking, walking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding or simply relaxing. Acadia is great for all ages—there are ranger-led programs for kids, a tidal pool school, marine touch tank and all levels of hikes. Don’t forget to explore the quaint village of shops, restaurants, and galleries!

Distance from Boston: 285 miles
Recommended Travel Package: 8nt City Lights & Maine Coast Sights (link)

As you can see, Maine offers many scenic destinations, historic attractions, waterfront restaurants, cozy inns and hotels, and panoramic vistas! Let Downeaster Travel Packages plan your car-free vacation along the Maine Coast this summer!

Downeaster Travel Packages