Maine via New York and CT: The Road Trip that Started it All (June 2017)

Quick Trip Itinerary:

This trip was planned on a whim after I found a Groupon for The Spruce Point Inn. When I mapped out the route, I realized that New York City was exactly half-way, and Mystic Seaport was a good stopping place on our trip back… and so began my planning of road trips!

New York: I knew we only had less than 24 hours in New York, which clearly is not enough. I decided to streamline our stay to focus around the Times Square area. I wanted us to park our car and walk wherever we wanted to visit. We stayed at the Travel Inn Hotel: This was definitely not the nicest hotel I’ve stayed in, and the room/bathroom were pretty small. HOWEVER, the price was right, parking at the hotel was reasonable and convenient, and the location was perfect. We didn’t make it to the Circle Line tours, but they are just a short walk away. There are a lot of good restaurants in the area, and it was an easy walk to Times Square/Rockefeller Center/Central Park. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to use the rooftop pool, but it looked really nice! On our walk to Times Square, we came across a little Italian restaurant that I felt was quintessentially NYC, and I wish I could remember the name of it. We saw the sights in Times Square, checked out the Disney store and the M&M store, as the kids requested, and then headed down to Rockefeller Center. I highly suggest the trip to the Top of the Rock! I had heard that the views from here were just as amazing at the Empire State building, and we loved seeing the expansive view of Central Park.

One thing I have always wanted to do in New York is see Central Park. Because our limited time did not allow us to fully explore, we decided on a whim to take a carriage ride through the park. There are carriages lined up just outside the park entrance, and we didn’t need a reservation. This was a wonderful way to get a quick look at Central Park, and our carriage driver had so many interesting stories and bits of information.

The next day, as we headed to Boothbay Harbor, ME, we stopped at the most amazing little diner! The Parkway Diner in Stamford, CT seems straight out of the past, but the food is contemporary and DELICIOUS. I had the California omelet with avocado, bacon, tomato, and cheese. It was one of the best omelets I have had!

Boothbay Harbor, ME: The main reason for our trip was to stay at the Spruce Point Inn, and I can tell you that it was worth the trip. This inn is very family-friendly, with so many amenities for the kids, two pools, kayaks and bikes available for guest use, quaint rooms, nice restaurants, and amazing views. We loved Spruce Point Inn from the moment we arrived. There is a LOT to do, and our room was so spacious with an amazing view of the harbor. The staff were very friendly. The only thing we would change is the time we visited. Next time we will wait until late June/July when more amenities can be used. The kids were a little disappointed that the campfire/s’mores were not available because of the timing of our visit. I also prefer to swim when it’s a bit warmer, but you know kids–they’ll swim in any kind of weather as long as there is an open pool! It is a wonderful place for couples or families. I certainly hope we get to return! You simply need to take a look at some of our photos to see how beautiful and quintessentially “Maine” this place is:

Spruce Point Inn is located in Boothbay Harbor, which is not quite as big or as popular as Bar Harbor in Maine, but we loved this little village. There were many little shops and restaurants, and the people here were so kind. We ended up returning several times to a little restaurant called Blue Moon Cafe because the food was delicious, and the staff were amazing!

Mystic Seaport, CT: Mystic Seaport is a town in which my family stopped on a trip to Cape Cod back when I was in high school. My dad was always obsessed with tall ships, and in Mystic Seaport you get to tour an old tall ship and walk through an historic fishing village. I thought this might be a good spot to hit on our trip back. Doing something like New York, I am finding, is much better to do at the beginning of a trip when everyone is full of energy. Mystic Seaport, smaller and quieter, was great for our return drive home. We stayed at the local Howard Johnson. All I will say about that is that my tastes and standards for hotels have gone up a bit since 2017, but it was functional and close to everything. I highly suggest you take the time to visit the Mystic Seaport Museum. The kids really enjoyed exploring the tall ship and the old whaling village. We arrived late in the day, so we didn’t get to see all of the village, but the employees working in the buildings we did get to visit were fun to talk to and very interesting!

This was a brief, but fun, first trip to New England. We did not get to see all the things in New England that we hope to see someday, but if you are looking for a short trip/long weekend, these three spots are clearly worth the planning and travel. It certainly will not be our last adventure in the Northeast states!

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