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Experience the spectacular Backroads of Maine and all this lovely state has to offer!

 

Day 1 – Home to Lansing, IL

A travel day through Wisconsin to Illinois will begin our adventure to the wonderful state of Maine and our Lobsters and Lighthouses tour. Lunch will be included today as we sit around the tables and get to know our fellow travelers. Dinner will be on your own.

Included Meals: Lunch 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 

 

Day 2 – Lansing to Erie, PA

We will travel across Indiana and Ohio today, enjoying our drive as we watch the farmers put the finishing touches on their spring planting and then the landscape change as we travel later in the day along Lake Erie. Again lunch will be provided and other stops will be made at convenient Turnpike Travel Plazas. A comfortable night awaits in Erie!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 

 

Day 3 – Erie to West Springfield, MA

We’ll motor across New York State today into Massachusetts. As we travel through the Finger Lakes Region of New York, you will be pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the area….too many only think of New York City when they think of New York! Enjoy the beauty of the drive and the friendship of newly met traveling companions as we edge closer to our “Lighthouses and Lobster” destination: Maine!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Hampton Inn 

 

Day 4 – West Springfield to Wells, ME

After traveling across the country the last few days, this morning we meet our flyaway companions at the Boston Airport well before noon. Our first taste of Maine is only a little over an hour away. We actually travel about 15 miles thru coastal New Hampshire before crossing the Piscataqua River. And there it is: “Welcome to Maine” – “The Way Life Should Be.” We spend the next eleven days discovering that! The “Maine Event” starts at Kittery Point, the southernmost point of Maine and the home to Frisbee’s 1828 Market. They bill themselves as North America’s oldest family-owned store. From the ruins of Fort McClary we are able to spot our first two lighthouses: Whaleback Light and Fort Constitution Light (which is actually in New Hampshire). True to the nature of this tour, the backroads will be our preferred routes of travel. Route 103 will guide us through genuine coastal villages on our way to York Harbor. Our pace of travel will be leisurely, so we can truly enjoy this unique experience. Cape Neddick is a favorite destination, even for frequent coastal Maine visitors. The reason, Nubble Lighthouse, a classic coastal site. The original tower built in 1879 still stands – Awesome! What better way is there to enjoy our first Maine meal together than in view of this historic and picturesque sight at Fox’s Lobster House. Following our midafternoon dinner we journey to Ogunquit Beach, recently rated as one of America’s Top 10. No time for swimming or surfing but the sight is amazing! Our comfortable home for the evening is the highly rated Hampton Inn in Wells.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Hampton Inn 

 

Day 5 – Wells to Portland, ME

Just up the road is one of the most well known spots in all of Maine. The world may have first heard of Kennebunkport when George H. W. Bush was president, but the family has owned their summer estate for 3 generations. A drive along Ocean Ave will give us a glimpse of the Bush family home across Sandy Cove. We’ll have ample time in this classic harbor village to explore and enjoy. Meander through Dock Square where one-time fishing shacks have been restored into shops, galleries and dining spots. Visit the First Families Kennebunkport Museum and picturesque South Congregational Church. We’ll stop for a photo op at the amazing Wedding Cake House. There is nothing quite like an antique electric trolley to stir nostalgia of bygone days. The Seashore Trolley Museum offers that and so much more! Our final stop before arriving at our beautiful hotel is Len Libby Chocolatiers of Maine. We’ll meet Lenny, the world’s only life size chocolate moose! Included dinner this evening is at the Old Port Sea Grill, seafood at its best, on the waterfront in downtown Portland.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Embassy Suites, Portland (2 nights) 

 

Day 6 – Portland

Portland is often described as one of the 10 best places to live, eat and play as it is a beautiful harbor city with a small town feel. We’ll spend the next couple days exploring the highlights. Enjoy a guided tour of the city, plus a cruise of Portland Harbor, Casco Bay and with lighthouse viewing. The Victorian Mansion, considered one of the most richly decorated dwellings of its era remaining in the country, is also on the agenda. We will have time to leisurely discover tiny shops, cobblestone sidewalks, replica streetlights and scores of eateries along the waterfront. Dining will be on your own to select from countless lobster shacks, chowder houses, oyster bars, grills and basic fish and chips at their best. The wharf district has over 100 restaurants to choose from as you breathe the fresh sea air. Stop in at the Harbor Fish Market on the pier, it’s the real deal, and provides the opportunity to ship some of the freshest seafood possible back to family & friends. Also, the Standard Baking Company is one place you just can’t avoid!

Included Meals: Breakfast 

 

Day 7 – Portland to Bath, ME

Fort Williams on Cape Elizabeth is home to Portland Head Light, commissioned by President George Washington and first lighted in 1791. One of the most recognized and photographed lighthouses, Portland Head certainly lives up to your expectations. Plus the surf here is awesome. You will have ample time to photograph the lighthouse from many angles as well as visit the restored keepers house. This is truly an inspirational experience! From there, several other lighthouses on Cape Elizabeth capture our attention: Bug Light, Spring Point Light, Ram Island Light, and Two Lights Park are all part of this morning’s beautiful scene. We depart the “big” city and begin our sojourn north into what is popularly known as the Mid-Coast region. Shortly we enter Freeport, and although it is not so well known, it is the historic origin of the State of Maine in 1820. However, it is much more well known as the home of the sporting giant L.L. Bean. Whether you shop or not, the sight and the experience is unforgettable! You’ll have time to browse, enjoy a tasty treat in the warm and inviting coffee shop, and certainly have your picture taken by the giant boot that greets all guests. Bath is our destination for the next two evenings. On our way we motor through the quaint village of Brunswick, home of the historic Bowdoin College. Noted graduates are Nathaniel Hawthorn, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, President Franklin Pierce, explorer Robert Peary and senators George Mitchell and William Cohen. Bath may be small in size but it’s big in impact, as we’ll discover tomorrow! Our beautiful hotel overlooks the broad Kennebec River. This evening we’ll enjoy a delightful waterfront dinner together at the Kennebec Tavern, just across the street from our comfortable accommodations.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Hampton Inn of Bath (2 nights) 

 

Day 8 – Bath

Just when it doesn’t seem like it could get any better – it does! (By the way, this happens every day!) Bath’s centuries of historic and architectural tradition and well preserved Victorian downtown have earned it the prized designation as a “Distinctive Destination.” We will understand why during a guided, narrated tour of the city. Giant cranes dominate the waterfront at the huge Bath Iron Works, source of state-of-the-art warships. Known locally as “The Yard,” BIW has been building ships on this 50 acre riverfront property since 1890. Currently its 5,700 employees build destroyers for the US Navy. You will enjoy a “once-in-a-lifetime” trolley tour of this unbelievable facility! Nearby is the state’s premier Maine Maritime Museum, which is sure to become part of our Bath time memories. Lunch is on R&J today at one of the area’s quaint little spots. Then on our way to Boothbay Peninsula, we travel through Wiscasset, billed as “The Prettiest Village in Maine,” and home of two classic historic homes, Castle Tucker and Nickels-Sortwell House. Passing through Boothbay we arrive at Boothbay Harbor. This scenic bayside village is a boat lover’s dream, loaded with fishing craft and pleasure yachts nestled by shops, galleries, and restaurants. You’ll have time to catch a bite to eat and even stroll across the 1,000 foot long footbridge stretching across the harbor since 1901. Our visit to this area is not complete without a stop at the coolest country store you’ve ever seen, the East Boothbay General Store. We’ll even treat you to one of their famous delicacies!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Treat 

 

Day 9 – Bath to Rockland/Camden

Our destination this morning is the Pemaquid Peninsula and Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. We’ll travel through the villages of Newcastle, Damariscotta and Bristol to the open water of the Atlantic – what a beautiful sight! This is one of Maine’s most photographed lighthouses, so we are planning plenty of time here to soak it all in. At the lighthouse we have arranged to meet Ed. This highly informative and expressive seaman is a retired Lobsterman who has spent over 60 years honing his craft and has agreed to share his knowledge and experiences with us. What a delightful and colorful man of the sea! (This may well be one of your very favorite times on the trip.) Shortly after departing we pass through New Harbor, another one of Maine’s “most photographed fishing villages.” Our winding backroads route takes us to Waldoboro and Moody’s Diner for an included lunch. This iconic diner is the real thing! Moving on to Thomaston, we discover one of the most unique shops you’ll ever visit. The Maine State Prison Showroom offers all inmate-made crafts and merchandise, and will be some of the most ingenious, useful and quality made products you’ve ever seen. Afterwards, we gain our first glimpse of the Penobscot Bay as we enter Rockland. This bayside village is touted as “The Lobster Capital of the World.” Here boat-filled harbors, sandy pocket beaches, soaring spruce trees, lighthouses and fishing villages pepper the shoreline. The Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland is the most comprehensive collection of artifacts related to lighthouses, the Coast Guard, and the sea in the nation. It’s the perfect spot to help us understand this this very special place. Our resting place this evening is the cozy and peaceful Country Inn just outside of Rockland. We will enjoy dinner together at a favorite spot the locals recommend.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: Country Inn 

 

Day 10 – Rockland/Camden to Bar Harbor

This morning we make our way out to Owls Head Ledge to view the heralded Owls Head Lighthouse. Nearby, nestled in remote Owls Head Harbor, surrounded by fishing boats, lobster traps, colorful lobster bouys and working docks, is Ship to Shore Lobster Company. These fine folk have agreed to take time from their busy day to share insight with us on the real life of the lobster industry. What a fabulous experience and what better place than The Lobster Capital of the World to have a genuine lobsterman present their craft? As we continue our journey, we follow the shoreline of Penobscot Bay, traveling through some of the most picturesque bayside villages on the coast. There’s Rockport with its peaceful harbor and Camden is recognized worldwide on calendars, post cards and photo books. Then there is Belfast, noted as one of the top 10 coolest towns in the US. You’ll enjoy lunch on your own harborside. Time permitting we’ll make our way out to beautiful Fort Point Lighthouse. Next we experience the Penobscot Narrows Suspension Bridge – an absolutely amazing sight! We will ride the elevator to the top of the tallest bridge observatory in the world. On a clear day, views from the 420 foot high tower extend all the way to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia. After crossing the bridge we leave our seaside views until we reach Mount Desert Island and enter the village of Bar Harbor. For the next two nights we will stay at one of Maine’s premier oceanfront resorts, The Bar Harbor Inn, which is beyond adequate description! This is all and more of what you envision this Maine experience to be. Every room faces the bay, allowing you to watch the sunrise over the sea from your own private porch! Life doesn’t get much better than this: peaceful surfside privacy but with the convenient location of only a block from a quaint village loaded with seaside grills, bistros, coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, galleries and shops. Our “welcome to Bar Harbor dinner” this evening is a fabulous Lobster Bake hosted right at the Inn! Enjoy the evening and soak it all in!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lobster Bake 

Hotel: Historic Bar Harbor Inn (2 nights) 

Day 11 – Bar Harbor

Prepare for an amazing day! It starts with a wonderful breakfast at the Inn overlooking Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. This morning we are privy to a guided tour of Acadia National Park by a local expert guide. Mountains tumbling to the sea, ocean waves surging to the rugged rocks, pristine blue lakes and soaring cliffs, Acadia is a wonder! We’ll see the unique Thunder Hole, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, Jordan Pond House (treat yourself to a famous Jordan Pond House Popover) and soar to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. This is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. The vistas are unprecedented as you can see for over 100 miles in every direction. The summit is the first US soil the sun touches each morning! This afternoon we are treated to a cruise of Frenchman Bay among the Porcupine Islands aboard Bar Harbor Inn’s very own windjammer schooner, the Bailie Todd. Wow! Simply enjoy the rest of the day and evening browsing, relaxing, exploring and dining in this iconic Maine seacoast setting!

Included Meals: Breakfast 

 

Day 12 – Bar Harbor to Bethel, ME

Following another relaxing breakfast in this magic place we continue our journey. We leave the seacoast and head for the wooded beauty of inland Maine. Arriving in Bangor, we discover a city rich in the history of…shipping! Lumber no less. It was the lumber capital of the world in the 19th century celebrated by a gigantic statue of Paul Bunyan! Here we are treated to a tour of the Cole Land Transportation Museum, a sprawling facility with more than 200 19th & 20th century vehicles representing almost everything that has rolled across the Maine landscape. Included is the largest collection of snow removal equipment ever assembled. They are treating us to a BBQ lunch in their very own park complete with a covered bridge. Leaving Bangor it’s cross country to the western edge of the state. We notice the rolling hills beginning to rise with the White Mountains coming into view on the horizon. In the mountainside village of Bethel we are welcomed at the historic and iconic, New England-styled, Bethel Inn Resort. This beautiful place just manifests comfort and relaxation. We’ll enjoy a delicious late afternoon dinner on the veranda before departing on our next adventure. We will be treated to a moose sighting expedition to Grafton Notch Park by a local guide. No guarantees but the chances are very high we may spot one or more of these majestic creatures in their natural environment.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

Hotel: Bethel Inn Resort 

 

Day 13 – Bethel to Portsmouth, NH

A delightful breakfast is served in our casual surroundings before we depart. It’s only appropriate that we pay a visit to the State Capital of this splendid state and of course the backroads is the only way to get there. Augusta, population of 18,000, smaller than R&J’s hometown of Willmar, is the modest but beautiful home of Maine’s State Capital. Then we motor through the beautiful rolling hill country of western Maine to Sabbath Day Lake and Shaker Village. Here we are hosted by the wonderful folks at the Shaker Museum. This is a fascinating look at an almost extinct lifestyle in the world’s last inhabited Shaker colony. Lunch is served on the grounds in this peaceful setting. Later in the afternoon we travel our last miles of Maine highways to Portsmouth, NH.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Best Western Wynwood 

 

Day 14 – Portsmouth to Buffalo, NY

Breakfast is served at the hotel before we depart for the airport to drop our flying companions off and then we turn our beautiful red motorcoach west towards home. Today we will travel back across New York, sharing stories of the fun and excitement we experienced in Maine!

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Hampton Inn 

 

Day 15 – Buffalo to Aurora, IL

On the road again we go. We’ll travel out of New York, through Pennsylvania, across Ohio and Indiana and rest for the night in Illinois. It will be a great day of traveling with plenty of sights and lots of fun on the motorcoach with our fellow travelers! We’ll make stops for meals along the way.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Hampton Inn 

 

Day 16 – Aurora to Home

After breakfast, the final leg of our journey takes us across Wisconsin and into Minnesota. We’ll enjoy some special activities on the coach and a great lunch at one of R&J’s favorite restaurants! Tonight you’ll be home with memories of a great “Lighthouses and Lobsters” tour of Maine!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,799
Single: $4,899
Triple: $3,599
Quad: $3,399

Flyaway Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,799
Single: $4,699
Triple: $3,599
Quad: $3,399

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $240
Single: $317

Flyaway Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $270
Single: $340

Travel Bucks

$50 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$200 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 45 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

No

Tour Pace

Moderate to Extensive Walking

Price Includes

Motorcoach: 29 Included Meals plus Treat, Activities & Hotels as stated, Luxury Motorcoach; Flyaway: RoundTrip Airfare including taxes, fuel surcharges, & baggage fees! 20 Meals plus Treat, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 70°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
56°
Minneapolis, Mn
48°
Backroads of Maine: Lighthouses & Lobsters
Motorcoach Departure Date:
06/06/2016
Motorcoach Return Date:
06/21/2016
Flyaway Departure Date:
06/09/2016
Flyaway Return Date:
06/19/2016

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Highlights

Many Lighthouse Scenes
Lots of Lobster
Ogunquit – Beautiful Beach by the Sea
Kennebunkport – Seaside Home of
the Bush Family
Sea Shore Trolley Museum
City of Portland
Portland Harbor
Portland Head Lighthouse
Portland Harbor and Lighthouse Cruise
Victorian House Mansion
Freeport – Home of L.L. Bean
City of Bath, Famous Bath Iron Works &
Ship Builders
Boothbay Harbor – Classic Harbor Setting
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
Meet Ed – Crusty Ol Lobsterman
Rockland – Lobster Capital of the World
Maine Lighthouse Museum
Harborside Villages of Camden and Belfast
Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory
Bar Harbor
Beautiful Bar Harbor Inn
Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain
Classic Lobster Bake
Scooner Island Cruise
Bangor
Cole Transportation Museum
Augusta – State Capitol
New Glouster – Shaker Village
Classic Victorian Bethel Inn Resort
Moose Hunt Tour – Grafton Notch



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
56°
Minneapolis, Mn
48°
Backroads of Maine: Lighthouses & Lobsters
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 70°
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