By Laurie the Campcierge ™
I recently attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Augusta where representatives from the Maine Office of Tourism spoke about the state’s “abundance of natural assets” and “distinct quality of place.” Spending time with representatives of so many wonderful hotels and attractions reminds me that Maine Camp Experience (MCE) families benefit from not just the premier overnight camps but also the rich and unique experiences beyond.
One of the best parts of Maine is that no matter where you are, there are activities that are authentic, interesting and original. Here are 7 suggestions in Midcoast Maine I that I’m glad to share and am eager to try.
- Ten Apple Farm (Gray) –Time to get outta the city and head to the farm? This is just the place! On 18 acres of land, Karl Schatz, Margaret Hathaway & family live and farm. They tend dairy goats, pigs, poultry, and a garden. The highlight of any visit is their educational and recreational goat hiking experience, ending with goat milking and fresh milk and cookies. The farm also offers a guest house rental and homesteading workshops to learn skills like cheesemaking, baking, and preserving & canning. tenapplefarm.com Located at: 241 Yarmouth Road, Gray (approx.. 30 min from Portland; 25 from Freeport)
- Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Boothbay) – On nearly 300 acres of titled land, the Botanical Gardens are one of Maine’s top attractions and one of the most distinguished botanical destinations in the country. The Gardens feature experiences for all ages and abilities, including a children’s garden, hiking trails, and a garden of the senses. Open April 15-end of October. Guests also enjoy the beautiful Gardens Aglow during the holiday season in November-December. mainegardens.org; Located at: 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay (on the Boothbay peninsula)
- Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections Tours (Freeport) – Satiate your senses with delicious chocolate. Guests can go to the factory, hear about Wilbur’s history, learn about making chocolate and eat samples. Tours are available on Saturdays year-round, and additionally on Tuesdays through Thursdays in the summer. Call to book: 207-865-4071 Wilburs.com, Tours at: 174 Lower Main Street, Freeport
- Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts – Salad Days (Newcastle) – Watershed serves the community with artist residencies, workshops, and public events including art talks, walks and farm-to-table dinners. One of the coolest things I learned about was Salad Days on the second Saturday every July (this year: July 13th – the 25th year!). Every festival guest selects (and keeps) a handcrafted plate for their lunch of locally sourced salads, and they also enjoy live music, demos, a pottery sale, and more. watershedceramics.org, Located: 19 Brick Hill Road, Newscastle (central between Freeport, Augusta, Camden)
- Summer Feet Cycling – Tours and Bike Rentals (Portland) – A bicycle tour is a really fun and distinctive way to see Maine. Catering to all levels of riders, Summer Feet Cycling has an extensive line-up of tours throughout Maine (and beyond!). There are day tours of Portland, Lighthouse Tours, Tours to Islands, Bike and Brew Tours, and more. Some include a lobster roll lunch stop along the way. Or, visitors who don’t have time for a tour or who want to explore on their own can grab a map and rent a bike from Summer Feet. Summerfeet.net, Located at Commercial St between the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal and the Ocean Gateway Visitors Center, Portland
- Sebasco Harbor Resort (Phippsburg) – I learned about this gem of a hotel on the coastline, which has welcomed guests since 1930. The resort lets guests experience the freedom, natural beauty and endless outdoor recreation that are the essence of a pure Maine Vacation experience. There are a variety of accommodation options including the main house, the lighthouse, and suites and cottages. The resort, which is pet friendly, features waterfront activities, golf, lobster bakes and lots more on property. It’s is also close wonderful Popham Beach, which some MCE camps visit with campers. Sebasco.com 29 Kenyon Rd, Phippsburg (on the coast, out through Freeport area)
- Slate’s Restaurant (Hallowell) – If you haven’t been to Slates, I recommend checking it out! It provides delicious American fare in a vibrant, artsy and cozy setting. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon bites, and dinner., Slate’s also features a bakery, concert series and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the tomato cheddar jalapeno soup (and I don’t even like tomatoes!!), which was perfect on a cold night. slatesrestaurant.com Lcoated: 161 Water St, Hallowell (near Augusta)
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.