Maine has been on my family’s travel list even before we had children and this year we finally ventured north to explore Maine’s breathtaking coast. Our group consisted of my brother and sister in law, their dog, my husband, our 11 year old son, 8 year old daughter, plus me. Due to time constraints, the only week that worked for all of us to go was the 4th of July. This equals crowds, but we were luckily to avoid some of those crowds by hitting a part of the coast that isn’t popular.
Where we stayed…
We spent 5 nights camping at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground in a rental travel trailer. Maine can be pricey, because their tourist season is so short. Our two bedroom unit was pristine and contained ample space for us to all stretch out. It ran just under $200 a night with tax included. Our unit included a bathroom and a shower, but we often used the shower house so that we could stretch out. Searsport offers tent camping, RV spots, cabins, and RV rental units like the one we used. It is about an 8 and a half hour drive from Northeastern Pennsylvania.
What makes Searsport Shores unique? They offer a peaceful environment right on the rocky shores of the bay. We all thoroughly enjoyed searching the tide pools for sea creatures. What a magical experience discovering sand dollars, sea stars, and an urchin. We watched seals from the shore and dolphins swimming by. My brother and sister in law brought kayaks and a stand up paddle board which created even more active adventuring. The family watched the fireworks right from the shore next to a big bonfire. Searsport Shores has a fun playground, basketball court, volley ball court, and dog park.
Their gardens are amazing and we enjoyed feeding the goats our leftover table scraps. Searsport Shores has a variety of activities such as ice cream socials, nature crafts, and flashlight candy hunts. They focus on Art and their is the opportunity to learn from an artist in residence which differs weekly during the summer. The owners are present and take wonderful care of their campground. The one thing to make note of is that if you bring a dog, they must be with you at all times. This made planning a little trickier with eating out, so we enjoyed meals more at the campground. Check out Searsport Shores here.
Our second location that we stayed was scheduled very last minute! We had been searching for a hotel in Portland for the return trip and the prices were hovering around $400 a night. South of Portland is the beach town of Old Orchard Beach which is similar to a Wildwood feel. Our last night in Searsport, we were able to find a deluxe cabin at a KOA in Old Orchard Beach for about $250 a night with taxes. The cabin was sparkling new and had a ton of space including two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen , and a lovely full bathroom. I was ready for a nice long shower. Old Orchard Beach has a few theme/water parks, a pier, and miles of sandy beach. This was a wonderful KOA with the usual activities such as tie dye t shirts, flashlight candy hunt, and s’mores. They had a nice splash pad, great sports area, pool and hot tub. While the area wasn’t special or unique like Searsport, we still enjoyed our time at this KOA. Check out the Old Orchard/Saco KOA here.
Plan to spend a significant part of your travel budget on lodging while in Maine. There are a lot of options and we choose camping for a variety of reasons, but the best part of the camping was it kept us outdoors for every moment other than sleeping. There are a lot of house rentals, small hotels, cottages, and a ton of campgrounds. I highly recommend trying to cabin camp if you don’t want to get too rustic. Our travel trailer and cabin both had air conditioning, kitchens, and bathrooms. September has been recommended as the perfect time to visit, but with back to school that really isn’t an option. June can be cool, but crowds and pricing aren’t peak quite yet. Whatever your preference, Maine has lodging to suit your needs!