Too busy to plan that vacation your family desperately needs? Luckily for Mainers, family-friendly resorts with activities, amenities and, in some cases, meals at the ready can be found across Vacationland. From backwoods lodges to all-inclusive beachfront spreads to camping retreats, they’ve got you covered. Keeping in mind that not all families are alike, these five resorts cover the bases, whether yours likes to keep busy, craves seclusion or wants to stay on the water.
Linekin Bay Resort in Boothbay Harbor is perfect for the family that likes to stay waterlogged. Photos courtesy of the resorts
SAIL ON: LINEKIN BAY RESORT
Boothbay Harbor, linekinbayresort.com, 633-2494
Originally a girls camp, new owners are sprucing up this cottage-style 20-acre getaway east of Boothbay Harbor on Linekin Bay's Wall Point. Sailing is the big draw, and swimmers jump into the ocean from the two docks, or into the saltwater pool. There are 20-some cabins, as well as hotel-style rooms in the renovated main lodge and a newly built one with decks and window walls overlooking the water. Peak summer is the all-inclusive season. Rates are $370-$500 nightly, based on double occupancy (additional guests are $95 per child ages 4-12, $160 per adult). This covers three family-style meals in the main lodge, sailing instructions and use of the fleet, and activities ranging from kayaking and paddle boarding to biking and tennis to kids camp. In the shoulder seasons, rates drop (breakfast is the only meal included then) and Mainers get a 20 percent discount. The resort is open late May through early October.
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Maine Wilderness Lodges will appeal to families who appreciate the rustic.
BACK-WOODSY: APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB (AMC) MAINE WILDERNESS LODGES
Outside Greenville, outdoors.org
Families head to Little Lyford, Gorman Chairback or Medawisla to hike, mountain bike, paddle, fly-fish, view wildlife and relax in Maine's 100 Mile Wilderness. Rates at each off-the-grid destination include three meals a day, served family-style in the main lodge, except for lunch, which is packed to go (Medawisla has a make-your-own-meals option). Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are also covered (no boards at Little Lyford) – all three lodges are on or near water. Mountain bikes can be rented, but the fleet is small, so folks often bring bikes. Guests stay in cabins or a bunkhouse. Each lodge also has a sauna and bathhouse; Medawisla and Gorman Chairback have some cabins with baths. Summer rates range from $96-$219 per adult, $55-$94 per youth and $43-$56 per child. Rates drop in the fall; there's a winter season for cross-country skiing.
Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg has a variety of lodging options.
OPTIONS GALORE: SEBASCO HARBOR RESORT
Phippsburg, sebasco.com, 877-338-0428
At this 450-acre peninsular resort on Casco Bay below Bath, visitors can golf, bowl, swim in the ocean or the Olympic-size saltwater pool, savor a spa treatment, hit the fitness center, amble in the gardens, kayak, bike and take a water tour on the Ruth, among other choices. You can book lodging online, but calls are encouraged, as accommodations are so varied – from cabins large and small to classic and newer lodge rooms to the 10-room "lighthouse." Double-occupancy peak summer rates are $189-$429 for lodging rooms, while two-bedroom, two-bath cabins – popular with families – are $559-$599. In peak season, a $35-per-lodging resort fee covers most activities and the guest rate for those, like golf, that are open to public. Optional meal plans include breakfast and dinner. Rates drop in the shoulder seasons. The resort is open late May to late October.
Cabins at the classy Migis Lodge in South Casco feature a high-end, woodsy decor.
GET CLASSY: MIGIS LODGE
South Casco, migis.com, 655-4524
Spread on 100-plus wooded acres along Sebago Lake, this classy – if pricey – resort requires weeklong minimum stays during summer's peak, but shorter openings often occur then. The 20-some cabins and main lodge guest rooms feature high-end, woodsy decor. The all-inclusive rates (alcohol and boats with motors excepted) cover three meals daily in the main lodge – or eat lunch on the shore or the resort's island. Be aware: There's still a dress code for dinner at Migis. Activities range from sailing, paddling and waterskiing to tennis, disc golf, exercise classes and kids camp (during summer's peak). High-season rates are $374-$448 per person per day, based on a lodging's minimum occupancy (rates are lower for any additional guests). Rates drop in the shoulder seasons. Migis is open mid-June to early October.
Fishing is one of several kid-friendly activities available at Paradise Park in Old Orchard Beach.
GET CAMPING: PARADISE PARK RESORT CAMPGROUND
Old Orchard Beach, paradiseparkresort.com, 934-4633
Folks come to stay put at some resorts, but here they head to mileslong Old Orchard Beach. Paradise Park is less than a half mile from the bustling pier and runs a beach shuttle, yet it's tucked away on 40 acres near the top of Old Orchard Street. Catering to families and couples, there's a pond for paddle boating ($10 per hour, the sole activity fee) and fishing, two heated pools, three Jacuzzis, beach volleyball, a playground, a game room and a recreational tent where movies are shown. There are about 200 RV and tent sites and 11 RV-like rentals. During summer's peak, sites are $57-$72 based on double occupancy and rentals are $1,300 weekly. Rates drop in the shoulder seasons, though additional guests are always $3 for ages 4-18 and $7 for adults. The campground is open early May through Columbus Day.