Families in the northeast have made resorts in Maine a vacation destination for many decades; this authentic inn has been welcoming families since 1930.
So what makes Sebasco an "authentic" Maine resort? A unique mix of accommodations including rooms in the Lighthouse, a quintessential Main Lodge, and a variety of suites and family cottages make a good start. Add a list of outdoor activities including golfing, kayaking, sailing, biking, swimming in the saltwater pool, and a kids' camp, and factor in the authentic Maine lobster bakes and blueberry pancake breakfasts. Finally, put all of this on 550 acres on the rocky mid-coast of Maine with spectacular views of Casco Bay. That's Sebasco. That's Pure Maine!
The resort is located one hour north of Portland, Maine. Air travel is available through Portland International Jetport, and Amtrak service is available on the Downeaster from Boston. Sebasco is a three-hour drive from Boston and six hours from New York City. If you have never experienced the Maine Coast, we recommend a family trip there. And Sebasco is a perfect spot for everyone in the family.
Sebasco Resort Recreation – An Endless List
Recreation at Sebasco Harbor Resort begins at the waterfront. A saltwater pool located at the harbor's edge is surrounded on three sides by the ocean and offers a unique swimming experience. Kayaking is a popular activity, and Seaspray Kayaking has one of their three locations at Sebasco. They offer a number of guided excursions, group facilitations, hourly rentals and instruction. Kayaking is a great way to observe some of the local wildlife such as harbor seals, ospreys, and eagles. It is also a perfect means to experience the serene beauty of Casco Bay and the spectacular rocky coast that is distinctively Maine. The waterfront also provides boat rentals and sailing lessons, as well as tours aboard the resort's own tour boat, and cruises, by appointment only, aboard the retired ocean racer, Magic, a 41-foot sloop.
During our visit to Sebasco Harbor Resort, we tried to experience as much of the resort's offerings as we could. One activity that we would say is mandatory for all guests is a trip on The Ruth, one of the oldest continuously operating passenger vessels on the coast of Maine. We took the Scenic Nature and Harbor Cruise, and Capt. Phil cruised past three of Maine's prettiest fishing villages imparting some of his vast knowledge of the area and its fishing industry.
Two other trips are the Maine Lobstering and Fishing Cruise, where passengers learn about the daily lives of Maine lobstermen and fishermen while viewing working boats of all shapes and sizes, and the Pirate Cruise, where children and parents help the resort's resident pirate find his sunken boat and buried treasure. A cruise aboard The Ruth is a great way to learn about the magnificent beauty of the Maine Coast.
In addition to all the activities at the waterfront, guests can enjoy golfing on the resort's picturesque yet challenging 9-hole course. Parents who are trying to introduce their children to the game will love the 3-hole, regulation length Lake Course, where inspiration, not intimidation, is the focal point. Tennis is available free to resort guests. Other sports and activities include canoeing on Wat-tuh Lake (we spent an hour or so, paddling the lake and observing some of the resident bald eagles), mountain biking, bocce ball, volleyball, softball, shuffleboard, badminton, horseshoes, and croquet.
Indoor Recreation & Pampering at Sebasco Harbor
If the weather should not cooperate, a number of indoor activities are also available. A Sebasco treasure for many years is the Quarterdeck Recreation Center where you feel as if you are stepping back in time. The four vintage candlepin bowling lanes are vestiges of New England's past that children today rarely experience. We bowled a couple of games and found out that it's not quite as easy as it looks. The center, which also has ping-pong tables, billiards, table shuffleboard, video games, and a juke box, is the center of evening activity for all the kids.
The Card Room, located in the Main Lodge, offers a variety of games, cards, puzzles, books, chess boards and backgammon sets that can keep families entertained on those rainy days. The resort also has a fitness center, and although it may not be as updated as many of today's modern gyms, it has sufficient equipment to keep your workouts going while visiting the resort.
A resort facility sure to impress is the Fairwinds Spa, which offers signature treatments using only organic ingredients designed to capture the essence of Casco Bay's rugged yet bountiful coastline. A couple of the treatment rooms offer outstanding views of the harbor – a perfect environment in which parents can relax while the kids are busy in camp. We each enjoyed one of the spa's signature treatments and relaxed in the spa's hot tub on the deck overlooking the tranquil harbor.
And as if all this wasn't enough to keep you busy, check the daily activities sheet where a variety of other activities are scheduled. There are yoga and Tai Chi classes, guided naturalist hikes and fitness walks, golf and tennis clinics and round-robins, family scavenger hunts and campfire sing-a-longs, wine tastings, scenic van tours of nearby Phippsburg, ice cream making (and tasting, of course!), and Bingo games. We would suggest that the whole family make the hike to Merritt Mountain. It only took us about 20 minutes to get to the top, and the view of Casco Bay was well worth the effort.
For those who like to explore the area, a wealth of natural beauty, historical and cultural attractions await. Visit nearby Phippsburg and explore Fort Popham and Popham Beach State Park, which has one of the finest and longest sandy beaches in Maine, perfect for strolling. Just be sure to watch the tides as you walk the beach and explore the rocky outcroppings – you don't want to get caught on the island with no way to return to the beach.
Other towns within exploring distance include Bath, Brunswick, Boothbay Harbor, and Freeport, home to L.L. Bean. The staff at Sebasco is very helpful with suggestions of what to see and do.
Camp Merritt – A Place for Fun
During the summer season, Sebasco's Camp Merritt offers the ideal environment for kids from age 5 to experience the resort facilities, the natural environment, and the friendship of other children. Offered Monday through Friday, the full-day program employs counselors who are college students studying child development or education, and who have an enthusiastic sense of fun and adventure.
Typical activities include a hike up Merritt Mountain, golf and tennis clinics with the pro, blueberry picking and exploring with the Naturalist, scavenger hunts, live animal demonstrations, tie-dye shirt making, Rock & Bowl parties, pirate treasure adventures, softball with the Lighthouse Keeper, and field trips to Totman Cove, Sea Dogs baseball games, and the movies. Activities change weekly and are adapted to suit the weather conditions. Each activity is tailored to the age and interests of the campers with plenty of group activities and free time at the playground and pool every day.
Pure Maine Accommodations & Dining
From a classic Maine cottage to a modern luxury spa suite, Sebasco Harbor Resort offers a wonderful variety of room choices. The most unique is probably the Lighthouse, which houses 10 rooms boasting spectacular views of Harbor Island and beyond to Casco Bay. Cottages, ranging from one to 10 bedrooms, are scattered throughout the resort's grounds. Don't think of these are dark, musty cabins in the woods. The cottages may be classic in décor, but they are quite nicely appointed and quite clean and comfortable. Many of the cottages have wonderful views of the harbor.
Rooms in the classic Main Lodge feature views of the freshwater lake, the golf course, or the gardens. Ask about the family suites. Each of these three suites, which can comfortably sleep a family of five, has a queen bed, a twin, and a trundle bed that sleeps two, as well as child-size Adirondack chairs and small stools for the kids. The Harbor Village Suites and Fairwinds Spa Suites (these can only accommodate two adults) are the newest and most luxurious accommodations. People who like to travel with their pets will love Sebasco's V.I.P. (Very Important Pet) program, which allows pets in select resort cottages.
The tastes of Maine are an important part of a visit to Sebasco, and the two waterfront restaurants provide the best of what the region has to offer. The Pilot House and the more casual Ledges Pub & Patio offer wonderful traditional Maine cuisine like steamed lobster and fried or grilled seafood. Enjoy fresh local ingredients and creative daily specials in The Pilot House while viewing spectacular sunsets over Casco Bay. Great seafood selections, as well lighter fare are available in the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of The Ledges. You can enjoy the refreshing sea breezes and the watch the boats in the harbor while dining on the harbor-side patio. A favorite spot for the kids is the Patio Cafe for ice cream and snacks.
Sebasco also offers a few dining special events: the Traditional Maine Lobsterbake (a quintessential Maine event) and Contra Dance, the Maine Blueberry Pancake Breakfast served on the pool lawn, and the Sunday evening Grand Buffet.
Another tip for families: You might want to consider the Modified American Plan for dining. Each adult is charged $48 per day for a full breakfast and dinner, plus the quoted room rate. However, children 10-years and younger eat free when accompanied by an adult and ordering from the children's menu.
Resort Report Card
|Name:||Sebasco Harbor Resort|
29 Kenyon Road
|Seasonal Rates:||$ – $$$$|
|Choice of Activities:||A-|
|Quality of Amenities:||B+|
|Bonus:||Rates for golf are extremely reasonable, and most activity fees are modest.|
|Note:||Some updating of the facilities, such as the pool and fitness center are needed. But, much of the resort is quite modern or updated.|
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.