omeone once wrote, “Maine is a summer day from childhood where the yellow sun, blue water and green pines go on forever. It’s small towns, high school basketball tournaments and the best lobster in the world. It’s three-masted schooners, Acadia National Park and blueberries.”
That’s a pretty good description. Maine definitely qualifies as one of the most picturesque states in the USA, yet it is not widely known to tourists outside of the country (except for Canadians, who share a border with the state). While foreign tourists flock to the beaches and amusement parks of Florida and California, Maine goes its quiet way, enjoying its simple ways and pursuing old pleasures.
Sure, there are plenty of tourists to fill up its resort towns inland and along the spectacular coast. But they are mostly more or less local— and those from across the country who would like to keep it a secret. This is a beautiful state, with some outstanding scenery and activities and wonderful places to stay, not the least of which is the magnificent Samoset timeshare resort.
Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.
Along the middle of Maine’s rugged Atlantic coast is a 3-town community consisting of Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville. Culturally one of the most varied and exciting areas in Maine, it has a truly spectacular setting overlooking the beautiful Penobscot Bay. Along much of the bay, spectacular steep mountains rise up behind the natural harbors, providing protection for boats moored there.
Rockport’s deep harbor is one of the most protected from the open ocean, making it a safe port for pleasure boats. A quiet, picturesque village, Rockport is probably the best known of the three towns– largely because of the Samoset Resort located there. A gathering place for artists and musicians since its beginnings, Rockport invites the public to many events throughout the year: Bay Chamber Concerts – featuring regional musicians performing in the Rockport Opera House; Maine Coast Artists – exhibiting contemporary Maine art; and the Maine Photographic Workshop – offering year-round classes, gallery space and retail shop. And there is lots of live music in parks and nightspots all the time.
Feel like something quiet? The Vesper Hill Chapel is a serene place for a walk among beautifully landscaped gardens. On your way to the Chapel, look for the herd of “Oreo cookie cows” (Belted Galloway cattle) at the Aldemere farm. Or stroll through the quaint streets of the towns where you’ll find boutiques and galleries, perfect for browsing. The Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center in Rockland specialize in Maine and American Art and house the personal Andrew Wyeth family art and archives.
There are lighthouses, museums, and theaters to enjoy, and an ocean of boating, sailing and fishing opportunities. Not to mention the yearly Lobsterfest, which brings in lobster afficionados from everywhere by the thousands to celebrate Maine’s most loved shellfish. Wining, dining, arts and crafts, music, playing and laughter– and did I mention dining? I did? Well, I’ll say it again. DINING!
Rockport and Camden are also home to many of the famous windjammer sailing vessels, which sail weekly, daily and hourly to the islands in Penobscot Bay and beyond. The Labor Day weekend plays host to the Windjammer industry and provides fun and activities for the whole family, with mass sailings and Windjammer Parades that will take your breath away.
During the winter months, the nearby Camden Snow Bowl offers unlimited snow activities including 11 ski trails, a toboggan chute, snow-tubing and ice skating on Hosmer Pond.
The legendary Samoset Resort has a long, colorful history. It was named after a Pemaquid chief, the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims. He was a member of an Algonquin tribe that resided at the time in the southeast part of this state, and he was visiting chief Massasoit at the time of his contact with those European immigrants. He spoke in broken English that he had learned from the English fishermen that came to fish off Monhegan Island, from off the southeast coast.
The Samoset is a year-round destination resort, which includes a timeshare component, located on 230 stunning oceanside acres. It includes a first-class, full-service, 178-unit hotel; the two-bedroom Flume Cottage, a magnificent stand-alone unit located on a cliff overlooking the ocean (which was joined in 2011 by an additional 3 cottages named Wind Drift, Spring Tide and Sea Spray); several first-class food and beverage outlets; conference facilities totaling over 22,000 square feet; fully equipped indoor and outdoor recreation facilities; and an 18-hole championship golf course, clubhouse with pro shop and Clubhouse Grille, and a spa. Samoset Village consists of 37 condominium units with ocean views.
Samoset’s 18-hole championship golf course will delight both the serious and recreational player. The course meanders along the coast and through the woods, boasting seven oceanside holes and ocean vistas from 14 holes. The golf complex includes a clubhouse with an indoor/outdoor grille, golf range, practice green, short game facility with bunkers and private or group instruction.
Samoset Timeshare Estates is just as luxurious and special as the rest of the resort. It is comprised of 72 Interval International and RCI Gold Crown award-winning timeshare units, all with private balconies or patios and spectacular ocean views.
Sixty-one one-bedroom units feature a kitchen area with microwave oven, dining/living area with queen sofa bed, master suite and full bathroom. Some units feature a whirlpool. Maximum occupancy: 4 people.
Eleven two-bedroom ocean view units feature a kitchen area with microwave oven, dining/living area with queen sofa bed, master suite and bathroom with a whirlpool. Second bedroom includes two twin beds and bathroom. Maximum occupancy: 6 people.
Note that all units and buildings are smoke free including the balconies. Smoking is permitted 25 feet from all entrances. Wireless internet service is available in all units. Note also that the units have been sold out since 1989, but resales are occasionally available through the Samoset website.
The famous Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse, which still warns ships away from the treacherous rocks, is literally in the Samoset’s backyard. This makes for a breathtaking view and an incredible game of golf, even for those of you who could live without the game.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit. In the winter there is skiing a few miles away and for the storm lovers among you, it’s hard to beat some of the magnificent stormy weather that assails Maine’s coast. In the spring there is excellent hiking and exploring, with the whole area ablaze with wildflowers (and wildlife). Summer brings boating and fishing and the usual summer activities. Autumn brings the crisp air and bright fall foliage famous in the northeastern states. And any time of the year you will find the towns full of life, color, music and art.
Choose Maine. You really should experience it at least once in your life.
Web sites with more information:
- http://www.samoset.com –The Samoset’s Web site
- http://mainedreamvacation.com/ –Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce
- http://www.midcoast.com/places/ –Links to info about the midcoast of Maine
- http://www.visitmaine.com/region/midcoast/camden_rockport_lincolnville/ –About Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville
- http://www.sailmainecoast.com/ –About Maine’s Windjammer fleet
- http://www.destinationmaine.com/ –An excellent site about Maine
- http://lincolncountynewsonline.com/ –The Lincoln County News
- http://www.mainelobsterfestival.com/ –All about this famous festival
“On the Road” is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of “On the Road” is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. Premium quality. However, these resorts are not usually the only timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out— enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
Readers are encouraged to contribute their own stories and photos. Email [email protected] and put “On the Road” in the Subject line so we’ll know what it’s about.