Exploring the outdoors is a key part of many Maine vacations. Maine is one of the most naturally beautiful areas in the world, with over 3500 miles of rugged coastline and thousands of lakes to explore. It’s the perfect place to get out on the water, either on a peaceful pine-rimmed lake or sailing on the ocean. There are a number of ways to create an idyllic vacation here.
For those who want to feel the salt breeze in their hair, sailing on one of Maine's historic windjammer ships could be an excellent vacation option. If you’re interested in sampling this unique experience, the Maine Windjammer Association represents a group of nine windjammer sailing ships that carry 16-40 guests, depending upon the size of the vessel. These ships are based in Rockland and Camden, both located in Maine’s mid-coast area, and sail from late May through mid-October.
Sailing on one of Maine’s windjammer ships is a great way to relax and disconnect from the pressures of today’s world. Cruises are generally all-inclusive and can be as short as a single night or as long as eleven days. Each of the nine ships offers a variety of different types of sailings. Multi-day sailings tend to be the most popular. Some ships feature wildlife cruises, tours of Acadia National Park and other types of specialty cruises. While some windjammer sailings are designed primarily for adults, others – such as those on the Issac H. Evans, are family-friendly and welcome children ages six and older.
Cruise guests can explore Maine’s beautiful bays, sparsely populated islands, and classic 18th century fishing villages. Sampling authentic Downeast fare, dining on freshly caught lobster and viewing picturesque lighthouses are memorable parts of this Maine vacation experience. Spotting wildlife like eagles, osprey, seals and porpoises is also a treat. Sometimes guests even see whales. Experienced sailors and those new to the sport also enjoy helping to sail these historic vessels. Guests can help as much or as little as they like.
Gorgeous unspoiled scenery and lovely water views can also be found while vacationing at Maine’s many lakes. Maine’s second largest lake, Sebago Lake, is almost 30,000 acres in size with a shoreline of approximately 100 miles. It’s located just a short drive from the Portland International Jetport, which receives over two million passengers per year on flights from domestic and international destinations. Sebago Lake is home to Migis Lodge, a renowned property that has been catering to families since 1916. The resort's location in South Casco is just a quick 45-minute drive from Portland's airport.
Migis Lodge is a gem. Set on 125 tranquil acres of pine forest fronting Sebago Lake, this family-owned and operated property is the perfect spot for an action-packed family vacation or a tranquil adults-only escape. The resort's Full American Plan includes lodging in rooms or cottages, three delicious multi-course meals each day, and a wide variety of activities including swimming, boating, waterskiing, rowing, tennis, fishing, wellness classes, evening bonfires and more. Organized programs and activities for children are included as well. There’s even a children’s “Zoo” supervised dinner program that takes place during the evenings, giving parents the chance to enjoy a leisurely dinner. The resort's New England-style traditional lobster bakes and steak-roasts at the resort’s private island get particularly high marks.
Migis Lodge’s location on 3,500 feet of Sebago Lake shoreline provides plenty of relaxation areas for guests and makes it an excellent vacation destination for water sports lovers. Boaters can navigate the 35-mile waterway provided by Sebago Lake, Brandy Pond and Long Lake using a variety of Migis Lodge watercraft. Avid sailors can make use of the resort’s fleet of Sunfish sailboats or their Herreschoff Buzzards Bay 16, a classic wooden daysailer. For those who prefer motor boating, Migis Lodge offers small 14-foot Lund motorboats with 10 or 15 horsepower engines, a Grady White powerboat with a 250-hp outboard engine, or 115 horsepower pontoon boats perfect for larger groups and families. Guests also enjoy waterskiing, wakeboarding, and exploring the coves and islands of Sebago lake in canoes, kayaks, rowing dories and stand-up paddleboards. Lake cruises on the Tykona II, a vintage wooden Chris-Craft lake cruiser, are also featured several times a week.
Fishing is another popular pastime at Migis Lodge. Sebago Lake is famous for being home to land-locked salmon. The lake also has largemouth and smallmouth bass, trout and perch. A fishing license is required for those 12 and older and fishing poles are available for guest use.
No matter whether you choose an ocean-going or lakeside vacation, Maine is an unspoiled outdoor paradise for those who enjoy being out on the water. The state’s incredible natural beauty, rich maritime heritage and exciting watersports activities attract vacationers from far and wide. Whether you’re enjoying boating on a pristine lake or out on the ocean, a Maine vacation is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Maine Windjammer Association: http://sailmainecoast.com/
Migis Lodge: http://www.migis.com/