Visiting New Zealand, attending the Super Bowl and spending a night in a lighthouse are three items still atop my Bucket List — right up there with a chance to play Augusta National. I had several opportunities at the beacon overnighter last summer, but either the light-host didn’t allow kids (too dangerous), there wasn’t enough room for six people or it was Fourth of July weekend. And in Maine, procrastinating bookers don’t find many vacant rooms on the coast over the Independence Day holiday. Especially in a lighthouse.
In a last-minute scramble to find lobster for the wife, fireworks for the kids and golf for myself, the concierge at the Maine Golf Trail, Peter Webber, directed us to a gold mine containing all three: Sebasco Harbor Resort.
If you’ve ever attended a summer camp and loved it, you’ll understand my profound appreciation for the family-run (and family fun) nostalgic inducing atmosphere at Sebasco. It’s home away from home for so many — campfires with new friends under a blanket of stars, kids chasing lightning bugs, a traffic jam of bicycles and kicking back listening to lapping waves from folding chairs on cliffs above the Atlantic. Under a lighthouse, I might add. It’s rooms that don’t need to be locked, buffets on a waterside veranda with lobster and French toast, selfless and unassuming owners and a wild little nine-hole golf course packed with tough pars and overlapping ecosystems of beauty.
Yes, Sebasco Harbor Resort is a golf resort. Who cares if it only has 12 holes? I’d be back there every summer if I could.
With 550 acres on Maine’s Midcoast, Sebasco does actually afford the opportunity for romantics to stay in a lighthouse (next time). Alternatively there are waterfront cottages like ours, perfect for 4 to 8 people. There are luxury suites in a variety of layouts and even a full-service spa to accentuate the all-around pampering. Let me make it clear to you: This is not a five-star resort, nor does ownership even remotely wish it could be. This is instead an all-star resort where everyone is afforded the same amenities and opportunities at incredibly affordable rates. You get to park your own car (foot steps from your room). You get to carry your own luggage (if the property owners don’t beat you to it). You get to make yourself at home, whether you stay for a day or a week. Their casa es su casa.
Our neighbors told me over coffee/hot chocolate one morning that they used to own a vacation home a few miles up the road. They sold it a few years back and come to Sebasco each year for a couple weeks instead.
“Saved us buckets,” the husband said.
“Kept us married,” chimed in the wife. Sounds like the perfect compromise.
Though compromise might not be the right word, not here. It’s more like a reward. Whether you’re digging into the lobster at the fine dining Pilot House, throwing back a few at the casual Ledges Pub, or just taking your Annas and your Elsas (from “Frozen”) to the beach, Sebasco encourages the vacationer to simply let it go.
Golf, tennis, fishing, hiking, biking, beachcombing, croquet, volleyball and swimming in the large saltwater pool. All of that and a stocked docket of activities throughout the seasons…that’s life at Sebasco Harbor Resort.
Some 85 miles by car from Sebasco Harbor Resort (or one really long kayak ride across Casco Bay and down to Perkins/Oarweed Cove) is a historic little lobster haven in Ogunquit that’s worth the stop if you are ever in southern Maine. I don’t do lobster personally, but the fish tacos at the Lobster Shack were sensational, and the “on the rocks” setting near the iconic drawbridge and scenic oceanfront is pretty idyllic for a seafood roll and pursuant stroll. Yes, there are a billion crustacean cookeries in Maine, including another Lobster Shack closer to Sebasco (adjacent a beautiful lighthouse and directly on the water) but we didn’t stop and eat at any of them, so this is the one I’m vouching for. Locals swear by the LS’s Lobster Stew, and I swear by the line out the door that their word must be as good as the fresh catch.