Memorial Day weekends sparks the start of summer, and the best time to plan for New England weekends away. After all, one of the best things about being in Boston is the city's location to the Cape and the Islands, New Hampshire campgrounds and Maine's coastal towns.
While there's plenty to do at the beaches, on the water and on various rooftop gardens and bars throughout the city, there's something fun about finding the serene, secret gems. Raise your hand if you know about Chebeague Island, or where it's located.
Just 15 minutes from Portland, Casco Bay is one of Maine's hidden treasures that comes to life during the summer months. The historic Chebeague Island Inn on Casco Bay, which officially opened for the season on May 18, plays host to guests who visit this hideaway beach town, and offers up some innovative experiences.
Here's a bit more:
Hamilton Beach, Rose Point Chandler Cove and Division Point are all walking distance from Chebeague Island Inn. Enjoy the rocky shores, go for a few hikes, take up clamming with local lobstermen, and dig for seashells and sea glass. If you need a day off from the beach, organize a game of croquet, bocce, badminton, or horse shoes on the Inn's lawns, read from one of the original copies of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, or take out a complimentary bicycle from L.L. Bean for the day. Golfers will love the 9-hole Chebeague Island Golf Club with views of Casco Bay from every hole. Laid out in 1920, the course is noted for its signature 7th hole, with a tee box shared by local lobstermen and a traverse over Stone Pier tidal waters.
This year, Chebeague Island Inn is offering guests a unique experience to join a lobstermen for a day. The Nice Catch package allows guests to join a Maine lobsterman for a two-hour excursion around Casco Bay and learn about lobster habits, habitat, conservation efforts and more. Afterwards, the Inn will prepare a classic lobster dinner with all the fixings. Package is available for $200 per person (limit 6 per trip) from July 7-October 22.
While you're enjoying some down time, be sure to keep an eye out for some local and worldwide celebrities who find respite in this quaint little town. Among those who have addresses on Chebeague Island: Raymond Gilmartin, former CEO of Merck; Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated newspaper columnist Ellen Goodman; and Steve Bisciotti, owner of the Baltimore Ravens. While she doesn’t call the island home, Queen Elizabeth II has made a few appearances here over the last few years.
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