Cabins & Cottages
Cabins and cottages have long traditions in Maine. People have been “going up to camp” here since before statehood. Hunting and fishing camps were among the earliest tourist destinations in the state, attracting affluent sportsmen to the woods in the mid-nineteenth century, and rusticators made “cottages” famous in places like Bar Harbor and Islesboro a couple decades later. (Of course these fifty room estates were cottages in name only.) For a lengthy stay, or a comfortable vacation deep in the woods, these homes away from home are the way to go.
And the options are almost endless. Starting in the beach communities of southern Maine and continuing all the way up to Aroostook County, cabins and cottages can be found all across the state and at almost every budget level. Most sit on or near a body of water, and they often form little villages. They can be as rustic or as luxurious as you like. At some sporting camps, for instance, you can find a simple cabin, with no power or running water, that will transport you back to the halcyon days of yore. Or if you prefer, you can find an oceanfront cottage with a jacuzzi and a large-screen TV. Even at the upcountry sporting camps, you can now find cabins that have it all.
Whatever you choose, camps and cottages have a lot of advantages, especially for those planning a longer vacation. Kitchens allow you to cook rather than having to eat out every night – a great cost saver. At some sporting camps and resorts, meals are provided, which makes life simpler. And, since they tend to be larger than motel rooms, both cabins and cottages have plenty of room for a whole family to spread out. Some will even let you bring your dog.
If you're looking for cabins, try the resorts along the coast and at places like Moosehead Lake and Rangeley. Don't forget the ski areas. Many sporting camps are members of the Maine Sporting Camp Association (www.mainesportingcamps.com), which is an excellent resource for more information. And even parks like Baxter have their own rental cabins. Local chambers of commerce have a wealth of information.
As for cottages, most coastal communities have rentals, and many islands do, too. Properties are often handled by real estate firms or large rental agencies. Again, check the chamber of commerce in the area you plan to visit.
And when you're asking around, remember, whether you're looking for a cabin or a cottage, Mainers call them “camps.”