Most summer visits are set up in the spring, a full year before your child will attend camp. Once you are scheduled for a visit, you’ll want to decide if you prefer to come up just for the day (fly in and out of Portland, Maine for a one-day trip), or spend a few days in Maine.
You should consider spending some time in Maine. But please remember, while Maine is absolutely beautiful in the summer, it’s not filled with touristy attractions for younger children. Maine is best known for its breathtaking rocky coast, quaint towns, phenomenal bed & breakfasts and scenic state and national parks.
Please call or fill out the form below to schedule a visit.
If you decide to fly, whether coming for the day or the weekend, we recommend from the New York metropolitan area JetBlue from JFK direct to Portland, about 65 minutes from camp. You may alternatively fly into Boston (Logan Airport is just under a three hour drive from camp) or direct into Augusta, only 20 minutes from Readfield. However, Augusta only services small commuter planes.
You could also drive to Portland, which is only 5 hours from the Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge (previously Tappan Zee). Driving to Boston and spending the night there is another option. Boston is an easy 3-hour drive to camp, while Portsmouth, New Hampshire (another vibrant New England city) is a 2-hour drive to camp.
One option for a weekend visit is to fly into Portland on Friday morning and then stay in Kennebunkport. If you arrive Friday, plan to visit camp on Saturday, then head back home Sunday afternoon. The White Barn Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property, is world-class lodging and dining. The Grand Hotel, the Tides Beach Club and The Beach House are also wonderful Kennebunkport options.
You could also stay in Portland. There are some lovely hotels, especially the Portland Harbor and the Portland Regency. The Old Port area of Portland is a bustling area with terrific restaurants. It’s known as a culinary capital of the Northeast. Our favorites: Fore Street, Hugo’s, 555, Bresca and Eventide Oyster Company. There’s also good shopping in this part of the city. Only 20 minutes south of Portland is the well-known Black Point Inn, a grand and historic coastal resort. It’s great for families.
Another option is staying in Freeport – the Harraseeket Inn is our recommendation – and spending some time visiting the shops, including L.L.Bean. If you stay in Freeport, eating at the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company located on the water a few miles from the Inn is always fun. Freeport is only 50 minutes from camp.
The Inn at Brunswick Station is a new hotel in Brunswick, home of Bowdoin College, only 45 minutes from camp.
You may also choose to stay in the Camden area and drive to camp the next day (just over an hour). Camden is a great coastal setting, but is not ideal for younger children who may need some more action. For a night or two, however, it’s worth the trip. Visit www.mainedreamvacation.com for a listing of some great lodging options. Stopping at the Lincolnville Lobster Pound is a must, and dinner at Primo is not to be missed. Ten minutes north on Route 1, the Inn at Ocean’s Edge is another scenic Maine lodging destination.
Flying into Portland, driving one hour to Augusta and spending the evening near camp is another great option. Although it’s the state capital, Augusta is not filled with much activity or many good restaurants. It’s perfect, however, for a quick trip, and the Senator Inn is clean and comfortable. If you stay at the Senator, definitely request a “Spa Room.”
Two well-known “family camp resorts” are Migis Lodge in Casco and Quisisana in Lovell, both within an hour of Portland. If you want a true Maine experience and you’re a bit adventurous, you should explore one of these great destinations.
The Lighthouse, in Manchester, is known for their famous Lobster Rolls, salads and locally made chocolates. For a sandwich, the Olde Post Office Cafe in Mt. Vernon serves Maine’s best reuben and delicious home-baked goods. When in Maine, it’s always nice to stop at one of the many general stores that dot the state. In nearby Belgrade, check out Day’s General for terrific to-go sandwiches and homemade fudge. Fayette is home to the Fayette General Store, on the other side of Echo Lake.
When you get to camp, we can give you directions to any of these places, all within 20 minutes of Camp Laurel. Remember, these stores sometimes have one or two tables inside at best. When in Maine, do as the locals do by sitting at the picnic tables just outside.
In the Augusta area, Slates in Hallowell, is a great taste of Greenwich Village in Maine. We also really like the Liberal Cup for cooked-to-order food sourced with local ingredients. Good Chinese food can be found at Lucky Garden in Hallowell along the Kennebec River, the A-1 Diner in nearby Gardiner is another great option.
If you’re driving to Maine (or leaving the state on your way home), a great stop is Mabel’s Lobster Claw in Kennebunkport, where you’ll find Maine lobster done right. Another great roadside treat is Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery. Bob’s has fried clams, chowder and amazing lobster rolls. Another option in Kittery is Chauncy Creek Lobster Pier, the locals’ go-to lobster pound.
Your visit will last about 2 hours and you will have the opportunity to spend time with Jem and Debbie. We encourage potential campers to get involved with some activities while on their visit and experience the action and magic of Laurel.
If you have any questions or concerns, call us. We’ll be happy to help you plan your stay in Maine!