Linekin Bay Resort opened in Boothbay Harbor in 1919 as a summer camp, and the oceanside hideaway has been a place where families gather since 1946 — and for some, returning to the resort is a generational tradition. Linekin’s cabins are perfect for larger groups and/or longer stays, with one, two, three, or six bedrooms. The latter has a stone fireplace, full kitchen, and five private baths, and all cabins have WiFi (but, blissfully, no TVs!).
For many families, summer days are organized around the waterfront. The resort’s Sail Shack has loaner fishing gear, and anglers can reel in striped bass while fishing off the dock or the rocky shore. Guests have access to rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards for exploring the surrounding coastline and islands. Both the heated saltwater pool and Adirondack chairs on the lawn overlook the bay — and if grownups want to enjoy them in peace and quiet, the resort’s on-site summer kids’ camp, for ages 4 through 12, offers classic camp activities: tie-dying, scavenger hunts, swimming, tidepooling, and more.
Dry-land activities include tennis, pickleball, and basketball (for the littles, a playground with a slide and swings is within view of the courts), and there’s a sand volleyball court next to the “play field,” where games of tag, football, and frisbee regularly break out. When everyone’s ready for a breather, pull up a table for games in the West Lodge — the camp-style post-and-beam building is stocked with classics like checkers, Monopoly, and cribbage.
It’s easy to fill an entire vacation without leaving the resort, but Boothbay Harbor has plenty for families to explore, from art (the walkable Boothbay Harbor Sculpture Trail shows off often-whimsical works in granite and bronze) to wildlife (see minkes, fins, and humpbacks on a whale watch with Cap’n Fish’s Cruises) to old-school amusements (Dolphin Mini Golf has devilish putting greens, arcade games, and ice cream).
Back at the resort, dinner comes with an ocean view at the Deck Bar & Grill. The restaurant’s vibe is coastal casual with a relaxed atmosphere, fresh seasonal ingredients, a kids menu, and live music from local performers throughout the season. Save room for s’mores around the firepit before packing it in and resting up for another #linekinbayday.
Suites at Linekin Bay Resort are perfect for a couples weekend away, with king-size beds, water views from private decks, and sitting rooms for relaxing and reading. After enjoying breakfast, the saltwater pool beckons, built along the shore just above the high tide line. Or maybe a more active morning? Couples can play singles or doubles matches on the tennis and pickleball courts, as the welcome center is happy to arrange matches with other guests who enjoy some friendly competition.
A Maine afternoon is for taking to the water. Linekin Bay Resort guests have access to the resort’s fleet of gorgeous Rhodes 19 and Lightning sailboats. For would-be sailors just learning the ropes, two-hour instruction is available. For more experienced hands, the resort proudly sponsors the Maine Island Trail Association, with a copy of the invaluable MITA guide on hand to lead boaters to the best stretches of coast and island picnic sites. Rentals and lessons should be arranged upon arrival at the Sail Shack, where knowledgeable staff can help plan aquatic adventures.
Away from the resort, it’s easy to spend an entire day wandering more than 300 acres of breathtaking gardens and other landscaped and natural spaces at Boothbay’s Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Highlights include a native-butterfly house, a meditation garden, and the collection of huge wooden trolls tucked in throughout the grounds. Boothbay Harbor’s dining scene has plenty of options for a romantic dinner, including Boathouse Bistro (creative tapas in a bar setting overlooking the water) and Ports of Italy (house-made pasta in a low-lit trattoria). For a nightcap, the hidden, cozy taphouse bar at Boothbay Craft Brewery serves craft cocktails and brews, with live music and board games to round out a perfect date night.
For Dog Owners
The resort’s lovely, rustic one- and two-bedroom cabins are pet-friendly, with private baths and decks. Leashed dogs are welcome all around the property (just not on the playing field, front lawn, or pool area). The welcome center has maps and info about the many miles of dog-friendly trails found throughout the Boothbay region, including at the Lobster Cove Meadow and Appalachee preserves, both less than a mile from the resort, rich with songbirds and wildflowers, and Ovens Mouth Preserve, with more than 5 miles of wooded trails and dramatic tides where the Back River races through the Ovens Mouth passage.
Also around town, the Boothbay Railway Village welcomes pups to its outdoor museum full of historic Maine-village buildings, and dogs can come aboard the train cars pulled behind a restored century-old steam locomotive. For lunch, Fido-friendly al fresco dining around town includes the decks at the Whale’s Tale Restaurant, with a pubby menu and views of the boats coming in and out of Carousel Marina, and at Mine Oyster, where there are water bowls for pooches and a wide selection of local oysters (and a nice wine list) for their owners.
Of course, dogs are also welcome at the resort’s Deck Bar & Grill, and they love cooling off on the water as much as their humans — try sunset paddleboarding around the bay with your pup. The Sail Shack loans paddleboards and PFDs (for people only). At the end of the day, it’s cocktails around the oceanside firepit, with a furry pal curled up nearby, dog-tired.