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Linekin Bay Resort is as beautiful in the evening as it is during the day. Photo courtesy of Linekin Bay Resort.
A saltwater pool overlooks Linekin Bay. Sailboats glide through the water. The Maine breeze dances across the expansive front lawn.
At Linekin Bay Resort this scene has played out for generations and the allure never ends.
This 20-acre waterfront resort reflects both the past and present, bringing together the sensibilities of both into one unique package.
In the 1920s and 30s, it hosted a girl's summer camp. After World War II it became an all-inclusive summer holiday destination.
"Our longest returning guest is in her 90s", says General Manager Mark Osborn, with a smile. "With the exception of one summer, Betty has stayed at the resort every year since 1946 - and she loves to meet new guests and tell her stories, usually while working on a puzzle in the dining room."
Best of All Worlds
The classic Maine grey clapboard buildings reflect the resort's history while 21st century amenities, like the expansive (and heated!) salt water pool rolling to the bay, and the localvore dining menus reflect its more modern sensibilities.
Linekin Bay manages to be both intimate and inclusive at the same time. It brings a level of service and guest care often associated with ultra-high-end resorts, but keeps itself within the realm of an affordable family vacation.
The resort is one of the few remaining all-inclusive camps in Maine, not to mention the only one that incorporates a full sailing program.
Like all else at Linekin, the sailing program remembers the joys of childhood, how it felt to glide soundlessly across the water for the first time, but brings a grownup sophistication to the experience.
Its easy-to sail fleet of Rhodes 19 sailboats can carry up five people. In addition to taking lessons, resort guests can sign out a boat by the half day to explore the bay and its inner islands, all at no additional cost.
Food, food, food
In another nod to both past and present, the resort offers traditional full table service as well as a sort of 'deconstructed buffet' that lets guests select and create the food they enjoy.
Classic lobster bakes, clam chowders and Maine scallops? Yup, they remain part of the essential experience, but the newest menus at Linekin Bay stretch beyond that to incorporate a range of locally sourced food, produce from the region's farmers markets, local cheeses, and local seafood --along with vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-free options.
This popular approach gives control back to people who are dealing with allergies and related issues, says Osborn, allowing guest to enjoy perfectly cooked meals with the freshest ingredient, meeting most dietary requests.
In the resort's early days, people expected an all-inclusive stay. Guests arrived, settled in, and relaxed for the duration. Whatever you wanted to do, you did. It was all part of the package, without additional charges.
Over time, the world became a more frantic place and vacations morphed into a week of traveling from place to place, packing, unpacking, trying to 'see' as much as possible. It is as if people feel the more they can check off a list of places the more satisfying the vacation would be - we all know the feeling of being more exhausted when we return than when we left on vacation and wonder why we did that to ourselves.
Luckily, Linekin held fast to its original vision. Today it continues to offer an old-fashioned approach to vacation that resonates today in a whole new way.
Rest, Relax, Enjoy
"There's lots to do at the resort and the in the surrounding area," said Osborn.
"But you get to spend your time with each other doing onsite actives or just relaxing, not driving from place to place. You can fill your day with hikes and boating and going to farmer's markets ... but you can also spent it just soaking up the sun and watching the waves and reconnecting with the family."
Instead of dashing around, Linekin lets you unpack your bags once. "Everything except the bar is included in the rate," explained Osborn.
"That means daily housekeeping, all meals, and all activities, including kayaks, canoes, heated oceanfront pool, tennis, sailing, stand up paddle boards..," he said.
"It's a real vacation for everyone, even mom. You just show up and enjoy! We cook, we clean, we make it easy and relaxing."
Something for All Ages
The resort proves ideal for intergenerational vacations, family reunions, or family getaways. It offers something for kids, parents, grandparents, or for all family members together.
Another highlight? Linekin's unique Monday-Friday kids program, for children of guests ages 4-10.
During the day, kids get the full camp experience, with friendly counselors offering everything from exploring tidal pools to arts and crafts and other age-appropriate activities.
The Boothbay peninsula offers a host of attractions as well. With 15 minutes of the resort, guests find the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Railway Village, the Main State Aquarium, and the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor.
In addition, the nearby old town of Boothbay and its four villages and three islands offer historic byways, charming shops, and lots of territory to explore.
The shoulder seasons in May, June, September and October bring another unique face to Linekin: the all inclusive wedding or special occasion.
Each weekend hosts one exclusive event, with guests enjoying the all-inclusive experience of meals, activities, and friends and family in the welcoming Linekin grounds, lodges, and cabins.
A Yearly Tradition
Not surprisingly, Linekin has become a family tradition. Children of the 1960 came with their parents, then they brought their own children, and now many of those children bring their children.
Some families have returned the same week year after year, creating long-time friendships and forming bonds that stretch across the miles with other families sharing the same week.
Even those who visit for the first time, or for just one year, soak in that unique sense of place and belonging along with the scenic Maine coast, where past and present live together at the same time, creating a very special environment to relax, rejuvenate, and just plain enjoy.
All photos courtesy of Linekin Bay Resort.
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