There’s a reason Maine’s license plate says “Vacationland.”
If you want to get away from it all for a little while, this is the state for you. Maine has mountains, lakes, forests, rivers, and beaches. The diversity of that environment means you can ski, fish, swim, hike, bike, sail, and snowmobile. There is a reason to visit in every season. But you don’t need a reason, you can just kick back and take it easy, drinking in the natural beauty of this great state.
Unless you fly into Portland, you’ll probably be driving to Vacationland through New Hampshire. Crossing the state line on the bridge above the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, you’ll get a glimpse of the ocean that will make you hunger for greater, wider ocean views. They are not far away.
The southern Maine coast alternates between wide, sandy beaches and rocky points where lighthouses oversee the waves endlessly crashing ashore. Not far from the beaches, the landscape is forested with lakes and ponds offering more watery respite. What this means for you is that there are many recreational opportunities in southern Maine. If you can fit it all in and on your vehicle, you may want to bring bikes, kayaks or a canoe, or even your dog. Of course, if you can’t fit everything, you can probably rent a canoe, kayak or bike in the larger communities on the coast. Pet rentals aren’t likely.
So the car is packed and you’re on the road to Maine, but did you plan your lodging? Darn, you knew you forgot something! Don’t worry, there are plenty of lodging options on Maine’s south coast. There are seaside campgrounds, motels and resort hotels. What you choose depends on how much you want to rough it, whether pets are allowed and your budget.
There is an option if you want to have it all and keep your costs manageable, however, and that is to rent a vacation home. It is very common for vacation homes on the Maine coast to have parking, a yard, and many rooms for you to spread out and feel at home. In fact, the home will be yours for the week or two that you rent it. You can unload the bikes and put them in the garage or backyard, take the kayak off the roof so you don’t have to drive around town with it on your car. And if the owner of the home allows pets, you’re dog will be as happy as you are with all the room to stretch out.
Renting a house for your Maine vacation will require some planning, though. Yes, there are sometimes last-minute rentals available on the many vacation rentals Web sites, but by waiting until the last minute you may not find exactly what you are looking for. Plan ahead a few weeks or a few months and you may snag that old Victorian on a bluff over the sea that has a sublime ocean view from the porch and every window of the house.
The other major benefits of renting a home or cottage on the southern coast of Maine are that with a kitchen you don’t have to eat every meal at a restaurant, and there are often multiple bathrooms and bedrooms, depending on the size of the house. If someone in the family is an early riser, he can make coffee and head to another part of the house so that everyone else can sleep in. Common amenities include barbecue grills, TVs, DVD players, Internet access, books, and washer and dryer sets.
There are many options when it comes to vacation rental homes. If you want a waterfront in Wells, Maine, you can rent it. Or if your budget’s a little tighter, you can rent a cottage in Biddeford that’s a little farther away from the water, but maybe still close enough to walk or ride your bike. If it’s just a romantic weekend getaway, you can rent a cozy condo in Old Orchard Beach.
The bottom line is that when you rent a Maine vacation rental home, you shape the course of your vacation. You have more control over what you can do and how much you can enjoy yourself. Don’t pay too much for a lobster at a restaurant, buy one at a fresh fish market, bring it home and prepare it yourself. While you’re at it, throw a steak on the grill and make it a real Maine summer vacation. Enjoy your independence as the sun sets to the soundtrack of a tide rolling in and your real-life tension rolling away.
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