Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine

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A note about traveling during a still present pandemic: My family has been quarantined at home since March 11th (minus the grocery store and dentist office). We got a COVID test (per Maine state regulations) right before traveling to Maine (it was negative). We chose to go to a resort where we could enjoy plenty of outdoor activities while still honoring social distancing restrictions. While we would “normally” explore a new town by visiting museums, shops, and plenty of restaurants (you can research them here) , we chose to make this first trip out one where we stayed “close to home” at the resort. We knew the Samoset Resort would provide plenty of opportunities and activities that would engage our entire family and the resort more than delivered on that promise.

Rockport, Maine’s Samoset Resort, known for its stunning views of Penobscot Bay and Camden Hills, award winning 18 hole golf course, and first class service, has been welcoming guests from around the world since 1889. Over the past 130 years, the resort has expanded and renovated many times to include additional hotel suites, meeting and convention spaces, timeshare condominiums, and amenities such as recreational sports, a spa, and several dining options.

While the resort is most popular in the warmer months, there is still plenty to do during the winter. Check here for information about the popular Glacier Ice Bar Lounge that is created each winter and other popular winter activities. We chose to visit Samoset recently because we knew the resort would have plenty of outdoor activities and plenty of family fun. Samoset more than delivered and we highly recommend a visit.

Ten Reasons Families Will Love Samoset Resort:

1. The Ultimate Backyard at the resort includes every imaginable outdoor game. We had the opportunity to play everything from cornhole, chess, and Connect Four to horseshoes, shuffleboard, croquet, and Frisbee golf. There is a large playground near many of the lawn games, making it easy for families to do a variety of activities in the same area. The resort also has 4 tennis courts, a volleyball court,  and an outdoor basketball court. Guests can borrow sporting equipment from the front desk.

2.  The views are so stunning, you may find yourself sitting in a lounge or Adirondack chair by the pool, on the lawn, or out on your balcony for hours. The resort offers many areas to relax, including hammocks. Kids will undoubtedly sit for a moment, and then proceed to roll down the perfectly manicured lawn (just watch out for the sand dunes on the golf course!)

3. The zero entry, heated, 150,000 gallon pool overlooks the Penobscot Bay and offers plenty of spaces to spread out and relax. Parents will especially appreciate the turfed second and third tiered levels (so much softer on feet and safer for the just-walking toddler crew), nearby bathhouse (no running back to the rooms to use the restroom), and plenty of seating and shade options.

4. The evening campfires and s’mores are a perfect reason to let the kids stay up past bedtime. Every summer night the staff prepares a campfire on the Breakwater Lawn. Guests can roast s’mores by the fire, watch the sunset, and get to know fellow guests.

5. There are plenty of dining options at the resort. Samoset is home to La Bella Vita for Italian fare, the Clubhouse Grill overlooking the golf course for lunch and pub fare, and the Splash Pool Bar for snacks, drinks, and lunch by the pool. The Enoteca Lounge is also popular for smaller plates, pizza, and drinks. If you do want to venture into Rockport, Rockland or other nearby towns for dining, check out this index of dining options.

6. There are plenty of ways to get your steps in: the resort is spread over 230 acres and there is plenty of space to walk. Be sure to leave an hour for the walk to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. The round trip path is just over 1.5 miles. Note: I would not recommend this for the toddler set. The entire path is uneven, there are gaps between boulders, and there are sharp drops down to the water and other boulders.

7. The almost 200 room resort includes a variety of spacious options including one bedroom suites plus 2 cottages directly on the golf course that have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Ten of the suites have hot tubs on the deck. We highly recommend a one bedroom suite for families. The living room has a kitchenette with refrigerator and freezer drawers, convection microwave, Keurig, and table and chairs (great for kids who are seemingly always eating); the bedroom is spacious; and the decks have beautiful views of the golf course and breakwater. It was wonderful to be able to put the kids to bed at night and have a separate space to watch television or relax on the deck.

8. The welcoming staff is helpful and accommodating. Ahead of arrival, the staff reaches out to all guests to inquire about any needs or requests. Staff was consistent in attending to the pool and communal spaces, and we noted restaurant staff making accommodations for dietary restrictions and allergies at nearby tables. The resort took state restrictions due to COVID seriously, with everything from supplying a wrapped pen for signing forms upon check in, to limiting housekeeping to pre and post visit, to consistently cleaning common areas. While some areas (like the spa, outdoor hot tub, Kids Club, and poolside Splash Pool Bar) were not open, we did not feel restricted or that we were missing out on a large portion of a visit to the resort. Bonus: the resort supplies adult guests with (waterproof) wristbands that serve as room keys, which is so much easier to wear than trying to keep track of keycards while swimming or golfing.

9. In case of bad weather, there are plenty of indoor options. The resort has an indoor pool and hot tub open year round, steam rooms and a fitness center with separate group fitness rooms, cardio room, and well appointed locker rooms. Kids will be a fan of the game room with monitors for playing Wii, X Box, or Play Station. Note: these areas were still closed due to restrictions when we visited so we did not personally explore these parts of the resort.

10. The resort is located in close proximity to other popular destinations. Some of our favorite spots include:

  • Camden and Camden Hills State Park, located 15 minutes north of the resort. There are plenty of kid friendly (aka short trails. Make time to drive or hike to the top of Mount Battie and check out the views of Camden.

  • Augusta, the capitol of Maine, located 1 hour west of the resort

  • Portland, located 1.5 hours south of the resort

  • Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, and Acadia National Park, all located 2 hours north of the resort. Acadia deserves its own 3-4 day trip but there are ways to explore some parts of it in one day. Read about our adventures at Acadia and Bar Harbor here.

Bonus: There are opportunities on site for parents to get a little alone time (or special time with mature children). The 18 hole golf course overlooks the Atlantic Ocean (with many holes directly on the water) and consistently ranks as one of the top golf courses. The Opal Spa offers dozens of services from massages to facials to hair, skin, and nail treatments.

Disclosure: My husband and son were hosted for a round of golf by the resort. All opinions expressed are my own.

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10 Comments

  1. Looks beautiful! I will certainly put this on our list of must visit places with the family!!!

  2. Looks beautiful! I will certainly put this on our list of must visit places with the family!!!

  3. What a wonderful place to have a vacation after this quarantine. Great job and beautiful pictures. It is on my list for a visit soon.

  4. Everything about this resort is nothing short of spectacular! Our favorite place to be. When we leave, it’s talked about all year long until we can come back again!

  5. Everything about this resort is nothing short of spectacular! Our favorite place to be. When we leave, it’s talked about all year long until we can come back again!

  6. Everything about this resort is nothing short of spectacular! Our favorite place to be. When we leave, it’s talked about all year long until we can come back again!

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