By Jim Hammond
The rugged and rocky coast of Maine has 3, 478 miles of coastline. And as you travel along the coastal inlets you can stay in homes that once belonged to captain s of whaling ships. Picnic by a harbor and watch the ships sail into port. And just as spectacular as the vistas and delicious seafood, you can experience some of the finest golf courses in New England.
A great place to start your golfing adventure is Samoset Golf Resort in Rockport Maine. Samoset is a resort where lodging is spread out among the beautifully landscaped grounds, and guests are surrounded by Penobscot Bay. Sailboats cruise through the water and lobster boats speed through the water hauling the traps filled with lobsters that will be your post-round meal. Guests stroll on a long jetty that surrounds you with waves crashing against the rocks. It is truly a quintessential Maine experience.
Many of the holes hug the coast and dare you to try and cut the corners and score a birdie. But the well-designed course will let you bail out and follow the fairways to the generous greens. There are many opportunities to pause after finishing a hole and breathe in the fresh sea air. When you reach the par-5 4th hole you see the first of many ocean views. Samoset truly deserve the title of “Pebble Beach of the East.”
When you arrive at the course, a cheerful bag attendant will take your bag and confirm your tee time. Check out the well- supplied pro shop. If you want to fine-tune your putting touch, roll a few putts on the 11, 000 square foot putting green and then loosen up at the 220-yard driving range equipped with 4 target greens.
After golf drive up to the town of Camden, a town that surrounds the inner harbor and is filled with dozens of independently owned shops offering a variety of goods. Walk down to the harbor and enjoy a meal at one of the dock-side restaurants and watch the ships glide into their berths. Check into one of the historical inns that are only a five-minute walk from the town.
I had the pleasure of spending a night at the Camden Maine Stay Inn, just a five-minute walk from the center of town. The inn was built in 1802 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has won a number of awards including the Trip Advisor Travelers Choice award and a recognition of excellence award for their beautiful property.
Owners Peter and Janis Kesser have put countless hours into making this a premier property. A spacious sunroom is the perfect setting for a multi-course breakfast, as you overlook the expansive garden that the Kesser’s have cultivated. The rooms are large, and the interiors incorporate the historical charm of the period. To simplify: In 21 years I have stayed at inns across North America, and Camden Maine Stay Inn is easily one of the best properties I have ever visited in all of my travels.
Camden Maine is about a 4 hour drive from Boston, but great golf, a beautiful seacoast, beautiful restored inns and lobster await you. A trip up the coast in the Fall is wonderful and the crowds are diminished a bit. Enjoy.