Like us, you may enjoy vacationing with your kids, grandkids, and other family members. Last summer, we were blessed to have the following join us for our annual August visit to Campobello and Lubec: daughter Rebekah Smith, son-in-law Patrick Mellor, and our grandsons Addison and Vishal, and our son Joshua Smith and daughter-in-law Kelly. Today, you get their thoughts on this great family vacation spot, and a list of our favorite places there.

Rebekah, Patrick, Addison and Vishal
If you have kids, Campobello’s Herring Cove Provincial Park is the place to be. We scored a great campsite right next to the vast playground, which has swings, play structures, volleyball and basketball courts, and more.

The site was spacious with a fire pit and picnic table, but still private. The kids enjoyed biking around the campground, hunting for frogs with new friends, and following the wooded trail down to the beach. The beach itself, covered with those trademark smooth Campobello rocks, is great for shadow tag, building sand castles and skipping rocks.

There are campsites closer to the beach, including a few bunkhouses and a small playground, but the tradeoff is less privacy. We also enjoyed biking over to the golf course clubhouse restaurant (you’ll earn your coffee riding up the big hill), which boasts a friendly staff, comfortable atmosphere, and local food specialties.

Our family also enjoyed an amazing three-hour whale watching adventure on the Mister Matthew. Chauffeured by Captain Mac Green, the main attraction was the many playful minke whales, but the enormous finback whales — which can reach almost 90 feet in length — were truly awe-inspiring.

The boat was close enough to see the whales well and hear them spray, but not so close that we felt we were interfering with them. The kids enjoyed the friendly rivalry between Captain Mac and another local boat captain. The harbor porpoises were plentiful and put on a great show as well.

We were impressed with Captain Mac’s history as head of the Campobello Island Whale Rescue Team — all local fishermen — which has saved more than 30 whales from fishing-gear entanglements during the past eight years.

And here’s some good advice from our then-4-year-old son Vishal. When asked what kids needed to bring with them to Campobello, Vishal said, “Remember to bring your lips for tooth brushing!”

Kelly
One way to keep a vacationing family happy is to eat well, something that is exceptionally easy to do at Campobello. With a variety of the day’s catch readily available from local fishermen, an extremely fresh variety of seafood is at your fingertips.

For the more ambitious traveler, lobsters and crabs are available for you to cook, shuck and enjoy. But for those of us who enjoy taking it a bit easier on our holidays, fabulous shucked crabmeat is just a drive down the road. The high quality and straight-from-the-sea freshness is worth every penny!
If lobster is what you crave, simply pre-order and select your lobsters at Family Fisheries Restaurant. At the specified time, they will come out of the steamer just as you walk in the door. Be sure to order an extra lobster to use the meat in later meals, our favorite of which is lobster alfredo!

No meal is complete without dessert, particularly on vacation. Luckily, right across the bridge in Lubec, Monica’s Chocolates provides a variety of decadent options. Monica herself, the kind and welcoming owner, will greet you with a history of the business and an indulgent sample of one of her fine treats.

We thoroughly enjoyed our nut clusters and settled on purchasing the raspberry wine truffles. With each the size of a golf ball, these smooth and luxurious confections are a satisfying way to end any meal. Don’t fret when the box is empty. Monica’s treats can be ordered online, and will be shipped right to your door!

George and Linda
We’ve been “summering” in Lubec and Campobello  for — well, for our entire lives. We often get “down” to Lubec in June and always in August. And you don’t need a lot of money to vacation in this beautiful place.

In June this year, we’ll be renting a private home in South Lubec  (Lubec Bay Cottage) handy to the sandbar where we enjoy bird watching.

August always finds us at Campobello’s An Island Chalet, where Rob and Diane Lahey offer five nice two-bedroom, full-kitchen chalets with stunning ocean views.

Each chalet is identical — a loft with double bed and a first floor room with twin beds. An open kitchen and living room area gives you plenty of room when friends and family get together.

Our favorite places include the Summer Keys free Wednesday night music concerts, the south Lubec sand bar (best place in the state to see migrating shore birds beginning in August), West Quoddy Head (take the stairs to the rocky beach and don’t miss the painting of George’s great-grandfather and grandmother in the wonderful museum), and Campobello’s 2000-acre international park.

And here’s the best tip you’ll ever get: A few miles past the entrance to Cobscook Bay State Park, on your left on U.S. Route 1 in Edmunds (10 miles beyond the turn toward Lubec), the freshest and tastiest crabmeat you’ll ever eat can be purchased at Griffin’s Crabmeat. 

We know two couples that made their first visit to Lubec after reading our travel column last February about this destination, staying at Lubec’s Peacock House, dining at Frank’s Dockside restaurant, Cohill’s, or the Waterfront Street Tavern, and enjoying all that this area offers. And these two couples have already returned to Lubec — three times!

So here’s your fair warning: This place is addictive!

IF YOU GO . . .

The real Maine starts when you hang a left in Ellsworth, staying on U.S. Route 1 and leave Bar Harbor to the tourists. Turn right onto Route 189 in Whiting and you’ll be in Lubec in about 20 minutes. Continue across the International Bridge to get to
An Island Chalet
www.anislandchalet.com.
Rob rarely checks his email so call for reservations 506-752-2971.
The Lubec Bay Cottage can be found at
www.lubecbaycottage.com.
A lot of information is available at www.visitlubecmaine.com.
Order Monica’s Chocolates at www.monicaschocolates.com.
Every birder should have Maine Birding Trail by Bob Duchesne, the official guide to 260 accessible birding sites including many Down East.
Check out www.westquoddy.com and don’t miss it!
Call ahead to make sure fresh crabmeat is available at Griffin’s Crabmeat
726-4407.

Visit George’s website: www.georgesmithmaine.com for travel tips, book reviews and outdoor news.

The Travelin Maine(rs), George and Linda Smith of Mount Vernon, have spent their lifetimes enjoying all that Maine has to offer. Now they’ll tell you all about it — their favorite inns, restaurants, trips, activities, experiences, and travel books and websites — in their own personal style. They’ll be offering anecdotes, tips and all the details you need. So join them in exploring, experiencing and enjoying the great state of Maine.


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