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Reviewed September 23, 2016 via mobile

Two months ahead of our planned trip I booked a 3 night long weekend at a "honeymoon" walk in tent site. We planned to travel from Massachusetts late afternoon Friday after work, with a predicted arrival time between 6:30 and 7:30 pm. The "fine print" on my email confirmation noted check in time goes until 8pm so we didn't foresee an issue with this plan.

As a courtesy I emailed the owners offering to pay our remaining balance ahead of time as we would have a later than normal arrival time. At this point they informed me it would be "too dark" to walk to our campsite and if we arrived after 7 we would be asked to camp next to our car and move the next morning. I really had no interest in setting up camp twice, and as far as I am concerned walking to our site in the dark would be our own choice.. not hers.

When pressed via telephone call Astrig, the owner, said not disrupting other guests was the reason for not allowing us to access our site. This didn't make any sense as quiet time doesn't begin until 10, and I didn't see our walking to our site as any more disruptive than a family walking to the toilets. When we asked if we would be refunded the difference in cost between the site we booked ($56) and the site they insisted we use ($44) we were told "No because we are still holding that site for you, we just can't allow you to go there after 7 pm". We were also told we could only move our tent between 8 am and 6 pm, which conflicted with our plans to spend all day at the common ground fair.

My whole experience was bizarre and infuriating. How ridiculous to charge me for a campsite but refuse to let me use it? I am glad that I emailed ahead of time and didn't run into this absurdity at check in. We are now staying at another campground, also with a waterfront site and no restrictions on check in time.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
7  Thank Amanda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Astrig T, Owner at Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2017

Hi Amanda,

We're sorry to hear our check-in policy didn't work for you. Your boyfriend knew this policy well ahead of time and seemed very understanding. Astrig took a lot of time trying to explain the reason we do not allow late check-ins on particular sites. Setting up or breaking down camp late at night (or early morning) after most people have settled in for the evening is often disruptive to other campers. The staff usually ends spending 30 minutes to an hour helping put together the camper's tent or light up a row of campsites to help a late arrival back in and set-up.
We'll always have a convenient spot for you if your arriving late because of extra traffic or a flat tire.
To be clear, we did not take any money from you. There was a great group of old time musicians camping that weekend offering free music and food for all. A memorial service for a long time Searsport Shores camper was also held that weekend. We're a small family campground trying to provide the absolute best service we can to our guests. Our rules have been mostly developed through our guests comments. Thank you for your input. -Steve

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 15, 2016 via mobile

We had a campsite right on the Penobscot Bay & it was the most beautiful view ever. This Campground is a hidden gem.....wooded, beautifully landscaped, clean restrooms & showers. The owners, Astrig & Steve, are such wonderful, warm people. Our site had a deck & we had coffee on the deck every morning & a glass of wine on the deck in the evening. Sunrise & sunset views were stunning. The oceanfront sites are more pricey but SO worth it! Be sure and attend the Lobster Bake on the beach. It was delicious food, fun people, & the highlight of our month long trip. Best campground, best owners, incredible view! Don't miss it!

Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Nina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 11, 2016

Excellent views of the bay if you get a waterfront site. Scenery great! However this place is overpriced. I can't believe they have minimums of 7 days on some sites, or others. Agree with the other poster on the overpriced lobster bake. Hit the Anglers restaurant in Searsport for a $32 Maine shore meal with clams, 2 lobsters, muscles and lobster stew....was excellent!
You can go to Sears Island, a few miles away, ride into town a couple of miles away and see the museum (we missed it) and some nice stores/antique shops, or go to the state park and hike (a couple of miles always). Otherwise there is no "beach", just a rocky shoreline (not accessible at high tide). A very small section has a little bit of sand, but it's at end of campground area, and you should get back before peak high tide. No waves as the bay is calm water. You will need water dogs if you go in water as there is no sand, all rocks, seaweed beds. Sites on water are very, very close together. Luckily we had great neighbors, but they are right on top of you. You're better off in Bar Harbor, less than an hour away. (With multiple children around 10+, plenty more to do in Bar Harbor). If you want oceanfront in ME, there are many along the coast, Libby's in York for example is a true oceanfront campground (not on bay). Technically, this campground is on Penobscot Bay, not on the Atlantic Ocean, so website misleading, and title is too: Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground. We left an went this place and just forfeited our prepaid site and had a much better time elsewhere in ME.
Minor issue, but no recycling of cans bottles. Also, new dump station hard to maneuver. Campground could use some upgrades as there is NO 50 amp service. Regular outlet didn't even work, as the regular 15-20amp elec outlets have no covers. Some are almost falling over. 2-3 days tops at this place if you decide to go. The hosts are very friendly, along with the workers, so not the issue, just the price and activities.

  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ChazA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 28, 2016 via mobile

Not a bad campground but for us it was hard to sleep so close to rt 1 and listen to traffic, boats and airplanes. We may be more sensitive then others because we live in a very quiet rural place but i thought someone should mention the highway in a review. None of us could sleep well so our three nights turned into two.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
2  Thank Cosmopolitan152596
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 24, 2016

The service for check in, questions and help with our difficulties was amazing. We had a tire issue, the owners called and helped us make arrangements for repair. They went above and beyond. We needed to stay an extra day and they were more than accommodating.
Campground, showers, bathrooms and laundry are very nice and very clean. Pretty spot on the ocean. Beach is rocky, I brought my chair and enjoyed sitting in the sun. Our grandsons found great little tide pools and went fishing.
A great stay!

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank CharlSal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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