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“An expensive mixed blessing.... A review for those with tents”

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Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2017

We paid $200 for three nights at one of the ocean-front tent sites which overlooked rocks and seaweed (tide out) or water (tide in). The campground is located on the west side of Penobscot Bay. The tent sites are packed in, had a picnic table and a fire pit. Not much different than what you would expect from a state park in terms of amenities or seclusion.

Most tent campsites have you pull your car into a provided space This campground has you park your car and haul your camp gear to your assigned site in a provided cart that allowed you to get some exercise after spending a lot of time in your car to arrive at your vision of camping on the ocean. It made setting-up and packing -up the campsite a pain in the butt on both ends. Grrr...

There is something to be said for having the car nearby when the weather takes a turn. Which, for us, it did...

This wasn't the fault of the campground but we left after two nights which made the trip pricey for an unremarkable experience.

In a sense, I think that we saw the best of this campground as there were no neighbors to share our experience.We had the pick of the ocean front sites.

On the other hand, to be fair, the campground was meticulously maintained. The bathroom/shower building was clean and pleasant. The staff at the office was attentive.

The campground offers access to Rockland, Camden and Belfast which offer the expected tourist attractions. Maine's Disneyland.

Room Tip: Check the weather before making a reservation.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JKiteNewHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 17 of 120 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2017

Great Family Campground about 40 minutes outside of Acadia. We were told to stay here by some friends and we are so glad we did! Beautiful views of the coast and clean campsites. Helpful and friendly staff.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank nrmarzian0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2016

The owner's were pleasant and helpful! Beautiful sunrises every morning! Found beach glass out on the beach, which was very exciting. We now have the beach glass bug! The sites are really nice. The showers were really nice. They have recycling for bottles, plastic, cardboard, etc. The dog park was nice for the dogs. The kids really loved the playground and there were lots of kids for others to play with. The weather was a little hotter than normal while we were there but it was still beautiful. Had a great time at the Lobster Bake! Everything was harvested fresh that morning! Amazing! Nice to get to meet other campers too. Must sign up early for this event as it usually sells out. We used it as a mid point and traveled to Bangor, Belfast, Bar Harbor, and Rockland! Great Cities, so wish we had more time for adventures and time for the arts & crafts and onsite activities at the campground. We will be back! Thanks Astrig and Steve!

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank poohstix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 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 27 February 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 15 September 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
1  Thank Nina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 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
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 28 August 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 A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground

Address: Rt. 1, 216 West Main St., Searsport, ME 04974
Region: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Searsport
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Searsport
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground is our home, passion and livelihood. We enjoy 40 acres of ocean gardens with 1/4 mile private beach. There are 125 sites...Some just for huge RVs, others for backpacking tents and most for else...Lobsters too. The campground also offers another 120 acres of wooded area with trails for hiking or mountain biking. Fishing and kayaking are also available from the campground. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground Hotel Searsport
Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground Maine

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