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“Great family camping trip!”

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Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 July 2017

We are a family of 3 who just returned from a 4 night (tent) camping trip at Searsport Shores. We had a great time and hope to return next summer.
Upon arrival, we were not 100% happy with the camping site that we were assigned and the owner was very helpful and accommodating, allowing us to change to an oceanfront campsite that better suited our wants and needs. The view from our campsite was fantastic, and we really enjoyed listening to the waves before falling asleep at night.
The grounds are very well-maintained and have pretty quaint touches (gardens, sculptures, etc...) throughout the site. Our son really enjoyed playing in the playground, visiting the goats, walking on the trails in the woods, exploring the rocky shore and searching for seashells. We did not participate in any of the collective activities offered at the campground (tour of the beach with a marine biologist, art activities for children, etc..) but hope to do so on our next visit.
To address the bathroom concerns in one of the previous reviews: I am a germophobe who avoids public bathrooms whenever possible. The bathrooms at Searsport Shores are as clean as any public bathroom could possibly be. I saw employees cleaning the bathrooms on SEVERAL occasions during my 4 night stay. The women's and men's bathroom are located beside one another and the entry to both bathrooms are facing the laundry machines. The previous poster is correct, there are no doors leading in to the actual bathrooms, but a curtain that comes down a bit (maybe a couple off feet?). There are three toilets located in stalls that have doors (the doors of the stalls do not reach the ground). Are the bathrooms private? Eh. Not really. But to be honest, I actually felt much safer sending my child alone to the men's room (while I used the ladies room or waited in the laundry area) knowing that the bathroom was more on the open side. Also, the little seating area in the laundry room faces away from the doors of the bathrooms. There is also one completely enclosed private stall next to the men's and women's bathroom for those with mobility issues, or for parents who would want to accompany a young child to the bathroom. As for the soap, it is a lovely smelling bar of goat soap. No liquid or antibacterial soap options. Germophobe that I am, I always carry a small container of Purell wherever I go, so I would just disinfect my hands after using the washroom. The showers are located in completely private and individually enclosed stalls in the same building as the laundry and bathrooms. Again, the showers were as clean as one can expect for facilities that are being used by a large number of people. Most mornings, my shower stall was immaculate. One morning, there was a bit of hair and dirt residue near the drain. The water was always warm and the pressure was decent.
Again, we were very satisfied with our experience at Searsport Shores and hope to return next year with another family. Thank you to all those who helped to make our trip so memorable!

Room Tip: The ocean front tent sites are worth the extra $
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  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nat1415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 14 of 120 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2017

I read quite a few of this place's reviews before booking here. Their insistence of following their quiet hours was a plus for me. I had high hopes for this place. At first impression, all seemed good.

Their playground is very nice!
The view is awesome, but EXPENSIVE.
Owners are nice and friendly.
It is shaded.

Bathrooms: If you don't mind men being literally right around the corner from you in the women's bathroom, with no doors on either "side" of the bathroom, and you don't mind being able to see out into their "hallway" from both men's and bathroom, this set up might not bother you. However, it did bother me. I have two daughters and I did not feel it was a good idea to allow them to use the restroom alone. You can be in a stall in either men's or women's and see out into the hallway, with washers and dryers!
There is no soap...they use their own goat soap they make. So if you want to share germs with everyone else on the communal bar soap, you will be happy. I don't mind bar soap with my own family, but not everyone else.

Showers: Of the four days we were there, we never had a hot shower, more like lukewarm and was not for long. They ran out of warm water fast!

Quiet Hours: They are quite anal about their quiet hours and even state on their map that they do not allow late arrivals. That's all fine and good, but if you are going to do that, you better make sure you monitor those quiet hours. There were two mornings where we had noisy neighbors, one being folks leaving at 5am with their noisy dog barking the WHOLE TIME.

Rates: They pride themselves on being competitive rates for their location, but I found their rates to be quite high... For those who want sewer hookups, look elsewhere. Their excuse is that they are too close to the sea to have sewer hookups. That's rubbish because I know of several other campgrounds in the near vicinity that have sewer hookups. They rate their sites in rows away from the ocean. We were three rows away from the ocean which was considered an ocean view...and it was.....IF there was no one in row 2 or 1. Otherwise, there was no view. We paid $66 a night for that ocean view....and that was without sewer hookup. We have stayed all over the US in our camper, and even at an award-winning KOA in Glacier, with full hookups we didn't pay that much per night.

I did express all of my concerns with the owners, who graciously responded, but stated that their bathroom set up was recommended by a police officer...I find that very hard to believe. Even so, having the women's and men's bathroom more separate is important. No one wants to be able to see into either while you are doing laundry and if you have young children, this is not ideal. They said bar soap is supposedly safe b/c it kills germs. That's fine, but not for my family.
They said they had a water main line break and that's why we had cold showers and messy bathrooms. NOT ONCE did they offer us a refund for that. Yes life happens, but you should work to keep customers happy.

If you like "earthy" environments and communal living, and don't mind paying an arm and a leg for it, then this place might work for you. Otherwise, skip it and go somewhere else!
Their speed "bumps" were a bit larger than regular bumps. Our camper and weight distribution hitch dragged on two of them. The lady at check-in, Elaine, was not very informative. I had to ask for a map and where other stuff was.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank supermomva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2017

We stayed at the ocean front tent sites. The view was beautiful and the grounds and bath house were extremely clean. The distance to the restrooms were quite far away. The ocean front tent sites require that you carry in all your equipment using garden carts. Fortunately, I am able to do this, however, people who have a physical disability i.e. mobility, strength and breathing issues may not be able to do this. I question whether this is in compliance to the Disability Act. discriminating those who would like to be on these sites, but as a result of their disabilities are unable to use them.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank kjsen2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
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  • 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
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
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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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