Any suggestions for a vacation rental that meets our criteria?
April 11, 2016 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Due to dithering, our family has failed to secure the vacation rental of our dreams. I'm looking for a new place we can go in the 2nd or 3rd week in August that's less than a six hour drive from Western Mass. Looking for recommendations of areas to check as well as specific rental ideas if anyone has any.

We're looking for an area with swimming and hiking options. On the ocean would be great, but a lake would be okay, too. We have some serious hikers and some lazy hikers so a wide variety of trail difficulties would be fantastic.

We're looking for a house that is preferably on the water that sleeps 6-10. If it's on the smaller side, there needs to be a camping area nearby as well (some people really want to camp, but most of us like to have the option of sleeping inside if the weather gets awful).

Any suggestions would be welcome at this point!
posted by chaiminda to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm wondering if you have exhausted the not-so-very-far possibilities like Lake Winnipesaukee. There are options in southern Maine, too.

Ocean swimming means south of Cape Cod (including the south shore of the Cape) for reasons of water temperature. The Atlantic shore of the Cape as been plagued by seals and seal-eating sharks for some years. I don't know how intense that has been of late. You can find beaches, hiking and golf in Rhode Island. South of that, the ocean is hard to combine with wilderness.

The Adirondacks would also like your business.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:51 PM on April 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

For the record, we normally go to northern Maine and swim quite happily there. Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by chaiminda at 12:55 PM on April 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I shop obsessively for the perfect cabin with practically the same criteria as you (Well maybe exactly since my drive limit is 5 hours and we are about an hour from you).
Our season is so short (and school vacation a factor) it's pretty difficult to find a place unless it's the year before.

I find places that are a good value are impossible to get (they offer it to their annual visitors before first timers). Right now I am in line for 2017 a couple places, if the annual visitors opt out in November 2016.

What is your budget? I find that the pricier places are way more likely to have openings.
Or the farther North in Maine, the more likely.

I'm going to go dig in to my "favorites" on the rental websites and I'll PM matches when you post your budget.
posted by ReluctantViking at 1:47 PM on April 11, 2016

Have you considered Ellsworth, Maine?

I know that sounds crazy, but the rentals up there are very reasonable, even for waterfront, it's quiet and there are a ton of things (including Acadia) in easy driving distance. I don't have a specific place in mind, but my mother rents in Ellsworth every other summer and has never, ever been disappointed the lodging.
posted by anastasiav at 2:03 PM on April 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Budget is under $300/night. These are great ideas, thank you!
posted by chaiminda at 4:48 PM on April 11, 2016

I'm not having a lot of luck without compromising on wither price, swimming, or distance. All "my" places are booked. Even my camping places are full. :(

Here's one of my favorites that says it isn't booked. Doesn't fulfill the swimming requirement.

Cabin in Vermont. I saved it because I liked the location. Really near Montpelier which is getting better and better. Close to lots of good hiking. Swimming is possible but swimming holes might be your only option, unless you go to Berlin Pond (which I can't figure out if you need to be a resident).

Good luck!
posted by ReluctantViking at 6:28 PM on April 11, 2016

Newcastle Square Realty rents a bunch of cottages in a broad area around Damariscotta, Maine. They have options on Damariscotta Lake (which is wonderful) as well as rivers and ocean. There are many hiking opportunities around and it's only an hour's drive to the Camden Hills. I can't speak to cost or availability, but my family has been doing vacation rentals through them for years.
posted by qbject at 10:45 PM on April 11, 2016

In case anyone else is having the same problem, my solution wound up being a search on Maine Craigslist for large enough houses. We then found one close to a campground near Owl's Head, ME. Thanks for the ideas!
posted by chaiminda at 8:08 AM on April 14, 2016

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