36 Hours in The Sebago Lakes Region
Region: Maine’s Lakes & Mountains
Activities: Water recreation, hiking, sightseeing, dining, wildlife watching, family friendly.
About Sebago Lake
On the southern tip of Maine’s Lakes and Mountains region near the bustling city of Portland, you’ll find picturesque Sebago Lake. Translated from Native American language, Sebago means “great stretch of water” – and it is certainly that, as the second largest lake in Maine. The vast, 45-square-miles of broad, clear and deep water offers plentiful recreation opportunities, from fishing its depths (some spots are deeper than 300 feet!), to summertime dips and paddles. Its northeast corner is home to Sebago Lake State Park, a relaxing haven of lakeside camping, picnic areas and boat launches.
It is not only the leisurely lake life worth admiring here, but the many quaint and charming towns encircling the lake. Stay for a few days and you’ll have the opportunity to visit them all, experiencing something delightfully new in each (from summer festivals to a wildlife park) all while having easy access to the lake’s picturesque beauty.
The Lake Towns: Events, Attractions, Spots to Eat and Things to Do
The lakeside town may be peaceful and serene, but its summertime and early fall festivals will put a pep in your step. In July, Casco Days kicks things off with several days of family fun involving parades, rides, food booths, games and more. In September, the town cools down with the Sebago Spirits Festival, a lakeside spirits-tasting event with casual classes showcasing recipes and cocktail-making tips. No one will go hungry – Maine’s food trucks keep all satisfied, while live music makes for a great ambiance.
After a day of festival fun, you can head for a peaceful hike on Hacker’s Hill Preserve, 27 acres of fields and woods to meander, with 360-degree views of the White Mountains, Pleasant Mountain and Lakes Region.
Far from the blandness its name may suggest, Gray offers a host of opportunities the whole family will enjoy. Head to the Maine Wildlife Park to learn about and appreciate over 30 species of the state’s wildlife that cannot be returned to their natural habitats. You are guaranteed to see a moose, as well as owls, deer and large cat species.
Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the expansive, rolling green at Spring Meadows Golf Course (named New England Golf Association Course of the Year for 2021). Lessons and group outings are available.
After a day at the park or on the green (or even if you didn’t make it to either one and just crave some lakeside R&R), Gray is home to some great breweries and casual food stops. Try Birchwood Brewing or newly-opened Trails and Ales for fresh brews and casual tavern fare.
Visiting in August? You’re in for a real, quintessentially Maine treat (literally). The Blueberry Festival pops up during the balmy month for a day of music, food, craft booths, contests and plenty of sweet blueberry treats.
Surrounded by three large ponds, two lakes (Long Lake and Sebago Lake), and views of the scenic White Mountains, Naples is desirable any time of year for its natural beauty, water-oriented activities and tasty food. Its walkable, charming Causeway (a lakeside village and boardwalk) has plenty of spots for dining over water views and renting lake recreation equipment.
Ready for more scenic lake views? Cruise Long Lake on the Songo River Queen II, an authentic stern paddle wheeler with two spacious decks. So spacious, in fact, she’s complete with a food court and cocktail bar! Or, get a bird’s-eye view with Naples Seaplane Adventures and soar over the sparkling lake and rolling mountains.
A quirky highlight of the town comes in July, with the Christmas in July Boat parade. Un-seasonally decked-out boats navigate the waterways with lights and ornate displays, while businesses also put on a show by decorating their exteriors. It’s all the holiday thrill, without any of the chill.
A picturesque town with a rich history, New Gloucester is a haven for family activities that will appeal to all, from history buffs to nature lovers. Home to Maine’s only active Shaker community in the world, New Gloucester offers the opportunity to visit the religious colony that includes 1,800 acres of farmlands, orchards and woods, alongside classically Shaker designed buildings. Wander the village shops for traditional goods like honey, soap and fiber art.
Outdoor recreation opportunities abound at Pineland Farms – from cross-country skiing in the winter to mountain biking and bocce ball during the warmer months. “Farm” is in its name for a reason – you’ll find an equestrian center, cows, goats and more on their lands. Pick up fresh produce and groceries, or a bite to eat at their market.
After a day out and about, Nu Brewery offers craft brews and live music for an optimally relaxing evening.
A well-known spot for summer recreation, Raymond offers a relaxing getaway with a great beach, trails and seafood spots. Tassel Top Beach is the highlight, situated on 35 acres on the east shore of Sebago Lake. An impressive 900 feet of sandy beach awaits swimmers and sunbathers, while outdoor grills, picnic tables and changing rooms offer the amenities needed for a full day of beach fun. A well-stocked snack shack will keep all beach goers satisfied. If you need a break from the sun, head onto the wooded, .9-mile walking trail that is handicapped and stroller accessible.
If it’s more trails you’re after, Raymond is also home to a lovely forest trail system that is friendly to both hikers and mountain bikers. Raymond Community Forest features 365 acres of land, four trails of varying skill levels and spectacular views of Crescent Lake from Pismire Bluff. You can cover all four trails in a couple of hours, if you’re up for it! For fresh seafood and succulent lobster, try the Fishermen’s Catch – folks rave about the generously sized lobster rolls and local beers.
Known for its stunning lake and state park, Sebago has many admirers for its endless water recreation. Whether you are exploring the lake’s coves and inlets by boat, camping by the water’s edge or enjoying the beach, you’re bound to enjoy something to do with water. Perhaps you’re ready to get back to land, but don’t want to skip out on the lake views. In that case, Douglas Mountain offers a great hike (moderate to advanced) that rewards with expansive views of the Maine Lakes Region.
If you’ve ever dreamed of saying “I do” by the lake, Sebago may be your ticket. Autumn Lane Estate allows you to do just that, with its 20-acre venue overlooking dazzling Sebago Lake and a private section of sandy beach to boot.
In the summertime, Standish welcomes visitors with opportunities to hike, swim, paddle, relax and celebrate. The adventurous should seek hiking opportunities at Mountain Division Trail – more than 50 miles of scenic paths that include a 6-mile trail between Windham and Standish. What was once the route of a busy railroad is now a place to slow down, explore footpaths and waterways, and appreciate the mountainous landscape. After a day on the trail, Kiwanis Beach is just the right place to kick back and relax by Watchic Lake.
If you’re visiting in August, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the fun that is Standish Summer Spectacular, two days of festivities including fireworks, food, live music, games and a parade!
Windham’s historical gems, relaxing beach and summertime festival make it a charming town to visit. Be sure to stop by photo-op-worthy Babb’s Bridge, a meticulously reconstructed replica of Maine’s oldest covered bridge built in 1840. Spend an afternoon at Dundee Park’s beach overlooking the peaceful and calm Presumpscot River. In June, join the town for their Summerfest Celebration – browse booths featuring food vendors, crafters and community organizations, participate in a scavenger hunt or enjoy live music.
Where to Stay
You may love the lake, but even the most enthusiastic of aquaphiles need a place to rest their head at night.
Point Sebago Resort (Casco)
You won’t be straying far from nature in this relaxed resort on Sebago Lake, surrounded by hiking trails and beaches. A range of accommodations await, from snug bungalows to a seven-bedroom home.
Migis Lodge at Sebago Lake (South Casco)
This family-friendly lakeside resort offers cottages in a variety of sizes, all with cozy furnishings like rocking chairs and fireplaces to enjoy while witnessing those stunning lake views. Dine on local, fresh meals changing daily at Migis Lodge. Sebago Lake Lodge & Cottages (Standish)
These unfussy lodges and cottages offer everything you need for a stay on the lake – a kitchen or kitchenette, loan boats and a lakeside picnic area. Let the summer commence!
Poland Spring Resort (Poland)
This expansive, historic property offers an 18-hole golf course, three grass tennis courts, museums and swimming pools. Choose to stay in either an inn, lodge or a cottage.
Looking for more places to stay, camp or relax?
Visit the Sebago Lakes Chamber accommodations page.
From Ellsworth: 160 miles
From Bangor: 134 miles
From Augusta: 67 miles
From Portland: 28 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 27 miles