In the state of Maine, which has more coastline than California, Boothbay Harbor stands out as an intimate seafront spot to explore and restore oneself. Dinner plate sized dahlias, a rainbow spectrum of hydrangeas, and botanical hues adorn the window boxes, sidewalks, and landscape. It is home to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the best in the country, and an abundance of potters, galleries, fresh farmer markets and lobster shacks. Downtown Boothbay Harbor is a street museum with eclectic shops and waterside restaurants.
Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort is like no other, with 75 luxurious rooms wrapped with outer deck seating right on the water’s edge. Deck hands below are ever ready to set kayaks in the water for guests to have a seal’s eye view or a paddleboard for a balanced workout. They also assist yachters docking at the private marina for overnight stay or dining at Coastal Prime restaurant which spans the main deck for seaside spectating and gourmet cuisine, such as champagne lobster. It is a serene setting while observing the constant activity around the harbor – schooners, excursion boats, lobster fishermen, seabirds.
Alternatively, the resort has roomy cottages in town with a harbor view and golf side villas that overlook the first hole at the Country Club. Any guest stay at Harbor Shores Oceanside Golf Resort is the only nonmember way to play and enjoy the amenities at the private Boothbay Harbor Country Club as both are owned by the Coulombes.
Paul Coulombe purchased a “nine-hole cow pasture with a cute, log cabin pro shop” according to a local Mainer. Paul and his wife Giselaine transformed the natural topography into 18 magnificent holes of golf with waterfalls, fountains, and unrivaled floral enhancements traversing through unfettered woodlands and hills. A suggestion mailbox is strategically placed, unreachable in a pond beside number 6’s peninsula tee box because there are no improvements needed on this pristine course.
The clubhouse was appointed with upscale distinction warranting a feature in Architectural Digest when built in 2016. Grille 19’s circular bar leads to heated terrace seating with a large firepit to the side for after dinner fare, all overlooking the stunning golf landscape. Paul’s Steakhouse has cozy booths and fireside indoor and outdoor tables for decadent dining. The fully equipped pro shop is managed by Chad with a staff ready to create a memorable golf outing. The course is celebrating their centennial with a roaring 20s party and an ale from a local brewery dedicated to Paul and Giselaine. Try one at The Ledge overlooking the elevated 9th green with a false front that makes golf entertaining to watch and play.
Boothbay Harbor Country Club also shares the members’ Wellness Center with registered resort guests to enjoy a workout facility, pool, hot tub, tennis, pickle ball, and coming next year is Giselaine’s Spa. A shuttle service is ready to transport there while a footbridge over a causeway connects the Oceanside resort to the little downtown shops, historic plaques along the way. No need to look for gifts, they find you. While it’s rare to see a live moose, the state’s insignia appears on t-shirts and all kinds of souvenirs. Lighthouses however are easy to spot with 66 dotting the coast. Join Captain Colin on the resort’s Hinkley Boat for a tour of islands and lighthouses including the Cuckolds which serves as the BHCC logo. Our excursion passed a herd of seals bobbing and flipping in the rain.
Tour the galleries, Railway Museum, or the Gardens, all within a few minutes’ drive or while away the day watching the harbor, listening to boat horns, shrills of seagulls, squeals of delighted kids and laughter of adults until the last gleaming light of day when they batten down the hatches, secure the dock lines and say to all a good night.
While the stunning seaside scenery is the Maine draw, it’s the people who make Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort a destination that you don’t want to leave and long to return to. Melissa Neal, the GM, finds and coaches the people who smile and greet every guest with an attitude of service and support while loving it, because as they all know, and you would discover too, they have the “best office” to work in. The online pics and clips are beautiful, but the true wow factor can only be experienced in person.
The sign says, “Welcome home – the way life should be,” for road trippers crossing Maine’s border. Boothbay Harbor is less than three hours north of Boston and 61 miles from Portland International Jetport, served by all major airlines. Yacht clubbers set their navigation for North 43 degrees and West 69 degrees to sail in and dock right at Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort.