By Alexi Holian
There’s something about a campfire and a great storyteller that is quintessential to southern Maine.
“I actually did that last night,” said Alex Bousquet, Cliff House Recreation Leader and Maine outdoor enthusiast. “I went up to a lake and sat around a campfire, and my uncle told stories. That’s how we spend our free time here.”
It’s local customs like storytelling that inspire the family friendly offerings at Cliff House. At the newly re-designed, year-round resort, guests can experience campfire gatherings, adventure competitions exploring Maine’s windswept landscape, traditional New England camps for children, and much more with activities suited for every season. The focus is on the ocean, the mountains, and the way of life in coastal Maine.
“People come here for the destination,” said Bousquet, “so we want to make their experience that much more catered to the destination, so it is authentic.”
From mountain biking and sailing to games along the coastal bluffs, each activity at Cliff House is designed to connect guests to the environment and local culture. And with a host of state-of-the-art amenities on-site—including the fitness center, luxury spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and adjacent Cape Neddick Golf Club—the opportunities for recreation and leisure are unlimited, be it summer or winter.
Each member of the family will find an activity suited for them at Cliff House, and many of the activities are meant for the entire family to participate together.
On the lawn, guests can partake in giant lawn games like Jenga and chess or sign up for a tournament of bocce ball, corn hole, Polish horseshoes, or Kan Jam. There are sports catered toward older children and crafts featuring environmental themes for the youngest family members, and on overcast days, prepare your family for a game of glow mini golf or glow capture the flag.
The family activity that Bousquet is most excited about—in fact, he’s hoping to be a competitor on his days off—is Cliff Cache, a geo caching adventure race that sends guests to different coordinates across the property. The first family or individual to locate several boxes of puzzle pieces, race back to the starting table, and put the puzzle together will win the race. The Cliff House recreation team will also be offering a similar off-site scavenger hunt to the area’s local attractions.
A trip to Maine would not be complete without delving into the many outdoor pursuits offered along the coast.
Cliff House offers an incredible variety of excursions including classic Maine pastimes such as sea kayaking, biking along wooded and coastal trails, hiking treks to nearby coves, sailing, fishing charters, scenic cruises on traditional lobster boats, and more. In the winter, there will be cold-weather activities like ice skating and snowshoeing.
The recreation team is constantly working with outside vendors to create partnerships and to offer new recreational opportunities for guests, and Bousquet believes there truly is something for everyone at the resort.
“We capture the person who is looking for a half-day kayaking trip,” he said, “but then we also have a relaxing sailing excursion where guests can sit back and let the wind take them.”
Better yet, many of the excursions take place right in front of the resort, so when guests are pulling up lobster traps hand by hand or casting a fishing line into the Atlantic, they will be seeing their room at the resort, the iconic cliffs, and the beaches from a new perspective.
The Cliff House recreation team will continue to bring new family activities and excursions to the resort in the coming months, as well related offerings like Recreation Room Service, in which guests can order crafts and children’s activities straight to their rooms.
A full list of excursions and the week’s scheduled activities can be found in the activity booth at Cliff House.