Maine: It’s Always a Fun Time Glamping

The entrance to Sandy Pines Camping in Kennebunkport Maine evokes the Corvair era. Max Hartshorne photos.
The entrance to Sandy Pines Camping in Kennebunkport Maine evokes the Corvair era. Max Hartshorne photos.

Glamping on the Maine Coast in Kennebunkport’s Sandy Pines Campground

By Max Hartshorne
GoNOMAD Editor

When I first heard about the glamping site on the coast of Maine, I had to know more. I’ve always wanted to glamp, rather than camp. It’s all of the fun without the ick.

Stargazer Exterior Night Oasis Dome at Sandy Pines Camping. It’s a cabin with a plastic sheet around it Douglas Merriam photo.
Stargazer Exterior Night Oasis Dome at Sandy Pines Camping. Douglas Merriam photo.

Sandy Pines is located in one of the first towns you go through when you hit the Maine Turnpike. It’s not very far from the famous Piscataqua River Bridge, high above the busy river channel that leads from the shipyard to the ocean.

Driving over this kind-of-scary bridge for me always signals that we are once again in the Great State of Maine and that a fun weekend awaits!

280 Sites of All Types

The recently renovated 280-site campground is definitely not your father’s campground. From the Chardonnay you can buy at the gift shop, to the sweet-looking A-Frames and Conestoga wagons you can sleep in, this place is all modern and retro at the same time.

Some of the modern safari-style cabins at Sandy Pines feature beds for kids behind the main bed. Perfect for family camping.
Some of the modern safari-style cabins at Sandy Pines feature beds for kids behind the main bed. Perfect for family camping.

The staff is very accommodating, and you have access to everything you need. Just be sure to pick the right style of site.

Really Clean Bathrooms

Best of all, the bathrooms and showers are pristine and private–nice features for anyone who wants more glamp and less camp.

Inside the Airstream at Sandy Pines Camping. Glamping.
Inside the Airstream at Sandy Pines Camping.

Sandy Pines has had a great few years, their occupancy stays at around 90 percent during the busy summer and fall seasons.

Families love being able to bunk in one of the safari-style tents that have a few extra beds around the back, perfect for the kids.

Shady Acres

Sandy Pines Camping was once called Shady Acres, it’s set on 60 acres next to a marsh. In 2017, they created this more modern situation, bending to the trend that people crave–glamping!

We chose to stay in the Airstream Trailer on the site, it was a bit on the vintage side.

The old Airstream has seen better days, with the original stove, and toilet removed, but the experience of sleeping inside it was comfy and fun.

That’s the one thing about glamping that most people don’t realize. You’re still going to have to walk to use the bathroom if you don’t want to relieve yourself in the great outdoors.

The pretty scene of the marsh right behind the Sandy Pines Camping location in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The pretty scene of the marsh right behind the Sandy Pines Camping location in Kennebunkport, Maine.

I wish we had chosen one of the more modern “Safari tent” styles of sites. These would be to me, the best choice. The larger family safari campsites are priced at around $300-370 per night.

Bring Your Own RV

Many of the campers prefer to bring their own RVs to Sandy Pines, these are set up with electricity and water/sewer hook-ups. There are many other amenities at the park including a pool, a playground for kids, lots of green space, and the General Store where you can buy firewood, sundries, groceries–even the makings of  s’mores.

Delish fish tacos at Federal Jack's in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Delish fish tacos at Federal Jack’s in Kennebunkport, Maine.

The campground is open from May until Columbus day in October.

Enjoy the ‘Bunks

The surrounding towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are also definitely worth exploring.

These Conestoga Wagon themed tents are very popular at Sandy Pines Camping.
These Conestoga Wagon themed tents are very popular at Sandy Pines Camping.

Parking is the most difficult part of visiting either town, most people end up paying at a public lot of parking or at a nice restaurant like we did and enjoying some fish tacos with a view.

Federal Jacks in Kennebunkport is highly recommended for great beers and that view.

Cape Porpoise

In nearby Cape Purpose, we found a very down to earth and Maine style lobster shack, that was really a shack, called Nunan’s Lobster Hut.

Order a few bugs (lobsters), let them steam, and add in some Maine steamers, and then retire to the back wharf, overlooking the Cape Porpoise harbor for a truly Down East Feast!

Max Hartshorne and Mary Gilman at Cape Porpoise, Maine.

Find out More

Sandy Pines Camping, 277 Mills Rd. Kennebunkport, Maine 207-967-2483 www.sandypinescamping.com

Nunan's Lobster Hut, Cape Porpoise, Maine.
Nunan’s Lobster Hut, Cape Porpoise, Maine.
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