Beach House Spectacular: Maine Summer Rentals
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Today, Jaunted launches the first of a three-part series covering the places you'll be this summer if you're vacationing in the Northeast. Yeah, yeah, we know we are seconds away from our first email pointing out a Northeastern bias. You can change that:
Send along tips, photos, rumors, gossip, recommendations, locations and traffic busters to our map editors, become a member and comment on the beach house stories below, and add to the Jaunted-Flickr photo pool so your fellow readers can satisfy their voyeuristic summer fantasies. Why? While this may be a lofty goal, we are hoping by the end of the summer, these maps and stories will leave you with a helpful guide to beach housing in the Northeastern U.S., circa 2006. Whether or not that happens is up to you.
We will start things off with Maine today, continue with the Jersey Shore on Thursday, and end with Long Island on Friday. Don't forget your sunblock.
Maine's shores are old-school when it comes to summering spots, with some families having spent the dog days there for a hundred years or more. While it's not ALL madras pants and lobster rolls, both can be found in abundance if you know where to look.
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Should the fact that this is where George H.W. Bush loves to summer tip you off to the ambiance here? Because you wouldn't be far off. Maine's WASPiest Republican enclave, the Kennebunkport region--conveniently located about two hours from Boston--is home to fancy houses, dry martinis, and blue blooded New England families. Striper's Waterside (131-133 Ocean Avenue) restaurant does serve a mean Pimm's No. 1 cup, though.
Typical Rental: Kennebunkport houses ain't cheap, especially if you want to keep up with the Bushes. This $2500 two-bedroom is classy enough to pull it off, we'd imagine, but you mind want to hire your friends to play servants if you have company over.
Welcoming the gay and lesbian community almost as long as Kennebunkport has been a haven for Republicans, Ogunquit is the northernmost gay mecca in the US, although Provincetown is still the easternmost. The town is home to a 750-seat playhouse, a three-mile long beach--hardbodies only, fellas--and some really good restaurants, including Arrows, one of the highest rated eats north of Boston.
Typical Rental: Big houses that can sleep a lot of people, but have some history to them and are within walking distance of the village of Ogunquit. This 20's era bungalow sleeps eight and will set you back $2500 if you bring that many during the high season.
Another old-school rental enclave on Maine's coast, Bar Harbor is the kind of place where people spend entire summers, not just weekends. Located on Mount Desert Island and nearby to Acadia National Park, it's the most popular location for summering in Maine. There are plenty of ticky-tacky shops, but because of the money floating around here, they're rather fancy ones, at least. This part of Maine is known as "Downeast" and while there are plenty of "summer folk" with out of state plates, you will encounter plenty of laconic locales along the many costal towns between Boothbay and Bar Harbor.
Typical Rental: Bar Harbor homes are often classic small cottages. This two-person cottage right near bar harbor will set you back about $850 a week.
Old Orchard Beach:
Old Orchard Beach is the classic Maine beach for everyone. From the "pier to the point" you are treated to 1.5 miles of sandy, swimmable beach. Pine Point is a favorite with kite surfers and beach walkers. The area around the pier includes Palace Playland, which gives it a Coney Island-like flavor, but with far fresher seafood, of course. Sadly, condos are beginning to invade, which it probably be completely closed in the next few years. Old Orchard Beach is a classic honky tonk beach town. Fried Dough, a tourist Pier, and plenty of dive bars. This place is a favorite with the Quebecois and middle-class New England families.
Typical Rental: Old Orchard Beach has quite a few beachfront condos; this one will set you back about $1300 a week for a one-bedroom rental.
[Image via khara/Flickr]