Lakefront, Rustic charm, Family-friendly
30 Migis Lodge Road South Casco, Maine 207-655-4524 migis.com
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- The prime location on the northern end of lovely Sebago Lake (Maine’s deepest and second longest after Moosehead), which means daily loon calls, spectacular views and sunsets
- The extensive lakefront activities: waterskiing and wakeboarding, canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, sailing, raft-jumping, swimming and more
- The porches—and giant rockers—with views of the lake from your cottage, along with fieldstone fireplaces (and daily firewood and kindling replenishment)
Migis Lodge Review
When you stop to admire the view of the water, as you’re walking through the tall pines along the northern edge of Maine’s Sebago Lake, the sight and sounds of summer on the lake are all around you: wildflowers swaying in unison to the breeze that’s just beginning to make the water shimmer; a family of seven ducklings gliding together single file in the shallows; the throttling, steady buzzing of a motorboat; the call of a loon that hangs in the air; and the familiar thumping and clanking of a game of tennis or horseshoes (or ping pong) being played in the distance. No surprise: the lake itself is the star at Migis Lodge, which has been on Sebago Lake since 1926, and the same family has been running it since 1968. Originally a men’s-only fishing retreat, it opened up to families in the 80s. Migis Hotel Group also runs several other hotels in Maine, including the Black Point Inn in Prouts Neck. Both are close to Portland; South Casco is an easy 40-minute drive north and west of Portland International Jetport.
Nature also surrounds you at Migis. The sage green Craftsman-style buildings have been designed to blend in rather than stand out along the shoreline, and when you turn left off Route 302 onto a semi-dirt road and arrive amid the pines, the resort is still somewhat hidden at first. Migis sits on 125 acres. The main lodge (with reception, the living room lounge, dining room and eight rooms), 35 Craftsman-style cottages and two provate lakefront houses are sprinkled throughout the woods along the edge of the lake. They are connected by gardens filled with wildflowers and gravel or pine needle-covered pathways that wind through the woods. The resort feels quite intimate, not sprawling, and most of the cottages themselves have all been renovated recently. Adding to the charm, cottages have names like Firefly, Grey Gull and Moonrise, and come with porches (with large rocking chairs), cathedral ceilings and stone fireplaces. A few have their own docks; one has its own mini boathouse. Choosing cottage locations is dependent on whether you are seeking more privacy or proximity to dining or lakefront activities. (Those looking for more privacy should request cottages away from the kids’ camp and close-to-shore floats.) Regardless of where you are, the dining room in the main lodge, the main dock and most activities are all just a short walk away.
Migis is an adult luxury summer camp at its best, with activities of the day spelled out on a large bulletin board near reception. The day’s decisions revolve around choices like whether to be part of a lunchtime “cookout” by the water (on Fridays there is a lobster bake and on Sundays a brunch cooked outside, all served canteen-style at picnic tables). It’s the kind of place that some families come back to for decades, with children and grandchildren in tow, and where the waiters have inside jokes with returning families. It is also the kind of place where cocktails are served in the pine grove in front of the main dining area promptly at 6:00 p.m., where you may find yourself trading stories about the day’s activities with other guests. Dressing up is required for dinner (men and boys over 13 are expected to wear a jacket in the dining room, and there’s a no denim rule at night). Lobster, scallops, filet mignon and blueberry cobbler are always on the menu. And kids have their own buffet. After dinner, your waiter may slip you the ingredients for s’mores to go, so you can roast them by your own fire back in your cottage. At Migis, multi-gen families and kids of all ages from New York City, St. Louis and beyond enjoy a lively Wednesday night Bingo game complete with prizes (Vineyard Vines-style Migis gear and bottles of wine); and you won’t see kids on cell phones all day long.
Décor throughout is elevated Adirondacks-like lodge style—think green gingham or floral curtains and rustic knotty paneling, leather couches, the occasional rag rug. Rooms in the cottages, many spread over two floors, are comfortable and spacious and most cottages have been fully updated and have mini fridges and microwaves, TVs, WiFi and high-speed internet. Although there is a two-person minimum at the resort, solo travelers can be accommodated.
Getting out on the lake here is easy: Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailfish and rowboats lie along the shore or dockside awaiting use, so you can just grab a life preserver, towels and go. There’s also yoga and a lakeside sauna. Water skiing is a popular activity. The best slalom skiers show their stuff before breakfast in the early morning. Guests can also opt for a private boat excursion or borrow a fishing rod. Families play round robins or get serious on the three Har-Tru tennis courts on-property. Golfers can play at one of several courses nearby; kids can try frisbee golf in the woods around the resort. The kids’ club is for ages four to six and seven and up and those spending time here look like they are enjoying their water time, as well as arts and crafts, nature walks, tie dyeing t-shirts and much more.
On a rainy day at Migis, guests can be found happily playing backgammon or cards, reading by the fire or flipping through the photo books from prior stays that have been documented in albums for guests to peruse in the main lodge. True to its name, “Migis” comes from the Abenaki Indian word for “the place to steal away to rest.” Those seeking a lakefront experience (and possibly reliving some camp memories) will find it easy to do that here.
Who It’s Right For
It is ideal for a family who likes a clubby environment, who probably loved sleepaway camp, and who enjoys being active outside together (and possibly interacting with other families). Multi-gen families are enjoying themselves here. Those looking for five-star full-service pampering may want to book elsewhere.
Note: The resort is all-inclusive (excluding alcoholic beverages). Reservations are taken only by phone and the resort accepts only cash and checks. Many returning guests choose their weeks upon departure.