Sebago Lake Region
Photographs + stories by Maine + Maine Home+Design magazine staff
Three months ago my husband and I decided to leave the hustle and bustle of New York City and return to my home state of Maine to experience a quieter way of life. We are so excited to go on our first 48 Hours adventure in the Sebago Lake area.
5:30 p.m. @ Sebago Lake Lodge
Mike and I are greeted by the witty and down-to-earth proprietor, Deb Collet, her family, and the cat-in-residence, Maui. Our Guest House room could not be more perfect and we are thrilled to be steps from the lake.
6:00 p.m. @ Sebago Lake Lodge’s dock
After a long week we start to feel the vacation vibe and decide to explore our surroundings. The breeze is blowing through the trees and we sit on the dock watching the boats come in from a beautiful day on Sebago. A particularly rowdy boat captures our attention with Sir Mix- A-Lot blasting from its speakers.
7:00 p.m. @ Freedom Cafe and Pub
Absolutely famished, we head to downtown Naples. We are pleasantly surprised by Freedom Cafe’s laid-back ambiance and rustic barn interior. The host is entertaining, and understands our Mr. Deeds reference when he greets us at the door and then somehow ends up behind the bar to offer us a cocktail. Our outdoor table has a view and cooling breeze off Long Lake. After delving into a generous lobster bruschetta as a starter, my bold husband tries, unsuccessfully, to finish the Heart Attack burger—two half-pound burgers stacked with four slices of cheese and applewood-smoked bacon.
9:15 p.m. @ Bray’s Brew Pub
Even with full bellies, we have room for a nightcap at Bray’s Brew Pub. We immediately feel at home when we walk in to hear the one-man band of Pete Finkle playing “Wagon Wheel.” Between the live music, entertaining crowd, and blazing firepit in the back, this pub steals our hearts and we dance the night away.
11:45 p.m. @ Sebago Lake Lodge
After a lively evening, we arrive back at the lodge and walk down to the water to view the glowing moon and millions of stars. We head to bed with the loons lulling us to sleep, excited for what tomorrow will bring.
9:00 a.m. @ Sebago Lake Lodge
I quietly leave our room to let Mike sleep in and go check out the row of docked boats. I dip my feet in the water and I am thrilled that the summer weather has followed us into September.
10:30 a.m. @ Chute’s Family Restaurant
Craving pancakes, we are met with an amazing “you are in for a good breakfast” smell. The buttermilk pancakes are perfectly fluffy and Mike’s eggs Benedict on a homemade English muffin with homemade hash is something that everyone should try in life. We leave feeling that lunch may need to be skipped on this particular day.
11:30a.m. @ Half Moon Antiques
We explore this little shop located right next door to Chute’s. Filled with antiques and furniture pieces, owner Mindy Zink has created a niche business in the area. Both an antiques dealer and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist, Zink offers a variety of classes for those who want to bring life back into old furniture.
12:00 p.m. on Route 302
We can’t resist pulling into a local parking lot to get our car washed by the Windham High School cheerleading team. Entertained by the camaraderie between the ladies and coach Jamie Gaudreau, we are happy to contribute. The coach asks us to take a picture of the girls while she blasts them with a hose.
12:30 p.m. @ Pearson’s Town Farm at Saint Joseph’s College
Michial Russell, farm manager, is kind enough to give us a tour, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Mike loves meeting Rocky the Alpaca and the goats, even though he has to bribe the goats with food to be able to pet them. A unique educational opportunity for students, this farm has become a labor of love over the years. We plan to return in late winter when the baby goats and little lambs arrive.
2:30 p.m. @ Sebago Lake boat launch
We live nearby so we grab our English bulldog, Rugby, to take him to the Sebago Lake boat launch for a nice, refreshing dip. Rugby is thrilled to swim in cool water on a hot day, have soft sand on his paws, and get loved up by the boaters coming in off the lake.
4:15 p.m. @ Freedom Cafe and Pub
Unfortunately Mike is feeling under the weather, but my best friend Coreen becomes my plus-one for the evening. With reggae on my mind, we head back to Freedom Cafe to enjoy the live band in the backyard. It is the perfect scene of families relaxing on their docked pontoon boats, kids playing in the water, and adults enjoying cocktails.
5:15 p.m. @ Naples Causeway
With a Gifford’s chocolate ice cream cone in hand, we walk the Naples Causeway and take in the view. Dozens of boats pass, off to explore the lakes and watch the sunset from the water.
6:15 p.m. @ Captain Jack’s
Coreen and I continue to walk around town and discover a wooded pathway. Eager to explore, we come upon Naples Marina and Captain Jack’s Restaurant. Coreen and I get comfy at the bar and meet some of the locals. Live music begins and we devour a delicious plate of buffalo chicken nachos.
8:30 p.m. @ Sebago Lake Lodge
Tired after a long day, we head back to the lodge, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy the outdoor fire.
8:30 a.m. @ Sebago Lake Lodge
It is another absolutely gorgeous day on the lake. I enjoy a light continental breakfast at the lodge followed by some summer reading overlooking the lake. Mike, who is on the mend, meets me to continue our adventure.
10:30 a.m. @ Pretentious Pie Company
Wrapping up a successful first summer, this bakery is a must-stop in Naples. The moment you walk in, your eyes are drawn to the amazing graffiti art of Clint Magoon. From popcorn to whoopie pies, the bakery has diverse offerings that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
11:30 a.m. @ Captain Dingley’s Board Shop
Mike and I rent life jackets, paddles, and boards and we get ourselves situated on the dock. We have 90 minutes to enjoy Long Lake and learn the nuances of stand-up paddle boarding. An adventure it is—we fall, laugh, learn how to maneuver in the boat wakes. We love being able to get a view of the gorgeous lake homes that border the shore.
2:00 p.m. @ the Good Life Market
Hungry after a good workout, we head to the Good Life Market. I am impressed with the extensive wine selection and gourmet treats. We order sandwiches and enjoy them outside on a picnic table.
3:00 p.m. @ Seacoast Fun Park
We decide to enjoy a quick round of mini-golf. I take the immediate lead, although Mike attempts to make a comeback on the sixteenth hole. I hold on and win by two strokes, even with Mike putting a brilliant hole in one.
5:00 p.m. @ Captain Dingley’s Board Shop
Mike and I enjoyed the paddleboards so much that we rent them for another 24 hours. We surprise my family at my brother’s lake house in Casco, where everyone is excited to try them out, including my brother’s dog, Enzo.
6:30 p.m. @ my brother’s lake house
We couldn’t think of a better way to end our amazing weekend than being with friends and family to watch the sunset over the lake. The water is lapping on the rocks, laughter is in the air, and there is a relaxed feeling that only seems to happen on a summer’s day by the water. We are so very happy to live here.