How to Take the Perfect Maine Vacation

Sponsored Content: Over the past decade, Paul Coulombe has invested more than $100 million in the Boothbay Harbor region.

Paul Coulombe knows tourism. His projects, which include Oliver’s Restaurant, Boothbay Harbor Country Club, Oceanside Golf Resort, and the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse, have been lauded as world-class by publications like Architectural Digest, Fodor’s, and Travel+Leisure. They’ve also helped attract new visitors to the Boothbay peninsula, which has delivered the region an economic boost. 

What’s the most essential ingredient of a Maine vacation?

A perfect Maine vacation has got to include time on the water. It’s always a thrill. Whether you’re on a sailboat or paddling a kayak, it’s peaceful, mesmerizing, and you get the true flavor of what it means to be in Maine. Once you see your first seal, or whale, it changes your life.

Are lighthouses just for postcards or worth a visit?

Lighthouses are so integral to Maine’s heritage and character. When you visit a lighthouse you really get a sense of what life was like years ago. Cuckolds Lighthouse, which stands at the entrance to Boothbay Harbor, has been an important navigational landmark since 1892, and I’ve always been struck by how beautiful it is. When I heard that it was slated for demolition, I got involved with efforts to save it. We rebuilt the lightkeeper’s house, which had already been torn down, and restored it to its original glory, then created an inn on site that would allow the lighthouse to be financially self-sustaining, which was a federal mandate. Guests get to tour the lighthouse and enjoy luxury amenities like marble bathrooms and bed linens made from Egyptian cotton. A visit to this beautifully restored, offshore lighthouse is a truly unique coastal Maine experience.

Where can a visitor find the “real Maine?”

I’ve always thought the real Maine begins in Boothbay. Towns like Bar Harbor and Kennebunkport have shops and inns, but here, you’ve also got this authenticity that comes from the fishermen and boatbuilders on the working waterfront. You can sit at a picnic table at Oliver’s, enjoy a lobster roll, watch sailboats in the harbor, smell the salty sea air, and it’s like you’re in a painting. And now, the region has five-star amenities, including a world-class golf resort, that you can’t find anywhere else in Maine.

Boothbay Harbor Country Club
50 Sugar Maple Ln.,
Boothbay. 207-633-3673
Paul Coulombe
Paul Coulombe, Philanthropist and Developer. Photograph by Sarah Beard Buckley

Boothbay Harbor Country Club

> Most Beautiful Clubhouses in America
— Architectural Digest, 2018

> Best New Clubhouses in the World
— Golf Inc., 2017

> Best Golf Course in Maine
— Down East Readers’ Choice Award, 2018

Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse

> Best Lighthouse Getaways in the U.S.
— Coastal Living

> Picturesque Lighthouse Hotels Around the World
— Fodor’s

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