Migis Lodge honors the heritage of American Plan Resorts with family-focused activities, personalized service, wonderful meals and a traditional yet low-key atmosphere. Although the lodge is located just 30 minutes from Portland, Maine, when you drive up the winding, wooded road to the lodge, it feels like you are a world away. Tucked into a quiet alcove of Sebago Lake — known as one of Maine’s cleanest lakes — Migis has a luxurious outdoors feeling that has parents relaxed like kids at summer camp, albeit a luxury grown-up camp!
The updated and serene Migis, pronounced (my-gis), creates the perfect backdrop for families to slow down, reconnect, turn off the electronics, and do things together like sit next to the fire on the cool summer evenings.
The other guests staying at Migis Lodge during our time there were friendly and were from all over the United States. One couple was visiting from New York as this area is where they attended summer camp, another family from Boston and has been coming for 15 years, and yet another family was there for a 50th wedding anniversary with three generations in tow.
“Often if you see young kids running around, you can bet that their grandparents are here as well,” says Tim, the owner.
No matter where people are coming from, they are sure to experience Maine at it’s finest, surrounded by the natural solitude and Maine’s timeless tradition of summer camps and family wilderness vacations.
I wrote this article from our cabin, tucked into our pine nook of a desk, with our cabin fire (pre-built by the “cabin boys”) going and my 15 year-old reading peacefully on the couch. My two younger kids were playing in the kids’ camp, appropriately named “the zoo” which runs weekdays from 12-5p.
The cabins are beautiful lodge-style cottages, with porches and stone fireplaces. Our cabin was a huge three-bedroom right on the edge of the lake. The cabins are beautiful! Small details are not overlooked, from the bookshelf lines with great novels, to jigsaw puzzles and fresh flowers.
We lunched by the lakeside, where adorable 1-year-old twins kept the family-friendly guests in stitches with their giggles and dimpled smiles. Migis doesn’t just talk about family, it is run by family. Tim and Joan Porta, who took over Migis from Tim’s father in 1978, and their son Jed, are every present and wonderfully gracious hosts.
Father and son were manning the grill at the lakeside BBQ lunch, joined later by their uncle who was visiting. They get family and know how to make vacations easy and fun.
There are plenty of activities from which to choose at Migis. We started they day off knee boarding. Mitchell was captaining the ski boat and provided helpful instruction. The boat ran all day, shuttling everyone out for a turn at water skiing or wakeboarding. The kids loved it and the dock was the place to meet the other kids, especially the teens. There was also many other water sports to chose from: kayaking, paddle-boarding, sailing, windsurfering, canoeing, fishing and cruising.
There was also horse shoes, golf (off property) and tennis. Unlike some of the other all-inclusive resorts I have been too that sometimes offer an overbearing agenda of activities that I need my iPhone to manage, these activities are all there for families to enjoy at their leisure. There are no crowds and no need to save a spot, really, you just get to relax— ahhh.
Another highlight for the week was Karaoke night. I thought, perhaps, that the other adults might get annoyed by my 6-year-old’s rendition of Frozen’s Let it Go, but they even clapped for her second encore performance — ha! For younger kids there is also two amazing playgrounds. You can watch the video of the construction here.
While some equate American Plan with all-inclusive, it’s not quite the same feel. There is a more traditional feel to American Plan resorts- Coats at dinner, respectable manners, limits on cell phone use, generations of families that come year after year — dare I say an air of sophistication? Really, American Plan just means that all meals, activities and entertainment are included, but as mentioned, it’s more than that.
Tim, the owner, reflected that “American Plan resorts used to be a dime a dozen and now there are just a handful.”
The resorts that still follow this program are doing something right because the concept is terrific for families. Once you are there, you don’t have to worry about the cost, everything is already taken care of and everyone just gets to relax.
The meals were delicious and hosted in varied settings, including the more formal dining room and picnic tables by the lake. There was always a variety of food choices to keep all of us happy. This is a perfect video clip from Migis covering their various offerings and settings.
My son’s favorite thing about Migis was the food. He tried swordfish and venison for the first time. There’s a focus on classic American dishes, like bananas foster, a special treat we don’t often see on menus.
Add Migis to your list of places not to miss. Our family cannot wait to go back! It’s the perfect place to unwind with a little luxury in the woods. As James Prichard states in his USA Today article Family Resorts among the last of a vanishing breed in 06/2007, American Plan Resorts are “Where families eat together, play together and relax together”… They are, “losing traction to the glitzier resorts, but let me tell you, the simplicity and peacefulness is an attraction itself.”
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Editor’s Note: Ciao Bambino was invited on a media trip to experience Migis Lodge. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Nancy Solomon.
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