The Perfect 10

Oakland House Seaside Resort, Maine

AS EARLY MORNING RAIN kerplunked on the roof of our cabin on Maine's serene Blue Hill Peninsula, I pulled the comforter over my head and prepared to sleep in. My three-year-old daughter, Cady, had other ideas. "Come on, Mama, let's play with snails," she said. Since we'd arrived at the 50-acre Oakland House Seaside Resort in East Penobscot Bay, shut-eye was about as high a priority for Cady as flossing her teeth. And who could blame her, with all the seals, ospreys, and harbor porpoises right out our door? In 1889, retired sea captain Emery H. Herrick and his wife, Flavilla, turned their family homestead into a hotel. Today Emery's great-grandson, Jim Littlefield, and his wife, Sally, run the operation—15 cottages scattered along a half-mile of oceanfront, each with up to five bedrooms.

In a pine-scented mist, we explored lichen-lined hiking trails and stalked beavers at nearby Holbrook Island Sanctuary. We also kayaked through Eggemoggin Reach and sifted through tidal pools. At evening's end, we got our chocolate ganache tartlet from the resort's restaurant to go, so we could savor the most memorable course of all while stargazing on our porch.

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