Everybody loves a cute New England town in the summertime, but one of my favorite hidden gems lies in Phippsburg, Maine, a small coastal town that brags miles of beautiful shoreline and some of the freshest seafood you can find. The hidden gem I’m talking about is Hermit Island Campground, a small rustic camping area built on a peninsula that I’ve been going to every August since I was 6 months old. Camping isn’t everyone’s thing, but this charming secluded place might change your mind.

There are 4 kinds of sites available to campers and they go up in price. There’s value sites, choice sites, prime sites, and then ocean prime sites, which are the most expensive and most sought out. That’s because the ocean prime sites are either sites directly on the sand on the beach or with an incredible view of the ocean. You can take a look at all of the sites listed on the Hermit Island Campground website.

Not only are there gorgeous sites to pick from, but there are 7 private beaches that are only available for campers to use. Some of these beaches can only be accessed by hiking or kayaking to them and these ones you can usually have to yourself for some time, or you might have to share with another couple or family but my point is that they are never very crowded. The other beaches you can drive to or walk from your campsite, but are just as nice and just more crowded. Again, only campers can use the beaches so they’re never terribly crowded either way.

The campground itself has multiple places you can go clamming and crabbing, and the small country store attached sells gear to use. They also sell fresh seafood if you don’t want to catch it yourself.

One of my most fond memories is our yearly lobster bake night. We would buy lobsters for everyone camping in our group and cook them in pots on a campfire as we watched the sun go down. We would go to whoever had the best site that year and drink and play music all night until we were tired. I had so much fun growing up participating in stuff like this every year, and I now continue the tradition with my best friends and boyfriend. Someday I will with my children too.

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