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“Great Location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground

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Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground
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21 Homestead Road, Southport, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04576   |  
Hotel amenities
Schodack, NY
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Great Location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

Just returned home from a long weekend camping at Gray's.

Calling in to make reservations - friendly and accomodating. We were looking for a pull thru spot as we have a 34' toy hauler and wanted to make sure we could get our motorcycles out of the trailer easily as previous reviews mentioned the tight quarters. First question back from the person on the phone when I mentioned motorcycles was... "They aren't Harley's are they?". Well, matter and fact yes they are! I felt the need to let the woman know that we are not young kids and are absolutely respectful as we know our bikes are loud. We continued to make the reservations and all was good even though I was put off by her question.

We arrived late Friday evening (after 11), found our spot, unloaded the bikes (stealthy I might add - didn't even start them) and set up as best we could in the dark. The next morning - we rearranged and were completely situated. About 10ish we were (4 of us) eating breakfast at the picnic table when a man (the owner I assume) stopped and asked us to move the corner of our carpet back 2 feet so not to be on the grass. Really? Ok, so we moved the carpet back. No big deal and I didnt want to push it based on the other reviews on here. I can appreciate wanting to keep the grass nice. But was thinking..oh boy - here we go....

The spot we had was very nice. A few small dead trees could be taken down so to make it easier when backing in your trailer. Spot was large, water and power in a good location. Fire pit and picnic table are nice touches. We did have a large mud puddle/area right in the main grassy area of our location. It was very inconvenient as I walked thru it several times, even slid and fell once. They should put rubble in it or rocks around that area as it probably never dries up. Must be a natural spring or something that keeps the ground very wet there. It's about 3 foot in diameter. Not a huge deal - just a nuisance. Other than that the spot was great. We were on the rocky side of the beach area. Very nice.

The beach (very small - maybe 50 feet) was only a hundred yards away. Not really a beach in my opinion as it's so small. But a great place to launch your kayak. Waves are small as it's in the Bay.

Facilities are a good walk thru the park. Not a big deal. Showers cost $.25 for 10 minutes. Shower/Bathroom facilities smelled of urine - probably just the old floors in the place. Clean none the less.

Bring all the little items you think you will need. The closest store is a few minutes down the road by vehicle. Nothing on site.

They offer cooking service for your lobsters at a nominal fee. There is wifi available but there is a cost involved with that too and it's not cheap. You're better off using your own wifi on your phone and paying the phone company (which would be less - just sayin). I'm not sure why they charge for it as no one does these days. A simple and inexpensive perk for your quests. Also there is a cost for fire wood - which is fine. But it's a couple dollars more than just down the road - so if you want to save a few bucks, stop on your way in or run out to grab some. It's the cost of convenience I guess.

The sites are a little pricier that others in the area. Granted you're On the water, but since they are a little more expensive - I would have expected to get free wifi, and a free shower. I felt like they were nickel and diming us. I borrowed a cork screw from the office and was waiting for them to charge me lol. Not a big deal - just have to mention.

When walking through the campgrounds, all the sites are very nice - i dont think there is a bad site at all actually. They are tightly packed together and there are a few "resident" sites that looked like folks were there for the entire season. Cabins looked nice. It does seem like an older community - nothing for kids to do other than the small beach area. No swings, slides, pool, etc. Everyone we ran into was very friendly.

There is not a sewer hook up on your site - but they do have a waste station. It's located behind the shower area and a tight squeeze to get there if you have a large rig. But works out just fine. They provide a garden hose so you can rinse your hoses. We appreciated that.

They also have someone to help park your rig if you get into a jam. They mentioned it on the phone and I heard them discussing it with our neighbor next to us who was having a hard time backing in his trailer.

All in all it was a lovely spot - people were nice - great location. Boothbay is only a short drive away. It wasnt crowded in late September which is perfect for us. It's probably hopping busy during the regular season.

Give it a try!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Hello,
Thanks, very much, for the lovely review. We do love that you think it's a pretty spot & a well kept campground. Also, thank you for mentioning that the people are friendly. We do appreciate that, & your honest appraisal of our grounds.
You did say that you were here in September and in September the crowd can be a little older because the children have gone back to school, but in the summer there are lots of children & families. The children play down on the point, rocks & beach all day long. We love to see them discover nature (baby crabs, lobsters, etc.) The parents can sit & soak up the view & sun & explore with their kids. This is what we offer for children & families.
You mentioned no sewer in the ocean sites. That's true, you do have to use the dump station in the camp. We can't have sewer hook-ups there, by law. Too close to the ocean. We have many that stay in the campground (with full hook-up) & walk (1-2 min.) to the ocean & beach. Always a matter of preference.
You did mention a wet spot in the grass at your site & we too are aware of it. It is a small leak in the town water line. They have promised us they will be over to dig it up & replace it as soon as we close for the season. We apologize for the inconvenience & hope it didn't make camping too difficult. Had it been our line, we would have had it repaired immediately.
We hope it wasn't too difficult to comply with our carpet request. We extend the crushed rock out from sites so that people may lay down a rug. It's only when rugs go beyond this do we ask (hopefully, nicely) if you would keep it within that area. Once the grass dies, people don't find the sites as beautiful as they would like & the rain comes & you end up with a mud puddle at your site.
Their is a small charge for a shower simply because it actually keeps water consumption down. We use 80% well water on this Island & when the well runs down we purchase town water during the season. It is not the cost that motivates us but the amount of water being consumed on a small Island. We do not make much money from the showers, but we do get to use our well water all winter. That's vital because town water must be turned off in the fall, until spring, because of freezing temperatures.
We are working on the wifi & do agree with you that it is most often included. We have our signal sent from another Island across from us. We were told that if too many people try to access at once, that the system can easily go down. We will be exploring other options this winter in our off season.
Thanks again for the nice review & we wish you happy future travels,
Suzanne
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62 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Skaneateles, New York
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013 via mobile

We have camped here for many years and booked our two weeks for next year when we arrived. Just hearing the waves crashing against the rocks makes my day. Don't ever need to leave camp to be happy. We camp in a fifth wheel near the ocean. Look forward to returning each September and seeing friends that we have made over the years.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, September 26, 2013
Thank you for the wonderful review! We love hearing the ocean sounds all summer, as well. Also, it's wonderful that you return each year, & that part of the experience is connecting with the friends you have made over the years. That's what camping is all about.
We look forward to your visit again next year. Stay well & happy travels, in the meantime.
Suzanne
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Alstead, New Hampshire, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

Recently stayed at this campground. We had a wonderful stay. The owners were very friendly. The people staying at the campground were very pleasant and friendly. The owners really want you to have a wonderful stay and are constantly riding around to make sure everything is going well for everyone. It is a great location and beautiful views. We went to Bets for lunch and had the best biggest fish sandwich ever. Would highly recommend this campground and Bets for lunch. As Bets has different hours it is worth going. I have never been to a campground that you can see and hear the lobster boats, fog horns, and waves like this campground. Will be returning next year. Thank you to the Gray's for this wonderful stay!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, September 21, 2013
Thank you, so much, for the wonderful review of our little spot here on coastal Maine. We are so pleased that you enjoyed the sights & sounds so well known to this area. We also thank you for mentioning us, as the owners, & our great staff for our friendliness & customer service. We appreciate the kind words.
Also, we agree with what you said about Bet's fish sandwiches! They are huge & delicious.
Thanks again & have a great fall/winter season, & we look forward to seeing you back here soon.
Suzanne
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Norridgewock, Maine
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We came here in a small RV late in the season, so the campground wasn't completely full. We had a lovely afternoon puttering around on the small but interesting beach. It was very quiet. Everything was easily in walking distance as it is a small place. Had plenty of space in our lot (number 7). We do like our devices so paid the $5 extra for Wi-fi, which worked fine. A friend who needed to contact me called the office and left a message, which was delivered quickly by the management. Getting a shower, I thought about the little details that help make a campground bathroom work: shelves and hooks in the shower, hooks near the sinks, good lighting, clean. Five minute shower was only $.25. This campground was a very positive experience and we'd definitely go back.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Thank you, so much, for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We are really happy that you enjoyed the little beach, the site, & the cleanliness of our bathhouse. Our staff works very hard to keep it clean, & customers like you tell us how important that is.
Also, thanks for the thumbs up for the office delivering your message quickly. We appreciate your business & hope to see you back here soon.
Happy fall, & we wish you safe travel.
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Hollis Center, Maine, United States
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Unfortunately there is no Cable or WIFI.
We left after one evening missing the luxery of TV and computer access.
We brought our two dogs with us and there is very little area to walk them.
We had a campsite next to the cabin and the noise was unbearable.
Sites are very small and too close to each other.
When we put out our slider it almost extended to the other occupied campsite.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate that you thought it was a nice campground.
Our rv sites are all about 30 ft. wide with plenty of grassy area to call your own. We are sorry that you thought they were a little close together. We realize that some campgrounds have larger areas & many have smaller areas as we have seen as we travelled.
Also, you are right we do not have cable tv here, but we do have wifi which most sites in the campground can get. We have been told by some campers that they get tv reception fine if they have a very good antenna or a little digital box.
Last, we are sorry that the folks in the cottage next to your site were too noisy. They did have the maximum of 6 people in their party. We don't usually get complaints about our family cottage rentals. We do wish you had come to us. We have no problem asking people to quiet down for the sake of others. We also have a 9:00 pm quiet time which all people are asked to respect. Thanks again,
Have a nice fall season & happy travels.
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Ayer, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Just back from a 4 night stay at Grays - we camp in a 27ft travel trailer and had no problem getting into our beautiful, spotlessly clean, grassy spot. Surrounded on both sides with a hedge made of 3 variety of hydrangeas in full bloom. We had a great experience overall - very pleasant neighbors on all sides of us. It is a smallish campground and a very clever and thoughful use of a rocky Maine coastline. Very few sites with a water view - but only a few minutes walk to the beach - and a short drive to Boothbay, Wiscasset, Pemaquid Lighthouse - all make for enjoyable day trips. This is an incredibly loved and well cared for property - that was easy to see, and makes it easy to follow the few rules there are: no lawn rugs covering the grass....um, okay, the one 'rule' we were asked to observe. Friendly and obliging staff. I was surprised initially that there was no cable or wifi included in the price of the lodging, but within minutes I realized how nice it would be to 'unplug' for a few days and just read some books! We were really impressed here - and hope to someday get a seasonal site with a waterview - those sites were gorgeous!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, September 1, 2013
Thanks, so much, for the lovely review. Of course, we love that you enjoyed the natural beauty of the campground & surroundings. It's really nice to hear that you enjoyed being unplugged for your time here. Just my opinion, but I think it lowers the blood pressure when I can absorb the beauty around me & be present. Thanks for reminding me.
I really appreciate you saying we have a helpful & friendly staff. They are the best! We are lucky to have them here.
I do know that sometimes certain rules don't make sense to people, but we really try to keep them to a minimum & still manage the area & keep the place looking great. Thanks for understanding.
Last, we would love to have you as a seasonal when you are ready. Just let us know.
Thanks again, & happy travels....
Suzanne
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Boston, Massachusetts, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We found this place geographically charming, but don't kid yourself, it is VERY small, and the sites are closely packed together and on different levels. This is cute but daunting for big rigs and trailers, and it's basically impossible to walk from site to site w/out crossing another campsite. They also wedged a couple in that I sure wouldn't have wanted.
Not really for kids since there's no 'activities'..game room, snack bar or store--nor did we see many other kids. They seem to cater to the over 65 and retired or rich and retired crowd.
The beach is OK, and there's a nice little point with picnic tables.
Until our last day, I would have given this place 5 stars but after our encounter with the owner (and apparently if you read other reviews, we're not alone).. It's down to 2
We brought 2 licensed motorcycles with us and when my son went out on his for a loop around the camp ground he was immediately intercepted by the owner and told "not to ride around" OK, we got it. So every time we rode them, we left the campground and went exploring--they are NOT loud, both have factory exhaust.. We also had kayaks (maybe he was mad that we weren't paying his exorbitant rate of $50 for 4 hr rental--KOA, known to not be cheap, charges $5/hr..look it up). Anyway, we had 4WD vehicles, saw tracks in the sand of the little beach (really, maybe 75 feet of sand) so we drove out to take them off our cars, and drove out again to pick them up--they're heavy! And there is no sign saying no vehicles on the beach and there were NO people there.! So as we were picking up one, Steve comes roaring down to the beach and gives my friend this irate lecture about riding our motorcycles, too much noise, driving on the beach, then asks if he's checking out and tells him to *never come back*. This is not only completely unacceptable behavior but unbelievable in an age where these kinds of reviews will be seen by thousands of people who can easily skip to the next campground. I'm sure he has his side to this, but if you look at other reviews you can see that he's known as a hot head and was called a jackass in one review on google. So if you do go here maybe ask for a list of things that will get you yelled at by the owner when you check in.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suzanne G, Owner at Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
Hello & thanks for your feedback about your stay. We were pleased that you liked our place enough to want to give us a 5 prior to being told that we are probably not the campground for you. I do wish your experience here was happier .We will now consider posting signs to keep vehicles off the beach, but as you mentioned, it is small & we had never, in 50 yrs. of business, seen anyone ride out there before. We try to prevent over posting of signs in this natural setting.
We do have small children enjoying the beach all summer long so vehicles would not be a good mix. Also, as you stated we are a small space so riding for pleasure should really be off site & off all grassy areas that we try hard to maintain all summer, We do agree that your dirt bikes were not noisy at all & thank you for that. We do have people with motorcycles call & ask if they can bring a bike if they come in & leave quietly, so they don't disturb anyone. We are fine with that.
I understand you had 3 tent sites ( 2 of which are very good sized) & not rv sites that you mention in the review. People do enjoy the rv sites & their natural beauty enough to reserve them over & over each year. Also, we would like to make clear that No one ever has to walk through anyone else's site to go anywhere.
You would probably enjoy a different campground setting where you can ride your dirt bikes around more actively. We apologize if we came across rude rather than straight forward.
We do wish you happy camping in the future.
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Additional Information about Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground

Address: 21 Homestead Road, Southport, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04576
Location: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Boothbay Harbor
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Boothbay Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful little campground on the ocean with a variety of sites, some with spectacular views! Nice rv & tent sites available. We have kayaks to rent & lobsters to eat! Gray's has a nice clean bathhouse & a lovely natural setting campground. The people in the office are friendly & helpful & can direct you to hiking trails, or the Botanical Gardens, or into Boothbay Harbor. In the Harbor you will find boat trips, restaurants, ice cream, mini-golf, galleries & shops, just to name a few. This is a gem of a spot where ships sail by everyday, & where you can bring your coffee & watch the sunrise on the point every morning...A genuine Maine experience! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gray`s Homestead Oceanfront Campground Hotel Boothbay Harbor
Gray's Homestead Oceanfront Campground Boothbay Harbor, Maine

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