Looking for a unique experience? Keep reading because the Maine oyster farm I’m about to share is sure to awaken your senses and leave you feeling refreshed. Turns out, you don’t have to go to a spa to have a spa day. Catch this adventure while you can because it’s only available for a few months each year. Get ready to shuck, sweat and relax!
Spa Day at Glidden Point Farm with Damariscotta Oysters
Imagine stepping into a traditional Finnish-style sauna, surrounded by the beautiful natural scenery of Maine’s coast before shucking and slurping on delicious, fresh, Damariscotta oysters straight from the river. It’s an immersive experience that engages all of your senses, allowing you to taste, smell, feel, see and fully experience every moment.
There’s nothing I love more than discovering fun experiences you can’t find anywhere else and this was one of them. As I was getting ready to leave for my three month trip across Europe, I came across an awesome last minute experience on the Maine Oyster Trail, which, if you’ve read my other blogs, you know that I’m completely obsessed with.
There are a lot of awesome oyster centric activities on Maine’s oyster trail, but I never would have imagined that you could have a spa day on a Maine oyster farm! Just when I thought I had done and seen it all…. 🙂 Needless to say, I couldn’t jet set out of here without experiencing it for myself.
My Spa Day Experience
If steaming saunas and succulent oysters sound like the ultimate indulgent experience, look no further than Cedar Grove Sauna’s pop up at Glidden Point Oyster Farm in Edgecomb, Maine!
Technically, the experience is not referred to as a “spa day”, but that’s what I’m calling it since you get a mix of sauna and cold plunge. But, of course, this is Maine. So, this “spa day” is a bit more rustic, rugged and a little raw… literally. 😉 🦪
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker when it comes to experiences that are quintessential to a region, but anytime it highlights the best a place has to offer AND has food as the reward, I have to rave about it. And these Damariscotta oysters are some of Maine’s best known and most loved oysters.
A leisurely drive to the coast on a beautiful Spring day and I arrived at the Glidden Point Oyster Farm. I got lucky with a beautiful, sunny day, which helped calmed my nerves thinking about the cold water I’d be dipping in.
Since this is the type of experience you typically find at the spa, not in the wilderness, I was really excited! This is truly a bespoke experience in Maine, curated for you. Where else in the world can you spend time at an oyster farm in a sauna in between taking a polar bear plunge and eating oysters where they’re grown?
After pulling up to the farm, I parked near the barn and met with Jackie, who owns Cedar Grove Sauna (mobile sauna). She was very nice and said I could hang out on the patio or head straight down to the water and she’d meet me there. She also pointed out the restroom.
I grabbed my things and wasted no time heading down. I couldn’t wait to see the set up on the water!
Walking downhill on the paved path, I started approaching the dock and was instantly blown away by the gorgeous view of the Damariscotta River in the distance, which only became more beautiful as I got closer. And then, there it was – an adorable little red mobile sauna, perched right on the waterfront. A bridge led down to the farm’s oyster cages, where we’d soon be taking a refreshing dip in the water.
The atmosphere was quiet, serene, and perfectly still. Right there on the water, it felt like we were the only ones that existed in the world.
Jackie came a few moments later with my bag of oysters which also had a small towel and shucking knife. As excited as I was to eat them, (especially since I was being teased by the waters they came from), I wanted to get some sauna time in first. You can also take a cold dip in the designated oyster cages first, it’s up to you. I wasn’t feeling like much of a daredevil that morning. 😁
Your appointment time lasts for 1 hour. Beforehand, Jackie gave me a quick orientation on how to use the wood-fired sauna, showing me how to use more logs if I wanted the sauna hotter. I ended up leaving it at the temperature it was at. It was just right.
Inside the sauna, there was a little changing room as well as clothes hooks and cubby holes to store your things. There were also fresh linen towels, and essential oils for löyly (steam).
As soon as you open the sauna door and step inside, you feel the warmth surrounding you. It felt like a warm cocoon. Even though you are seemingly in the middle of nowhere, it somehow feels comforting. The smell of cedar wood and the eucalyptus steam was also very soothing.
The wood-fired sauna has a very cozy, private and intimate set up, seating up to 4 people. Despite the small size of the sauna, it was perfectly suited for the experience. The space was well-designed, with comfortable wooden benches and a window that gave you a peak of the scenery from where you were sitting, which brought the whole experience together for me. There’s even stained glass in the sauna.
Insider tips: I would recommend putting towels down on the bench before sitting as the wood gets very hot! Also, don’t make the same mistake I did and pour the whole ladle of water on the sauna grill at once. It steams up the small space really fast! My sister and I had to get out! After the steam faded, we got back in.
Then, it was time to take a cold dip!
The Cold Plunge
As soon as we left the sauna, we made it down to the oyster cages as quick as we could while our bodies were still warm. The oyster farm set up looked really interesting. Bags of Damariscotta oysters were floating in each of the oyster cages. I learned about the oyster growing process on my other adventures on the Maine Oyster Trail, which made me appreciate the set up even more.
Once you get in the water, it’s a shock to the system. This was like a polar bear plunge, but next level. At 42° F, the water feels much colder once you first get in. However, it isn’t as bad after the second or third time around. The more I dipped, the more I could tolerate the cold to the point where it was actually invigorating. It feels even nicer after you go back in the sauna.
It was wild to think that we were floating in the oyster cages surrounded by oysters! 😄 Although, we didn’t get to all hang out together. The oysters are not in the cages that you float in.
The fun thing about the experience is that you can go back and forth between the sauna and cold plunge as many times as you want. I ended up going 5 or 6 times each. My sister and I were trying to see how many times we could go within the hour.
Finally, it was time to enjoy the reward- OYSTERS!
Oyster Picnic on the Damariscotta River
Beside the sauna, there were two chairs and a table for relaxing and eating. There was also a bucket of fresh water for rinsing off afterward. You can also enjoy an oyster picnic on the dock by the oyster cages. That’s what we did!
I can’t get enough of Damariscotta oysters, they’re some of the best I’ve had in the world. I ordered 2 dozen. The last 20 minutes, we went down to the dock for a nice little waterfront picnic overlooking the Damariscotta River. It was an absolute surreal experience to be shucking them ourselves and eating the oysters right where they were grown. They tasted a bit salty and briny. It was delicious. I felt like I could taste the sea.. or the river in this case. 😉
Spring has some of the best oysters since they’ve been storing fat all Winter long with a fuller flavor, in my opinion. After breaking each one out of its shell, I slurped the salty seawater and knocked it back. Then, I tossed each shell back in the water..
It felt incredible to celebrate Winter fading into Spring. After a long and harsh, bitter cold all season, I felt like we had earned it. We took the rest of the oysters home.
Tips and Info
- Time your experience accordingly so that you get as much time as you want for the sauna, cold plunge and eating oysters as there isn’t much time for lingering. The slots are pretty much timed back to back.
- If you’re someone who easily gets cold, bring a blanket or warm clothes to change into after the cold dip.
- Come in April, warmer weather. When I went, it was in the high 50s, the sun was shining which made the cold plunge feel warmer coming out.
Where is Glidden Point Oyster Farm?
637 River Road in Edgecomb, Maine
When is this Experience?
Check the schedule as it changes year to year. Usually, it runs from the start of Winter (December or January) until end of Spring (May).
$120 for up to 4 people. A steal if you ask me for such an amazing experience. Everything is cashless. You pay online beforehand.
How to Book
Book your Maine oyster farm sauna session here.
Cedar Grove Sauna has saunas all over Maine. If you happen to miss the sauna at Glidden Point, you can always try one of their other sauna locations, which I’ll admit, doesn’t offer as much of a full experience, but at least you get some sauna time. They offer a variety of other themes such as, “sing & sauna”, “big bodies”, “queer”, etc. For these experiences, it’s $100 for 90 min. for up to 6 people.
You can order snacks and drinks straight from Glidden Point’s website or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can’t BYOB. However, they have wine, beer and other spirits you can order for pick up. You can’t take it down to the water unfortunately but can enjoy on patio. Place your order no later than Wednesday the week before your scheduled visit.
As someone who makes a living from traveling and discovering new experiences, I never thought I’d say this, but what I experienced at the Glidden Point Oyster Sauna with Cedar Grove Sauna was truly one of the most unique and memorable things I’ve ever encountered. What I loved most was how it seamlessly combined some of the quintessential aspects of Maine – the serene beauty of nature, the deliciousness of fresh seafood, and the quiet and peaceful atmosphere that the state is known for.
I left feeling very refreshed and rejuvenated. There was also the added bonus that it was a very private experience. Since they only book one group at a time, it was just my family and I. It was lovely to have the whole oyster farm and river to ourselves.
That’s a Wrap!
If you know cool things to do in Maine, or anywhere else for that matter, let me know. I’d love to try them! Have you tried this experience? Would you? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.
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Until next time… keep it real.
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Ultimate Guide to The Maine Oyster Trail + 4 Day Itinerary to Eat Your Way Along Maine’s Coast
A Fun Lesson on Maine Oysters, My Favorite Seafoodie Adventures on The Maine Oyster Trail
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