Maine’s beautiful coasts and laid-back islands have earned it the name ‘vacationland’. We have top insider tips on where to stay, from historic homes to waterfront inns – and even luxury yurts
Asticou Inn, Northeast Harbor
It’s impossible to mention vacations in Maine without talking about the breathtaking beauty of Mount Desert Island and Acadia national park. A historic vacation destination for the rich and famous, the island has been wonderfully preserved and remains a must-visit spot. Just outside the park on the north side of Northeast Harbor is the Asticou Inn, one of the oldest and most prestigious inns on the island, retaining much of its classic character and charm over the years. The Asticou azalea gardens offer a gorgeous walk at any time of year.
• 15 Peabody Drive, Northeast Harbor, +1 207 276 3344, asticou.com. Doubles from $155
Inn at English Meadows, Kennebunk
Kennebunkport is southern Maine coastal living at its finest, and the Inn at English Meadows is the perfect way to explore the area. A renovated mid-19th century Victorian Greek Revival home with a stylishly modern interior, the inn is just a short walk from the downtown shops, top-rated restaurants and historic homes of Kennebunkport Village. Eat at 50 Local and make sure to drop by Snug Harbor Farm. If you visit around Christmas you can catch the lobster trap tree-lighting ceremony at Cape Porpoise or, in early summer, the Kennebunkport Food, Wine and Art Festival.
• 141 Port Road, Kennebunk, +1 207 967 5766, englishmeadowsinn.com. Doubles from $179
Pomegranate Inn, Portland
Portland is Maine’s largest city, with an amazing downtown area full of shops, galleries and one of the best food scenes in the country. The eclectic Pomegranate Inn, in Portland’s upscale West End, is secluded enough that the noise of the always-active Old Port won’t ruin your sleep, but still within walking distance of restaurants and sights. Each room is uniquely decorated with whimsical colours, patterns and furnishings that are a visual feast for the eyes, while comfort and style remain the primary objective.
• 49 Neal Street, Portland, +1 207 772 1006, pomegranateinn.com. Doubles from $129
Chebeague Island Inn, Chebeague Island
Just north of Portland, take the short ferry trip to Chebeague Island and enjoy a beautiful getaway at the historic Chebeague Island Inn. Overlooking the ferry landing, the inn is a classic reminder of Maine’s history as a vacation destination. The inn rooms have a minimal cottage aesthetic and feature works from local artists. The fantastic restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients. When you’re not using one of the hotel bicycles to explore the island, we recommend a cocktail or two on the wraparound porch, watching the boats sail past. It faces west so it’s also a good place for some of the best Maine sunsets you’ll ever experience.
• 61 South Road, Chebeague Island, +1 207 846 5155, chebeagueislandinn.com. Doubles from $200
The Marston House, Wiscasset
Blink and you might miss the darling village of Wiscasset, but stay at the Marston House and you’ll enjoy a wonderfully relaxing getaway just an hour from Portland, in one of Maine’s antiques centres. Owners Paul and Sharon Mrozinski split their year between Maine, where they operate the antiques store out front, and Provence, France, where they’re continually searching for the next year’s stock. Their aesthetic is an understated elegance that’s both classically French and perfect coastal Maine. Enjoy the quiet pace of life, or use the town as a jumping-off point for the rivers, islands and towns of the Midcoast region.
• 101 Main Street, Wiscasset, +1 207 882 6010, marstonhouse.com. Doubles from $125
Monhegan Island Inn, Monhegan
Twelve miles off the coast of Maine is the artist and birdwatcher enclave of Monhegan. Without cars or paved roads, and with fewer than 100 permanent residents, the island is about as remote as they come. The century-old Monhegan Island Inn is one of two places to stay here, and although you won’t find televisions, hairdryers, or even ceiling fans in your room, the inn more than makes up for its lack of modern amenities with comfortable rooms, the amazing natural beauty of the island and the promise of a truly unpluggedescape.
• 1 Ocean Avenue, Monhegan, +1 207 596 0371, islandinnmonhegan.com. Doubles from $175
Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Lincolnville
Right in the thick of Midcoast Maine, a region that typifies quintessential Maine coastal living and is a burgeoning food destination, is the Inn at Ocean’s Edge. Situated on Penobscot Bay with gorgeous views of the water, it has spacious and luxurious rooms with all modern conveniences. You might want to go sailing, explore the towns of Camden, Rockland and Belfast, or enjoy one of the local parks or hiking trails – Camden Hills state park offers an amazing view of the town and the sea.
• 24 Stonecoast Road, Lincolnville, +1 207 236 0945, innatoceansedge.com. Doubles from $195
Claremont Hotel, Southwest Harbor
Our favourite town on Mount Desert Island is Southwest Harbor, and the Claremont Hotel has been catering to holidaymakers here for almost 130 years. With classic views of the stunning Somes Sound and direct access to Acadia national park, there’s no shortage of amazing natural beauty. Clay tennis courts, croquet courts, rowing boats and moorings offer outdoor pursuits for a leisurely stay. If you’re feeling adventurous, spend a day biking the carriage trails of Acadia. A meal at Southwest Harbor’s Red Sky restaurant is an absolute must.
• 22 Claremont Road, Southwest Harbor, +1 207 244 5036, theclaremonthotel.com. Doubles from $145
Frost Mountain Yurts, Brownfield
A complete change of pace from the rocky coastlines and seaside towns, Frost Mountain Yurts offer a unique outdoor getaway in the woods of western Maine. Each private, secluded yurt comes with camp kitchen, fire pit, gas grill, deck and access to miles of private and public trails, boat launches and rivers for whichever seasonal recreation you choose. Although you really can’t pick a bad time of the year, a visit in autumn, when the trees are changing, the apples are ripe for the picking, and the chill has scared away the mosquitos, would be hard to beat.
• 34 Farnsworth Road, Brownfield, +1 207 935 3243, frostmountainyurts.com. Doubles from $100
Nebo Lodge, North Haven
When the Nebo Lodge, in North Haven, was returned from a private residence to its former role as an inn, it was done with a stylish attention to detail and comfortable aesthetic. While not as remote as Monhegan, North Haven offers a secluded Maine island vacation, and the inn and its outstanding restaurant sit comfortably at the centre of island life. Dining at the inn is as much of a draw as the design of the rooms or the appeal of the island’s beaches and trails – with carefully thought out, farm-to-table meals for inn guests and mainland visitors.
• 11 Mullins Lane, North Haven, +1 207 867 2007, nebolodge.com. From $100
Maine residents Meredith Perdue and Michael Cain run the food and travel blog mapandmenu.com
For more information on holidays in the USA, visit DiscoverAmerica.com
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