10 Best Beach Hotels in Maine
The Tides Beach Club, Kennebunkport
Airy and unabashedly chic, The Tides Beach Club is the only hotel on Kennebunkport's sandy-white Goose Rocks Beach, which hugs two stunning miles of island-dotted Atlantic. With the lovely structural lines of a Victorian inn and decor fashioned to appeal to this century's beachgoers—including two oceanfront suites styled by designer Jonathan Adler—you'll feel captivated the moment you step onto the oceanview front porch. Fruit-infused cocktails and fresh reinventions of classic Maine seafood dishes make The TBC a happy hour and dining destination, too.
Chebeague Island Inn, Chebeague Island
This cheery, yellow-painted inn on the Maine coast is historic, homey, and just remote enough to feel untethered from reality. A 15-minute ferry trip from Yarmouth is your easiest escape route to Chebeague Island Inn, and there are beaches aplenty on this 5-by-3-mile island surrounded by shimmery blue water. Hamilton Beach is a 10-minute stroll from your tranquil room, outfitted with clean white linens and conspicuously lacking a TV and alarm clock. But ask for a shuttle ride to Indian Point, a picture-perfect, nearly deserted hook of sand. Hotel staff will set up your beach chairs and provide every necessity: towels, a shade umbrella, sunscreen, and a bucket of your favorite chilled beverage.
Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth
Maine's most eco-conscious seaside resort embraced being "green" long before the trend picked up steam. Stay at Inn by the Sea, and you'll be impressed by how the hotel's every nuance reflects respect and care for its coastal location. As you wander the boardwalk down to Crescent Beach, notice the native landscape, which has been thoughtfully restored to provide habitat for wildlife. Dogs can enjoy the beach, too, from October through March, and they're treated like elite guests year-round. Soothing amenities for humans—including fine dining and ocean-inspired spa treatments—make even wintry days feel like summer vacation.
Black Point Inn, Prouts Neck
Thoroughly up-to-date, yet clinging with a barnacle's strength to a bygone era, Black Point Inn is the last grand survivor of Prouts Neck's 19th-century heyday, when tourists could choose from a dozen hotels on this rocky, beach-sheathed peninsula just south of Portland. You'll feel forever connected to what is now an exclusive residential community after even a brief stay. This point of land was most famously home to artist Winslow Homer, and the seascapes he immortalized on canvas will be indelibly imprinted in your memory. Two mile-and-a-half-long beaches, an oceanside Cliff Walk, a heated pool, and oceanview dining all make this casually elegant retreat a watery playground.
The Dunes on the Waterfront, Ogunquit
The Perkins family has welcomed guests to this 12-acre coastal hideaway since 1936. Choose a hotel-style guest room or private cottage with a warming fireplace at The Dunes on the Waterfront, and you'll enjoy the best of two worlds. Downtown Ogunquit's lively restaurants and shops are a short walk away. So is Ogunquit Beach...until high tide, when a temporary, briny river rolls in. Don't be thwarted. Just borrow one of the resort's row boats, and invest a bit of sweat equity in reaching the sand.
York Harbor Inn, York Harbor
No two waves leave the same rippled pattern on York Harbor Beach, which beckons from just below the main inn. And no two stays at this "six inns in one" property are identical. But by the time guests savor one last breakfast in the dining room with the restless ocean in view, they share a common attachment to the York Harbor Inn. A wide range of overnight rates makes an ocean "fix" accessible for most travelers. And cozy common areas—like the main inn's 1637 "Cabin Room," with its stone fireplace and rough-hewn beams, and the nautical Ship's Cellar Pub—are perfect landing places after a breezy walk along the shore.
Higgins Beach Inn, Scarborough
Built in 1897, this mansion-style inn, located steps from one of Maine's quirkiest beaches, has been rebooted 120 years later, with renovated rooms, amenities discerning travelers demand, and a new restaurant—Shade—where the experience is all about fresh-harvested delights from land and sea. Higgins Beach Inn's cottage-style guestroom decor sets the mood for carefree, barefoot days splish-splashing in seawater that's warmer than you'd expect for Maine. What makes Higgins Beach truly unique, though, is the shipwreck that's been embedded in its sands since an extra-foggy August night in 1897. Like the hotel, it is meant to remain part of the fabric of summer memories for yet another generation.
Stage Neck Inn, York Harbor
Sheltered, petite Harbor Beach is just an appetizer when you stay at the adjacent Stage Neck Inn, where an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, and spa make family vacations by the sea weather-proof. Each day's expansive breakfast buffet will fuel you for saltwater adventures. Long Sands Beach, a classic, mile-and-a-half-long sandbox with views of Nubble Light and waves vigorous enough for surfing and boogie boarding, awaits just three miles north. And for "dessert," head to Short Sands Beach, with its arcade, shops, restaurants, and mesmerizing candy store—The Goldenrod—where you can watch antique machines from the 1940s and '50s pulling and fluffing colorful blobs of saltwater taffy.
Seaside Inn, Kennebunkport
With sprawling Kennebunk Beach just outside the door, Mother Nature provides the soundtrack for this lodging landmark, which has been owned by the same family for a remarkable nine generations. What the Seaside Inn lacks in frills, it makes up for with its rare on-the-beach location and little touches like complimentary bike rentals and fresh-baked morning muffins. During the quiet off-season, when churned-up waves still call to surfers and a walk on the beach can be both exhilarating and profound, rates that start at less than $100 are the best deal around.
Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, Bar Harbor
When low tide reveals a tiny patch of sand behind the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, a few fearless guests venture into ocean water that never loses its iciness this far north in Maine. The plunge makes everything else this resort hotel offers that much sweeter, especially a dip in the heated pool at ocean's edge or a seat at the Splash Pool Bar, where the vibe and the cocktails are as beachy as you'll find this far from the Caribbean. Guests also enjoy access to the exclusive and historic Bar Harbor Club—with tennis courts, a spa, a fitness center, and a second seaside heated pool—throughout their vacations.