Love a room or porch with an ocean view? Here are 10 of the very best seaside inns in New England, from Cape Cod to Down East.
THE TIDES BEACH CLUB, Kennebunkport, ME
It’s hard to decide what to love most at this upscale/casual boutique inn: the broad, breeze-loving porch, the view of Goose Rocks Beach right across the road, great local catch at TBC’s house restaurant, or an in-house stand-up-paddling instructor (who also teaches beach fitness). The best part? You’ve got all weekend to debate it.
254 Kings Hwy. (207) 967-3757; tidesbeachclubmaine.com
THE RED INN, Provincetown, MA
Painted sassy red and set right on the water (the slender beach disappears at high tide), this outpost on the far end of Cape Cod has hosted presidents, celebrities, and lucky pilgrims since 1915. Upscale but very friendly, and not-to-miss sunsets from those bleached white Adirondack chairs dotting the deck.
15 Commercial St. 508-487-7334; theredinn.com
THE BEACH PLUM INN AND RESTAURANT, Menemsha, MA
What may recommend this gorgeous little inn with just 11 rooms overlooking Menemsha Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard is that it’s likely you can’t get cell service here. Let the romance begin, with private patios, cozy hammocks, country-French décor and a stunning destination restaurant.
50 Beach Plum Ln. 508-645-9454; beachpluminn.com
THE WHITE ELEPHANT INN, Nantucket, MA
Sophisticated, impeccably designed, and an easy stroll to the bustling fun of Nantucket Harbor, the rooms and suites in the Hotel building or any of the Village residences are pure luxury. Don’t miss the afternoon port and cheese tastings, and cocktails at the property’s Brant Point Grill are a seaside must.
50 Easton St. 508-228-2500; whiteelephanthotel.com
BASS ROCKS OCEAN INN, Gloucester, MA
An easy reach from Boston, the rugged shores of Cape Ann feel surprisingly distant. Face the bracing Atlantic and Thacher Island’s twin lighthouses from all 51 rooms of this classic seaside inn (the 1897 Stacy House’s king suites crown them all). A billiards table, darts, and warm cookies every afternoon are old-fashioned delights.
107 Atlantic Rd. 978-283-7600; bassrocksoceaninn.com
BLACK POINT INN, Scarborough, ME
This historic grey-shingled inn set on Winslow Homer’s beloved Prouts Neck is a deluxe getaway from May through October, and pulls out all the stops with a summer special for four-night stays that includes either a complimentary sail on a vintage, Maine-built schooner or lobstering expedition on Casco Bay.
510 Black Point Rd. 207-883-2500; blackpointinn.com
OCEAN HOUSE, Watch Hill, RI
A resplendent Victorian grande dame that got considerably grander with its 2010 renovation, Ocean House is peak luxury in Rhode Island’s laid-back but nonetheless exclusive summer enclave. There’s a resident croquet pro (book a lesson), and the resort’s OH! Spa is world-class.
1 Bluff Ave. 401-584-7000; oceanhouseri.com
THE CLAREMONT HOTEL, Southwest Harbor, ME
At the mouth of the only fjord on the East Coast (Somes Sound), this historic retreat in its 131st season has retained the charms of bygone days: a clay tennis court and two tournament-class croquet courts, rowboats, rush-seated rockers on the porch, and a serenading pianist at cocktail hour. Consider coming for August’s Croquet Classic.
22 Claremont Rd. 800-244-5036; theclaremonthotel.com
BLUE, THE INN ON THE BEACH, Plum Island, Newbury, MA
This stylish getaway on Massachusetts’s North Shore is set among sand dunes and sparkles like a lapis lazuli gemstone. With a quiet South Beach vibe and nautical look, rooms and cottages include fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and Jacuzzis. Ask the staff to cater a clambake for you on the beach.
20 Fordham Way. 978-465-7171; blueinn.com
INN AT STONINGTON, Stonington Borough, CT
Historic and romantic in equal measure, this 18-room inn occupies a charming Connecticut colonial village full of great antiquing, gallery-hopping, and dining. Watch for the only fishing fleet left in the state to pass by your waterfront-view windows, with the freshest catch of the day.
60 Water St., 860-535-2000, innatstonington.com
What are your picks for the best seaside inns in New England?
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.