Best Lakeside Lodging in New England | Maine, Vermont & New Hampshire

Learn our picks for Best Lakeside Lodging in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire from Yankee's annual "Best of New England" Editors' Choice Awards.

When the temperature rises New Englanders flock to the region’s many lakes to cool off and beat the heat. Why not turn your visit into a longer stay by checking in at a lakeside inn, lodge, resort, or even your very own houseboat? Check out our picks for Best Lakeside Lodging in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire from Yankee‘s annual “Best of New England” Editors’ Choice Awards — then head for the water!

Best Lakeside Lodging in New England

Best Lakeside Lodging in New England



Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps
Near Millinocket

While it’s a little surprising that no cell service, no electricity, and no running water can figure into a heavenly getaway, these shorefront cabins in Baxter State Park deliver just that. Getting here requires either hiking 3-plus miles or flying in via floatplane, but it’s worth the effort. Guests lodge in individual cabins stocked with wood, ice, and drinking water, with outhouses nearby. Enjoy breakfast and dinner in the main lodge; box lunches allow for spending the day hiking, paddling, or wildlife-watching. Near Millinocket. 207-837-1599; katahdinlakewildernesscamps.com

Migis Lodge

Set under towering pines on the shores of Sebago Lake, this 100-year-old resort turns the lakeside family vacation into a luxury experience, pampering guests with wood-burning fireplaces, stocked daily, and fancy linens in 35 well-appointed cottages and a main lodge. Choose from paddling, sailing, tennis, kids’ programs, and a slew of family-friendly activities, from island cookouts to waterskiing sessions. Meals and most activities are included. 30 Migis Lodge Road. 207-655-4524; migis.com

Rangeley Inn

A perfect example of Maine’s “serial architecture,” the multiwinged Rangeley Inn was built in pieces in the early 20th century to offer hospitality to the sporting crowd that came by rail. The trains no longer run, but the mountainous woodlands and lakes of western Maine remain as alluring as ever. Well-stocked Haley Pond—just outside the inn’s back door—is a fine spot to practice angling or paddle around for an hour in a loaner kayak. Want to explore the Rangeley Lake itself? Inn staffers are happy to point you to a neighboring cruise company offering scenic outings on one-of-a-kind restored wooden boats. 2443 Main St. 207-864-3341; therangeleyinn.com

5 Lakes Lodge

Views! Views! Views! Mile-high Mount Katahdin is the backdrop for the watery vistas from this purpose-built bed-and-breakfast, sited on a spit of land thumbing into one of five connected lakes. 46 Marina Drive. 207-723-5045; 5lakeslodge.com

Attean Lake Lodge

Attean has been welcoming guests to Birch Island, an oasis of hospitality in the wilderness, since the late 19th century. Guests stay in comfy cabins, enjoy meals in the main lodge, and spend their days swimming, paddling, hiking, and fishing. Birch Island. 207-668-3792; atteanlodge.com

Wolf Cove Inn
Poland Spring

Almost every room in this dog-friendly waterfront inn has a view of Tripp Lake. After breakfast, swim or canoe, snooze in the hammock, or admire the lakeside gardens. Sunsets are spectacular. 5 Jordan Shore Drive. 207-998-4976; wolfcoveinn.com


Lake Morey Resort

Tucked along the north shore of forest-rimmed Lake Morey in the Connecticut River Valley, this resort has been home to the Vermont Open Golf Championship for more than 50 years. Amateurs also enjoy the challenges of the meticulously maintained 6,024-yard course, where a relatively level front gives way to a rolling back nine. Not a golfer? Choose from tennis, volleyball, an indoor pool, paddling on the lake, and a 5-mile hike or bike ride around the shore. More than half of the 130 rooms and suites offer lake views, and three cottages accommodate six to 14 guests. 1 Clubhouse Road. 800-423-1211; lakemoreyresort.com

Willoughvale Inn & Cottages

Lake Willoughby is the deep blue jewel of Northeast Kingdom lakes, and Willoughvale is perched invitingly on its shores. Accommodations include 10 handsomely furnished inn rooms and suites, some with fireplace and Jacuzzi, along with four lakeside and four lake-view cottages. Guests can use the inn’s canoes, kayaks, and bikes, and the swimming beach features a water trampoline. Gil’s bar and grill (dinner only) overlooks the lake, and continental breakfast is included for guests. 793 Rte. 5A S. 802-525-4123; willoughvale.com

The Most Beautiful Places in Vermont

Lake Champlain from the lawn at The Inn at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont.

Aimee Tucker

The Inn at Shelburne Farms

The centerpiece of this grand estate turned nonprofit teaching farm is the Webb family’s 19th-century summer home, now a beautiful inn with 24 guest rooms and four cottages set amid manicured grounds and views of Lake Champlain. The farm’s own meat, produce, and award-winning cheeses are menu staples at the inn’s restaurant, which is one of Vermont’s most celebrated. 1611 Harbor Road. 802-985-8498; shelburnefarms.org

The Tyler Place

Head to Lake Champlain and this all-inclusive resort sprawling over 165 acres with a mile of lake frontage, offering a full roster of land- and water-based activities. Rates and lengths of stay vary depending on time of year. 175 Tyler Place. 802-868-4000; tylerplace.com

One of a Kind B&B

Book well in advance: This tiny lakefront turn-of-the-20th-century lodging, just a short walk from downtown, offers a two-room suite in the main house, and a small separate cottage. Both are sun-filled and offer wonderful water views. Described by owner/artist Maggie Sherman as “eclectic vernacular Victorian with a bit of Arts and Crafts,” the property has lovely gardens and provides guests with an in-room breakfast. 53 Lakeview Terrace. 802-862-5576; oneofakindbnb.com

Cliff Haven Farm B&B
Newport Center

Set on 300 delightfully out-of-the-way acres overlooking Lake Memphremagog (the road dead-ends just ahead at the Canadian border) this 1800s farmhouse offers four spacious rooms (three with gas fireplaces); there’s also a private pond for swimming. 5463 Lake Road. 802-334-2401; cliffhaven.net

North Hero House
North Hero

There’s no city on North Hero’s City Bay; in fact, there’s little more than this cozy lakeside inn, opened in 1891. But that’s plenty for us. Some of the 26 rooms, spread among four waterside buildings, have screened-in porches and/or fireplaces; most offer splendid lake and mountain vistas. The inn’s main dining room showcases produce grown on-site, and casual fare is offered in summer and on fall weekends at the bar and grill. 3643 Route 2. 802-372 -4732; northherohouse.com

Things to Do in Vermont

Enjoy lakeside fun for the whole family at Basin Harbor in Vergennes, Vermont.

Courtesy of Basin Harbor

Basin Harbor

Family-owned for over 100 years, with a prime Champlain location, this place is as timeless as a resort can be. Families return year after year for summers filled with all kinds of on-site activities: biking, tennis, golfing, and water sports (ranging from paddleboarding to cruising in a vintage Chris-Craft). Plus, it’s pet-friendly—dogs even have their own swimming beach! 4800 Basin Harbor Road. 800-622-4000, 802-475-2311; basinharbor.com

Champlain Houseboat Charters

Cruise America’s “Sixth Great Lake” in style, on a 38-foot houseboat equipped with galley, shower, and toilet; charts and radio; and bunks for six. Or captain a diesel-powered 32-foot Grand Banks Trawler. 68 Chipman Point Road. 802-948-2288 (days), 802-948-2740 (evenings); champlainhouseboatcharters.com


The Ballard House Inn

For the record, Newton is not the official innkeeper, but the bouncing golden retriever’s enthusiastic welcome is certainly in line with the vibe at this beautifully restored 1784 boardinghouse. While owners Brian and Lynn Krautz can’t take credit for the outstanding lake and mountain views from the back-porch swing, they get full marks for homemade country breakfasts and complimentary coffee, wine, and beer. Located minutes from Lake Winnipesaukee, the Ballard House Inn offers six rooms and two suites, and easy access to hiking trails from the backyard. 53 Parade Road. 603-279-3434; ballardhouseinn.com

The Wolfeboro Inn

A short walk from the town center, the historic Wolfeboro Inn (c. 1812) comes with its own private beach on Lake Winnipesaukee and a replica 19th-century paddleboat, the Winnipesaukee Belle, that offers seasonal daytime cruises. The inn’s pub, Wolfe’s Tavern, serves New England comfort food alongside upscale options, and has an extensive beer list (Mug Club members must sample 100 varieties … but just two per visit, please). Oh, and there are rooms, too—44 of them, including suites with lake views. 90 N. Main St. 603-569-3016; wolfeboroinn.com

Best Small Luxury Hotel | The Manor On Golden Pond, Holderness

Best Small Luxury Hotel | The Manor On Golden Pond, Holderness

Douglas Merriam

The Manor On Golden Pond

Perfect, the way the afternoon sun strikes Isaac Van Horn’s 13-acre summer estate, on a hill overlooking Squam Lake. The manor basks in a golden glow—the same that shone in On Golden Pond, the 1981 Academy Award winner starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, filmed on Squam. Inside, polished wood gleams in the distinctly uncommon “common” areas—pub, library, sun-splashed dining room. Built in 1907 by a wealthy land developer for his bride, today’s innkeepers, Brian and Mary Ellen Shields, continue the romantic gestures with spa treatments, fine dining, and a Wine Spectator cellar. Member “Small Luxury Hotels of the World,” with 15 manor rooms. 31 Manor Drive. 603-968-3348; manorongoldenpond.com

Ames Farm Inn

Nostalgia rises like mist off the edges of Lake Winnipesaukee where the water meets a quarter-mile of sandy beach and 17 quiet cottages. Five generations of Ameses have tended this idyllic spread since 1890. The lawn would be extravagant anywhere, but on this lake, it’s astounding. You scarcely need more than the inn, restaurant, dock, and mountain views, but just in case, there are movies, karaoke, and ping-pong. The cottages line up like ducklings, porches facing the view. Peace. 2800 Lake Shore Road. 603-293-4321; amesfarminn.com

Cabins at Lopstick & Tall Timber Lodge

The Great North Woods deserves equally great pit stops (that is to say, rugged and beautiful). The lakeside “cabins” at these two sporting camps pull out the stops when it comes to rustic chic: great views, grills, satellite TV. With professional guides on hand, you’re never far from moose, fly fishing, paddling, or hiking. Lopstick, 45 Stewart Young Road. 800-538-6659; cabinsatlopstick.com. Tall Timber Lodge, 609 Beach Road. 603-538-6651; talltimber.com

This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated. Selections originally appeared in the annual Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice Best of New England. 

Which lakeside lodging destinations would you add to the list? Let us know!


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