Forget Virginia—Maine is for lovers. Like long walks on the beach? Maine has 230 miles of coastline. You haven’t kissed until you’ve kissed in front of a lighthouse, and Maine oysters are renowned aphrodisiacs. Probably lobsters too, I don’t know. But seriously, the abundance of charming seaside inns and cozy rustic lodges are like catnip to vacationing couples, and in the state’s quieter corners you can actually have that beach or bar or picnic spot all to yourself from time to time. It’s not for nothing that untold legions of sweethearts descend on Maine to get married every year. Having attended several Maine weddings and gotten married here myself (and enjoyed countless dates with my wife) I can personally attest to the romantic vibe the Pine Tree State is throwing off. Take advantage of it at one of these inns, all of which look like something out of a soft-focus Instagram pic.
White Barn Inn
Couples massage in the spa? Champagne and strawberries upon arrival? Dinner for two in the French-influenced, five-star dining room (which, btw, is a timber-framed barn)? Or maybe just a wicker basket packed for a beach picnic? This Relais & Châteaux property has it all, plus the small “r” romance of its location in the charming seaside village of Kennebunkport.
I’ve heard it said that the turreted, stone façade of the Norumbega Inn is the most photographed spot in Maine. I have my doubts, but it doesn’t seem like a stretch to put it in the top ten. The soaring seaside B&B was built in 1986 and modeled on the great castles of Europe. A former Culinary Institute of America prof runs the kitchen.
A historic inn right in the middle of the harbor town of Camden, Hartstone is actually a cluster of handsome buildings with views of the dramatic Camden Hills. You’re within walking distance of a few of the best restaurants in Maine, though the inn has its own standout dining room, heavy on local seafood, and a cooking school with hands-on classes.
Granite workers from a nearby quarry used to bunk at this delightfully simple rooming house, which overlooks a narrow spit between two coves in Andrew Wyeth country. Stay in one of the bright rooms in the main house or in the peaceful former chapel. Lupines color the place lavender in early summer.
Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins
The coast doesn’t have a monopoly on Maine romance. Snuggle in a shared sleeping bag or cozy up in front of the woodstove at these off-the-grid mountain cabins, run by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Meals are served family-style alongside other guests, but you’ll have remote lakes for paddling and fishing (and afterwards, an on-site sauna) all to yourself.