Squire Tar Box Inn
Hidden on an island just south of picturesque Wiscasset, away from Vacationland's tourist crowds, this relaxed Maine inn is a world unto itself—and that's a good thing. Originally built in 1763 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the peaceful property overlooks a wonderland of fields, stone walls, and saltwater marsh flats. When innkeepers Mario and Roni DePietro took over in 1995, they took special care to preserve the home's period character, so many of the original timbers, moldings, and fireplaces remain in the formal main house; the more rustic carriage barn dates from 1820. The 11 guest rooms are exactly what one would expect—and want—in an historic New England inn, with handmade quilts, featherbeds, and colonial antiques; each has a private bath. Swiss-born Mario, who began his culinary career as the pastry chef at the Four Seasons in New York City, takes mealtime seriously. Expect homemade breads and fresh eggs from the inn's own chickens at breakfast, and lavish fireside dinners featuring such Swiss favorites as cheesy raclette and seafood dishes like golden-crusted Maine haddock in lobster sauce. The vegetables here are about as local as you can get—the DePietro's son, Kyle, tends the certified organic garden.