Northeast

8 Romantic Getaways in Maine | Finding A Touch Of Isolation

Vacationland might feel like a world away, but once you're there, you won't regret it. Start planning with these romantic getaways in Maine.

“You can’t get there from here,” I mutter as my husband turns the car around, again. There’s something true about that old Maine adage, I think. We’ve been driving for hours, seeing more deer than people and wondering why we thought a road trip to northern Maine would be relaxing or romantic. A few wrong turns have me fully appreciating the vastness of the northernmost New England state. You really could get lost here, I think, watching the hours of our weekend escape ticking away in the car.

But as I peer out the window, I suddenly catch a glimpse of the ocean. No crashing waves, but the slow rise and fall of the backwater inlets that define Maine’s craggily coast. A bald eagle dives, skimming the water. Did you see that?, I gasp, wondering if the iconic image was just a mirage after a long day in the car.

My husband had seen it. With one swoop the majestic bird broke our melancholy and reignited our excitement about Maine, with all its rugged, remote beauty. As we finally pulled into Bar Harbor, we were even more enchanted, watching the green lawns spill into gray rock and then smooth, blue water.

Maine is a world away. Sure, the state’s southern beaches and plentiful outlets are just a 90-minute drive from Boston, but the focus on the outdoors and the touch of isolation make you feel like you’re much further removed. And that’s just what makes Maine a great destination for a romantic weekend away to focus on you and your partner, like nothing else in the world matters.

Here are a few of the most romantic getaways in Maine, just waiting for you to discover.

Bar Harbor

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Bar Harbor, located on Mt. Desert Island on Maine’s Northern Coast, is the gateway to Acadia , New England’s only National Park. On Mt. Desert Island you can surround yourself with nature: hike or drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic, take in the power of the ocean at Thunder Hole, or take a quiet stroll or paddle along one of the island’s many calm beaches.

When you’ve had enough and want to enjoy all the creature comforts of modern life, head to the Bar Harbor Inn. Located directly on the waterfront in Bar Harbor, the Inn offers upscale rooms and suites. Those with balcony views overlook the harbor, where you can watch cruise ships come and go or try to spot a pod of porpoises. If you aren’t brave enough to face Maine’s frigid ocean water, opt instead for the Inn’s infinity pool, which just opened this year. For those who prefer to stay dry, the Inn’s Terrace Grill allows you enjoy fresh Maine seafood while watching boat traffic and foot traffic make its way to town.

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Bar Harbor Inn

Top rated
Bar Harbor, 3.2 miles to Acadia National Park
8.9 Excellent (825 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
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Camden

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If you want a couple’s retreat that will make you feel like royalty, head to the Norumbega Inn in Camden, Maine. The castle was constructed in 1886 by Joseph Stearns, who invented the duplex telegraph and used his subsequent fortune to build this Maine masterpiece. Today, each of the castle’s 11 rooms has a distinct feel, with the two-story Library Suite and the Penthouse Suite offering the most romantic accommodations.

You’ll come to the Norumbega Inn for the architecture, but you’ll return for the food. Owner Phillip Crispo is a classically trained chef and former teacher at the Culinary Institute of America. Your three-course breakfast includes a sweet or savory entree and the inn’s own brew of coffee. The tasting menu dinner, offered at 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays, allows you and your partner to explore new dishes together.

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Norumbega Inn

8.9 Excellent (21 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
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Great Diamond Island, Portland

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Escaping to Great Diamond Island just sounds romantic, doesn’t it? The destination becomes even more intriguing when you realize that the hotel you’re staying at is located in converted Army barracks that served soldiers at Fort McKinley. Oh, and it’s on an island that you can only reach by boat — no cars allowed.

That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Inn At Diamond Cove. First, you board a boat for a brief ride from Portland, Maine into the city’s harbor. Then, you’re dropped off on Great Diamond Island, where cares are forbidden and everyone gets around via bikes of golf carts. All of the suites in the Inn have a fireplace and separate seating area, although the waterfront Diamond’s Edge restaurant and marina are beautiful enough to ensure you spend time outside, too.

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Inn At Diamond Cove

Portland, 3.2 miles to Anglican Cathedral of Saint Paul
9.0 Excellent (63 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Greenville

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Most people who escape to Maine are headed to the ocean, but the state is also speckled with crisp, clear lakes perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing. The largest of these is Moosehead Lake, which covers a stunning 118 square miles. Although much of the lake is extremely remote, the small town of Greenville offers a gateway to Moosehead, with a dose of civilization.

There, you’ll find the Greenville Inn At Moosehead Lake. Although the inn is not directly on the lake, its perch above town affords guests beautiful views over the water. To enjoy the lake, rent a boat or snowmobile in town, or head to the nearby Lily Bay State Park. For the most romantic stay at the Greenville Inn, opt for the Tower Suite, which has a whirlpool for two and a private veranda overlooking the lake.

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Greenville Inn At Moosehead Lake

8.9 Excellent (19 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Kennebunkport

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Further up the coast from Ogunquit is Kennebunkport, a calmer, smaller, but no less beautiful oceanfront town. The town’s Lower Village and Dock Square both allow you to shop or dine near the ocean, but the true fun in Kennebunkport is exploring on your own, without the crowds of other Maine cities. Sunbathe on Goose Rocks Beach, which is actually sandy (but be sure to get your parking permit beforehand). Or, get physical by biking, hiking or trying a surf lesson. Then, see if you can find Walker’s Point, the summer residence for the Bush Family, which served as Summer White House for President George H.W. Bush.

To feel like the Commander in Chief yourself, stay at Captain Lord Mansion. With a name like that, you expect luxury, and the mansion does not disappoint. All rooms at the mansion have a gas fireplace, and many have spacious jetted tubs perfect for relaxing with your partner after a day of exploring. Spend a night sipping drinks from the mansion’s wine cellar, then wake to a three-course breakfast, the perfect way to start the day.

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Captain Lord Mansion

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (89 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Northport

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Maine oceanfront towns are stunning, but during the summer the crowds can make some of them a bit overwhelming. If you and your partner are more comfortable without the crowds, keep driving North until you reach Point Lookout in the tiny town of Northport. Here you’re surrounded by trees and wildlife, not other tourists.

Point Lookout is perfect for couples looking to reconnect in nature. The resort has a private beach on Penobscot Bay, a swimming pond and lots of maintained hiking trails. The resort rents cabins, not rooms, which gives an added layer of privacy. You can cook for yourself and enjoy a drink on Adirondack chairs on your private, screened porch without having to interact with anyone but each other. Of course, if you need another outlet, Point Lookout is only 15 minutes from larger towns including Belfast and Camden, which have plenty of dining options.

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Point Lookout

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (606 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Ogunquit

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What’s the best part of Ogunquit? It’s hard to say. It could be the smooth, flat sands of Ogunquit beach, an especially rare treat in Maine. Or the gentle current of the Ogunquit River, perfect for floating on a warm afternoon. Then there’s the Marginal Way, a 1.5-mile gentle hiking path along Ogunquit’s cliffs that will transport you from the beach to Perkins Cove, a tiny peninsula filled with artists’ shops and old fashioned candy counters. Plus, Ogunquit’s thriving LQGBT scene means that everyone feels welcome.

Standing proudly amid all of this is the Anchorage By The Sea, a sprawling resort overlooking Ogunquit’s waterfront. The resort’s views and central location allow you to enjoy the best that Ogunquit has to offer without battling the crowds. When the beach is too crowded, opt instead to sit by one of the Anchorage’s indoor or outdoor pools. Enjoy a drink poolside or head to the 360 cocktail bar, which, as its name suggests, offers some impressive ocean views.

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Anchorage by the Sea

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (864 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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Old Port, Portland

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If you love Boston but want to try something new, Portland is a perfect weekend destination. Maine’s biggest city started as a fishing village but has matured into a metro oasis with thriving music, arts, and brewery scenes. Old Port, the area of the city adjacent to the still-active fishing wharfs, has become the heart of the town.

The Portland Regency Hotel and Spa is located in Old Port, within walking distance of many popular Portland pubs and restaurants. Once you’ve dropped your bags, head just down the block to Vena’s Fizz House, which serves custom cocktails and mocktails.

For a distinctly Maine drink choose the Lumbersexual–Gin, pine, tonic, lemon, rosemary, bitters. After you quench your thirst, walk the two blocks to the waterfront, where you can learn about history both local and foreign, including visiting a piece of the Berlin wall. On the nights that you just want to stay in, check out the Regency’s Twenty Milk Street restaurant, where a fire place keeps the dining room cozy and romantic year round.

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Portland Regency Hotel & Spa

Top rated
Portland, 0.3 miles to Anglican Cathedral of Saint Paul
8.8 Excellent (2721 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
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Featured image courtesy of Stephen Walker, Unsplash


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