Portland, Maine is a great town for lovers. Set right on the coast, it serves up some of the freshest seafood you can find. And the town itself is great for strolling, with a collection of world-class art galleries, shops, and crafts stores. Wondering where to stay in Portland? Here are my picks for most romantic places to stay, ranging from hotels in the Old Port to nearby B&Bs to resorts by the ocean. PS: When hunger strikes, know where to eat in Portland, Maine.
Located in Cape Elizabeth, a pretty town seven miles south of Portland, the Inn by the Sea offers couples a true beach resort experience. Unique activities include kayaking through a nearby nature preserve with an Audubon guide and working with a local lobsterman to haul in the catch from Casco Bay. Come winter, the inn beckons romantics with rooms warmed by fireplaces and a spa with a dedicated couples room. After dinner in Sea Glass restaurant overlooking Crescent Beach, head to the firepit lounge to make s'mores and friends. And you're welcome to bring your dog.
2. Portland Harbor Hotel
In the heart of the Old Port, the AAA four-diamond Portland Harbor Hotel provides easy access to the area's arts, attractions, restaurants, and shops. Honeymoon suites were added to its recently renovated room and suite roster. Each features a pillow-topped king-size bed, in-suite Jacuzzi, fireplace, and built-in sound system. Overlooking the hotel's courtyard, these suites are a refuge from the sounds of the city. Custom turndowns with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, rose petals, candles and a scented bath can be added to change a visit into a a celebration.
A convenient location for exploring the Old Port Area, the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa is steps from the shops, restaurants, galleries, and the waterfront that draw couples to this city by the sea. In this historic (yet renovated) property, 95 guestrooms and suites feature architectural elements such as alcoves, turret windows, and balconies. Comfortable beds with down comforters plus coffee and pastry delivered to your door encourage sleeping in. In addition to using the communal sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and fitness area, couples can have a massage together.
4. Black Point Inn
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on three sides, the Black Point Inn in the coastal town of Scarborough is a 15-minute drive from downtown Portland. Since it overlooks where ocean and bay meet and just about every room has a water view, it's no surprise that Yankee magazine's editors named Black Point Inn as having the best ocean views in Maine in its "Best of New England" issue. Built in 1878 and restored, the inn holds 25 rooms and suites. There's access to tennis, 18 hole golf course and kayaking, plus a heated outdoor pool open in the summer and fall. Stroll the beach hand in hand for miles if you wish, and let the fireplaces warm you in winter. Note: Like many resorts, the Black Point Inn is family-friendly.
A six-room bed and breakfast, the Inn on Carlton is a restored 1869 Victorian home. Room 3 has a king-size bed; the others feature a queen. Breakfast, served between 8 and 9:30 am daily, features fresh ingredients from local farmers markets. For dinner, you have a choice of some 300 restaurants. The inn is on a tree-lined street about half a mile from the Old Port, and a local bus stops on the corner.
6. West End Inn
Guests give this B&B high marks for decor and the friendliness of the hosts, a married couple. Each of the rooms is decorated differently, incorporating contemporary and vintage furnishings. Most have a four-poster bed. Breakfast offers a choice of continental fare and cooked to order entrées. And fresh fruit and pretzels are available all day. The inn is located in a residential section about a 15 minute walk from downtown.