Winter is a beautiful time to sneak away for a weekend or mid-week break on Maine’s beautiful coast. No lines of traffic clog the roads leading to its villages, and while most of the waterside lobster and clam shacks are closed, plenty of good restaurants overlooking the shore still serve the ocean-fresh seafood that lures visitors to Maine.
Each of these cozy inns is close to dining, shopping and other activities, within walking distance or a short drive if the weather is too cold for strolling. We reserved at each of these through a new affinity group of inns and B&Bs called Inns Along the Coast, all of whose members are open yea- round and meet high standards of comfort and luxury.
All have resident owners/innkeepers who are experts on their hometowns and nearby attractions, whether you’re looking for the best oysters (winter months are prime oyster season), antique shops, lighthouses to photograph or snowshoeing trails.
Beer lovers will like this hospitable B&B for its five beers on tap and, if they plan it right, for the inn’s Pretzel Baking and Craft Beer Pairing experiences. Yes, we really did learn to bake pretzels and munched on our own products with five different brews. During the lively morning session we also learned a lot about the history of pretzels, part of our host’s German heritage. For dinner, we walked a block down Freeport’s main street to the exceptional Azure Café, where we warmed our souls with creamy Maine seafood risotto and salmon grilled with a barbecue sauce of wild Maine blueberries.
Overlooking the Damariscotta River and the riverside town of Damariscotta, Newcastle Inn welcomes guests with fresh-baked cookies, always available in the inn’s “bottomless cookie jar.” The corner Monhegan Island Room has views across the river, a four-poster king-sized bed and a gas fireplace. The owner was a goldmine of information about the Pemaquid Peninsula and steered us to dinner at Damariscotta’s lively King Eider’s Pub. In the winter, Newcastle Inn offers Quiet Season discounts for a two-night stay.
Rooms in this former summer “cottage” in Bar Harbor overlook the bay, a perfect vantage point for storm watching — or just looking out at the sea on a nicer day. Bar Harbor was the Newport of the North back in the pre-air-conditioning days when the rich decamped to the shore for the summer with all their servants. Mansions such as this one line the streets, with the grandest of them facing the sea as Saltair does. A three-block walk from Bar Harbor’s many good restaurants and chic shops, the inn is also close to Acadia National Park, where cross country and snowshoe trails await the energetic. Hearty breakfasts (those are wild Maine blueberries in the pancakes) are served beside the fireplace in the elegant dining room.
If art is your thing, head for Rockland, and stay within an easy walk of the several galleries and museums that line the town’s historic Main Street. Rooms in this elegant Victorian mansion are romantic and beautifully decorated, and the engaging innkeeper/owners can easily suggest a weekend worth of things to do in this art-loving region. After a congenial breakfast with fellow guests, start at the outstanding Farnsworth Art Museum and the new Center for Maine Contemporary Art, opened in 2017. For more art-related suggestions, consult the Arts Along the Coast options on the Inns Along the Coast website, where you’ll find galleries, theaters and museums.
Can joining Disney Vacation Club help you save on family travel? Well, David’s Vacation Club Rentals, a source for Disney Vacation Club rentals, can provide some insight. Disney travel experts like Melissa Mullett, director of operations, David’s Vacation Club Rentals, provided some tips and insider knowledge on how Disney Vacation Club works.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Does your road trip crew include young kids? We’ve been there, too, and know keeping everyone busy and entertained makes those long stretches of interstate much more peaceful.
In the market for new luggage? If you’re outfitting your entire family of travelers, you may want to check out some new offerings available at Target from travel brand Atlantic. Atlantic’s new line focuses on making travel more convenient with kiddos, and includes seven pieces to choose from, all made with durable, lightweight, sustainable materials (each item is made from up to 27 recycled plastic bottles).
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Norwegian recently launched the newest addition to its fleet, Viva, with a spectacular debut earlier this month. The ship, launched from Trieste, Italy, and finishing its inaugural run in Lisbon, Portugal, is the second in its Prima Class of ships, set to give family travelers the ultimate vacation experience.