The perfect Coastal Maine winter getaway for adventure seekers

View from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.  (NPS photo).

View from atop Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.  (NPS photo).

Who says summer and fall are the only times to visit the Maine Coast?  Come in the winter and not only do you enjoy the quieter season, but there’s plenty of winter adventure to enjoy.  Plan a 6-day itinerary, taking in all the fun offered in the Kennebunks, Rockland and Bar Harbor, and take advantage of the Inns Along the Coast’s 6-day package.  You’ll enjoy everything from skiing and XC skiing to snowshoeing on Acadia’s Carriage Roads to a thrilling ride down a good old fashioned toboggan chute.  Even if it’s a winter walk on a quiet beach, hand-in-hand with the one you love, you’ll find outdoor fun is on the agenda for your next winter Inns Along the Coast getaway.  The best part?  You’ll return to a lovely roaring fire, or a soak in the tub, a cup of warm tea or a lovely glass of port.  Then, the next morning, you’ll awake to a fabulously crafted breakfast to fuel you for more winter fun.  It’s all at your fingertips at Inns Along the Coast, your inn-to-inn adventure on Maine’s coast.

So where do we start?  If you’re staying at the 1802 House, Inn at English Meadows or Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, you might want to bring the XC skis. Nearby Harris Farm offers up XC skiing on a 600-acre farm in Dayton, ME.  Right now the Buzzell Trails are holding snow very well with good coverage.  Ski early for firmer snow, as it softens as the sun goes higher in the sky in the afternoon.  Then afterward, do a little shopping in their farm store. 

A winter sunset view of the sea from Kennebunkport's beaches.  Photo provided by Captain Jefferds Inn.

A winter sunset view of the sea from Kennebunkport's beaches.  Photo provided by Captain Jefferds Inn.

If you wish to stay a little closer, bundle up in your hat and jacket and head to any of Kennebunkport’s nearby beaches.  Stroll hand-in-hand as the waves crash and the song of the waves lapping the beach create a peaceful sense of nature’s gifts. 

We like to say that half the fun is in the journey between the Inns Along the Coast.  On your way from Kennebunkport to Rockland, be sure to stop by the Portland Head Light for a winter view of Portland Harbor and a visit to one of the first lighthouses ever built in the USA, commissioned by George Washington.  Then visit Portland’s Old Port, and men, you might even enjoy a haircut topped off with a local brew at the new Blind Pig Barber Shop in the Old Port, while women do a little shopping. 

A winter view of Rockland Harbor.  Photo by PJ Walter Photography.

A winter view of Rockland Harbor.  Photo by PJ Walter Photography.

Once in Rockland, it’s time to do a little downhill skiing or tobogganing at the Camden Snow Bowl.  If you’re staying at Granite Inn, Berry Manor Inn or LimeRock Inn be sure to bring the downhill skis and the toboggan with you.  If you don’t have room, no worries – rentals are available at the Camden Snow Bowl.  With a motto “Ski The Sea”, this is the only Maine ski resorts with a spectacular view of the ocean.  From the top, it appears you’re going to ski right into the sea!  Beautiful views and fun trails are the name of the game here.  Not a skier? Hit the Jack Williams Toboggan Chute and enjoy a good old fashioned thrill of a ride down this championship chute.  However, if you’re here the weekend of February 6th and 7th, the bad news is the chute is closed. The good news is you can take in all the thrills of the US Toboggan Nationals with a weekend of hoopla and partying to go along with it.   

After a day at the Camden Snow Bowl, return to any of the three Rockland inns for a hot toddy, and a welcoming innkeeper who will wish to hear all about your day, then recommend a great Rockland restaurant for dinner.  You will have earned it!

While Bar Harbor is bustling in the summer with tourists, come in the winter and you’ll seemingly have the town to yourself.  And that’s a good thing.  Stay at Saltair InnWaterfront B&B, open year-round, and you’ll be welcomed by rooms with water views or the smell of freshly baked treats as you enter.  Most people think of Acadia National Park as a summer destination, but come winter time, the Carriage Roads here make ideal XC and snowshoeing trails.  According to the National Park Service, forty-five miles (72 km) of carriage roads in the park offer the perfect setting for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Ski tracks are sometimes laid down by volunteers on sections of the carriage roads when snowfall exceeds four inches (10 cm). Nearly 32 miles (51 km) are designated for grooming when conditions and time permit. The Carriage Road User's Map can help you find your way on the carriage roads. You can find the status of which trails are groomed at Friends of Acadia's Winter Trails Association.

For those who’d rather ride than glide on the trails, Snowmobile travel is allowed on the 27-mile (43 km) Park Loop Road system (including the road up Cadillac Mountain) and most fire roads. Maps of the east side and west side show snowmobile routes and parking.  Click here for a map of snowmobiling routes.

Winter is a peaceful time in Bar Harbor.  Photo provided by Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Winter is a peaceful time in Bar Harbor.  Photo provided by Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

While many of the shops and some of the restaurants close for the winter in Bar Harbor, your innkeepers will offer ideas for those hearty favorite watering holes and dining spots where you can enjoy a post-ski or post-snowmobile day with a fabulous meal and plenty of high-fives for being a Maine coastal adventure lover.

There you have it.  There’s plenty of winter adventure along the way when you book an inn-to-inn getaway with Inns Along the Coast.  We love this time of year when the quiet of the sea, the trails and the farms envelop us in an awe for Mother Nature’s grace.  We look forward to welcoming you on your next inn to inn winter getaway along the Coast of Maine.

Now it's time to choose your inn and pick dates for your winter getaway.  Even better, take a tour of all these locations via the Inns Along the Coast 6-day package. Here's the best way to reach the Inns Along the Coast.

In Kennebunkport:

1802 House: Email:  info@1802house.com, website: www.1802house.com, reservations: (800) 932-5632, Innkeepers: Teri & Roger Walker

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

Inn at English Meadows: Email: innkeeper@englishmeadowsinn.com, website: www.englishmeadowsinn.com, reservations: 207-967-5766/800-272-0698, innkeepers: David and Kate Parisi

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  PJ Walter & Frank Isganitis

In Bar Harbor:

Canterbury Cottage B&B: Email:  Info@CanterburyCottage.com, website: www.canterburycottage.com Reservations: 207-288-2112, Innkeepers: Tim & Martha Searchfield

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.