Where To Stay In Winter Harbor Maine In 2023

If you’re planning a trip to stay in Winter Harbor, Maine you’re in for a treat.

Winter Harbor is one of small town Maine’s hidden gems, offering beautiful coastal views and a number of unique experiences nearby.

And despite being a small town, there are plenty of places to stay in and around Winter Harbor, Maine.

This guide will offer advice on some of the best areas to stay to ensure you’re in the most convenient location possible for what you’ve come to Winter Harbor for.

Depends On Your Plans While Visiting

Most out-of-towners who come to stay in Winter Harbor are doing so for one of three reasons:

  • To be in close proximity to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, with plans to go back and forth to explore the main park area on Mount Desert Island but to avoid the crowds of Bar Harbor afterwards.
  • To explore Winter Harbor’s portion of Acadia National Park in the Schoodic Peninsula area.
  • To experience Winter Harbor itself, with plans to stick around town for the most part.

So with those three scenarios in mind, here are the best places to stay in Winter Harbor.

Plans To Travel To Bar Harbor/Acadia Areas Multiple Days

If you’re making your home base in Winter Harbor with plans to make the trip to the Mount Desert side of Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor area multiple days, there are a few different spots in and around Winter Harbor that will be ideal.

Hotels Nearby

If you prefer to stay in a room, there aren’t any hotels in the traditional sense in the Winter Harbor area, but you do still have some options.

Bluff House Inn

The Bluff House Inn & Cabins are located just off of US Route 1 in Gouldsboro, which is only about an 8-minute drive north of Winter Harbor.

This location makes for the shortest drive to Bar Harbor from any of the lodging you’ll find in the Winter Harbor area, at about 40 minutes.

It offers both a bed and breakfast style inn, along with multiple small private cabins.

MainStay Cottages & RV Park

If you want to be right in the heart of town in Winter Harbor, within walking distance of many of Winter Harbor’s selection of restaurants and the Winter Harbor Ferry, the MainStay Cottages & RV Park is your best bet.

This location is only about a 50-minute drive from Bar Harbor.  

But it also gives you the option to walk to or ride the free shuttle to the ferry, which can take you from Winter Harbor over to Bar Harbor, and can bring you back later in the day.

This location offers a few different cottages as well as an RV Park and is highly recommended by many past travelers.


If you want to rent your own place, there are quite a few VRBO and Airbnb homes/rooms for rent in Winter Harbor as well.

If you’re cool with driving to Bar Harbor, there are some beautiful ocean front options on the west shoreline between Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor.

If you plan to take the ferry and spend time in town, look for one on or around Main Street in Winter Harbor.  Many of these do provide good ocean views of Henry Cove as well.

For Those Who Will Be Exploring The Schoodic Peninsula

Winter Harbor is home to its own little piece of Acadia National Park with the Schoodic Peninsula located at its southern tip.  

It offers a number of hiking trails, the scenic Schoodic Point, and plenty of beauty to match what you’ll find in the main park area on Mount Desert Island.

And many folks choose to stay in Winter Harbor to explore its portion of Acadia, which is much less crowded and sees around 10% of the number of visitors that the main park area sees.

If you plan to spend more time in the Acadia area of Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Peninsula, there are a few good areas to stay in as well.

Hotels Nearby

MainStay Inn & Cottages

The previously mentioned Mainstay Inn & Cottages will be your best bet for lodging in the Winter Harbor area and keep you in close proximity to restaurants, the ferry, and the free shuttle service pickup/dropoff that runs to the Schoodic Acadia area.

Elsa’s Inn On The Harbor

About a 7-minute drive to the east of Winter Harbor in Prospect Harbor is Elsa’s Inn On The Harbor.

This is a seaside bed and breakfast with four rooms, and keeps you easily within driving proximity to Winter Harbor and the Schoodic Peninsula Area.

It’s about a 20-minute drive to the Schoodic portion of Acadia from here.

Acadia Oceanside Meadows Inn

Just up the road from Elsa’s in Prospect Harbor is another bed and breakfast, the Acadia Oceanside Meadows Inn.

It offers two different homes with rooms to rent and sits on 200 acres that include a private sandy beach area and can be explored by guests.

It’s about a 10-minute drive to Winter Harbor and 25 minutes or so to the Schoodic Peninsula.

Schoodic Woods Campground

If you’re good with camping or are traveling in an RV, the Schoodic Woods Campground is an option for you as well.

It’s located on the Schoodic Peninsula, just a few minutes away from a number of hiking trails within a few minute bike ride or drive of Schoodic Head and Schoodic Point.

The free shuttle also picks up and drops off from here as well.


There are plenty of homes for rent in the downtown area of Winter Harbor that would be a good fit for those looking to explore the Schoodic area as well.

For Those Who Plan To Stick Around Winter Harbor

Once you experience the hidden gem of Winter Harbor, there’s a good chance you’ll want to come back and stick around the town itself for the most part.

If you plan to stay in Winter Harbor for the majority of your visit, you’re in for a treat.

There are some great lodging options available right near town, and some of the more underrated food options in all of Maine as well.

Hotels Nearby

The twice already-mentioned MainStay Inn & Cottages are the only real “hotel-like” option located right in the heart of Winter Harbor.

That said, the three other options we’ve already mentioned are only 5-10 minute drives from Winter Harbor and all offer their own unique benefits as well.


Your best bet for staying right in the heart of Winter Harbor is to rent one of the many homes available through VRBO and Airbnb for your stay.

There are plenty located with a beautiful ocean view of Henry Cove that are just a few minutes’ walk or bike ride to the food options on Main Street.

Final Word

While it’s hard to go wrong staying anywhere in the Winter Harbor area, there are certain areas that make more sense depending upon what you plan to do during your visit.

For those staying in the area and wanting a unique experience minus the crowds for a day, consider making a day trip up to Sandy River Beach and/or Jasper Beach about an hour north of Winter Harbor.

You won’t be disappointed.