Best Winter Harbor Hotels In 2023

If you’re hoping to find a Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, or any one of the many other similar traditional hotels, you won’t find one in the Winter Harbor area or really anywhere nearby.

The good news is what you will find in and around Winter Harbor are a number of unique inns, bed and breakfasts, and sets of cottages where you can stay.

These don’t offer the same amenities as a traditional hotel, but a number of unique settings and features more than make up for it, all while offering much of the same comfort and privacy as that of a hotel.

And many of these are just up the road from the Winter Harbor Ferry and some of Winter Harbor’s best restaurants.

Here are the best places to stay in and around Winter Harbor, along with two locations you should know have recently closed down but are still shown as available on sites like that tricky Tripadvisor.

MainStay Cottages & RV Park

Location Info

Parking: Yes, onsite.
Walkability: High – 5-minute walk to restaurants in town or the ferry.
Food & Drink: None offered onsite.
Recreation: Small beach area, communal firepit.
Pets: No in cottages, Yes in RV park.
Minimum Stay: Yes, 3-7 night minimum for cottages.

The MainStay Cottages & RV Park consist of three cabins, one private room, and an RV park with 10 spots that all sit on 4 acres overlooking Henry Cove.

This accommodation is located as close to the heart of WInter Harbor as you’ll find, with a number of restaurants located within walking distance just up the road and the Bar Harbor Ferry just a 5-minute walk away on an adjoining property.

There’s a free bus service (LL Bean Bus) that offers guests a ride to town or to Acadia.

The three cottages are all located just steps from the ocean, each offering fantastic ocean views.  The surrounding lawns are kept beautifully landscaped.

Each cottage offers Wifi and a gas fireplace or heat pump, along with air conditioning to keep you comfortable no matter the season.

Each also has a kitchen area with kitchen equipment and utensils needed for cooking.

The hosts reside in a family homestead just behind the cottages and are quick to offer their help or some local tips if you’d like.

There’s a small beach area down on the shore that offers sand and rocks for the kids to entertain themselves among, and a communal fire pit.

Bluff House Inn & Cabins

Location Info:

Parking: Yes, onsite.
Walkability: Low – 4 miles to Winter Harbor restaurants.
Food & Drink: Continental breakfast.
Recreation: None.
Pets: No in the inn, Yes in the cabins.
Minimum Stay: None.

The Bluff House Inn & Cabins are located just a few minutes’ drive north of Winter Harbor in Gouldsboro, Maine.

You’ll likely want to have your car if staying here, as there’s not much nearby in terms of restaurants.  It’s only about a 40-minute drive to Bar Harbor though.

The Bluff House Inn is a bed and breakfast featuring 10 different rooms of various sizes and sleeping capacities.

The rooms are cozy, offering comfy beds and some do share adjoining bathrooms so they’re not all that private.  There are not TVs in any of the rooms.

The breakfast here will amaze you.  Everything is made from scratch including eggs, yogurt, pastries and even the orange juice – which is fresh squeezed onsite.


There are also eight cabins separate from the inn, many of which offer beautiful distant views of the water.

The cabins are all very small, with four of them being 360 square feet and four of them being 224 square feet.

The “bigger” cabins offer one room with a small kitchen area, queen bed, and pull out futon to sleep three and full bathroom.

The smallest cabins offer one room with a queen bed to sleep two, and a full bathroom..

There are no TVs or Wifi in the cabins, and the internet is shoddy at best here depending upon your carrier.  Wifi should be available starting in August 2023 though.

But each does offer a porch and most offer an excellent ocean view, making them just the right place to unwind off the map and take in the beauty of Maine.

The cabins do not include breakfast, but that can be added for a fee.  Each is also pet friendly for a nightly fee.

Elsa’s Inn On The Harbor

Location Info

Parking: Yes, onsite.
Walkability: Low – 7-minute drive to Winter Harbor/restaurants.
Food & Drink: Continental breakfast.
Recreation: None.
Pets: Yes – two of four rooms dog friendly.
Minimum Stay: None.

Elsa’s Inn On The Harbor is a seaside bed and breakfast located in Prospect Harbor, around a 7-minute drive from Winter Harbor.

Elsa’s offers an excellent view of the water and the working lobster boat harbor, giving you more of the normal day to day experience of life in Maine vs. what you’ll see in the more touristy spots.

The four rooms in the inn are spacious and private with a comfy bed.  Two of them are even dog friendly.

Breakfast is awesome, and the hosts are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful about where to go and what to see locally.

For those looking to experience all that Acadia has to offer without the crowds of Bar Harbor, this place is about an hour drive from it.

But it’s worth it for those looking for some quiet and solitude after dealing with the crowds during the day.

You won’t find much within walking distance, but there are plenty of restaurants just up the road in Birch Harbor and Winter Harbor.

Acadia’s Oceanside Meadows Inn

Location Info

Parking: Yes, onsite.
Walkability: Low – 7-minute drive to Winter Harbor/restaurants.
Food & Drink: Continental breakfast.
Recreation: Sandy beach, hiking trails, pond, lawn games, occasional events in barn.
Pets: No – not pet friendly.
Minimum Stay: None, unless renting a full home.

Just up the road from Elsa’s in Prospect Harbor is the Acadia Oceanside Meadows Inn, another bed and breakfast and one of the most unique and intriguing places you’ll find to stay in all of Maine.

This location consists of two historic homes – an 1820’s farmhouse and a former sea captain’s home which was built in 1860.

There’s also a historic barn that hosts events and concerts during the summer, set far enough away from the two homes not to be a disturbance.

The homes have been updated but still maintain their classic New England charm, and both have multiple rooms to accommodate guests.

The rooms here offer comfortable beds, privacy, and many feature a porch with an ocean/beach view.

The staff is welcoming and the food here is amazing.  And even more amazing is the stargazing at night.

This bed and breakfast is set on a massive 200 acres, all of which guests are welcome to explore, and offering everything from a private sandy beach, rocky shoreline, streams, a pond that is home to beavers, miles of trails that snake through evergreen and deciduous forest, and a salt marsh.

Bald eagles and moose are commonly spotted on the acreage here, along with seals off of the unique sandy beach.

This place is definitely off the beaten path and about a ten minute drive to the closest restaurants in WInter Harbor or Corea.

Both homes are also available for full rental for large parties.

No Longer Accepting Guests:

  • Winter Harbor Inn
  • Albee’s Shorehouse Cottages

Including these two former locations as they are still listed as available to guests through sites like TripAdvisor, but they are sadly no longer in operation.

Albee’s Shorehouse Cottages shut down some time ago, while the Winter Harbor Inn closed its doors after the 2022 season.

Final Note

If you’re looking to make a homebase away from the crowds of Bar Harbor while visiting the Acadia area, or are just looking to stay in one of Maine’s small town hidden gems, Winter Harbor makes for an excellent choice.

Any one of these locations will offer you a unique Maine experience minus the crowds, while still being close enough to hop in the car and be in Bar Harbor or Acadia National Park in less than an hour.

If you’re looking to explore some of the area’s most unique places that won’t be flooded with tourists, check out Sandy River Beach and Jasper Beach which are both just about an hour north of the Winter Harbor Area and well worth the drive.