The Best Country Inns
Claremont (Southwest Harbor; tel. 800/244-5036 or 207/244-5036): The 1884 Claremont is a Maine classic. This waterside lodge has everything a Victorian resort should, including sparely decorated rooms, creaky floorboards in the halls, great views of the water and mountains, and a croquet pitch. The dining room is only so-so, but Southwest Harbor has other dining options.
White Barn Inn (Kennebunkport; tel. 207/967-2321): Much of the White Barn staff hails from Europe, and they treat guests graciously. The rooms are a delight, and the meals (served in a gloriously restored barn) may be the best in Maine.
The Best Bed & Breakfasts
The Captain Lord Mansion (Kennebunkport; tel. 207/967-3141): You'll transcend the "wanna B&Bs" at this genuine place, with grandfather clocks, Chippendale highboys, and other wonderful antiques. This uncommonly handsome mansion is right in the village of Kennebunkport, perfectly situated for relaxing strolls.
Pomegranate Inn (Portland; tel. 800/356-0408 or 207/772-1006): Whimsy and history combine with good effect at this fine B&B in one of Portland's most stately neighborhoods. The Italianate mansion is stern on the outside, yet alive on the inside with creative paintings and an eclectic collection of unusual antiques.