Things To Do in Coastal Maine and Inn By The Sea
Inn By The Sea – Cape Elizabeth, Maine
We are always captivated by properties that are built in unique settings. The Inn By The Sea in Cape Elizabeth, just a short drive from Portland, is one of those properties. With its picturesque surrounding landscape, spectacular views, and traditional New England-style architecture, this resort property is the ideal location to experience a perfect coastal Maine vacation.
An intimate and award-winning luxury property, Inn By The Sea was selected as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List of the “531 Best Places on Earth” in 2014, Travel & Leisure’s Best Hotels in the World in 2015, and Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice in 2015. Situated on a mile-long stretch of Crescent Beach, the resort is also Maine’s premier eco-friendly beach resort and is very pet friendly. Accommodations range from beautifully appointed rooms and suites in the main house to cottages and beach suites with stunning water views. Best of all, they offer seasonal package specials for the perfect and affordable luxury getaway.
By the time we arrived at the resort, the sun was beginning to set and the reflections of the fallen leaves in the salt marshes were aglow with the wash of the golden autumn light at sunset. Couples and families were strolling along the beach with their dogs. Bundled up in coats and scarves, many of the guests seemed to know each other. As we discovered, many families return to the property year after year for their vacations.
The cool nip in the air that evening was a sure sign that winter was on its way. Just as the sun went down, the fire pit in the back of the property was lit to keep guests warm as they enjoyed the last few minutes outdoors before heading in for the evening. Between the billowing smoke and flames from the firepit, there was a wonderful soft briny smell of the ocean from beyond the salt marshes and the fragrance of damp fallen leaves on the ground that filled the senses. It was a beautiful first evening in Maine.
Dining at Inn By The Sea
With the ocean literally outside their door, you can guess the menu at Sea Glass Restaurant features locally caught fresh seafood and shellfish. During the summer months, guests can venture out on an authentic lobster boat, catch their own dinner in Casco Bay (complete with a few lobster tales from local lobstermen), and then come back to shore to have Executive Chef Steve Sincinski prepare a Lobster Bake at Sea Glass.
Chef Sincinski took over the culinary program at Inn By The Sea last year, just months before we arrived. Having worked in other award–winning luxury resorts such as Mii Amo Spa and Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona and Topnotch Resort and Spa in Vermont, his cuisine combines classic elements of his French culinary training along with modern techniques. He believes the dishes should be more simplistic, rustic, playful, and less fussy and the focus should be on the integrity of the ingredients. When you have access to fresh and sweet Maine scallops and lobster caught in traps just minutes away in the bay, there’s no need to do much else to the stars of this culinary show.
A very special program for Pets
As I mentioned earlier, Inn By The Sea is a very pet friendly property. There are no additional pet fees, you can dine with your pooch in the fireplace lounge, and take him or her outside along the beach for walks. There are doggie happy hours, the pool has Fido friendly time, they serve gourmet pet menus, and offer puppy spa treatments, to name just a few activities for your best friend. Of course, there are areas that are off limits to pets, but this resort has really incorporated traveling with pets into their mission.
The best part about the pet friendly policy is the adoption program the resort has developed and nurtured since April 2015. As of last count (today), Inn By The Sea has sent home 38 very happy pups and adult dogs with new owners who have visited the property. The staff works with the Animal Refuge League to bring in a temporary resident dog for the Inn (which happily sits behind the reception desk greeting visitors). When guests fall in love with the cute pooch sitting behind the desk (and this happens all the time), they go home wagging their tails with their new owners and another temporary resident dog is brought in from the Animal Refuge League.
During our stay, we met an 11-year-old handicapped dog that was on loan to the Inn. Our hearts went out to this old gal and we wondered if there really was someone for every dog. We soon discovered there was. Before we checked out, I asked about the dog since it wasn’t behind the counter. It went home with a guest that morning. How extraordinary and heartwarming! I just found out one of their latest adoptees went home in only 4 hours. 🙂
We would like to help spread the word about this amazing program. If you know of a hotel or Inn that is pet friendly and might be interested in learning how to set up such a program, drop us a note and we will send information about the Inn By The Sea’s adoption program and how they can sponsor dogs for adoption at their hotel. It’s a win for everyone. The dog gets a home, the owner gets a dedicated companion, and the property receives a lot of goodwill for their efforts.
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