You asked: Rooms with a view over working lobster wharves on the Maine coast


A reader asked: “I want to visit Maine and stay at a motel/hotel cottage/guest house where I can have a view of the harbour and watch the lobster being unloaded. Any ideas?

I sure do. Here are five accommodations that provide a view over working lobster wharves.

• Tidewater Motel, Vinalhaven Island

When you stay at the Tidewater Motel, on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, you'll wake to the chugga chugga of lobster boats in the morning, as the local fishermen head out to pull their traps.Hilary Nangle photo Really, you can’t get much closer to the action than a room at the Tidewater Motel. It hangs over Carvers Harbor, one of Maine’s busiest traditional fishing harbors. Getting there is easy, take the ferry from Rockland. I’d advise against bringing a car. The ferry terminal is an easy walk to the motel, and if you need help with luggage, you can arrange for a pick up. (See more on Vinalhaven here).

• Inn on the Harbor, Stonington

The Inn on the Harbor, in Stonington, Maine, provides a front row seat on all the action in the harbor, from lobster boats to windjammers. Hilary Nangle photo. Much like the Tidewater, the The Inn on the Harbor  hangs over a working harbor, with big windows framing the view and huge decks for watching the boats come and go (see from my review). It’s smack downtown: walk to restaurants, shops, and even the mail boat ferrying passengers to Isle au Haut. Avoid the streetside rooms, and aim for one with big windows and a deck.

• Elsa’s, Prospect Harbor

Every room at Elsa's Inn, in Prospect Harbor, Maine, has a view over lobster boat-filled waters. hilary nangle photo. Elsa’s Inn, a bed-and-breakfast operated by the Alley family, overlooks lobster boat-filled Prospect Harbor, two working wharves, and is just under a tip of the sou’wester from the giant lobsterman just up the road. You might even be able to arrange a lobster feast on the premises. (See my review on Elsa’s, here).


 • Inn at the Wharf, Lubec

I thought for sure I’d reviewed this previously, but I found I wrote it, but never published it (hitting self on head). Here it is:

Watch lobster boats unload their catches from The inn at the Wharf, in Lubec, Maine. Hilary Nangle photo.If The Inn at the Wharf were any closer to the shoreline, I could cast a fishing line out my window. Instead, I gaze at lobstermen hauling traps and fishermen unloading their catch, listen to boats chugging along, watch some of the nation’s biggest tides and earliest sunrises, and breathe brine-scented air. It’s not just the location on the eastern shore of the nation’s eastern-most town that makes this lodging special, but also the story behind it.

In the mid-1900s, this town was home to 23 sardine factories. When the final whistle blew in 2001 at Lubec Sardine Co. Factory B, the last one operating, it signaled the end of an era. Five years later, Victor and Judy Trafford spied the oceanfront property with its new wharf and to-die-for views over Passamaquoddy Bay and purchased it.

While debating what to do with the derelict factory, the Traffords began buying lobsters and crabs, and later eels and periwinkles, from local fishermen and using the basement-level holding tanks for sorting and storing, before sending the catch to market. Next they renovated the factory’s upper level into modern guest accommodations, including suites and two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments. After opening in 2009, they started operating the To-and-Fro water taxi to Eastport, renting bicycles and kayaks, and offering whale-watching tours. This summer, they opened a restaurant in the factory’s former boiler room.



  1. Inn at the Wharf is wonderful. We stayed in one of the apartments last sumer and they were lovely inside and the views were great. The porch is right over the water. We saw lots of boats coming in with their catch and my boys got to watch the weigh-in. Very convenient to walking into town too!

  2. On a related note, my vote for best bathroom view in the state (and likely beyond) is at Shepherd’s Pie in Rockport.

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