At the turn of the century, wealthy city dwellers retreated to cooler waterfront enclaves up and down the East Coast. Maine’s idyllic Prouts Neck peninsula was one of the most coveted among them. Nestled on an idyllic peninsula in the Town of Scarborough, Prouts Neck is home to shingled estates that sit intact amid priceless ocean views and spectacular flower gardens. Several impressive hotels once welcomed visitors here. But today only one remains—the Black Point Inn.
The Inn retains the charm of a bygone, but well-kept, grand summerhouse. Indeed, the ambience is not unlike what you’d expect to find in one of the nearby estates. The large lobby is like a living room, and a fireplace roars on cooler nights. Upstairs, summery wallpaper lines spacious guest rooms with water views. Outside, the Inn offers a pool and a sweeping lawn dotted with Adirondack chairs. But you can head out anytime—just grab one of the hotel’s bikes and tour the tony neighborhood.
Explore: Black Point Inn is just 15 minutes from Portland, but Prouts Neck offers so much natural beauty, we rarely strayed. Guests have use of the private Prouts Neck Beach, and a nearly two-mile cliff walk is off limits to everyone but local residents and hotel guests—it’s not to be missed. At the end of the walk is the Winslow Homer Studio, where the artist lived and worked for 25 years. Many of Homer’s masterpieces were inspired by the view, and a fine tour is run by the Portland Museum of Art.
Dine: The Inn’s food is locally sourced and far from old-fashioned—important since two meals a day are included with some stays. The casual Chart Room serves Maine specialties like clam chowder, oysters, and lobster rolls, plus memorable sweet-potato fries. It opens onto a spectacular dining porch overlooking Sand Dollar Beach, where the tide ebbs and flows all day. The Point is the fancier option with updated classics like lavender-roasted breast of chicken and crumb-topped haddock.
Insider’s tip: Take the short drive to charming Higgins Beach. This family-oriented community has old-fashioned inns, a provisions store, and a big, beautiful beach. With small-frame houses up and down the streets, it has the appealing, everyday feel of a simpler kind of summer.
Distance from White Plains: 4 hours, 40 minutes by car. Rates: in-season rates from $330/night with breakfast; $410 with breakfast and dinner
510 Black Point Rd, Prouts Neck, Scarborough, ME