I love the ocean more than most people, I think. I was born in a coastal town, spend every weekend of the summers in that very same spot, and if that wasn’t enough I am a Cancer sign in the Zodiac. Needless to say it is very much a part of who I am. When I need a change of perspective and to simply recharge that is where I will always go, which is exactly why I found myself there this past weekend.
This year is finally the year I am putting my dreams into action and traveling overseas, but in the mean time I have decided to take more day trips and explore the places around me that I have perhaps taken for granted. There are so many destinations within my reach that I have not yet been to, and for that reason I chose to travel up to Cape Neddick, Maine to visit a place very high on my bucket list, The Cliff House.
I feel as though most of us overlook the places seemingly close to home when we think about traveling. I am lucky enough to live in New England, which is home to some of the most amazing cities, vacation spots and historical sites in the country. For this weekend’s trip I decided I would take a drive up North to Maine, which remains one of my favorite states on the East Coast. Tucked along the rocky coast of Cape Neddick, The Cliff House hotel offers a year round coastal escape, not to mention some of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen. I have always been eager to travel outside of the country, but this weekend reminded me once again that some of the best trips can be just a short drive away.
An hour north of Boston, the towns of Cape Neddick, Ogunquit and York, Maine serve as popular summer destinations for tourists and second home owners. One of the great things about New England, I’ve learned, is that no matter the state or season you are sure to see some of the most beautiful and picturesque landscape. It may sound strange to those who enjoy the sunshine and heat of the summer months, but some of my favorite beach days take place in the fall. The beaches are less crowded, I don’t have to worry about getting a sunburn and it is one of the few places I’ve found that I am able to really check back in with yourself. I’m a firm believer that we all need a place like that to unwind.
Not only does the Cliff House offer some of the most amazing panoramic views ocean, but a luxurious spa and fitness center, 132 guest rooms and suites, outdoor and indoor pools, as well as multiple restaurants and bars, all spread across 70 ocean front acres. After its reopening in 2016, I knew I had to see this place for myself and it certainly lives up to the hype (and price tag). In the peak of the season you’re looking at around $1500.00 per night (!) while shoulder season sees a drop in pricing anywhere between $500-700 per night. The Cliff House is certainly redefining coastal luxury, but whether you choose to spend a night or simply pop in for a drink and a bite to eat, this hotel (and the town surrounding it) is definitely one I feel everyone should experience.
As an interior designer, my favorite part about my time at The Cliff House was getting to walk around and admire the amazing use of modern coastal design. While there are your expected touches of navy, bead board walls and port hole mirrors, the overall feel is still effortlessly chic and cozy. They have kept the lines clean and simple, letting the views do all the talking. One of my favorite spaces is in the lower part of the main lobby, where a wall of windows frame the rocky shoreline below. Alongside a massive natural stone fireplace is a beautiful floor to ceiling bookcase, complete with its very own sliding track ladder. It is the perfect place to cozy up with a book or simply admire the views outside.
The Tiller, one of the many places to get a bite to eat on the property, provides all of your classic New England seafood dishes made fresh and local daily. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus all at comparable prices. Some favorites include the yummy lobster chowder or the Lobster Croque-Madame (sensing a lobster theme yet?) both of which use fresh caught Maine lobster from local fisheries and wholesome ingredients provided by a selection of local farms, the list of which is provided at the bottom of each menu (something I always love to read about!).
Now back to that view, because seriously? Does it get any better? Maine’s rocky coast line is something I think everyone should see and feel at least once. A walk down a long, worn wooden staircase to the waters edge makes you appreciate not only the scale and height of the cliffs this hotel is perched on top of, but the seemingly endless expanse of ocean that stretches out on both sides and in front of you. The roof deck and fire pit areas were some of my favorite places to look out from. It was hard to believe that this place was so close to home but I was so thankful to explore this place on such a perfect fall day.
I encourage you all to take more day trips like these and explore, explore, explore! Even if you never make it here, I encourage you all to get out and take more adventures, be outside, and make time for all of those things you have maybe been putting on the back burner. For me, taking this trip was a way to focus on myself and my well being. We all deserve “me” days!