We’re in Maine. Anyone who has read designtripper for any amount of time knows this is my favorite place in the entire world. Because of that, people are constantly asking for recommendations for houses to rent. We stay in the same farmhouse or beach house on Morse Mountain Conservation every year, but there’s a pretty long list of fellow admirers who come year after year, and it fills up quickly. Because I love lobster and oysters and sand dollars and craggy rock beaches and the salt air, I have been slowly building a collection of like-minded, rustic vacation houses for all of you who have asked–so politely, so regularly. It’s the absolute best place to gather friends and family for a week–or more, if you’re lucky–in the summer. Stay on the coast. And not in a tourist town, please, unless that’s your thing. It’s quiet and heart-stoppingly beautiful, and more often than not, the evergreen trees come right up to the beach. The water is freezing, so you have to be tough. Go in past your ankles, brave soldier. You’ll feel like a million bucks. At night, build a fire. God bless the Maine weather, it’s that chilly in the middle of summer. Spend hours on screened-in porches, sitting in wicker furniture with your feet slung over the armrests, talking and reading. It’s probably the kind of house that carries its history in its bookshelves; mine them for possibility. Listen to the waves crash against rocks, and sleep. Mark my words: you will be back every year, too.
>>This 1900s bunk house is in Deer Isle with views of Penobscot Bay and all the islands, plus more than 40 acres of woods.
>>A little lighthouse keeper’s cottage on the Isle Au Haut. Super cute with a rugged-rock perch and views to knock you out.
>>I love Vinalhaven, and I love the floral wallpaper in this historic island farmhouse on 38 acres.
>>Another beyond-charming Vinalhaven spread, this one particularly amazing for kids (old barn has table tennis and tons of space for games). And, sigh, I am a sucker for working old-fashioned stoves.
The sponsor of this post, HomeAway, offers the world’s largest selection of vacation home rentals, which provide you with more room to relax and more privacy than a hotel (and most times, for less money).