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Booking a stay somewhere on the water is such a treat. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local, there’s just something extra special about waking up by the sea. On the North Shore, we are so fortunate to be in no short supply of absolutely incredible waterfront accommodations. Here are four of our all-time favorites that have summer written all over them.

Emerson Inn

If you haven’t spent much time on Cape Ann, you are in for a real delight. The area itself is picture perfect and very much plays the part of a summer day set in coastal Massachusetts. Adding to the appeal is the Emerson Inn in Rockport, a classic oceanfront hotel with all the charm you could hope for and more from a New England inn. Situated between Halibut Point and Bearskin Neck, the inn offers what can only be described as incredible views of the Atlantic. It is hard to beat the full-service breakfast or the saltwater pool—both served with ocean views. Favorite inn pastimes include walks along the footpaths and taking in a sunrise from the expansive lawn.

Inn at Castle Hill

The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate is nothing if not charming. From the moment you step foot on the grounds, you feel almost as though you have been transported to another time. With majestic views across the property, there’s something to delight at every turn. Rooms are outfitted with original pieces by local artists and include private baths as well as a beach bag and towels, a perfect complement to the beach chairs, umbrellas, and the free admission to Crane Beach that comes with your stay.

It is difficult to find a more peaceful way to wake up than by enjoying the inn’s delicious breakfast, and there’s plenty to do to keep you busy all day. From lawn games to taking in a view of the ocean from the rose garden, you can easily feel as if you are walking in a bygone era (if that era had all the modern amenities you could want). Many rooms are available to accommodate onsite massages, and what is missing is what you won’t miss at all—no telephones or televisions in guest rooms, allowing you to truly relax and enjoy your surroundings. A late afternoon self-guided nature walk and an evening spent on the porch are just two ideal ways to relax after a perfect summer day.

Beauport Hotel, Gloucester, is a luxury hotel with a rooftop pool | Photograph by Peter Vanderwarker

Beauport Hotel

In Gloucester, the Beauport Hotel is synonymous with classic New England style and coastal elegance. From ocean-view rooms to cozy fireplaces and private balconies, there are options to suit every guest. Foodies will delight in both the in-room dining options and the hotel’s 1606 Restaurant & Oyster Bar, which offers incredible seasonal cuisine. Beauport’s Birdseye Rooftop Pool and Bar for adults boasts a heated pool and hot tub as well as a beautiful bar with unrivaled views of Gloucester, the harbor, and the Atlantic ocean. Families traveling with children will enjoy Pavilion Beach and the hotel’s complimentary, on-demand shuttle service to Good Harbor Beach. After a day in the sun, there’s no better way to round out the evening than on the hotel veranda with friends as the sun goes down.

Blue - Inn on the Beach

In Newbury, Blue - Inn on the Beach, a Lark Hotel property, does not disappoint. With expansive ocean views everywhere you look, this unique Plum Island hotel is the best of both worlds – it has all the peace and tranquility of Plum Island with the charming hustle and bustle of downtown Newburyport just minutes away by car or bike. Whether it’s a dip in the hot tub or a glass of wine at sunset, this is one stay that is sure to make an impression. The hotel offers cottages, suites or rooms with luxurious amenities, including fireplaces depending on which room you book. The décor is modern and fresh and upstaged only by an absolutely massive stretch of Atlantic Ocean. With fun bars and restaurants on island (hello, Sunset Club) there is plenty to do, including nothing at all.