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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Classic Maine Cottage- Short Walk To Beach, Parks, Nature Paths & Fine Dining

Bedrooms 8
Space 5,000 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

8 Bedroom/7 Bath Newly Renovated Home In Heart Of York Harbor With Water Views

The Briars is a 19th century shingle style “cottage” located in the heart of York Harbor, Maine and a short five minute walk to the beach. Listen to the fishing boats as they depart the Harbor each morning, smell the salty air and feel the gentle ocean breeze. The home has been entertaining guests for over a century, most recently as a bed-and-breakfast for the past 30 years. You’ll have plenty of room for gathering with family and friends including lots of space for lounging on one of the many porches/decks. Some of the rooms offer views of the harbor where time will slowly pass as you watch the boats come and go. 8 bedrooms with 7 bathrooms means plenty of room for the whole family without long wait times to take a shower! The charming home was renovated in 2016 to include 4 new bathrooms (the other three of seven are already modern) and new furnishings to ensure you have a very comfortable stay. We offer one of the best per room/per night fees or per person/per night of any large rental in York Harbor.

Our home is in an ideal spot to enjoy the sought after environs of York Harbor. Guests can easily walk to the Harbor Beach known for its family friendly atmosphere. The Cliff Walk starts at the Harbor Beach and offers spectacular views of the rocky Maine coast and stunning Victorian mansions. The Hartley Mason estate is a beautiful public park overlooking the Harbor Beach with flower gardens and plenty of shade from the summer sun. Moulton Park is two doors down the street from us with a fantastic space for any outdoor activity with lots of sun and shade. The Fisherman’s Walk is steps away where you stroll along the river and enjoy views of the boats coming in and out of the harbor – including lobsterman with their fresh catch of the day. Fisherman’s walk brings you to the Wiggly Bridge-Steadman Woods where you can take a loop through the forest or continue walking to the historic York Village. York Village (less than five minutes away by car in case you lost track of how long you’ve been walking) was settled in 1624 (3 years after Plymouth Plantation!) and offers a rich array of historical buildings (e.g Old Gaol – one of the oldest jails in America; a one room school house; Jefferds Tavern; The Old Burying Ground featuring 18th-19th century carved tombstones; and the John Hancock Warehouse etc.).

The Harbor is rich in culture and fine dining. The York Art Association is located a few houses down the street from us. George Marshall store gallery is located through the Steadman Woods and has a series of art exhibits during the year (the curator lives down the street from our house). There are other small galleries and shops in the Village. York Harbor Inn, Stage Neck Inn, and Chapman Cottage each offer award winning dining and are all a five minute walk from our home. The Dockside Restaurant is located across the harbor (five minute drive away) and is a great spot to view the marina and have a great meal. The marina offers boat and kayak rentals for those wishing to experience some “ocean” culture.

The York area and surrounding towns offer a never ending list of things to do. Visit lighthouses. Go whale watching. Explore forts and historical sights. Enjoy the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Hike Mt. Agamenticus for breathtaking views of the ocean to the east and forest/mountains to the west (you can also drive to the top if you are feeling lazy and visit the nature exhibit in the old ski lodge). Shop at the Kittery Outlets (save this for those rainy days). Visit the York Beach boardwalk with an amusement park, bowling, arcade, shops, live entertainment, salt water taffy and more. Hiking-Biking-Boating-Sunbathing…or just reading a book in the many nooks of our beautiful home. You will love the relaxed pace of Maine. There is a reason our state motto is "Maine, the way life should be".

Looking to accommodate an even bigger group? Ask us about our new six bedroom property, Grassmere, located just a few doors away. Very large lawn with views of York Harbor - perfect for a wedding party or large family reunion. We also have a 9 bedroom property that will be available in 2018.

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english, german
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 4, 2018

About Lance

I was born in York and raised just down the street from this beautiful home. One of my best friends lived next door to this home and I spent countless hours/days playing in the neighborhood -- exploring fun spots such as the Harbor Beach, Cliff Walk, Fisherman's Walk, Wiggly Bridge-Steedman Woods, Moulton Park just to name a few! As a boy I delivered newspapers and mowed lawns in the neighborhood. In my late teens/early college years, I worked in Stage Neck Inn which is a five minute walk away. I was married at the Dockside Guest Quarters located at the mouth of the harbor where the river meets the ocean. Two of my three kids were born in York Hospital. Needless to say, my heart, soul and spirit are woven into this area.

I understand the needs of families/groups who are looking to rent a home. I've been renting homes to tourists in York and other towns for nearly twenty years. I've lived abroad three times and travelled to over 60 countries on six continents. I have three young kids and we've stayed in rental properties all over the world and we know how to make a home a great experience for visitors!

I'm happy to help as you plan your trip. I've got 40+ years of experience in the area -- I know all the popular stuff as well as plenty of "off the beaten" path and local spots.

Lance purchased this house in 2015

Why Lance chose York Harbor

This home has been catering to summer guests since 1899. The previous owner, Sue, bought the house in the mid-70's and I got to know her and her kids over the years. They operated the home as a popular bed and breakfast (the Inn at Harmon Park) for thirty years. I jumped at the chance to purchase the home after she sent a discreet e-mail to family and friends saying she was looking to sell. During the Fall/Winter of 2015-16 the home was updated with 4 new modern bathrooms (3 of the 7 were already very nice), fresh paint in all the rooms and new furnishings.


York Harbor House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 5000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 20
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets not allowed ...
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Water View ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 7 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Located on 1st floor off the kitchen
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , small shower located in first floor bedroom
    Bathroom 5 - toilet , shower , 2nd floor - small private bath
    Bathroom 7 - toilet , shower , newly renovated - shared by two bedrooms on third floor
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , tub , shower , newly renovated 2nd floor master bedroom with large tub
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , shower , newly renovated - 2nd floor private bath
    Bathroom 6 - toilet , shower , Newly renovated - shared by a 2nd and 3rd floor bedroom
  • 1st Floor - two bathrooms with showers -- one private in bedroom; one off kitchen 2nd floor - four bathrooms - all with showers; one with large tub. 3rd floor - one bathroom with shower
  • 8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 20
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 king
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double
    Bedroom 8 - 1 king
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 king
    Bedroom 7 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 6 - 2 double , 2 twin/ single , Two sets of bunk beds with trundles (can sleep 6 kids)
    Bedroom 1 - 1 double
  • 1st Floor: 1st bedroom Double Bed with small shower/toilet. 2nd Floor: 1st bedroom - King Bed; Private bath - large tub-shower 2nd bedroom - King Bed; Private bath - shower 3rd bedroom - Double Bed; Small private bath - shower 4th bedroom - Queen Bed; Bath down the hall - shower 3rd Floor 1st Bedroom - King Bed - Shared Bath - shower 2nd Bedroom - Queen Bed - Shared Bath - shower 3rd Bedroom - Two sets of bunk beds with trundle - shared bathroom-shower
  • Books
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Balcony
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Tennis
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(34 traveler reviews)

94% Complete
5% Complete
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Classic Maine Cottage- Short Walk To Beach, Parks, Nature Paths & Fine Dining
average rating of 4.9411764 based on 34 reviews

Excellent Host

  • 4 of 5

We ran into a snag for this trip when there were frozen pipes at the home due to the extreme cold during the weekend we had planned. Lance went out of his way to accommodate our large group of 8 adults and 9 children by offering his personal vacation home a few doors down. He checked in continuously to see how we were faring and although the weekend was not as expected and we cannot review the home we intended to rent, I would highly recommend working with Lance.

  • Submitted: Jan 12, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Lauren thanks for much for your thoughtful review. The record breaking cold temps were too much for our beautiful home -- the timing could not have been much worse -- pipes freezing just hours before you arrived. I'm fortunate to have a great team that was able to ensure you and your group still had a great experience. I really appreciate the flexibility everyone had and I'm glad that you enjoyed your stay. While I've only had one other rating less than a perfect five -- I understand that Mother Nature took that one star away. Thanks for highly recommending other folks to stay in one of my properties. Hope you'll come visit us again --- maybe in the summer! :)
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Lovely, large, immaculate home; great for our family Thanksgiving.

  • 4 of 5

Beautifully restored home within an easy walk of the beach and the Cliff Walk and Fisherman's Walk. We had four generations of our family there for Thanksgiving and had a lovely long weekend. Limited counter space in the kitchen made it challenging to get a meal like Thanksgiving dinner put together for everyone, but we made it work. The Briars helped make our holiday a memorable one.

  • Submitted: Nov 28, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Margo - I'm glad that you and your family had a great Thanksgiving experience at our home! I'm disappointed that we couldn't achieve a five star rating (this is our first time not getting a five star) but I appreciate you taking time to give me your feedback offline regarding where we could improve - thank you!. I've already taken action to address your suggestions. I hope you'll come back to visit with us again! Thanks Lance
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Our Combus Day Family Wedding Weekend

  • 5 of 5

I rented this house for a family wedding last weekend and it worked out great! There were 14 adults and 4 kids and we had plenty of room. It was so nice having us all together in one house, it made it even more special for this already special occasion. All the rooms were nice, updated and clean and there were plenty of bathrooms for everyone. And I can't say enough good things about the owner, Lance. I asked so many questions months prior to the rental date and he was quick to respond every time and was very accommodating. When we arrived last Friday we found that one of the beds were too high so I contacted Lance and the guy that you call for any maintenance while you're staying at the house, his name is Marcus and he was great too, he came with a helper on Saturday morning to make the adjustment and Lance stopped by to make sure everything was okay. The adjustment made a big difference so I was very thankful they were able to do it in such short notice. We hope to rent this house again for a family reunion in the future....great place and great people!

  • Submitted: Oct 15, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks very much for the kind review. I'm so happy that the weather held out for the wedding that everyone had a great time (thanks for sharing the beautiful picture!)! Glad that we were able to make sure that your dad was comfortable in the 1st floor bedroom. It's really cool to think about all the positive memories that The Briars helps to create. We hope that you and your family will come back again for the reunion in the next year or two!
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Inspired setting for a creative retreat

  • 5 of 5

A group of six writers and publishers/editors united in Lance's amazing home this October for some unseasonably warm weather in the welcoming, friendly, and all together quite lovely town of York. We ranged from a Maine first-timer to a regular visitor, and all of us were very impressed by Lance's well-situated and beautiful home as well as the town itself. As a company, this is our fifth creative retreat with many people and for this project, our third in two years. We concluded early and strong in our work, and Lance's house was a contributing factor to our feeling of great success. We look for a home where everyone can enjoy a nice bedroom (enthusiastic check!), where there are multiple spaces to sit and contemplate or discuss in small groups (check!, and with ocean views and swinging porch seats to boot!), where the wifi works well enough for the group, where we can view films related to our project, where we can take walks for breaks, where the situation and home are inspiring and peaceful, where we can get good rest at night in separate quarters, and where a dining room table permits us to sit as a group and do the bulk of our work. We had all of this and more, and Lance was quite accommodating of the special questions we had as business travelers. We have toured New England on our work on this project and no other stop we made came close to what we encountered at The Briars. Lance even revealed late in our project we were neighbored by creatives and other writers. Three cheers to Lance and The Briars for so perfectly housing our important work. We thank you very much!

  • Submitted: Oct 7, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow Melissa - what a review! So many of our guests are multi-generational families or wedding parties --- really neat to have a working group staying at the house. The Fall and Spring are a perfect time for us to host offsite meetings/retreats and I'm happy you all had fantastic experience! Also glad that our home met the needs of everyone -- not always easy to do that with a range of people/styles/interests. We look forward to welcoming you back again at the Briars!
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GREAT charming older propery

  • 5 of 5

Well maintained ,very clean older property.well appointed with much old is well stocked and has great usable pots and pans...many staples there so you don't have to run to the store immediately!!!!

  • Submitted: Sep 30, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Diane - Thanks for recognizing the charm of our beautiful property, balanced with all the right modern comforts. We've worked hard to ensure we meet the needs of a range of guests and we are happy to have achieved this time after time. We are glad that you and your family had a great experience - please come visit us again.
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Great place to stay for a family gathering! Ages ranged from 2 months old to 84 years old.

  • 5 of 5

Very nice home in a great location! Owner is very easy to deal with and has wonderful suggestions for exploring the area. Plenty of rooms for a large group, and the many bathrooms is definitely a plus! The front porch is very inviting and the top deck at night is spectacular. Extras like beach items, a toy room, a BBQ, and fire pit makes this place a great place to stay.

  • Submitted: Sep 30, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Darlene - Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I'm really happy that you and your whole family enjoyed our home. Amazing to have an 84 year spread in those staying at the house. Glad that all our bathrooms were a plus!! I hope that you will all come back again to stay with us.
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Ogunquit Playhouse
"Great summer theater!"
Yorks Wild Kingdom
"Entertaining for young kids. A small zoo with some older amusement park rides"
Perkins Cove
"Popular area with restaurants, galleries, shops etc. Starting point for the "Marginal Way"..."
York Harbor Beach
"Just a few minutes walk from our favorite beach in town. Make sure to check the ..."
Museums of Old York
"Learn about the great history of room school house, old gaol (Jail), tavern etc."
Mount Agamenticus
"Stunning 360 views of the ocean, mountains etc. Great hiking, biking and place for a picnic..."
Short Sands
"Old fashioned boardwalk that includes an arcade, bowling alley, playground, basketball court..."
1637 at York Harbor Inn
"Great local bar only a five minute walk from our home."
Dockside Restaurant on York Harbor
"Beautiful location where we got married. Great views of the harbor and ocean. Good food. ..."
York Gateway Farmers' market
"Great place to get local produce - available two days a week. Usually Tuesday and Saturday ..."
Chapman Cottage Restaurant
"Nice place for an intimate dinner -- only a few minutes walk from our home."
Stones Throw
"Nice place to eat on Long Sands Beach with great views of the ocean."
York House of Pizza
"Good sandwiches and pizza. Located just a few minutes drive from the house. Look on the wa..."
Barnacle Billy's
"Famous restaurant located in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Good seafood with a great view of th..."
Goldenrod Restaurant
"Classic restaurant known for it's saltwater taffy, ice cream counter and candy store. Food ..."
Frankie & Johnny's Natural
"One of our all time favorite places to eat. No grand views, eclectic atmosphere, and amazi..."
MC Perkins Cove
"Another great restaurant in Perkin's Cove. Great views of the ocean."
York's Wild Kingdom
"Young kids will probably enjoy this old amusement park, arcade and small zoo."
Long Sands Beach
"Largest beach in York -- a short drive from the house, view of the lighthouse. I prefer the..."
Stage Neck Inn
"One of my first jobs was working here as a bellboy! Semi-formal restaurant with a large bar..."
"Only Chinese restaurant in town -- good, not great food. There is also "Thai for You" a ver..."
Dunne's Ice Cream
"A must..must..must do. Always a long line in the evening for Dunne's Ice Cream. Enjoy grea..."
Fisherman's Dock
"Very good food and some of the best fish chowder you'll ever have. Located on route 1 so no..."
Stonewall Kitchen Cafe
"Here is where the famous Stonewall Kitchen started. A wide range of popular food items for ..."
Fort Foster State Park
"Great "off the beaten path" spot to spend the day. Playground, picnic tables, beaches, pier..."
"Amazing small city -- great shopping, galleries, restaurants etc. Spend an afternoon walkin..."
Prescott Park Arts Festival
"Awesome spot to watch an outdoor musical or concert. Located right on the river. Beautiful..."
Foster's Down East Clambake
"Great place for a traditional Maine clambake. Less than a five minute walk from the house."
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
"fantastic hiking through the wildlife refuge"
Cape Neddick Lobster Pound
"Great spot for lunch/dinner with nice views of the Cape Neddick river. Walk over to the Cap..."
Fat Tomato Grill
"Good quality food for lunch."
Kittery Premium Outlets
"Great discount shopping on a rainy day!"
Kittery Trading Post
"Fun spot to browse on a rainy day."
Off the Boat Lobsters
"Best spot to buy lobsters right off the boat at a great price. They will cook them right th..."
George Marshall Store Gallery
"Nice art gallery at the end of a beautiful walk from the house. Take the Fisherman's walk t..."
The Village Scoop
"Nice spot to grab some ice cream close to the house."
The Ledges Golf Club
"Great public golf course"
Cape Neddick Country Club
"semi-private/public golf course. Donald Ross designed. I grew up working at this golf course."
Water Country Water Park
"Fun alternative to the beach with a large variety of water activities for all ages"
Cliff House
Flo's Steamed Hot Dogs
"A local treasure...don't be deceived by it's looks. Only open from 11-3 to three each day...."
The Central Restaurant & Bar
"Good food in a casual atmosphere. located in a strip mall so not much for views."
Nearest Airport
43 Miles
Portland Jetport
Nearest Barpub
0.2 Miles
York Harbor Inn
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Ledges Golf Club
Nearest Train
15 Miles
Wells, Maine
Nearest Motorway
2.2 Miles
Interstate 95
Nearest Restaurant
0.2 Miles
Stage Neck Inn
Nearest Beach
0.25 Miles
York Harbor


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $450
Damage Deposit $500

Cleaning fee of $450 regardless of duration of stay. Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. Premium rate applied to some holiday weeks.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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