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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:
September 19, 2017

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 Southern Coast of Maine

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
  • 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
  • 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


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(27 traveler reviews)

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Classic Maine Cottage- Short Walk To Beach, Parks, Nature Paths & Fine Dining
average rating of 5.0 based on 27 reviews

Great Family Vacation Home

  • 5 of 5

Had our whole family stay for a week, and was very pleased. Lance is a very responsive host, and everything was in working order and lots of bedrooms with their own bathrooms. Great 3rd floor suite with lots of kid space.

Loved it!

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Andy - it was great to meet you and your family. I'm happy that everyone enjoyed the house! Thanks for your offline feedback to get a dustbuster and a better blender -- we will do both in the next week. Hope to have you stay with us again!
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Unexpected Delight

  • 5 of 5

Notified at the last minute that the house we had rented for our family vacation would be inhabitable due to a broken sewer line, we faced the prospect of cancelling our favorite annual gathering. Instead, we were happily rescued by the owner of this charming property which accommodated all of us in style. Each room is artfully appointed expressing its own unique personality. With plenty of space to spare, our crew of 15 found comfort and convenience around every corner. An unbelievable find we might have never discovered.

  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Carole - I'm so happy that we were able to arrange for your family to stay on such short notice. It's rare that the house is available in the summer -- I'm glad it all worked out. I enjoyed meeting you and your whole family -- hope that you'll come back and visit us again!
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Charming House + Great Host = Happy Family Vacation!

  • 5 of 5

We came upon this property following an unfortunate series of events at our previous rental. After a sewer line ruptured and water was cut off from the house, our family of 11 was desperately in need of a new rental property. An online search yielded "The Briars." An email and a few phone calls later, and Lance, our host, was arranging for our use of the house the next day.

The home, itself, is an incredible piece of history. Previously serving as a bed-and-breakfast, it is appropriately appointed to sleep 20. Our family of 11 found plenty of space, including three children under the age of 10 who loved the bunk bed setups. There are bathrooms galore and the dining area was comfortable enough to seat everyone during meal times. This is hard to accomplish and a welcomed amenity for us!

A short walk away was a family-friendly beach, as well as interesting walks along the York River, The Briars sits on the corner of a main road and a darling cross-street with views of the York River. Just a short drive away from downtown York, the area is abundant with historic homes and properties. The front porch is a comfortable seating area for the family outside (great for reading or napping). A recently installed fire pit also makes for a great hangout spot in the evening.

What really set this property apart from other rentals was our host, Lance (or "Joe"). From our first conversation, he was sympathetic to our family's situation and extremely welcoming as we made use of his property. Whether just popping around the corner to check in, sending a text to let me know about something awesome that was happening, or just allowing us the opportunity to relax and enjoy our vacation, Lance made sure that our family truly got to appreciate the area and its adventures. He was a wealth of knowledge, as he grew up in the area, and a phenomenal resource. He happened to spot two bald eagles in a tree while he was out and texted me to let me know of the opportunity to see them in the wild - just two minutes down the road! These tidbits of information led to fantastic experiences and helped us create family memories from this trip.

Stay here in comfort and relax. Take the time to enjoy your vacation. The Briars and Lance makes this happen, and it was the best!

  • Submitted: Aug 20, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Sean, the stars really aligned to make things happen this week. It's rare that our home is available this time of year and more rare that I'm actually on vacation and flexible to accommodate your group. I'm really happy that you all had a great time and your enjoyed our home -- thanks for all the kind words and the very LONG review -- really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience to help other prospective renters. Glad that you were able to see the bald eagles! Hope to have you all come back again!
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South Riding, VA

Fantastic home for large family vacation!

  • 5 of 5

The Briars' was a fantastic home for our family vacation! There was 16 of us in the home; three families with 9 adults and 7 children. We had plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone; no waiting to take a shower which was great. The house is beautifully decorated, plenty of sitting areas for everyone and the front porch was large enough for us all to sit out on in the evenings. We loved the fire pit, sitting around and making S'mores was so much fun! We were able to walk to the beach easily, which was wonderful. Lance the owner was so responsive from the beginning when we booked the house. He provided us with so much helpful information on where to go, what to see and activities you can do. We had the opportunity to meet him while we were there, and it was a pleasure. Our family is already planning our vacation for next summer and planning to rent this beautiful home again!

  • Submitted: Aug 17, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Trisha - thanks very much for your generous review. It's awesome to hear that all the folks in the group had a great experience. It was nice to meet everyone briefly during one of your "firepit/smores" night. Looking forward to having you all back again next year!!
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Classic Maine Experience

  • 5 of 5

This property was perfect for our 3-family, 14-person vacation to Maine! In addition to the 8 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, we loved the large living spaces and dining area that allowed us to hang out together as a group. The house was a wonderful blend of historic character with comfortable updates. On top of the beauty and comfort of the home itself, it is located in a quintessential harbor town within easy distance of many fun activities. The ocean is a short walk away, and our group also took advantage of short drives to visit Nubble Lighthouse and climb on the rocks on the coast, go hiking at Mt. Agamenticus, kayak on the ocean, go on a whale watching tour, visit historic York Village, and go shopping. Finally, we couldn't ask for a more accessible and friendly host who really knows the area. Lance, thanks so much for helping us to have a truly wonderful visit to Maine! We loved it!

  • Submitted: Aug 10, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Tim, it was so great to meet you, your family and the whole group. Impressed that you all drove from Michigan for your first trip to Maine. It was fun to see you exploring the Wiggly Bridge, Fisherman's walk, Harbor beach! I loved hearing the kids talk about how much they enjoyed the whale watch!!! I hope you can all come back again sometime! Thanks for taking such good care of the house.
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More than we could have hoped for!!

  • 5 of 5

When 4 families (20 people) get together our biggest enemy is lack of space. Well, this beautiful rental defeated that opponent!! There was PLENTY of room for everyone to gather AND have their own space. We could not have picked a better spot to enjoy our first family vacation together. The weather was perfect! Thank you so much for the recommendations you sent prior to our visit. We also REALLY appreciated being able to go to the beach with kids and not have to go purchase everything. In the past we've had to buy, and leave, toys, chairs, mats, umbrellas. Thanks for making those available! It was those small touches (i.e. shampoo, face wash, cotton balls) that were proof that the owner goes over and above! We had a problem with the dryer but owner and workman were very quick to respond and repair. I think our favorite part was the fire pit and chairs. It was so nice to sit and visit each night while we made s'mores. We had a wonderful time, made lots of memories, and will definitely book again if we are back in your area. Thanks so much again!

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It was so nice to meet all of you and spend some time catching up on the Harbor Beach. I'm happy that you all had such a wonderful time at our home. Thanks for all the nice feedback. I actually decided to simply replace the dryer so no other visitor has to miss a day of laundry (though I never like the idea of anyone having to do laundry on vacation -- it is a necessity when you have 20 people!!! :) I hope you can come visit us again to avoid that Texas heat!!! Good luck with your rental -- please feel free to contact me anytime with questions.
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Nubble Lighthouse
"One of the most photographed lighthouses in the world!"
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