New England

40 Cozy Fireside Experiences in New England

Fireplace dining and lodging destinations offer a warm respite from winter.

By Bill Scheller

Jan 20 2023


An oversize fireplace casts a timeless glow at the c. 1673 White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island.

Photo Credit : Courtesy of The White Horse Tavern
Few things are as cozy and inviting as a crackling fire on a cold New England winter night. Looking to add a fireside to your next dining or getaway experience? These forty spots will spark your interest.


Edgewood Manor,Cranston. Just south of Providence and blocks from Edgewood Lake and its surrounding park, Edgewood Manor and its adjacent Newhall House are a B&B alternative to staying in the busy capital. Edgewood’s Victorian-themed rooms offer amenities such as four-poster or sleigh beds and two-person Jacuzzi tubs; two have wood-burning fireplaces, and a gas hearth.

The National Hotel,Block Island. Not one but eight firepits enliven the grounds at the National Hotel, a Victorian confection dating to 1888 and rebuilt after burning down in 1902 (a hint, perhaps, as to why today’s fires are kept outdoors). The waterfront hotel’s backyard blazes are the perfect place to sip a cocktail and ward off the evening chill after a day spent exploring the island.

Ocean House,Watch Hill. The grande dame of the Rhode Island coast is Ocean House, a sprawling yellow structure that’s a near-exact replica of the original Victorian hotel, with splendid additions and amenities that have earned it Relais & Châteaux status. Top-end suites have gas fireplaces, but the lobby features a stone-by-stone reconstruction of the original building’s great wood-burning hearth.

The White Horse Tavern,Newport. There was a Newport long before the Gilded Age, and the White Horse Tavern brings that colonial heyday vividly back to life. Built in 1673, and a purveyor of food and drink for much of its history, the tavern boasts, in its downstairs dining room, a fireplace that once warmed George Washington.

The Wynstone,Newport. Don’t look for hip minimalism at The Wynstone, downtown Newport’s small-hotel tribute to the Gilded Age. Appropriately, guest rooms are named after the palatial “cottages” built by summering magnificoes at the turn of the last century. The Breakers, Kingscote, Elms, Rosecliff, Belcourt, and so on. All the rooms here are sumptuously decorated, and four feature working, wood-burning fireplaces.


Blackberry River Inn,Norfolk. “Bed and Breakfast” is almost too pedestrian a category for this southern Berkshires gem built in 1763. Two inviting upstairs suites have wood-burning fireplaces, as does a one-room cottage on the 27-acre property. Individually prepared breakfasts are a standout—no cereal dispensers here—and in the afternoon, teatime beckons in the fireplaced library.

Captain Daniel Packer Inne,Mystic. Captain Daniel Packer built his imposing gambrel-roofed inn on the Mystic River in 1756, and its great central chimney has been part of the Mystic skyline ever since. Eighteenth-century travelers along the Connecticut coast warmed themselves at Captain Packer’s firesides, as do today’s diners and pub patrons at the Captain Daniel Packer Inne, a popular venue for live folk music and jazz.

Fresh Salt,Old Saybrook. At Saybrook Point Resort & Marina’s restaurant, diners can be forgiven for not focusing on the big stone fireplace—the views of Long Island Sound just might take precedence. That view is also a reminder of where your dinner might be from, since fresh seafood dominates the menu. It might also be where you came from, if you arrived via the resort’s “Dock & Dine” arrangement.

The Griswold Inn,Essex. The Griswold Inn began welcoming guests in 1776, back when piling logs on the fire was the best—the only—way to escape the grasp of a New England winter. Winter is still with us, and so is hearthside cheer at “the Gris.” There’s a welcoming blaze in the Tap Room, a cozy spot featuring live music, and suites at the inn all feature wood-burners.

House of 1833,Mystic. All five guest suites in the colonnaded Greek Revival House of 1833 are warmed by wood-burning fireplaces (yes, there’s also central heating). With curtained four-poster beds and lavishly upholstered Victorian chairs and settees, the hearthside environment is so cozy and comfortable that it might be an effort to descend the gracefully curving staircase to breakfast.

Stonecroft Inn,Mystic. Here, take your pick of accommodations in two distinctly different buildings: the stately 1807 House, with four guest rooms including three graced with original wood-burning fireplaces (there are more wood-burners in the common rooms), and the Yellow Barn, a massive post-and-beam structure where modernity wins out with gas fireplaces and televisions.

Winvian Farm,Morris. Fireplaces abound at the Relais & Châteaux Winvian Farm, located on 113 secluded acres in the Litchfield Hills. Accommodations are limited to 18 luxurious individual cottages and one suite; each cottage has an individual style, from Craftsman to Log Cabin to the two-story, book-lined Library. Each features a wood-burning hearth (well, the cottage set in a restored 1948 helicopter has a woodstove). Dining? Fireside, of course.


The Farmhouse Tap & Grill,Burlington. The downstairs parlor is the cozy place to dine or sample one of Vermont’s most extensive beer menus at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill. When the winter winds are blowing off Lake Champlain, there’s nothing like the combination of a roaring fire and a pint of porter or stout: Thirty taps dispense a seasonally adjusted cascade of suds from the likes of Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Hill Farmstead breweries.

Highland Lodge,Greensboro. The Highland Lodge on Caspian Lake has the feel of a comfortable country grandma’s house, c. 1948. After dinner—and, ideally, after a day on the lodge’s cross-county ski trails—head for the snug little library in a corner of the main floor. You likely won’t pick one of last week’s best-sellers, but you’ll read, and maybe doze, alongside the crackling corner fireplace.

The Pitcher Inn,Warren. Tiny Warren nestles against the Mad River near two famed ski areas, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. Its crown jewel is the Pitcher Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property renowned for fine dining and for its no-two-are-alike nine rooms and two two-bedroom suites. Each reflects a different aspect of Vermont’s outdoor experience, such as skiing, fishing, and mountain-lodge life, and each boasts a wood-burning fireplace.

Skunk Hollow Tavern,Hartland. Housed in one of the village’s oldest buildings, Skunk Hollow harks back to when taverns were the heart of New England country towns. There’s a full-service restaurant upstairs, but if it’s cozy you seek, hit the downstairs pub, where the fireplace radiates a mellow glow beneath rough-hewn beams. Order yourself a local brew and (if you’ve planned your visit wisely) enjoy live jazz.

Tourterelle, New Haven. There’s a New Haven in Vermont, too—it’s just north of Middlebury and is the home of Tourterelle, a chef-owned bistro with a country French menu. Bouillabaisse, steak frites, wagyu burgers, and house-made charcuterie especially hit the spot at fireside, and a handsome stone hearth is here to oblige.

Trattoria Delia,Burlington. Back when the building housing Trattoria Delia was a hotel, the downstairs tavern was designed to resemble an old-time sugarhouse—in fact it was a former sugarhouse, moved here from New Hampshire. Centered around a handsome stone hearth, the room has for a quarter-century been the home of the Queen City’s premier Italian restaurant.

Woodstock Inn & Resort,Woodstock. The massive hearth that commands the lobby of the Woodstock Inn seems capable, if the front doors were thrown open, of heating the resort town’s entire village green. Downstairs, the inn’s snug Richardson’s Tavern features its own fireplace, in a dining atmosphere suggesting the den of a country estate.


Chatham Inn,Chatham. Cape Cod’s only Relais & Châteaux property is the grand luxe hostelry at the Cape’s scenic elbow. Nine of its 18 rooms feature wood-burning fireplaces, and firelight also cheers Cuvée, the inn’s fine-dining restaurant, and its award-winning wine bar. Still craving more fireside enchantment? On the terrace, overlooking Chatham’s historic Main Street, a firepit takes the chill off Cape Cod summer nights.

Garrison Inn,Newburyport. This star of the small-hotel revival on the North Shore features several guest rooms with wood-burning fireplaces, including a two-story gem with 15-foot cathedral ceilings. The inn’s name, by the way, honors Newburyport native and prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison—thus the “Liberator” name for the handsome room in which complimentary full breakfast is

Gibbet Hill Grill,Groton. This restaurant is the pièce de résistance of 500-acre Gibbet Hill Farm, source of many items on the menu—the farm-to-table distance here is a short one indeed. At the center of the grill’s post-and-beam dining room, a massive double-sided stone hearth and chimney rises for two stories.

Lenox Hotel, Boston. The crown jewels of this Back Bay luxury hotel are its Executive Fireplace Rooms, 450-square-foot sanctuaries graced with fully functioning wood-burning hearths. Room service in a gracious urban hotel is always a special luxury, but when the knock on the door heralds prompt delivery of a supply of bone-dry firewood and a hand lighting the blaze, that’s a different order of posh.

The Publick House,Sturbridge. Cavernous hearths yawning six feet across were commonplace in New England’s earliest homes and inns, and the fireplace in the Tap Room at the Publick House is a spectacular surviving example. Long a favorite with visitors to nearby Old Sturbridge Village, the inn also offers accommodations in its 18th-century main building and in three adjacent structures.

Salem Cross Inn,West Brookfield. Central Massachusetts’s Salem Cross Inn, a restored farmhouse set on 600 acres, not only offers fireside dining, but—on several winter dates—also hosts a “Fireplace Feast,” with chowder, prime rib (turned on a 300-year-old-plus roasting jack), and apple pie, all prepared in open-hearth colonial style. While the cooks are at work, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

The Wayside Inn,Sudbury. Like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn features stories told by sojourners at an inn—in this case, a real one that remains popular with travelers today. The Wayside Inn has stood on the coach road linking Boston with points west for over 300 years, and still offers fireside dining and snug quarters for overnight guests.

Sleek decor meets fireside coziness at Blind Tiger in Portland, Maine.


Blind Tiger,Portland. “Blind tiger” used to mean a speakeasy, but patrons of the Blind Tiger in Portland speak enthusiastically about this gracious guest house occupying a stately Victorian mansion in the city’s vibrant heart. Seven rooms have fireplaces, and the “Bon Viveur” suite offers two—one in the bedroom and one in the parlor.

Chiltern Inn,Bar Harbor. Occupying a former ambassador’s estate dating to 1906, the Chiltern Inn features two of the most exquisitely furnished rooms in town, done in Colonial Revival style with block-front chests, broken-pediment highboys, four-poster beds, and wood-burning fireplaces. Quite the contrast with the inn’s indoor lap pool—but to get back into the 18th-century groove, retreat to the fireplaced library loft.

Fore Street,Portland. The massive hearth at the heart of this acclaimed restaurant isn’t just for show. It’s where fresh fish, meats, and vegetables are grilled, roasted, and turned on a spit over a blazing fire. Visible from almost every table, this hearth provides its own form of dinner theater. Fore Street owner Sam Hayward was an early pioneer in the locavore movement, so his live-fire cooking always begins with exceptional ingredients.

Harraseeket Inn,Freeport. Visitors to Freeport do occasionally tear themselves away from outlet shops, and from a certain purveyor of outdoor equipment and clothing. A cozy respite from all that shopping is the Harraseeket Inn, among whose 94 rooms are 23 with wood-burning fireplaces. Can’t stay away from the glow? Dine at the Inn’s Broad Arrow Tavern, with its own blazing hearth.

The Inn at Bath,Bath. If anything tops an inn room with a fireplace, it’s a suite with two fireplaces. That’s an option at the Inn at Bath, for guests with the foresight to reserve the inn’s Cabin and Garden rooms, which can be combined into a suite. Along with wood-burning hearths, each includes a two-person whirlpool tub. The Greek Revival inn stands in Bath’s historic district, and the Kennebec River is steps away.

Inn on the Harbor,Stonington. The Heritage and the Victory Chimes rooms overlooking Penobscot Bay at the Inn on the Harbor feature wood-burning fireplaces—a prime amenity for guests who linger into the seaside evenings on the private and semi-private decks adjoining several rooms. A bonus: Accommodations with a bay view come with binoculars, great for spotting the windjammers for which the rooms are named.

Rí Rá, Portland. This establishment handsomely does its part in the small chain’s mission to bring Irish pub life to America, with a copious beer lineup deep with Maine brews and a certain dark Celtic elixir. There’s a pub menu with a modern accent, live music on weekends, and—hurry, grab a seat—a snug upstairs lounge where logs crackle on a stone hearth. The harbor views aren’t bad, either.


Foster’s Boiler Room,Plymouth. The Common Man Inn & Spa in the college town of Plymouth features this wine bar that once was—as its name suggests—a boiler room. There’s no boiler here now, just an inviting fireplace set into exposed brick walls, an ample pub menu, and an extensive selection of New England beers and craft cocktails.

The Library,Portsmouth. A necessary exception to our wood-burning-fireplace rule is The Library, a long-popular steakhouse whose lavishly wood-paneled quarters define baronial splendor. Gas-fired hearths grace both the white-tablecloth dining room and the cozy lounge, where patrons can claim a leather armchair by the fire and sample one of 96 martinis on the bar menu.

The Manor ON Golden Pond,Holderness. Savvy visitors to the lake country know that “Golden Pond” is actually Squam Lake, and forgive the Manor on Golden Pond’s borrowing the beloved film’s title. Small matter—what counts is this inn’s comfy, rustic feel, with a dining room warmed by a wood-burning hearth with green-tiled surround, and the relaxed guest rooms upstairs, many with their own wood-burners.

Mountain View Grand,Whitefield. The magnificently restored Mountain View Grand has built a reputation around its luxe rooms, tower spa, wine cellar dining, and golf course—but it’s the homier pleasure of s’mores around a campfire that makes a winter stay extra-special. The s’mores fixings are complimentary; guests provide the appetite after a day of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding … or a round of axe throwing.

Notchland Inn,Hart’s Location. Way up in the White Mountains, a cornerstone of the Notchland Inn’s century of hospitality is its wealth of wood-burning fireplaces. There’s one in each of the inn’s 13 rooms and two cottages; another in the music room; and the grandest hearth of all, a front parlor stunner designed, along with its surroundings, by Arts and Crafts master Gustav Stickley.

Pine, Hanover. Trading wood for gas is the price of admission to the Ivy League—vicarious admission, that is. The gas-burning fireplace in question belongs to Pine, the celebrated restaurant at the Hanover Inn facing the Dartmouth campus. Offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a bar menu, the college town’s most innovative kitchen relies heavily on local meats, dairy, and produce.

Stonehurst Manor,North Conway. Built as a carpet tycoon’s summer home in 1874 and a luxurious inn for over 70 years, Stonehurst Manor has wood-burning fireplaces throughout. Eight of the sixteen rooms in the main inn have working hearths, as does the main dining room and Library Lounge. There’s also an outdoor firepit, especially welcome for guests enjoying the Ice Bar set up outdoors each winter.