Winter is typically the start of “Trip Planning Season” and if you plan on coming to the Maine Lobster Festival in 2019, a little tip from The Washington Post says when it comes to hotel bookings, prices “…rise predictably when demand increases, such as at Thanksgiving and spring break, then fall during slack times such as early January.” Given that August is high peak tourist season in Maine, it’s best to be the early bird in order to get the best rates and the best hotels. Here are a couple of our suggestions.

For Families

There are three major hotels in downtown Rockland, each with their own distinctive personalities and perks. For a stress-free trip, take the Rally Bus from Boston, Manchester, New Hampshire, or Portland to Rockland, and hop off at one of the downtown hotels.

The Tradewinds Inn with its views of the Penobscot Bay, consistently receives great reviews for its cleanliness, comfort and convenience to everything downtown, as well as an attentive staff. Highlights include a balcony in the bedroom with a sea view in some of the rooms and a continental breakfast for all. The Rockland Harbor Hotel is newly renovated, also with views of the bay from the balconies. With good-sized rooms, it’s like paying the price of a large chain hotel with the comfort, cleanliness and attractiveness of a boutique hotel. 250 Main Hotel, right in the heart of downtown, offers views of the Festival from right across the street. The newest hotel to be built in Rockland, this is more upscale, but the rooms are modern and stunning with a warm and welcoming staff. Bonus: There is a beautiful rooftop with comfy chairs to watch the sunrise over the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse as well as all of the Lobster Festival activities.

For Individuals and Couples

If you’re looking for more of an immersive, cultural experience, Rockland has a number of top-notch bed and breakfasts, including the three Historic Inns of Rockland Maine. Named among the Top Ten Eco-Friendly Inns in 2008 by and recognized by Maine Public Broadcasting for their eco-tourism efforts, each inn is distinctly different, blending modern amenities with a historical framework back to Rockland’s seafaring and granite quarrying days. And you will get no better breakfast anywhere else when you wake up. They go all out for a sumptuous feast!

For Big Groups

If what you need is multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, a large living area, a deck and fully-appointed kitchen, the most affordable and comfortable way for larger groups is to go the way of vacation home rentals. Rockland has a number of incredible places both on the ocean and directly in town with Airbnb and VRBO

For those who prefer to have someone else do the legwork, check out SummerMaine Classic Vacation RentalsOn The Water In Maine, Inc., and a farther bit out, Camden Accommodations.

See more travel tips to the Maine Lobster Festival here