Higgins Beach Inn is historic - and a great place to stay and to eat

City or Town: 
Scarborough
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 George

            Scarborough’s historic Higgins Beach Inn has been completely renovated by the Migis Hotel Group, and they did a superb job of maintaining the historic structure’s key elements while adding lots of modern conveniences.

            The three-story colonial revival structure dates back to 1897, and was very rundown when Migis purchased it. I am so glad they saw the value in this place, just a five minute walk from Scarborough’s surprisingly uncrowded beach. It’s also just a short ride from one of our favorite walks along the ocean at Prouts Neck, where the Migis Group also has the wonderful Black Point Inn, which we wrote about last year.

            Caleb Johnson Studio and Woodhull Construction of Maine created 23 newly designed rooms. Our room, a Combers Sunrise Queen, had a very comfortable bed, two chairs which we relaxed in, and windows overlooking some beautiful gardens along the street.

            We were especially impressed with their restaurant, Shade, with both indoor and screened-in porch seating. We ate both dinner and breakfast on the porch, enjoying the nice breeze and wonderful weather. The hotel is in a bustling neighborhood, and lots of folks with homes there are already eating regularly at Shade.           

            The staff here is very friendly, from manager Sidonie Rodman, who visited with us during dinner, to Emily, who greeted us, checked us in, and gave us a tour of the inn and restaurant. Our server at dinner, Caitlin, was very helpful and attentive even though the restaurant was packed including families with small children.

            I started with the Smoked Local Seafood Platter ($14), after Caitlin assured me it was not a huge platter. The smoked mussels, shrimp, and scallops were small bite sized portions, but there were lots of them, and dipped in tarragon mustard sauce, they were very, very tasty.

            I was leaning toward the Barbecued Ribs entre, until Linda proclaimed, “Messy. And you’ve got white pants.” Good point! So I went with the New England Style Fish & Chips ($19), which led Linda to proclaim that I was having a “fishy night.” Indeed: a fun fishy night. Two large filets were crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked inside, but I couldn’t eat most of the second filet.

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