Whether you’re planning a wedding, banquet, reunion or other special event, the right waterfront venue can add a magical touch and inspire a lifetime of memories. When we are out and about scouting new travel destinations, boating hot spots and cruising towns, we always keep an eye out for places that offer great waterfront venues for events and parties. Below, you will our list of the best waterfront venues for special events and parties.
RIVER DUNES, ORIENTAL, N.C.
Built in the tradition of a coastal marine village, this luxury community offers private family compounds along the shores of Gum Thicket Shoal, ready and waiting to house everyone in your party. Available amenities range from a harbor club and marina with pool, cabana bar and dining room, to a pony pasture and dedicated nature preserve with trails. The Lake House sits on a stocked fly-fishing lake, and the Boat House Pavilion and Amphitheater can host a variety of outdoor activities. The on-site chapel is furnished with North Carolina antiques and a bronze bell noted for its pure, soft tone. What better way to send off a newlywed couple?
MIMOSA BARN, CAPE CHARLES VA.
Midway between Florida and New England on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the new Cape Charles Yacht Center provides full services to vessels of all sizes against a charming and natural background with turn-of-the-century buildings. While the yacht facility itself doesn’t yet offer event space, nearby Mimosa Barn on beautiful Eyre Hall Creek does — and then some. Built in the 1860s and refurbished in 2013, Mimosa consists of 17 acres of protected fields and woodland, with pristine waterfront views and an original farmhouse and outbuildings. The 2,200 square feet of entertainment space has hosted weddings, receptions, reunions and more. Nearby amenities include historic inns and B&Bs, a nationally ranked golf resort, as well as budget friendly lodging options.
INN AT PERRY CABIN, ST. MICHAELS, MD.
Just a short drive from Washington, D.C., and less than two hours from Baltimore and Philadelphia, this manor house resort on Maryland’s Eastern Shore could be a world away. The inn is well known for its resplendent manicured gardens — three of them: flower, woodland and kitchen — along with its elegant Linden Spa. Function spaces are available for both small and large gatherings, with a wedding gazebo, sailing academy and themed packages offering unique opportunities. Bonus: There are no boat docking fees for guests dining at the inn’s restaurants or bars or staying overnight.
CLARK’S LANDING YACHT CLUB, POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J.
Who wouldn’t want to arrive by yacht to their wedding ceremony or reception? You can as part of the festivities at this mansion on the Jersey Shore. The Clarks Landing Yacht Club & Marina prides itself on hosting impeccable weddings indoors and out — so much so that its motto is “The Marriage of Sophistication and the Sea.” As a rule, it hosts just one wedding at a time for exclusive attention and access to its pergola overlooking the Manasquan River, gorgeous grand ballroom, five-star food and state-ofthe-art media systems. Not looking to get hitched on your getaway? The venue has hosted bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversary parties and more.
MONTAUK YACHT CLUB RESORT & MARINA, MONTAUK, N.Y.
No stranger to corporate retreats, milestone events and weddings, Montauk Yacht Club is rich in history and frills. The nautical-inspired resort, complete with replica lighthouse, boasts nearly 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including a newly renovated Farmhouse Ballroom with a fireplace and an outdoor terrace overlooking Lake Montauk. Four other dedicated rooms, plus distinct breakout and outdoor spaces, can host a movie night, pool party or other fun experience. Fishing charters, surf lessons, horseback riding and wine tours are all available through the club, in addition to theme meals like a lobster bake and lakeside barbecue. It’s everything you would expect from a favorite Hamptons haunt for more than eight decades.
SAYBROOK POINT INN & SPA, OLD SAYBROOK, CONN.
Rustic New England charm defines every aspect of this coastal inn, spa and marina nestled between Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River. Newly created guesthouses, Three Stories and Tall Tales, offer unique and comfortable spaces for smaller meetings and groups. Or, if bigger is better, you can reserve the wine room, outdoor terrace or ballroom with stunning water views. Plan your wedding with the help of on-site professionals. The Sanno Spa and Fresh Salt restaurant offer world-class service and quality, with golf, beaches and historic attractions just minutes away in the small but delightful town of Old Saybrook.
CASTLE HILL INN, NEWPORT, R.I.
Think bocce ball on the Chalet lawn, sipping signature drinks in Adirondack chairs, and al fresco dining as the sun sets. Castle Hill rests atop a secluded 40-acre peninsula where Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet — tranquil and private, but with all the amenities of a world-class hotel. In-house event planners will help you create personalized experiences, whether it’s a family reunion, a 50th birthday party or a seaside wedding for 400 on the lush emerald lawn. There’s even private space available at the Castle Hill lighthouse. Seasonal activities and ever-changing menus promise variety and uniqueness.
WENTWORTH BY THE SEA, NEW CASTLE, N.H.
The Wentworth hosted delegates of the Russo-Japanese Peace Treaty talk in 1905, mediated by Theodore Roosevelt. In some ways, not a lot has changed at this landmark hotel. It still features three Victorian towers constructed in the 1870s, along with 161 stately guest rooms and suites and 10,000 square feet of function space. Except now, of course, it incorporates amenities like a modern spa, two acclaimed restaurants and host of audio visual services. Special afternoon tea and brunch menus are ideal for a bridal or baby shower. The Grand Ballroom has its original stage, woodwork and crystal chandeliers; The Wentworth Ballroom
unmatched views of historic gardens and Little Harbor.
THE WAUWINET, NANTUCKET, MASS.
This is Nantucket’s only member of Relais & Châteaux — a collection of the finest individually owned and operated hotels and restaurants from 55 different countries— so set your expectations for outstanding service, cuisine and accommodations. Depending on your needs, you can reserve the entire inn and its 32 guest rooms, cottages and scenic grounds for a private affair like no other. Other spaces, like the Wauwinet’s Sunroom or the awning-covered deck at award-winning TOPPER’S restaurant, can host smaller gatherings. Relax in the hotel spa year-round, or, in the spring and fall, enjoy lobster outings, surfcasting and a tour of ’Sconset Village.
HARBORSIDE HOTEL, SPA & MARINA, BAR HARBOR, ME
Located on picturesque Frenchman’s Bay, the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina works hard to treat guests to a quintessential Down East experience — but makes it look so easy. You and your party can take a sailing trip in search of great humpback whales or go lobstering on an authentic lobster boat. There are ample opportunities for kayaking, hiking and biking in stunning Acadia National Park, located just minutes from the hotel. Four banquet areas, three oceanfront break-out rooms and two ocean-view master suites provide more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space, with outdoor tent space also available. Or, take your gathering outside to the free-form swimming pool with 180-degree harbor views and spacious deck.