For the first time ever, the incredible restaurants of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are teaming up to present the Greater Kennebunks Restaurant Week, starting this Sunday, September 22, 2013 until the 28th! While we absolutely love Maine Restaurant Week (and any excuse to try fun new spots), we’re stoked that nearly all of the area restaurants are participating in this inaugural event. So not only is fall foliage season upon us, but the restaurants are also showing us their true “colors” by whipping up a three course meal for participants this week. Each restaurant chooses their price point (either $25, $35, or $45), and plans a special menu accordingly. And how could you ask for more? I mean most entrees would normally put you darn close to those prices, so how could you possibly turn down a full three courses for such stellar deals? I certainly know that I couldn’t! So this week, I better hit the streets and beaches with my running shoes, because I think there’s going to be some hearty eating going on! Fortunately, though, lots of the participating restaurants are within comfortable walking distance from the Maine Stay Inn, so that means I’ve got just one more excuse to dig into dessert this week. But whether you choose to enjoy the full three courses or opt to select a la carte from each of the Kennebunkport restaurants regular menus, there’s no way to go wrong. And since so many restaurants are choosing to participate in the first ever Greater Kennebunks Restaurant Week, you’ve got countless options for enjoying some stellar eats at superb prices. This new event is sure to be a hit, and in anticipation, they’ve set up a great website with information on the participating restaurants and the head chef in each location. But all of us at the Maine Stay are happy to help make recommendations based on your personal preferences and reserve a table at the restaurant of your choice. So don’t miss out on Greater Kennebunks Restaurant Week starting this Sunday, September 22!
September 20th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
September 17th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
It seems like everyone I know is tying the knot – some for the first time, others are remarrying, and some are celebrating anniversaries with vow renewals – and with destinations weddings on the rise, Kennebunkport luxury hotels are stepping up to the plate. In fact, we are excited to be hosting a small wedding this weekend at the Maine Stay! We are all really stoked, because not only are we expecting a fantastic fall weekend, but the bride
and groom are quite possibly the sweetest couple ever. The truth is, though, that every wedding, celebrating the love between two great people, is something that deserves much fanfare, but for a lot of people, the idea of a party with hundreds of people just isn’t appealing. And fortunately, destination weddings for smaller groups have become a great alternative way to celebrate their big day. Because Kennebunkport luxury hotels tend to be more intimate than those in cosmopolitan areas, we’ve become a great place to make those special memories. But just like with a traditional wedding, brides and grooms planning destination weddings have lots to think about – not the least of which is where to have their ceremony and reception. Some couples choose to have both in the same spot, while others do a little moving locations. And for those who want to exchange their vows right on the water, there’s tons of coastline that is perfect for just that purpose! Others go for a more traditional church service, and Kennebunkport offers tons of denominations (and architectural styles) to choose from, while even more opt to take advantage of the great backyard at the Maine Stay Inn. And this weekend, the happy couple will be tying the knot right on the beach and return to the inn for their outdoor reception. But best of all, because they’ve pared down their guest list to just their closest friends and family members, everyone will be around to enjoy a delicious breakfast the next morning! In my mind, that’s one of the best parts of having a small destination wedding – your guests can enjoy the whole experience with you. And since a gourmet breakfast is always included, you won’t even have to think about organizing a farewell brunch! So if you’re thinking about having your wedding at one of the Kennebunkport luxury hotels, just let us know what is most important to you for your special day.
September 16th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Now that it is officially mid-September (what?!), it is time to start enjoying the fall weather, and there’s no better way than taking a great fall foliage hike in Kennebunkport. And fortunately there are tons of great opportunities for trips that suit all fitness levels and attention spans not far from the Maine Stay Inn. Now, we have to be realistic – this is Southern Maine, after all. So that means that you’re not going to find any soaring mountains
and above tree line treks. At least not in our immediate area. But if that’s your thing, we can certainly recommend some spots for a day trip! So with that in mind, there are still lots of options in terms of length and terrain to keep you busy in the great outdoors.
Now, I certainly know that some folks aren’t psyched about lacing up their running shoes or hiking boots and hitting a dirt trail, so for those who aren’t the walks along the Kennebunk beaches or Parson’s Walk out to Walker’s Point are a great choice. Looking for a longer route? Try the packed gravel path along the Eastern Trail, a converted railroad course that runs from Kittery to Portland. And while these are great for enjoying the autumn air, you might experience more fall foliage on a hike at some of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust properties. Each offers loops and trails of different lengths, without too much elevation change. And if you’re willing to venture a little bit from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, the Kennebunk Land Trust also offers a huge variety of different trails not far from Dock Square. And as many of you know, one of my absolute favorite places in the area is the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, and with 7 miles of trails (even some leading to the beach!) it also offers a great chance for a fall foliage hike just a few miles from the Maine Stay. But if you’re looking for a little more elevation and challenging terrain, head just south to Mount Agamenticus in Ogunquit. From the top you can see the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the White Mountains on the other – what a stunning sight! So no matter what your skill or interest level, there are almost limitless possibilities for fall foliage hikes in Kennebunkport!
September 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Despite the fact that the temperature over the last few days has felt more like July than mid-September, autumn really is in the air and there is tons of fall fun to be had in Kennebunkport Maine. Now we all know that leaf peeping in Maine is sort of a given. I mean, you just have to do it. The colors become so vibrant that you just can’t help but take note of them, and the idea of opportunities to really take in the landscape and the snap
amazing pictures always becomes a top priority. So whether you choose to take in the scenes by land or by sea, you can’t go wrong! Hop aboard one of the gorgeous schooners moored just down the street from the Maine Stay Inn or paddle around the coast under your own steam, the view of the changing leaves from the water is not to be missed. Unless, of course, you decide to head out for a scenic drive or hike, because we’ve got lots of routes and destinations if that’s more your style. But what fun would a fall getaway be if you didn’t have great activities to enjoy as well? Don’t worry – there are tons of classically fall activities available in and around Kennebunkport Maine!
Right about now the trees in nearby apple orchards are brimming with crisp ripe fruits, and they’re just waiting for you to take advantage of this class fall activity. What could be more fun than wandering through beautiful orchards in the autumn sunshine and gathering just the right fruits for a healthy snack or at home baking project? I certainly can’t think of anything! And fortunately for us, there are lots of great orchards near Kennebunkport Maine. Just a few minutes away lies Spiller Farm, featuring orchards, vegetable gardens, and even pumpkin picking – although you’ll have to wait just a touch longer for those. For those looking to enjoy a scenic drive, you can head out toward Limington, ME, the home of Doles Orchard, where you’ll find them in the heart of fall raspberry and apple picking season. Plus, their hay maze is sure to bring lots of fun and laughter to your trip. And if that seems like it’s right up your alley, you can take advantage of the incredible six acre corn maze at Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton, ME. But to really get in the fall spirit, you can enjoy a classic hayride and even bring home pumpkins you pick yourself for just 45 cents a pound! And while there are countless farms in Southern Maine that bring fall spirit to life, this blog just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Wallingford Farm just over the border in downtown Kennebunk. They’ve got pumpkin picking and hayrides that are first rate. No matter how you choose to spend your days in Kennebunkport Maine, you can be sure that there are lots of activities available for your fall fun during your autumn getaway.
September 10th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
While the Maine Stay Inn is lucky to have an 1860 Italianate Victorian main house, one of the most unique features of the inn is just outside – the luxury Kennebunkport cottages that feature a wide range of styles and decor, which means there’s something for everyone’s individual style preferences. Over the past few years we’ve had tons of fun renovating each of the Cottage Suites from top to bottom – some even more than once! And because we don’t have to work around the confines of a central hallway, each room can be really different. Yes,
each of the guest houses might be your average white ranch style building on the outside, behind each red door lies a truly unique experience. Even with 11 of our luxury cottage suites, no two are exactly alike or even that similar! Because some of our guests want the main house feeling with the added privacy and spaciousness that comes with our luxury Kennebunkport cottages, Cottage Suite 7 sports traditional Thibaut wallpaper, a classic sleigh bed, and reproduction furniture. But not to worry, you won’t find any floral or lace here, because even our traditional rooms have been simplified and modernized to reflect the looks of today. Romantic Cottage Suite 5 takes transitional decor even a step further, mixing sleek sofas and bold paint colors with custom made furnishings from antique millwork.
We really love color, and that trend continues in Romantic Cottage Suites 1 and 4. And this spring, Suite 3 got a new look that’s been getting rave reviews – a bold, contemporary wallpaper with geometric designs contrast the rich mahogany furniture in a way that just works. This transformation took our luxury Kennebunkport cottages to a new level in terms of our expectations for our design projects – I guess I had better get working on the next plans (I wonder which one will be up next…)! Once cute and country, Cottage Suites 8, 9, and 11 have all taken on a modern look, but even these are all different – some are soft and soothing, while others are bold and fun. But since these are cottages, after all, we’ve renovated Suite 10 to be exactly what you’d expect from an upscale New England cottage! But no matter what style makes you most comfortable, our luxury Kennebunkport cottages are sure to have just what you need – just ask for some guidance and any of the Maine Stay staff would be happy to help you pick the right one!
September 7th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
One of the questions I am asked most frequently is what visitors should do and see during their Kennebunkport Maine vacation, and honestly, it’s a hard question to answer, because it really depends on what you like to do! I mean, many people come to Kennebunkport to enjoy the plethora of great shops with unique assortments that you just can’t find in many places. But I am not really a shopper, so chances are that won’t be at the tippity-top of my must-do list. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoy having such high quality stores within a short walk from the Maine Stay Inn, because if I need a new pair of shoes or a special gift, I never have to go very far to find the perfect thing! Now, I for one really like to play outside, no matter the weather or the season – so give me a great hike, bike, or run any day. But I definitely know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’ve made my must-do list for Kennebunkport Maine with that in mind. So here goes!
- Check out the beach. While much of Maine is known for its craggy rocky coast, Kennebunkport is lucky to have long stretches of pristine sand as well. Because the seascape changes so rapidly, I think you should visit the coast every day, and since I love to be outside, I am always in favor of a brisk walk. Fortunately for those who aren’t so nature loving, there are beautiful benches along the wide sidewalks by Kennebunk beach. That means enjoying the water without having to get sandy or messy!
- See the Bush Compound. It might sound hokey, but it’s one thing you have to do. And not just because it’s a Presidential retreat, but because their property is one of the most stunning pieces of land in Kennebunkport Maine. The way the water crashes on the rocks of their peninsula and the sea gets calm as it comes into the inlet is just breathtaking. Do it – you won’t regret it.
- Visit Cape Porpoise. This quaint fishing village sits in the eastern end of town and is still home to a working fish pier. During the afternoon, you’re sure to find all the lobster boats moored in the harbor and a pile of traps on the dock – just perfect for a great photo session.
- Have a lobster dinner. Assuming you’re not allergic to shellfish, that is! And while I think that you’ll get the classic lobster shack experience at Nunan’s Lobster Hut, the truth is that no Kennebunkport restaurant is going to steer you wrong.
- Stroll through Dock Square, whether its for shopping, dining, walking or just people watching. The iconic center of town is just a short stroll from the Maine Stay and is not to be missed!
These are just a few of the items that top my list of things to do in town, and it’s certainly not complete. There are millions of ways to spend the days during your Kennebunkport Maine Vacation, and we at the Maine Stay Inn are more than happy to make suggestions based on what you like to do – we’re your travel agent and concierge all in one!
September 3rd, 2013 by Judi Hauer
While officials say that summer is still sticking around for a few more weeks, Labor Day has come and gone and September is underway, meaning that it’s prime time for enjoying a fall getaway to a Maine bed and breakfast. Today’s temperatures rose to around 80 and periods of bright sunshine drove many visitors to the beach for some sand and surf, just like you would during the heat of the summer, but the cool evening weather says that fall
really is on its way. Yep, it’s time to break out the light jackets and thin sweaters, because you’ll certainly want one during a nighttime stroll! And with the crisp, cool breezes, there’s nothing I like more than a moonlit walk along the water. But one of the things I like about fall is that often a thick fog rolls in during the wee hours of the morning, so if you’re up early you can catch a glimpse of this beautiful scene before it burns off, revealing the characteristic bright blue skies.
During the fall season, there are lots of great ways to enjoy the foliage. One of my favorite things to do in the autumn (or spring and summer, for that matter) is to cruise the coastline on an elegant sailboat, like the Schooner Eleanor or the Pineapple Ketch. Each of these ships leave from docks within walking distance from our Maine bed and breakfast, and offer trips lasting between 90 minutes and two hours – the perfect length for relaxation and sightseeing but still leaves you with plenty of time for exploring Kennebunkport! The local nature preserves are ideal for enjoying walks in the midst of the fall foliage, and places like Laudholm Farm or Mount Agamenticus let you enjoy views of the woods and the coastline – setting the stage for a perfect photographic opportunity! But no matter how you choose to spend your fall getaway, a Maine bed and breakfast is the ideal setting for a classic New England experience.
September 1st, 2013 by Judi Hauer
While I can’t think of a single restaurant in Kennebunkport where you can’t get some kind of lobster at dinnertime, there are very few spots I would say serve the perfect lobster dinner. Now let’s be real – this is Maine. So chances are good you’ll get good lobster just about anywhere. But as a lifelong lobster connoisseur (seriously, just ask my mom), I will tell you that there is an immense difference between a decent lobster and a knock your socks off, craving inducing, must drive hundreds of miles just for this, kind of lobster. And one of those incredible finds is just up the
street from the Maine Stay Inn at Port Lobster. Now, this is not your average restaurant. In fact, it’s not a restaurant at all. But this fish market does cook up the freshest lobsters you could ask for. So when visiting Kennebunkport, it’s a great idea to pack your own gourmet lobster picnic to enjoy by the water. Hop on over to Cape Porpoise kitchen to pick up a bottle of wine, some amazing cheeses, and an assortment of off the charts sides to complete your feast. Then pick up your hot and steamy lobster to enjoy wherever you like! We’ll happily supply the cracking equipment – just ask!
Looking for an old fashioned lobster dinner that you can walk to? Check out Mabel’s Lobster Claw, just a ten minute walk from the inn. And while it’s not on the water, its old school flare is pretty neat. But the hands down favorite when it comes to Maine lobster is Nunan’s Lobster Hut. You may have to drive, and you may wait in line (they take no reservations), and you may have to pay cash (sorry, plastic not accepted), but it is SO worth it. Not only is the atmosphere exactly what you think of when you think of a charming lobster pound, they know exactly how to make every lobster spot on. That’s probably because they basically just do lobster. They fish it, they catch it, and they cook it! Honestly, it’s heaven on a plate. Rather, it’s like heaven times two, because you’ve got to get the twin lobster special option – it’s the best buy around. Then top off your meal with a hearty slice of homemade blueberry pie ala mode. Yummmm. So when visiting Kennebunkport on the hunt for the perfect lobster dinner, you’re sure to find your ideal meal not far from the Maine Stay Inn.
August 28th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
As I dove into my bowl of pasta and homemade pesto – made with basil fresh from the garden – I got to thinking about how there are such great opportunities for farm-to-table type dining in Kennebunkport Maine. Honestly, I feel so lucky to be in an area where there’s a real appreciation for quality food and sourcing local ingredients! I mean, at the Maine Stay Inn, one of our food suppliers focuses on using Maine products as much as
possible, especially given the -ahem – poor growing conditions during the chilly months of the year. But that means that our eggs come from Maine chickens and our dairy products from Maine cows! Today we even got to serve a Maine cantaloupe – who knew you could grow those here?! While we don’t have a huge herb and vegetable garden, we do grow a few nibbles and a bunch of herbs. There really is nothing better than getting up and clipping fresh herbs from the garden in the morning! And we know that is something visitors appreciate when they wake up in Kennebunkport Maine, but since we don’t serve lunch or dinner, we’ve made sure to come up with some farm fresh options for lunch locales.
Just over the border in Wells, you’ll find Joshua’s, a restaurant that specialized in farm to table cuisine long before it became trendy. Chef Joshua’s father is an organic farmer whose farm provides the produce for the restaurant as long at the weather permits, and during the winter months, they utilize other local farms that have large greenhouses which produce year round! Head a little further south of Kennebunkport Maine to Ogunquit and you’ll find fine dining establishment Arrows. With its extensive gardens and inventive menu, Arrows has been named one of the top 50 restaurants in the United States. But closer to home, you’ll find that homegrown chef David Ross knows his stuff when it comes to local farms. His sister restaurants, 50 Local and Owen’s Farmhouse, are both located in downtown Kennebunk and their commitment to supporting local agriculture permeates every aspect of the menus in both locations. And just a hop, skip, and a jump from our Kennebunkport Maine bed and breakfast, lies funky not-so-hidden-anymore gem Bandaloop. Its focus is also on providing the freshest foods from local sources, but there’s one local treat you won’t find on the menu – old fashioned boiled lobster. Sorry – we’ll send you to Nunan’s for that! The truth is, though, that there are oodles of places around Kennebunkport Maine that serve farm fresh feasts, and we at the Maine Stay Inn are happy to help you find the spot that’s right for you!
August 25th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
It seems almost impossible that Labor Day Weekend is already upon us, but it certainly is and Kennebunkport is gearing up for a great weekend. This three day weekend is always filled with fun activities and ample opportunities to unwind and relax. Plus, with great back to school sales at the shops in Dock Square, you’ll surely get in some retail therapy that is great on the wallet! And since the stores in the area are known for their unique and hard to find items, you can be sure the person next door won’t be sporting the same purchases. Now I am not a huge shopper myself, but one of my absolute favorite things is the School Around Us Craft Fair. Held on the Kennebunkport town green just around the corner from the Maine Stay Inn, you’ll find great locally prepared foods, musical performances, and, of course, incredible hand made wares.
We’ve been working on some projects all around the inn lately to make sure that your Labor Day Weekend getaway to Kennebunkport is absolutely the best it can be. And while we are content to offer breakfast and afternoon tea to guests, we are always happy to offer suggestions for area restaurants. Now that even the newest eateries have been open for quite a few months, each and every one of them is operating at their peak, so we know that you’ll enjoy delicious meals at any of them! We know, though, that not everyone is obsessed with food or shopping, and fortunately the plethora of amazing outdoor activities in Kennebunkport are incredible. So whether you head to the beach for a stroll and some fun in the sun or to a local nature and wildlife refuge you will definitely enjoy the beauty of the Maine coast. No matter what you choose to do to celebrate Labor Day Weekend in Kennebunkport, you’re in for a fun and relaxing escape!