July 30th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Kayakers seen from the Kennebunkport Maine bridge!
Many people think of our beautiful beaches when they think of Kennebunkport Maine, but lots of people are choosing to enjoy the crystal clear water in other ways, especially by getting involved in water sports. And since the Maine Stay Inn is located just one block from the harbor, we’re situated in an ideal spot to partake in all of the available fun! A personal favorite activity of mine, kayaking is a really popular past time in Kennebunkport Maine. Experienced water warriors often enjoy the open ocean, cruising under their own steam around Goat Island (to see a new view of the lighthouse) or around the Kennebunk beaches. Fortunately there are lots of ways to get involved in kayaking (for one or even for two!). Adventuresome paddlers might choose to rent their craft from the Kennebunkport Marina, as it puts them a bit closer to the open ocean, while starting at Coastal Maine Kayak and Bike sets your starting point a little farther upstream, where you’ll find calmer waters and scenic vistas if you head away from the ocean. But if you’re looking for something even a little more low key, you can rent a canoe at Scarborough Marsh, a part of the Maine Audubon Society - it’s even calm enough for little kiddos!
The more adventuresome visitors might be interested in taking a surfing lesson from Aquaholics. This Lower Village Kennebunk based business offers lessons throughout the year (obviously requiring wet suits in months like January and February). But sometimes you’re just looking to enjoy the water without the work, and I’ve got just the solution for you – a leisurely sail aboard the Schooner Eleanor or the Pineapple Ketch. Both offer sails throughout the day, but the Pineapple Ketch times their later departures for prime sunset watching. But no matter which water sports you choose to enjoy Kennebunkport Maine’s prime seaside location, you’re sure to enjoy some fun in the sun during your trip!
July 27th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
While many people visit Kennebunkport thinking of indulging in lots of lobster, more and more folks have approached me recently about finding oysters and other raw bar items at restaurants in town. Fortunately the Kennebunkport restaurants seem to be listening, because more and more menus seem to be featuring these uncooked delicacies! So here’s a smattering of nearby eateries that are sure to wet your whistle when you’re experiencing a craving for treats on the half shell.
Enjoy treats from the raw bar at Tia’s Topside!
- The Hatch is a new addition to town courtesy of Federal Jack’s Brew Pub, and as its downstairs little sister, its menu is similarly pared down. Focusing on the speciality brews from the Kennebunkport Brewing Company, the menu features things that go great with beer – like burgers and pub style treats, as well as oysters! So grab a beer and a few icy cold oysters while watching the boats passing through the Kennebunkport harbor.
- The Hurricane is a classic (and classy) restaurant in the heart of Dock Square (and just a short walk from the Maine Stay Inn) whose understated facade doesn’t betray the dining room’s stellar water views. So whether you just want to grab some oysters or littleneck clams at the bar or as a starter for a lovely sit down dinner, you’ll find a great spot here.
- You’ll find oysters on the half shell during Happy Hour from 3-5 at David’s Kennebunkport, or stay a bit later to indulge in oysters or Count neck clams from the dinner menu. On the waterfront, you’ll find a great spot to grab a bite, but since they take no reservations, be prepared for a wait during peak dinner hours.
- At Tia’s Topside, you’re able to order a single oyster or littleneck clam from the raw bar, which means that you can mix and match as you watch the boats on the water and the people meandering through town from its perch on Chase Hill.
The truth is, though, that you can’t go wrong at any of these great spots – as long as you like oysters, that is! So the next time you’re craving oysters or raw bar concoctions in Kennebunkport, you can rest assured that you’ll find just the right atmosphere to indulge in this treat from the sea!
July 23rd, 2013 by Judi Hauer
With entertainment and social media buzzing about the Royal Baby, it got me thinking about couples traveling with their infants or kids in Kennebunkport Maine. Now, it’s true that many parents choose Kennebunkport as a destination for a quick getaway without their little ones, because of its easy access and proximity to major metropolitan areas in the northeast (that means that in the event of an emergency, moms won’t be too far away).
Kid sized adirondack chairs welcome kids to the backyard
But there are lots of families that aren’t quite ready to leave their kiddos behind, and at the Maine Stay Inn, we believe they deserve a relaxing romantic getaway too! So while the main house isn’t set up to accommodate families with young children, our cottage suites offer an ideal setup – plus, they are generally larger, which is a necessity for families. And since breakfast will be delivered to your door (Breakfast in bed for no charge? Yes, please!), parents won’t even have to worry about those “indoor voices” lectures, getting their little ones out of their jammies, or their table manners.
Many first time parents, especially those traveling for the first time with their kids, don’t have the essentials to make travel safe and comfortable for their little one. Fortunately, we’re prepared for you! No, you’re not going to have to squeeze a whole family into one bed, because we have sturdy cribs that meet the new federal guidelines for crib safety and can even outfit them with bumpers, sheets and blankets. For bigger kids, we have many rooms that have Tempurpedic sleeper sofas, and without a bar, kids (and adults too) are sure to enjoy a restful night in Kennebunkport Maine. Some parents worry that a bed and breakfast won’t welcome their families because many have a strict “no kids” policy, but that sure isn’t the case here! In fact, we even keep a supply of backyard and sand toys just for their entertainment. The truth is, though, that we want everyone to have the best possible experience during their vacation, so we’ve set things up so that they are the most respectful of families, as well as those who are looking for a break from theirs. So if William and Kate (or any parents) decide to tote Baby Cambridge to Kennebunkport Maine for a relaxing vacation, they’re sure to be welcomed with open arms.
July 20th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
This week has brought an intense heat wave to New England, and Kennebunkport is no exception. Temperatures have soared into the early and even mid nineties, which is highly unusual for the Maine Coast, but fortunately every room and suite has air conditioning (and some even have brand new energy efficient heat pump based cooling
Ice cream in Kennebunkport is proving to be a great way to beat the heat!
systems), so everyone has been cool as a cucumber indoors. That said, on a bright sunny day, hanging out inside is not normally the number one thing on most agendas! So we loaded folks up with cool beverages and coolers full of ice to keep them refreshed and well hydrated during their fun in the summer sun. But even with lots of ice water on board, the high temperatures drove many (but not all!) visitors to Kennebunkport to alter their activities. Because of the extraordinarily warm weather the water is now unseasonably warm, which means that beach time is really a must, but without a cloud in the sky, most folks have been choosing to hit the sand early in the morning or later in the afternoon and opting for other midday plans. Many have swapped their sunset sails on multi-masted schooners for those during the day, as the water still brings a deliciously cool breeze even on the hottest of days. Others have chosen to explore shadier areas like the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge or the Wells Reserve, each of which offer the cooling ocean breeze and tree protection from the sun. But don’t forget the bug spray, because neither Reserve treats the properties for mosquitos, and it’s never fun to leave a vacation with oodles of bug bites. Others have chosen to explore as they normally would, but return for a siesta in our backyard in the shade, courtesy of some towering pines. But my personal favorite way to spend a Kennebunkport is to cool off with a frosty treat! And with fabulous spots like Goose Rock’s Dairy, Rococo Artisan Ice Cream, and Yo Goody (among quite a few others), you can enjoy your favorite activities with a cool treat in hand. No matter where you spend your heat wave days in Kennebunkport, there are lots of great options for staying cool!
July 18th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
After many years of litigation between homeowners in Goose Rocks Beach and the Town of Kennebunkport, visitors this summer are likely to see few changes during their trip out to Goose Rocks. For those who don’t know, Goose Rocks Beach is the northeastern part of Kennebunkport that lies on the Biddeford line along the Atlantic Ocean. Named after a crest of rocks that look like geese floating on the water when exposed during low
Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport is great for a long walk!
tide, this area is primarily residential with a long stretch of sandy beaches. And for years the homeowners along the beach have contended that they, and not the town or the public, own the beach. But it appears that the legal battle has drawn to a close, bringing compromise from both parties. The great news is that the beach is still open to the public, with reminders to be respectful of the area and the private property adjoining the beach. However, this year, you’re likely to see a police presence to remind folks that certain homeowners do have rights to 25 feet of sand in front of their homes (although that shrinks to just 10 if the high water mark falls within their 25 feet). That means that if the owners are inclined, they or the police may ask loungers to move to a different area – but chances are that respectful and quiet visitors are not likely to bring much attention. If you want to read the complete list of restrictions, click here. That said, I like Goose Rocks Beach best for a long walk, and none of these restrictions apply to walkers or those just passing through these questionable zones. One important reminder, though, is that you’ll require special parking stickers that can only be obtained at Kennebunkport Town Offices (just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Maine Stay Inn) on Elm Street, the Kennebunkport Police Station (on your way out to GRB), or the Goose Rocks General Store if you’ve forgotten to pick one up on your way.
But if you don’t want to worry about restrictions, we’ve got plenty of parking passes for the Kennebunk Beaches (just about a mile from the inn), which offers much more in the way of parking spots and convenience! Or we could recommend other favorites, like Colony Beach, which is just a short walk from the Maine Stay, or the Wells Reserve, where you’ll find a great nature walk before hitting the sands. But no matter whether you choose Goose Rocks Beach or one of the other great beaches in the area, you’ll find gorgeous sand and sparkling surf waiting for you in Kennebunkport this summer!
July 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Outdoor dining in Kennebunkport is one of the most frequent requests we hear during the summer months, because even on an unusually hot day like today, the ocean breeze made it very pleasant to relax outside. Although a few people chose to have breakfast in the comfort of our air conditioned dining room, most people opted to enjoy their breakfast on the wraparound porch. And even with a cup of hot coffee in hand, everyone was
Enjoy harbor views from Tia’s, Federal Jack’s, and Arundel Wharf
very comfortable, all thanks to our location just one block from the harbor. But come lunchtime, we were fielding requests for more outdoor dining, and fortunately for Kennebunkport visitors and locals alike, there area lots of great options! Just one block from the Maine Stay Inn, you’ll find the Arundel Wharf, a casual dining restaurant situated on a pier with indoor, tented, and open deck seating (but the tented area is my favorite, offering shade in the heat of the day, and protection from mosquitos in the evening. If you head away from Dock Square for a bit, you’ll find Mabel’s Lobster Claw, which has a small porch for dining, but unfortunately isn’t right on the water. In the heart of downtown Kennebunkport, you’ll find Federal Jack’s and Tia’s Topside, each serving casual fare from their perch high about the water. But if you’re looking for something a little different, you could try Pedro’s, the Mexican restaurant – it’s tacos and margaritas make a fantastic pick-me-up, especially when you’re hankering for something other than lobster. Now, if you do want lobster and the appropriate fried fixin’s, heading out to the Cape Porpoise pier for a nibble at Cape Pier Chowder House and relax at the numerous picnic tables right on the dock. And fortunately for everyone, David’s Kennebunkport has finally opened at the site of the old Landing Restaurant, complete with a stunning harbor side deck for dining! Cast your worries aside, because we’ve got lots of great options for outdoor dining in Kennebunkport!
July 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!
Anyone who’s been on a strict eating plan of any kind knows that the idea of venturing out to eat can be very daunting, but at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, we take very special care to prepare a delicious and nutritious diet for those on special diets. As you may know, we have nearly 15 years of gluten-free cooking under our belts – and that’s in real chronological years, not some cockamamie summation. But because food allergies have been on our radar screen for so long, we’re able to take the same great care with nearly any other special diet thrown our way. One of the simplest special diets we accommodate at the Maine Stay Inn is vegetarian, and, in fact, not a single entree contains meats of any kind – we only serve meats as a side! So even if you do forget to mention it, we’re happy to leave it off your breakfast plate. Now vegan diets can be quite a bit trickier, since they include no animal products of any kind (no eggs, no milk, and definitely no Maine lobster), but after quite a bit of experimentation, we’ve got a solid repertoire to make sure that vegan guests can enjoy our typical gourmet breakfast as well. Combining gluten free and vegan can be even trickier, but we’re slowly mastering the art of creating “normal” texture without regular flour or eggs. Now, it’s definitely possible that a vegan won’t have the exact same breakfast as the omnivore at the next table, but it will certainly be delicious!
Food allergies are becoming a growing concern, and we’re happy to plan menus around food allergies or sensitivities. That said, there are allergens on the premise, so there is always the remote chance for cross contamination, but our kitchen staff is extremely diligent when it comes to allergies, especially because more than a few have food allergies themselves! The only thing we ask is that those following special diets of any kind give us 7 days notice so we can appropriately plan menus, food orders, and equipment needs. But don’t worry – if it slips your mind you will still get a handful or reminders before you arrive. Since we love breakfast so much, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the carefully crafted morning meals at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, even those on special diets!
July 9th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
For some reason, newbies to B&Bs have lots of questions and anxieties about checking in to a Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, so it seemed appropriate to talk about what you can expect during the check in process. I guess the first thing to mention is that there is a front desk. Now it may seem silly, but last week while I was trimming the bushes (and literally standing in the shrubbery, goggles on, and electric trimmer in hand), an unsure couple yelled their last name and wanted to check in. While I am a bit of a multi-tasker, I generally don’t try to do landscaping and man the front desk at the same time, so I shook off the clippings and showed them inside, where someone was happy to welcome them and introduce them to Kennebunkport. It is true that the front desk doesn’t really look like what you find at a hotel, but we do have one. And just like at a hotel, the front desk at a Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is where you’ll get your key and go for questions. The similarities stop there! Usually, whoever is waiting to check you in will provide you with information about the inn and answer any questions you might have about the property. We’ll find out about when you’d like to enjoy breakfast, and, of course, if you have any special dietary needs. Now, since we serve freshly baked cookies and beverages in the afternoons, we’ll usually offer you a little pick-me-up and get you acquainted with the area – places to eat, things to do, and ways to make your vacation extra special! Unlike a big hotel, the person that greeted you at check in is your personal concierge during your stay. They’ll show you to your room and help you with your bags (no tipping the bellhop, here!), but not to worry, you’re not going to have to endure a tour of the premise or hear a history of the building. Sometimes, though, folks just want to grab a map and head to their rooms, and that is totally fine with us! We want to make sure that you have the information you need to start your vacation off on the right foot, but if just putting your feet up and relaxing is what the doctor ordered, that is what we want for you too! If you want a customized and personal greeting, that’s what you’ll get. If you want the bare bones instead, that’s what you’ll get. So what you experience when checking in to a Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is totally up to you!
July 7th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Maine bed and breakfasts will help you find gorgeous spots like this to visit!
Now that July Fourth has come and gone, it is definitely summer vacation time, and there’s no better place than at Maine bed and breakfasts, which offer a combination of the amenities of high end hotels and the comforts of home. Now that doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to be in someone’s home – staying at a bed and breakfast doesn’t mean sleeping in Granny’s spare bedroom. It is, however, distinctly different from a hotel. Generally Maine bed and breakfasts are smaller in scale, so that means that the person checking you in is also likely to be serving your breakfast or making your theater reservations. The staff is going to greet you by name and remember the restaurant where you had dinner last night. When was the last time that happened at a Hilton?
While some people might envision the innkeepers at a B&B hovering or tucking you in at night (can you say creepy?), in reality, the staff is happy to be available as much or as little as you need us. If you want help planning every second of your summer vacation, we’ve got lots of ideas! But if you’d rather fly by the seat of your pants, we’re good with that too. The truth is that everyone who works at Maine bed and breakfasts wants to make sure that you have the best possible vacation, so you might get an “Are you sure I can’t help you with…?” kind of question more often than you would at a hotel. But on the quest to ensure that you have a great vay-cay, Maine bed and breakfasts try to think of everything – beach parking passes (for free!), beach towels, chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, you name it. But the best part, at least in my opinion, is waking up to a great breakfast! No soda fountain OJ or miniature boxes of cereal here – you’re in for a multi-course gourmet delight. And since we alternate daily between sweet and savory entrees, there’s something for every palate. I can’t remember the last time I was served a plated meal for free by a hotel – can you? So this year, when planning your summer vacation, skip the vanilla and Maine bed and breakfasts!
July 6th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
A mini heat wave arrived in Kennebunkport Maine just in time for the July 4th holiday weekend, and while temps in the low 90s are a bit unusual in this neck of the woods, everyone seems to be enjoying a chance to hit the beach! Fortunately, there’s lots of coastline to enjoy in southern Maine, and you don’t have to venture far from the Maine Stay Inn to find a spot that’s right for you. In fact, we’re located just a block from the harbor! And that means we are treated to a fantastic afternoon breeze off the water every afternoon. So after a day at the beach, you can put your feet up, relax in a hammock or just hang out on the front porch watching the horse drawn carriage go by and be cool as a cucumber! Plus, we’ve always got refreshing cool beverages (like our signature fresh mint iced tea) each afternoon and some sweet freshly baked treats to give you that afternoon pick-me-up we all need.
High tide at the Wells Reserve!
This week I have been casually surveying visitors to find out where there favorite spots are to beat the heat in Kennebunkport Maine, and here’s what I’ve found:
- Laudholm Farm at the Wells Reserve seems to be a favorite for those looking for peace and quite, as well as those looking to enjoy the ocean without baking in the sun. They’ve got miles of trails that offer sun protection, but you can still hear, feel, smell, and often see the water. Plus their quiet beach is very private and serene when you’re ready to frolic in the waves!
- Gooch’s Beach, just over the bridge in Kennebunk, seems to be a walker’s paradise with paved walkways extending for over a mile.
- Mother’s Beach is especially family-friendly, offering a more enclosed stretch of sand and a playground for the littlest visitors.
- Colony Beach is the closest to our Kennebunkport Maine bed and breakfast (just about a half mile stroll from the inn) and the favorite of those looking to head out on foot.
- The walk along Ocean Avenue and the Parsons Walk out by the Bush Family Compound is the top choice for people looking to enjoy the ocean without getting sandy. You’re able to enjoy the ocean breeze and cooling mist all along this over two mile stretch, but you won’t feel the pressure to go for a dip if that’s not your thing.
But no matter where you spend the day (and many choose to explore multiple spots), you’ll always be happy to return for some R&R back at the Maine Stay. However you choose to spend your summer vacation in Kennebunkport Maine, you’re never far from the relaxing and refreshing Atlantic Ocean!