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Pumpkins! Yes, It’s Fall in Kennebunkport!

October 16th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Roadside Pumpkins

Snug Harbor Farm always has great pumpkins!

Throughout much of the country, fall is synonymous with pumpkins, and Kennebunkport is no exception!  You’ll find pumpkin spice lattes in area coffee shops, pumpkin creations on most restaurant and bakery menus, and on the front steps of homes and businesses across town.  You’ll even find them topping the festive scarecrows on the door steps of many stores and restaurants in the area, and the best one is floating in a row boat on the river But the best spots to see some great big piles o’ pumpkins, is at one of the great farms stands in Kennebunkport – happy fall!

 

Gluten Free Bakery Options Come to Kennebunkport Maine

October 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

 

A new coffee shop and bakery comes to Kennebunkport!

A new coffee shop and bakery comes to Kennebunkport!

Kennebunkport Maine restaurants have done a great job jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, but the coffee shops and bakeries have been slow to meet the demand.  Earlier this year, Mornings in Paris, an “old world” style coffee shop located in the heart of the Old Port of Portland, opened a new location here in Kennebunkport Maine.  They’ve brought a tremendous assortment of teas and coffee varieties, great WiFi (for free), and delicious treats to town.  But since the Maine Stay Inn has oodles of tea and coffee available 24 hours a day and bakeries and gluten free diets generally don’t mesh well, a visit to Mornings in Paris was not at the top of my to do list.  This weekend, though, an old friend dropped by for a visit, so we decided to go for a stroll through Kennebunkport Maine and enjoy the glorious fall weather.  After exploring town and taking lots of pictures of the fall foliage, we decided that a warm beverage was just what we needed, so I finally got to cross off this item on my “to-do” list!

The outdoor bistro tables and market style umbrellas set the tone for a relaxing and inviting afternoon respite.  After opening the doors, a wave of wonderful spices and the aroma of freshly brewed coffees got my appetite going.  Much to my surprise, there were quite a few gluten free treats available!  How could I have ignored these gluten free treats all

... and they have gluten free treats!

… and they have gluten free treats!

summer?!  With cookies, whoopie pies, and cupcakes available, I felt like a kid in a … bakery!  The only thing that I needed to complete my afternoon rendezvous was a warm drink to hold during my walk along the ocean, and while the Pumpkin Latte was getting rave reviews, I needed something a little lighter to wash down my gluten free indulgence, so an Oolong tea fit the bill nicely.  While I chose to take my nibbles to go, the inside eating areas were comfy, cozy, and interesting to look at – no plain white walls here.  So even during weather that’s not quite as ideal as yesterday, Mornings in Paris is going to be a great spot for an afternoon cup o’ joe.  So all of us at the Maine Stay are happy to welcome the Mornings in Paris Bakery and coffee shop to Kennebunkport Maine and love their gluten free options!

Fall Foliage Nearing Peak in Kennebunkport Maine

October 11th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Just in time for Columbus Day Weekend, officials at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry have reported that the fall foliage in Kennebunkport Maine is nearing its peak of color.  Predicting the most vibrant time to see fall foliage in New England can be very tricky, if not impossible, but you can pretty much

Fall Foliage Season in Kennebunkport is bringing some gorgeous hues to the treetops!

Fall Foliage Season in Kennebunkport is bringing some gorgeous hues to the treetops!

guarantee that you’ll see some stunning shades between the last 10 days of September and the first three weeks of October.  Honestly, though, that does not mean that you won’t see great colors before and after that period.  While I’ve never given too much thought to the different factors that go into guestimating when the trees are going to be painted with the most vivid shades, but this recent article from Seacoast Online got me thinking.  I mean, I’ve always realized that the temperatures make a difference, and that a cool early fall moves the timeline earlier, but warmer temps move it a little later.  Rain definitely has something to do with it – just don’t ask me how!  And windy weather really messes with the timeline, because the leaves get knocked to the ground before they even reach their most lovely stages.  And we in Kennebunkport Maine have enjoyed the glorious warm and sunny weather recently, which means that the painted trees are hanging around even longer (yay!).  But best of all, the unpredictable winds that come with living on the coast, have been much more tame than they can be in the fall, which also means that the colors are staying on the trees and not on the lawn.  Plus, with the percentage of leaves hitting their peak color rising, Southern Maine is experiencing a truly stunning fall foliage season.  We at the Maine Stay Inn are certainly looking forward to suggesting scenic hikes, bikes, and strolls this Columbus Day Weekend so that everyone can enjoy the peak of fall foliage in Kennebunkport Maine!

What Makes Maine Bed and Breakfasts “Charming”?

October 8th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

In honor of National Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Day, Hotels.com compiled a list of their favorite B&Bs across the nation, and we were so excited to find the Maine Stay Inn on that list!  Their article “10 Charming American Bed & Breakfasts Around the US” got me thinking about what exactly makes Maine bed and breakfasts so charming and romantic.  Now, let’s be clear – charming is not the same thing as cute.  Or old.  To me, the word “charming” evokes these warm feelings of relaxation and comfort, without pretense or fan fare.  So here are just a few things about Maine bed and breakfasts that make your travel experience charming:

  • Smaller scale – now there is something about walking into a cavernous hotel lobby where high heels clickety- clack on tile floors that is decidedly not charming.  It’s not cozy, and doesn’t really make me think
    Cozy up at a Maine bed and breakfast!

    Cozy up at a Maine bed and breakfast!

    “Yeah, I want to put on a robe and snuggle.”  And even though all Maine bed and breakfasts are different, their smaller size automatically puts them closer to achieving charm at first glance.

  • They’re unique!  And not just from one another.  When you check in at a hotel, you can pretty much be sure that room 201 is going to look just like room 304 and 406.  At the Maine Stay Inn, and many other Maine B&Bs, each room is individually designed, so as you select your room, you can actually envision your getaway, and when walking down the hall, you’ll notice that, much like in a home, each room is different!  And I personally feel that is an important part of making a place feel homey… and one step closer to charming!
  • Many are historic.  And while that does translate into being chronologically old, it really means that they tend to boast fine craftsmanship and details that you can’t find in modern buildings or typical hotels.  Our floating staircase is a prime example!  Things like detailed moldings and stained glass definitely bring charm to the physical structure.
  • Personality!  Yes, it’s possible!  And while some of that has to do with the staff, the care, design, and attention to detail also gives the physical structure its own personality.  But the people are huge in making you feel at ease and welcomed at a Maine bed and breakfast.  Chances are pretty good that those responsible for cleaning your room are also going to serve you at breakfast or make your dinner reservations, and they want to get to know you so that they can help make your stay exactly what you’re looking for!

The truth is, defining “charming” is really hard.  And frankly, I’d rather use the words “warm,” “welcoming,” or “inviting” to describe Maine Bed and Breakfasts, but all of us are so honored to be named one of the nation’s most charming inns!

Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast Finds Apple Inspiration

October 4th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Fall foliage season is definitely underway, and that means that it is also prime time for apple picking, and our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is embracing the season by incorporating the local bounty into as many tasty recipes as we can muster.  I mean, apples are good at any time of year, but they just seem especially delectable now, knowing that they are fresh off the trees!  And while we always try to utilize the freshest and most local ingredients, the autumn harvest bounty makes it so much easier.  Apples, pumpkins, and corn – oh my!  But

It's apple season!

It’s apple season!

seriously, all of us at the Maine Stay Inn get so excited about bringing these tasty local crops into our kitchen and onto your plates.  So during this time of year, you can expect to enjoy some seasonally appropriate treats each morning at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.  Apple crisp and cranberry apple cobblers are something we love on a cool morning, because it’s something piping hot to warm you to the core.  But don’t worry – the dollop of freshly whipped cream on top makes sure it’s not scalding!  Sometimes, though, you might find a baked stuff apple or some homemade apple sauce as a side on your plate instead. Or how about some apple muffins or fritters?  But an often overlooked favorite at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is Scalloped Apples.  And no, that doesn’t mean smothered in cheese and cream.  Because that would be gross.  Much to my surprise, “scalloped” can actually refer to any dish baked in a sauce, and that’s exactly what you’ll do with these apples!

So here’s the world’s easiest recipe that will delight your taste buds:  Grab a big bunch of apples (preferably right from the tree!).  Peel ‘em and slice them so that they are about a half inch thick at their thickest (so like 8 slices per medium apple).  Put them in a bowl and coat them with cinnamon and brown sugar so that they are brown.  I hesitate to give a true amount, because it really depends on how sweet you like your apples and whether you are using a tart apple like a Granny Smith or a sweet one like a Golden Delicious.  But do not be stingy – this is not the time to worry about your carbs.  Meanwhile, put a rimmed baking sheet or glass baking pan in the oven with a sizable hunk of salted butter at 425 degrees.  When this melts it needs to be bubbly and covering the area your apples will fill.  Before transferring to the buttery pan, toss the apples in a teeny bit of lemon juice, then add them to the pan.  They should be juicy and starting to make their own sauce by now.  Now throw some more brown sugar on top.  Pop the pan in the oven and bake about 5 minutes, before removing and stirring.  Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.  The apples should be thick and caramel-like, and the apples soft but not mushy, if not, return to the oven for a little longer.  Let them cool just a little before serving (on top of ice cream, as a side with a savory breakfast, or even with a pork dinner) – if you can!  Because I can’t and always end up burning my tongue, but it is so worth it!  But whether you decide to channel your inner Martha and make these apples, we’ll happily make them for you at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast this fall!

Celebrating National Pizza Month in Kennebunkport

October 2nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

So while October might be known for its candy corn and fun size candy bars, it is also National Pizza Month and Kennebunkport has lots to offer in the way of pizza pies!  And while we could choose something like salad or soup to keep our blood sugar from surging, pizza is just so much more fun – and since it’s the food of the month, we’re just being festive.  It’s like a rule or something.  Right?  Fortunately, there are options for every pizza palate right here in Kennebunkport!  So here are just a few of the spots where you’ll find some stellar slices!

  • Owen’s Farmhouse – While this favorite is located over the river (but not through the woods!) in
    Mmmm...Pizza!

    Mmmm…Pizza!

    downtown Kennebunk, it’s more than worth the short drive from the Maine Stay Inn.  With inventive toppings, including homemade sausage, and creative salads on the menu, this is a great spot for some casual digs.  Plus, they’ve even got gluten free pizzas to enjoy!

  • Federal Jack’s BrewPub – An all-American menu wouldn’t be complete without some cheesy, gooey, piping hot pizzas, and Fed’s doesn’t disappoint.  Although they call their regular pizzas “flatbreads” and their gluten free option “pizza” – it’s all the same to me.  Bread. Sauce. Cheese. Yum.
  • Abbondante – this Italian Trattoria would not be complete without some authentic pizza pies, now would it?  Even though this converted New England barn has kept its casual, unpretentious atmosphere, this new Kennebunkport restaurant channels its Italian roots so well, but you’ll have to taste it for yourself!
  • In the heart of Dock Square, you’ll find some tasty pizza options at Alisson’s Restaurant, Atlantic Pizza, and some upscale “flatbreads” at One Dock.  All three offer great locations, and some different flavors that will round out your pizza tasting perfectly!

With all these great options, who even needs an excuse like National Pizza Month to indulge?  Nah, I’ll still take an extra reason to enjoy an indulgent slice (or two…or five…)!  But no matter where you choose, Kennebunkport is lucky to have so many different and creative twists on an old fashioned favorite!

Fun Fall Day Trips From Kennebunkport Maine

September 28th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

It’s hard to believe that the end of September is already upon us, but that just means that foliage season is underway, setting the stage for some fun fall day trips from Kennebunkport Maine.  And while there is plenty to do and explore in and around town, it’s sometimes fun to hit the road and explore what other nearby New England destinations have to offer.  So this fall, consider exploring some of our favorite spots for a great day trip not far from Kennebunkport Maine.

  • Ogunquit, ME has lots to offer day trippers, and since it’s located just 13 miles from the Maine Stay Inn,IMG_1773 you’ll have lots of time to enjoy all of its attractions.  Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll along the 1 1/4 mile Marginal Way or some retail therapy in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit’s got something fun for you.  And with some great restaurants, there are lots of spots to keep you fueled throughout the day.  But one of my favorite fall activities you’ll find in Ogunquit is the world class Ogunquit Playhouse, which offers Broadway quality musical performances at Maine prices – it’s not to be missed!
  • Portland, ME is less than 30 minutes from Kennebunkport Maine and reminds many of a miniature Boston with its cobbled streets and happening historic “Old Port” district.  But with late season whale watching options and cruises of the harbor (and even some going to the harbor islands for another fun adventure), there’s lots to explore this fall.
  • The Freyburg Fair gets underway tomorrow, which means tons of the most charming and quintessentially New England events during the first part of October.  Plus, you’ll enjoy some glorious fall foliage and scenic vistas on the 90 minute trip from Kennebunkport Maine.  Plus, that puts you pretty close to nearby North Conway, home to more great outlet shops in a cute village setting, and the breathtaking White Mountains.  Definitely the perfect trip for enjoying fall in New England.
  • Freeport Maine is a known as the home of L.L.Bean, and its popularity caused other great shops to spring up all around it, building an Outlet community in a town setting.  So while you’re loading up on flannel and boots for the winter, you can also enjoy some home brewed beer tastings or guided kayaking trips – all things that make for a fun day trip just 40 minutes north of Kennebunkport.

But whether you decide to take a fun fall day trip or stick closer to your home-away-from-home in Kennebunkport Maine, you’re sure to enjoy every moment of your fall foliage getaway in town.

Enjoying a Perfect Fall Getaway in Kennebunkport Maine

September 25th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

As today’s incredible weather and cloudless skies melded into a perfect evening, I was reminded of why a fall getaway in Kennebunkport Maine is so special.  The day was absolutely ideal for wandering through town, walking on the beach, or even enjoying a scenic hike, but there was nothing more welcome than snuggling up in front of a warm (and non-smoky) gas fireplace – and fortunately for me (and you!) there was one with my name

A gorgeous fall night like tonight was perfect for a walk on the beach!

A gorgeous fall night like tonight was perfect for a walk on the beach!

on it right in the living room of our Kennebunkport Maine Bed and Breakfast.  And with ten of our guest rooms and suites with their very own, there were plenty to go around!  Fortunately, more of this stellar weather is in store, which means plenty of opportunities to enjoy all that the fall has to offer in Southern Maine.  So lace up your shoes and hit the streets, because the activities abound at this time of year!  The seasonal crops are ready to go, so if apple or pumpkin picking is your thing, there are tons of farms in the area that are just waiting for you.  But if you are looking for something a little lower key, you can enjoy a scenic ride on one of the historic trains at the Seashore Trolley Museum.  And this weekend kids and adults alike can experience the Pumpkin Patch Trolley, where they will take a colorful ride along the property’s loops of rail, paint a keepsake pumpkin, and snap some great photos before picking up their pumpkin to take home. A museum like this one is unique to Kennebunkport Maine and shouldn’t be missed.

One of my favorite spots for some outdoor fall fun is Mt. Agamenticus in York, not far from Kennebunkport, where you can climb some rolling hills to reach scenic overlooks like no other – not only will you have a great vista full of fall foliage, but on one side you can see out into the Atlantic Ocean, while on the other you can see clear to the White Mountains!  And on your way back you can stop at the Ogunquit playhouse for an evening show or a matinee.  I mean, how could you turn down a world class performance of “West Side Story”at neighborhood showhouse prices?  But no matter how you choose to spend your fall getaway to Kennebunkport Maine, you’re sure to have the quintessential New England experience you were looking for!

Greater Kennebunks Restaurant Week is Coming!

September 20th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

We're welcoming Greater Kennebunks Restaurant Week to town!

We’re welcoming Greater Kennebunks Restaurant Week to town!

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!

Kennebunkport Luxury Hotels Are Perfect for Destination Weddings

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

Let's cut the cake in Kennebunkport!

Let’s cut the cake in Kennebunkport!

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.