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Archive for the ‘Things to do in Kennebunkport Maine’ Category

Winter Activities For Your Bed and Breakfast Getaway

February 1st, 2014 by Judi Hauer

first snow of the season.

Even winter weather can’t stop us from enjoying outdoor activities in Kennebunkport!

With the Superbowl and Winter Olympics on the immediate horizon, I started thinking about my favorite winter activities and trends for those enjoying a bed and breakfast getaway.  Now, the first thing that comes to mind in terms of winter sports is usually skiing, and mountains are not something that Southern Maine is really known for.  But truthfully, not everyone is a ski bunny, so I don’t personally  see a lack of slopes as a big drawback when it comes to planning a bed and breakfast getaway.  That said, you can hit the slopes just over an hour away, so if your escape is not complete without it, you can still enjoy a full day of skiing not far from Kennebunkport.  There is, however, quite a bit of cross country skiing and snow shoeing in the immediate vicinity, so folks looking to enjoy some quality time in the great outdoors without hitching a ride on a chairlift will still find just what they’re looking for!

The next thing that comes to mind is ice skating, clearly!  And that is something that is really not hard to find close by the Maine Stay Inn.  There’s outdoor skating in Biddeford Pool, just north of town, and an outdoor rink in downtown Kennebunk.  But if you’re looking for something even more authentic, when weather permits, there is even skating on Roger’s Pond overlooking the Mousam River in Kennebunk.  If that’s a little too outdoorsy, though, there are beautiful indoor rinks in Biddeford and Portland, so you can channel your inner Michelle Kwan in a more climate controlled environment.  Plus, if the Sochi Games inspire you to test out speed skating, there are often drop in sessions at the nearby Biddeford Arena, so there’s no excuse not to try it!

But some of us are more interested in watching sports than participating in them, and fortunately, there are lots of great viewing opportunities in Kennebunkport.  Superbowl Sunday is sure to draw a big crowd to Kennebunkport restaurants that have a sizable bar area, like Federal Jack’s, Alisson’s Restaurant, and Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant, but you can bet that we’ll be broadcasting the game (and the Games) on the small screen from our bed and breakfast living room.  So this year, don’t miss out on your favorite winter activities when enjoying a bed and breakfast getaway to Kennebunkport Maine!


Sports Bars in Kennebunkport for World Series Watching

October 24th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

I am probably breaking some kind of cardinal rule in New England by writing this blog while the Red Sox are playing in the World Series, but I realized that not everyone knows where to find sports bars or similar settings in Kennebunkport. And while I enjoy watching the game all curled up in a cozy bed or sofa, I know that a lot of people live for the group dynamic when lots of people are cheering together.  Given how fanatical New Englanders are about their Red Sox, there are more than a few sports bars to grab a drink and cheer for your team.  St. Louis fans, just keep your jerseys under your jacket.  When you’re visiting, you won’t just be confined to your room or the living room at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, so here’s a selection of great local spots to cheer for your favorite team (as long it’s one from New England – kidding, kind of):

Don't miss the World Series in Kennebunkport!

Don’t miss the World Series in Kennebunkport!

  • Federal Jack’s is definitely a favorite spot, because with a dozen or so big screen TVs you’re sure to get your fill.  Plus, as the home of shipyard ales (with seven different homemade brews tapped directly from the brewery below), and a huge assortment of other draft beers, you’ll find just the thing to quench your thirst!  And with their big menu of traditional pub food (and more sophisticated entrees as well) there’s lots to satiate you, even if the game goes into extra innings.
  • Alisson’s Restaurant, located at the very center of Dock Square, just a stone’s throw from the Maine Stay Inn, features quite a few TVs and a great bar.  Plus, their assortment of finger food is just as extensive as that at Fed’s.
  • You’ll find a small gathering of local folks at Pier 77‘s the Ramp, which, while only offering 2 viewing screens, has a great homey atmosphere.  Looking around, you will find the walls and ceilings plastered with vintage sports memorabilia, which just adds to the viewing experience.  And with standout food choices, this the Ramp is a great spot for the non sports fan and the enthusiast alike.
  • Looking for something a little different?  Check out Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant in Lower Village Kennebunk.  The food’s pretty stellar (and not at all like commercialized Mexican eateries) and their margaritas are out of this world.  So pull up a seat at the bar and enjoy!
  • While the bar areas are not too big at Tia’s Topside and Ryan’s Corner House, both are sure to draw a good crowd for the World Series.  Plus, since you can walk from the Maine Stay, you can grab a beer or two and not worry about hopping in the car.

And, really, this is just the tip of the iceberg!  So instead of wishing you had an “in” for World Series tickets, you can sit back, enjoy a drink and some finger food, and watch the big game in Kennebunkport.

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.

Fall Foliage Hikes in Kennebunkport

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

A fall hike is the perfect way to enjoy the colors of foliage season!

A fall hike is the perfect way to enjoy the colors of foliage season!

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!

Must-Do Things for Your Kennebunkport Maine Vacation

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!

A traditional lobster dinner is not to be missed!

A traditional lobster dinner is not to be missed!

  • 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!

Gearing Up for Labor Day Weekend in Kennebunkport

August 25th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Kennebunkport is looking mighty pretty for Labor Day!

Kennebunkport is looking mighty pretty for Labor Day!

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!

Kennebunkport Historical Society Hosts Fundraiser

August 17th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Today was a very exciting day on Maine Street, as the Kennebunkport Historical Society hosted a family friendly daytime fundraiser.  Last month, former President George H.W. Bush found himself all over the news, as he and his secret service staff appeared in photos with shaved heads.  It was quite a sight!  But the story behind the image was even more heartwarming.  The two year old son, named Patrick, of one of the President’s security detail was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and after undergoing treatment, the toddler lost his hair.  As a show of support for little Patrick, 41 and his staff shaved their heads too!  Patrick’s Pals was set up for folks who heard the story to donate funds to support his ongoing treatment.

But today, the newly christened First Families Museum at White Columns, just up the street from the Maine Stay Inn, opened its doors and donated all proceeds to Patrick’s Pals.  Formerly known as the Nott House, the White Columns mansion is the crown jewel of the Kennebunkport Historical Society.  It has recently been revamped to celebrate the history of the founding families of Kennebunkport, as well as the Bush Family legacy in town.  Not to worry, though, the incredible architectural and design history has been well preserved!  And to make the event even more fun, the Historical Society held badminton and croquet in the side lawn.  Visitors and locals alike flocked to this historic mansion for a great day and a heartwarming cause.  They certainly couldn’t have asked for a better day to hold this great event, because the skies were a brilliant blue, without a cloud to be seen, and temps hovering just around 80 degrees – positively perfection!  Visitors certainly enjoyed the outdoor events, hanging around for hours, sometimes just to watch the fun, and we at the Maine Stay are certainly hoping that this resulted in off-the-charts donations for little Patrick and his family.  We’re so grateful to the Kennebunkport Historical Society for hosting such a fun and worthwhile fundraiser!

Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast Receives Eco Friendly Award

August 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

We received some exciting news earlier this summer, when we found out that our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast was named a Green Leader by TripAdvisor!  Over the past six years, we have been working diligently to turn this historic property into an eco-friendly destination.  At first, the task seemed daunting.  I mean, how could you turn an 1860 Victorian and five guest houses into a lean, mean energy sipping machine?  And since the idea

We've been designated a a green leader!

We’ve been designated a a green leader!

of recycling was not even considered, this seemed like an insurmountable task.  You have to start somewhere, right?  So we began recycling paper products in the office and water bottles abandoned in guest rooms.  That wasn’t enough to satisfy our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, so we went to work on kitchen waste (think the cardboard cartons produce ships in), non-returnable beverage bottles, and even sorting trash from each guest room.

Simply instituting a recycling policy was not going to win us any awards, and light bulbs were next on the agenda.  Gradually we’ve changed from your average incandescent to energy sipping compact fluorescents, with plans to invest in LED bulbs as well.  Unfortunately, the Maine Stay Inn can’t boast 100% use of such bulbs – often in the main house because of its antique fixtures that just don’t look right with the swirly fluorescent types.  Our biggest changes, however, have been behind the scenes, with upgrades to the heating, cooling and hot water systems at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast making everyone more comfortable, but also friendly for the environment.

So we’re proud to announce that TripAdvisor has honored us with a bronze level award for providing environmentally friendly lodging options.  But unlike many, we’re not content with the status quo, so we’re constantly tweaking our energy conservation plans and making changes to make our 19th century Kennebunkport bed and breakfast as energy efficient as possible – and we’re taking suggestions!

A Beach Picnic in Kennebunkport

August 7th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Because the beaches in Kennebunkport are so beautiful, one of my favorite things to do is to pack a delicious meal and enjoy a beach picnic!  And for that very reason, I often recommend the idea to folks visiting the area.  Often, though, it’s they who request location suggestions or places to pick up tasty treats.  My go to spot for a beach picnic in Kennebunkport is the glorious stretch of sand along Gooch’s beach.  Speckled with benches along the path bordering the sand, it’s a spot that allows easy parking and comfortable lap dining, but with wide stretches of sand, you can also definitely find a comfy spot to lounge (or share a romantic cuddle).  Plus, since the Maine

Who could resist a view like this during a sunset picnic on the beach?

Who could resist a view like this during a sunset picnic on the beach?

Stay Inn provides complimentary parking passes, this is a great spot that’s easy on the wallet.

But since there are so many lovely beaches just a hop, skip, and a jump away, most people are more concerned about where to find the provisions for their picnic.  A personal favorite is just a few minutes drive from the inn, in the heart of Cape Porpoise.  Cape Porpoise Kitchen is know for its upscale prepared foods, including salads and sandwiches.  They also stock a superior assortment of wines, crackers, and cheeses – all a must to complete your perfect picnic.  If you’re looking for something that’s en route to the beach, you can stop at Downeast Wine Imports for a bottle of your favorite variety and hit up Market Day, another spot known for its prepared foods – just keep in mind that their frozen selection is pretty robust, so if they’re out of what your craving, you just might have to head back to the inn to heat it up.

Sometimes, though, you’re just looking for some simple snacks, and Bennett’s store has just the thing – chips, soda, and sandwiches on hoagie rolls… and ice cream to top it off!  Just at the corner of Sea Road and Route 9, it’s the perfect stop at the last second or a quick lunchtime break from the sand.  No matter what you choose or where you choose to enjoy it, a beach picnic in Kennebunkport is always a relaxing way to spend and afternoon or evening!

A Night at the Theater in Kennebunkport Maine

August 4th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

After a day at the beach in Kennebunkport Maine, the idea of a relaxing evening at the theater can be really appealing, and fortunately there are lots of great opportunities right nearby!  So whether you want to see a live musical, a traditional Shakespearean play, or a feature film, you won’t have to venture far from the Maine Stay Inn to enjoy the production of your choice.  Mainestage Shakespeare produces wonderful performances of Shakespeare’s favorites in downtown Kennebunk.  Their outdoor stage in the middle of the park provides an open air experience like no other.  And since their productions are entirely free, you can stay for as much or as little as

Try Smitty's Cinema for dinner and a movie!

Try Smitty’s Cinema for dinner and a movie!

you like!  Once called North Kennebunkport, the town of Arundel is home to a small theater company called the Arundel Barn Playhouse.  But don’t let its small size fool you, because its performances are outstanding.  Right now visitors can enjoy a rousing rendition of “All Shook Up,” a fun filled performance set to Elvis Presley favorites.  And with tickets starting at about a quarter the price of a city show, you can enjoy a great musical theater performance without taking a toll on your wallet.  But for a truly Broadway caliber show, the Ogunquit Playhouse is not to be missed.  Started as a summer stock theater opportunity for New York City performers, it has morphed into a hidden gem that hosts big names in theater.  In fact, right now you can catch Clay Aiken as the star of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.  And since it’s a mere 12 miles from the heart of Kennebunkport Maine, catching a show will still put you back in town with time to grab some dessert!

But if live theater’s not up your alley, you’re still in luck, because just to our south lies the Wells Five Star Cinema, which offers a selection of feature films.  If the show times don’t work for you, Smitty’s Cinema to our north might have just what you’re looking for.  Plus, with an unconventional style (think large comfy chairs and long tables – hold the stadium seating), you can enjoy dinner and drinks with your movie.  Sometimes, though, a trip to Kennebunkport Maine is about taking a step back in time, and if that’s your goal, you can indulge in a real rarity in modern times – a drive-in theater!  Not far up the road is the Saco Drive-In where you can catch two feature films for just $15 per car!  So whatever your style or mood, you can enjoy a great night at the theater during your Kennebunkport Maine vacation.