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

Ideas for a Romantic Getaway to a Maine Bed and Breakfast

August 2nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

They say “love is in the air” around Valentines Day, but lately it seems like that should be revised, because lots of folks are looking for ideas for their romantic getaway to our Maine bed and breakfast.  And obviously, the first step toward pulling off a special trip is picking the right room.  Unlike chain hotels, every room at the Maine Stay Inn has its own unique decor and personality.  More importantly, though, is the fact that each room and suite has

Hop aboard a sunset sail!

Hop aboard a sunset sail!

different features, so if you’re looking forward to snuggling under the stars, you’d want to pick the Garden Room, which has its own private deck overlooking the gardens.  But if you’d rather lounge in a king size bed and soak in a whirlpool tub for two, Cottage Suite 5 is likely more up your alley.  One of the important things to consider in planning your romantic getaway, is whether you’d like to have the option of eating breakfast in bed, because if you do, you should select Cottage Suites 2-11 or Suite 12 in the main house.  And not to worry – there’s no charge for this type of room service!

After selecting the room in your Maine bed and breakfast, you’ll want to consider restaurants that set the right tone for your romantic getaway.  Some personal favorite Kennebunkport restaurants that do a great job of providing the right mixture of relaxation and intimacy include Stripers Restaurant, On the Marsh Bistro, and Opus Ten (of David’s Kennebunkport).  Just over the Wells border, you’ll find Joshua’s, a special spot with food and ambience that makes up for the not-so-sexy location on Route 1.

It comes as a bit of a surprise to me that some people’s schedules don’t entirely revolve around meals (kidding…kind of!), so planning some relaxing activities for two should probably be on the agenda.  During the warm months, one of the most common activities for a romantic getaway to our Maine bed and breakfast is enjoying a leisurely schooner ride.  Both the Pineapple Ketch and the Schooner Eleanor offer a variety of sails throughout the day (some even timed to enjoy the sunset!), and as each can carry a limited number of passengers, you can ensure that your on the water snuggle session won’t be disrupted.  Others enjoy a more active past time, like kayaking or secluded hikes through nature preserves.  Truth be told, the possibilities activities during your romantic getaway to a Maine bed and breakfast are limitless, and we’re always happy to help ensure your plans go off without a hitch!

Capturing Kennebunkport on Film

August 1st, 2013 by Judi Hauer

When four avid photographers (including one professional) checked into our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast this afternoon, they asked me to suggest spots for them to capture iconic photographs of town.  For a split second, I was stumped, but then I realized that some of the very things I enjoy taking pictures of are exactly what they were looking for!  So if you’re looking to channel your inner Ansel Adams or just snap some pics to remember your summer vacation, here are some of my favorite spots:

St. Ann's in Kennebunkport is a favorite of photographers!

St. Ann’s in Kennebunkport is a favorite of photographers!

  • St. Ann’s Episcopal Church is one of the most exquisite structures in Kennebunkport.  Sitting on a parcel of land that juts out into the Atlantic, this weathered stone building is sure to amaze, no matter your religious preference.
  • Parson’s Walk is the stretch of sidewalk from the Bush compound most of the way to town.  Dotted with gorgeous “cottages” on one side and views of the ocean on the other, it’ll provide incredible photographic opportunities no matter the weather.
  • Which brings us, of course to the Bush Compound.  Former President Bush (Sr.) and Barbara are low-key folks, which makes me hesitant to even mention their home, but with a pull-over for cars and a smattering of benches, it’s clear that the Bush compound is visitor friendly (from afar, of course!) and definitely a great photo op!
  • Cape Porpoise is an area of Kennebunkport known for its reputation for being the place to get lobster, but at the end of Pier Road, you’ll find a working fish pier, and then can enjoy lunch or dinner at Pier 77 or the Ramp.
  • Dock Square and the new Lanigan bridge show the historic charm that abounds in Kennebunkport, and with its colorful edifices and water views that balance one another in each frame, it’s a must-see part of town.

Now, there’s no need to even mention the Maine Stay Inn, because its wraparound porch and elegant lines call the name of budding photogs, most snap a few before even reaching the front desk.  But whether you’re snapping a few images that will sit in your memory card for ages or a working your way through Kennebunkport with cases of film in tow, there are tons of spots to capture iconic images of town.

Enjoying Water Sports in Kennebunkport Maine

July 30th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Kayakers seen from the Kennebunkport Maine bridge!

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!

Staying Cool During a Kennebunkport Heat Wave

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!

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!

Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport Open for Visitors

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!

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!

Favorite Things About Kennebunkport Maine

May 11th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

So while last night’s surprise thunderstorms sidelined my plans for some outdoor fun, a day like today reminded me of some of my favorite things about Kennebunkport Maine.  Now, we all know that there are way too many amazing things about this seaside town, so I will do my darnedest to keep this list reasonable.  But since I am making this a short one, apologies if I left anyone else’s faves off!

  • The beach –  Whenever.  No seriously, in rain or shine, snow covered or so-hot-you-could-fry-an-egg, the Kennebunkport Maine beaches are incredible.  Mother nature does such a wonderful job at keeping the coastline exciting, and making sure that you can never get bored looking at it!  But fortunately for us, the variety of beaches and coastline in and around town has something for everyone – secluded stretches of
    How could you not love this coastline?!

    How could you not love this coastline?!

    sandy beach, classic rocky Maine coast, slips of waterfront meandering through our quaint village, and even beaches with wide paved paths for those who want to enjoy the ocean without dealing with the sand.  Plus, unlike many vacation destinations, you can head there on foot from the Maine Stay Inn or by car and not worry about parking – we’ve got plenty!

  • The food – Most of you know that enjoying great culinary creations is one of my favorite past times, and fortunately for me, Kennebunkport Maine has eateries that can compete with those from any big city.  So whether you’re craving a simple boiled lobster or a stunning five-star tasting menu, we’ve got you covered. Yum!
  • The shops – It makes sense that my two favorite kinds of shopping are for food and room decor, but that doesn’t do me much good come Christmas and birthday time.  Fortunately  Kennebunkport Maine makes it so easy for me!  The amazing mix of stores in Dock Square means that I can find almost anything for that perfect gift.  On the rare occasion when I can’t, I know that I’ve got two world-class Outlet centers barely a half hour away!
  • The outdoor fun – If there’s anything I love more than food, it’s playing outside.  So whether it’s enjoying cross country skiing and horse-drawn sleigh riding in the winter or hiking, biking and running in the summer, I am in.  Over the past few years, the amount of conservation land in and around Kennebunkport Maine has just exploded, which means that there are about a gagillion options for peaceful and pristine outdoor activities.

I could go on all night about why I love this town, but you’ll just have to come and explore Kennebunkport Maine for yourself!

Hiking “The Secret Garden” in Kennebunkport Maine

April 29th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

As you may know, getting outdoors (no matter the season!) is one of my absolute favorite past times, so when I learned about “The Secret Garden” just over the border from Kennebunkport Maine, I just had to find it.  But after a little bit of research about this hidden gem, I worried that it could potentially be a bit mucky.  And with springtime often associated with “mud season” from the melting snow and showers that bring May flowers the concern was

Hiking the Secret Garden!

Hiking the Secret Garden!

real, as this wooded trail features countless bubbling brooks and pretty streams.  Even the recent stretch of warmer weather and sunny days, some of the soil was a bit soggy, but considering the fact that the last piles of snow have just barely melted, it was to be expected.  I just should have planned my footwear better!  So this weekend, I snuck away from the Maine Stay Inn for a little while to take advantage of the incredible weather to finally go exploring.

Now, I probably run/drive/bike by the Port Road cemetery on a daily basis, but I had never considered that acres of conservation land might lay behind the rows of historic headstones.  And while traversing a cemetery might give some the heeby-geebies, on a such a gorgeous day, there was nothing creepy about it.  So I turned into the main gates and at the far side found a small parking area (it wasn’t large enough to call it a “lot’”).  Leading into the woods, I found a large sign telling me that I was on the right track.  The walk was nothing but spectacular, as the sunshine filtered through the budding trees.  The Kennebunk Land Trust lists the trail as being a 1.5 mile loop, but it felt like more – either because of the challenge of uneven terrain or because I was just enjoying the scenery or both!  To cross boggy areas or the multiple streams, the Trust has built sturdy elevated paths and small bridges to keep you dry.  And while this preserve doesn’t offer a storybook garden with a hidden door like I imagined, it really is a quiet escape.  Best of all, thanks to brand new sidewalks, “The Secret Garden” is an easy walk from Kennebunkport Maine!


Spring Beach Day in Kennebunkport

April 27th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

April is one of those months in Kennebunkport, and in all of New England, that can bring weather characteristic of just about every season.  Yes, that means hot, sunny days or even those nasty cold snowy days that are reminiscent of January.  Fortunately, though, today was a gorgeous day that felt like the epitome of spring.  No, it wasn’t quite sundress and flip flop weather, but it was definitely warm enough to leave your jackets and fleeces in your room at the Maine Stay Inn.  And since I can’t imagine a better way to spend a perfect spring day in

A perfect day at Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport!

A perfect day at Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport!

Kennebunkport than at the beach, that’s just where I went!

Now, we all know that one of my go-to spots is the trails and fields and (of course) beaches of Laudholm Farm at the Wells Reserve, but I decided to mix things up and head out to Goose Rocks Beach.  Located at the northeastern end of Kennebunkport, Goose Rocks is named after the collection of rocks that sit just at the water’s surface a bit off shore and look strikingly like geese bobbing on the water.  While certainly not crowded, I did encounter a handful of others on my walk, but was startled to turn a corner and see a large group of people releasing two giant balloons into the air.  What on earth could they be doing?  As I got closer, it became perfectly clear – a wedding!  Boy, that lucky bride hit the weather jackpot!  Not only was this one of the most pristine spring days that I could imagine, but the water took on a stunning shade of aquamarine.  And as I got closer to the water’s edge and contemplated the idea of putting my feet in, I was reminded of just how clean the water is in Kennebunkport.  Now, if I hadn’t remembered that it is still April and that the last vestiges of snow melted about two weeks ago (yes, we sure had some big piles this year!), I totally would have!  Now that spring has officially arrived in Kennebunkport, it’s time to take advantage of the pristine, quiet beaches!

Celebrating Earth Day In Kennebunkport Maine

April 22nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

It only seems appropriate to celebrate Earth Day by exploring the seemingly endless acres of conservation land in and around Kennebunkport Maine.  We are so fortunate that for the last several decades folks in the area have been working to preserve some stunning parcels of land for all of us to enjoy.  That means that in addition to miles of scenic coastline and sandy beaches, locals and visitors alike have many other peaceful locations to enjoy

A secluded stretch of coastline

A secluded stretch of coastline

the nature and wildlife of Southern Maine.  As many of you know, one of our most favorite destinations is Laudholm Farm at the Wells Reserve.  With about 1700 acres of federally protected land and 7 miles of trails, you have the unique opportunity to explore estuaries, wooded areas, fields, and even a stunning stretch of unspoiled beaches.  But for those looking to cover slightly less distance in their activities, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge is a great option.  Although this preserve covers a tremendous amount of land across many communities in the area, most of it is dedicated for use by the critters, but there is a scenic mile-long loop for us all to enjoy.

Luckily for us, there are even more places to explore the great outdoors, thanks to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and the Kennebunk Land Trust.  Both have protected a variety of parcels throughout the community, and while not all are accessible to the public, those that are offer tremendous recreation potential throughout the year.  For running, biking, hiking, and even cross country skiing in the winter you can choose what works for you and the Maine Stay Inn can help you pick the right place to go!  So whether you’re visiting Kennebunkport Maine on Earth Day or on any of the other 364 days of the year, we’ve got tons of places for you to explore and get your fill of the great outdoors!

Spring Vacation to a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

April 17th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

For many school districts throughout New England, this week marks April Vacation Week, which means that spring has really arrived at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.  Now that the vast majority of restaurant that close for portions of the winter have reopened and the shops are transitioning to their springtime window

The tulips are coming!

The tulips are coming!

displays, it really feels like winter is finally coming to an end.  For the first time last night, I heard the crickets on my way home from dinner, and a cacophony of bird calls can be heard each morning – and if I was at all experienced in birding, I would be able to tell you which critters have returned to Kennebunkport, but, alas, that is not one of my strengths.  Fortunately for those who are avid birders or those who are looking to expand their horizons, there are three great nature preserves just minutes from the Maine Stay Inn.  Both the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge and the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm sit just over the border in Wells, while the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust operates a variety of preserved parcels of land throughout town.  So whether you’re looking for birds that are partial to wooded areas or open ocean or anything in between, we’ve got you covered!  And with great walking trails, all three of these preserves are perfect for an active outdoor adventure or just a leisurely springtime stroll.

But while the leaves on the trees aren’t quite ready to pop, the tulips are beginning to poke their leaves through the soil and the paper whites are actually starting to bloom!  Now if only the grass in the backyard would turn green soon…  The teeny patch of snow that remains in a shaded corner of the yard tells of one of my favorite parts about spring – the fact that the days are warm and the nights are chilly.  So that means you and explore during the day without the layers we’ve become accustomed to wearing throughout the winter, but at night, a jacket is a welcome accessory.  Even better, though, is returning from dinner to a glowing fire or enjoying a relaxing soak in a whirlpool or soaker tub!  Plus, during the month of April you can stay for two nights and get a third for free, which means even more snuggling by the fire  Everyone at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is enjoying the start of spring and hope you are too!