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Posts Tagged ‘Kennebunkport activities’

“Spring Ahead” Comes to Kennebunkport

March 9th, 2014 by Judi Hauer

low tide

A beautiful low tide scene at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.

While the first part of March has been unseasonably cool in Kennebunkport, the start of daylight savings and the “spring ahead” of the clocks coincided with a lovely Spring weekend!  So not only were we already enjoying the lengthening days, but we racked up an extra hour of daylight that we all enjoyed by spending a little extra time outside.  But boy, was it a tease, because it just made all of us at the Maine Stay Inn want more warmth, more sunshine, and more signs of Spring… right now!  That got me thinking, though, about some of my favorite springtime activities to enjoy in Kennebunkport and the surrounding Southern Maine area.

Of course, one of the first things I want to do each Spring is to go for a long walk or run on the beach – preferably right on the sand, because getting sprayed by the salt water isn’t quite as “invigorating” as it is during the winter months.  So ditch your scarf (by maybe keep the coat for a few more weeks, although it’s probably safe to unzip and enjoy the breeze!), and head over to any of the local beaches or just along Ocean Avenue for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic.  Now usually I would add a hike at the many nature preserves in the area, but this time there is one requirement – boots!  They don’t have to be the kind for snow, but something that can get a little mucky, because since we’ve had so much snow this winter the melting could make things  a bit soft.  But, at Laudholm Farm, you can enjoy that great hike you’ve been hankering for on raised pathways for many of the loops.  Plus, you’ll have the best viewing for exciting signs of Spring!  No matter what you choose to do with that extra hour of daylight, you’ll have lots of opportunities to enjoy the Spring in Kennebunkport!

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!

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!

 

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!

A Walk in the Woods, Kennebunkport Style!

February 25th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

While much of the state of Maine is heavily wooded and home to some big critters like moose and bears, those of us in Kennebunkport are fortunate to be able to easily enjoy an old-school “walk in the woods” without venturing from the perks of a delightful seaside village studded with awesome restaurants, art galleries, and great shopping.  And frankly, I just love that!  I mean, what could be better than exploring the great outdoors, cleaning up in a luxurious bathroom, and heading out to a great dinner?  But, as usual, I digress.  We already know about how much I love the

Enjoy a winter walk in the woods!

Enjoy a winter walk in the woods!

Kennebunkport restaurants, but the recent dusting of snow inspired me to get out and explore some of my other favorite places – the natural kind!

So if you are looking for a spot to reconnect with mother nature, you certainly don’t have to venture far from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.  After a fresh coat of powder, I love to admire the way bare tree limbs catch the snow, and the best place to do so is at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust‘s Smith Preserve.  Just a few minutes drive from the inn, it’s easy to zip past the parking lot, especially because it is usually empty.  Seriously, this is a hidden gem!  And with no charge to enjoy the winding loops of trails through the woods, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy some solace in the great outdoors.

Feel like you’d be missing out by not walking along the ocean?  The Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm is just over the town line, but with over 7 miles of trails (yes, some are wooded!) and a protected strip of coastline, it is a must-visit destination during every season.  But if you’re looking for a little elevation, head just a few miles to our south, where you can hike to your heart’s content at Mount Agamenticus.  Especially during the winter months, the terrain is stunning (and yes, you can see the ocean from the top), and your trip down Route 1 is easy peasy.  No matter what you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the amazing outdoor opportunities in Kennebunkport.

Kennebunkport Nominated for Happiest Seaside Town in America

January 14th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Vote for Kennebunkport as America's Happiest Seaside Town!

Vote for Kennebunkport as America’s Happiest Seaside Town!

Area natives, local residents (otherwise known as “transplants” like me!) and visitors alike have known for ages that Kennebunkport is a truly incredible place, one that really takes you back in time.  Yes, this quaint little village is the kind of place where kids still play outside, ride bikes along the beach, and people leave their doors open and the keys in their cars.  Strangers smile and wave as though you’re an old friend they encountered along tree lined streets and walking paths by the ocean.  It’s such a happy place and that’s why we all love it (and the gorgeous beaches, the cute shops, the amazing restaurants, and the great galleries certainly don’t hurt either!).  But this week, Coastal Living Magazine nominated Kennebunkport, Maine as one of the happiest seaside towns in America.  It’s such an honor!  The list of nominees from all around the nation is quite the collection, so even being nominated says a tremendous amount about this charming town.  Now the fun begins – collecting enough votes to win, because we all know that Kennebunkport really is the happiest place in the country!  So we need some help – between now and February 28 you can cast your vote here (and hopefully many of them) in support of Kennebunkport as America’s Happiest Seaside Town!

Music in Kennebunkport: Live at the Hive

May 25th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

The Hive live music near Kennebunkport

Check out The Hive for live music near Kennebunkport

While Kennebunkport hasn’t exactly been known as the music capitol of Maine, the area has certainly seen an upswing in the variety and caliber of performers coming to the area, especially with the opening of The Hive.  Located in downtown Kennebunk, this unassuming storefront houses a “swarm” of activity ranging from after school arts programs for kids as young as kindergarten to emerging musical performances.  But while I knew this new arts center was fully operational and getting rave reviews, I hadn’t yet had a chance to check it out for myself.  Until tonight.

So since Dairy Queen called to me for dessert, I decided to indulge – and then enjoy an evening stroll through downtown Kennebunk before returning to the Maine Stay Inn.  Slowly, the sound of music grew louder, until I reached the entrance to The Hive.  While it initially appeared that only a few folks had gathered around the small elevated platform, a closer look revealed a good sized gathering of people in the back. Honestly the atmosphere was great, and tickets to see the best R&B group in Maine were just $10.  Obviously, the value was there – Kenya Hall and the rest of the group offered incredible music and wonderful accompaniment just a mere inches from the patrons.  The lighting was done perfectly, and the proximity to two great restaurants (and Dairy Queen, of course!) means that you can make a full evening out of it.  My only complaint was that the tunes were a bit too loud for my liking, especially since things are low key around our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, but that won’t stop me from going back and staying longer (I’ll just come prepared next time!).  So if you’re in the mood for some live musical performances, look no further than The Hive – it won’t disappoint!

Golf Getaway in Kennebunkport Maine

April 30th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

For many people, any getaway is not complete without a round or two of golf, and fortunately Kennebunkport Maine has a variety of courses that won’t disappoint!  No matter your skill level, there are great options just a short drive from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.

golf course in Kennebunkport Maine

The Cape Arundel Golf Club on a sunny spring day!

If the beaches are calling and you don’t have time for a full 18 holes, you should check out Hillcrest Golf  Course and Driving Range. It’s the only place around with a mini-par 3 course, which means you can enjoy 9 or 18 holes without all the walking!  But even experienced golfers will enjoy the driving range and the option to work on their short game, as each hole ranges from 25 to 40 yards.  Much of the time, though, only a full-out game will do, so there are three other excellent courses in the area to make sure you’ve got plenty of options.  Just around the corner from the heart of Kennebunkport Maine, visitors will find the Cape Arundel Golf Club.  This course, designed by Walter Travis, is a bit short, but offers ample hazards and few trees, meaning more breezes to challenge your game.  It is perhps best known for being the choice course of former President Bush (41), but in my book is especially desirable for its location and ease of access.  Closer to the beach you’ll find Webhannet Golf Club.  It is conveniently located just a block from the Kennebunk beaches, which means you can drop the family off for some fun in the sun and sneak in a game without ever being missed!  Now I don’t have a clue what a 71 par course means, but hopefully you do, but apparently the front 9 are pretty tough.  And despite being just across the bridge from Kennebunkport Maine, it’s less than a five minute drive to the club, so convenience is certainly not an issue.  Now, while these are the closest spots to grab a game of golf, there are plenty of other options nearby, including (of course!) a few spots for mini-golf with the family.  Looking forward to seeing you in Kennebunkport Maine!

Movie Theaters Near Kennebunkport, ME

January 30th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Tonight as I headed out of our Maine Bed and Breakfast, on my way to see The Descendents, I realized how lucky we are to have so many movie theaters near Kennebunkport, ME.  Tonight, though, I decided to head south to the Wells Five Star Cinema.  Located in a shopping plaza with a favorite Maine institution, Reny’s (a small chain known for its unusual assortment of good, including outdoor staples, and unbeatable prices), the theater’s next door neighbor is more than convenient – the Dollar Tree.  In my book,

movie snacks near Kennebunkport, ME

Sweet tooth satiated!

stopping there is a requirement – for sodas and snacks, you will feed the family’s munchies for less than a ticket of admission.  Thank goodness for oversized purses to carry this “contraband” into the theater.  But you really can’t beat the buttery goodness of movie theater popcorn, so with the cash we all save by bringing your own sweets, supersize that popcorn!  Plus, that way you won’t feel guilty about not following the “no outside food or drink allowed” policy.  But nutritional aficionados out there, don’t stress – there are plenty of excellent restaurants nearby that offer healthy options to fuel your furnace before or after the show.

If you can’t find the film you want in Wells, head north from Kennebunkport, ME to Smitty’s Cinema in Biddeford, where it is almost a requirement to enter hungry.  Unlike any other chain of movie theaters I have visited, Smitty’s features smaller venues dotted with long tables and oversized easy chairs.  And instead of ushers, they have servers, who bring menus to patrons and deliver lunch, dinner, or snacks throughout the film.  What’s better than a burger and a beer with your movie?  Salad and milkshakes, of course! (Well, certainly for someone with a gluten allergy!)  Surprisingly, though, it’s not a distraction, and the smaller theaters mean that there are fewer cell phones to interrupt or noisy commentators to annoy patrons.

While neither of these theaters offer the assortment and sparkle of a big cinema, it really contributes to their charm.  However, Cinemagic in Saco boasts the glitz and glam of modern theaters.  And it even offers IMAX shows!  Granted it’s a little farther from our Maine Bed and Breakfast, it is sometimes worth the trip – especially if you are headed to one of the area water parks and mother nature throws you a curve ball.  Yes, it has happened!  So the next time you find yourself hankering for some big screen fun near Kennebunkport, ME, don’t worry – there are lots of great options!

Best Summer Storm Watching In Kennebunkport Maine

July 26th, 2011 by avadmin

Tonight, as a summer thunderstorm rolled through Kennebunkport Maine, I started to think about where the best spots in town are to view these gems of summertime.  Yes, there is sometimes nothing better than a sudden rainstorm

Summer thunderstorm

Watch a Summer Storm in Kennebunkport Maine (Photo courtesy of Flickr user 802)

that brings enormous droplets of water that leave half-dollar splats on your windshield, bringing down the humidity levels that had steadily risen through the afternoon. This evening’s violent squall happened to bring Skittles sized hail to some areas, but our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast (and each of our guests’ and their cars) was fortunately spared.
Walking out of the inn, I noticed several couples enjoying our wraparound porch with pre-dinner cocktails in hand. They picked the ideal place to

Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast wraparound porch

Our porch is just one great spot to watch the storm roll in!

watch the storm roll in!  Granted, I might be a touch biased, but a protected wraparound porch with an Eastern view  - what could be better?  Plus, the warmth and comfort of your room is right there!
But if you are out and about in Kennebunkport Maine, there are plenty of other places that make for ideal storm chasing.  The balcony at Federal Jack’s Brew Pub is another stellar location.  Protected from the elements and high above the water, you’ll see the storm approaching up the Kennebunk River, but will even have time to grab a beer or spirit before the “show” arrives.  Plus, since they serve late, you’ll be sure to leave satiated, no matter how long that summer thunderstorm lasts!  However, if you’ve already eaten or are willing to wait until after Mother Nature’s fireworks, the ultimate viewing spot is Narragansett Point along Kennebunk Beach.  If you could drive up to the very edge, the vista would be perfection.  Unfortunately, you can’t, but you can come pretty darn close with any of the closest parking spots overlooking the Atlantic as the waves crash against the rocks and retaining wall.
So now you’ll have to find your favorite spot to enjoy the fury of a summer evening thunderstorm in Kennebunkport Maine.  Will it be one of my faves or will you blaze your own trail?  Whatever the verdict, I hope you’ll share your findings!