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Posts Tagged ‘outdoor activities’

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!


Winter Weekend Activities in Kennebunkport Maine

January 15th, 2014 by Judi Hauer

Boatyard in Winter

What could be prettier than a light dusting of snow on one of the Kennebunkport Maine marinas?!

A long weekend lies just ahead and that got me thinking about all of the great winter activities there are to enjoy in Kennebunkport Maine and the surrounding area.  While some people aren’t huge fans of lots of snow, it sure makes things awfully pretty and we might even see a very light dusting on Saturday – what a treat! It’s just the kind that transforms our already lovely winter landscape into a perfect winter wonderland, without causing any trouble on the roads or even much shoveling!  The great forecast ahead for this long weekend always makes me anxious to head outside and enjoy the scenery, but with so many great options, what should you choose?!  Here are some of our favorite winter activities in and around Kennebunkport:

  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Harris Farm in nearby Dayton.  Outdoor enthusiasts should feel free to bring their own equipment and take advantage of the miles and miles of groomed tracks and trails.  But they’ve even got oodles of rentals for those who are casual skiers or are just looking to test the waters.  Plus, their warming hut (with snacks available) is a welcome treat after a day of fun in the snow!
  • Skating in downtown Kennebunk at their outdoor rink or on nearby Roger’s Pond (weather and ice conditions permitting, of course)!  What could be better than some old-fashioned outdoor skating time?  Plus, with lots of great restaurants offering fantastic lunch menus nearby, you’ve got excellent options for refueling before or after.  Just remember to bring your own skates, because neither of these public arenas offer rentals, but never fear, if you’ve got the itch to go for a loop around the rink, you can head inside for rentals and refreshments at  Biddeford Ice Arena.
  • Outdoor activities of all kinds about at nearby Laudholm Farm – visitors bring their own snowshoes, XC skis or even just some boots or warm sneakers to enjoy the 7 miles of trails and paths (plus beachfront, of course!) on the property.  Aren’t up for a real wintertime trek?  Head over to Kennebunk beach for a stroll along the paved (and plowed) paths for some scenery without any fuss!
  • Want to enjoy the great outdoors without breaking a sweat?  Consider heading over to Rockin’ Horse Stables for a horse-drawn sleigh ride.  And with cocoa and blankets to keep you warm, you can enjoy every second of a sleigh ride through the woods and fields just a moment’s drive from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.

Winter is an incredible time in Kennebunkport and we can’t wait to share more great pictures of the area with you on Facebook, Pinterest and here on the blog, but that usually just isn’t enough, so we hope to share this beautiful time of year with you soon!

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!

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!

Outdoor Dining in Kennebunkport

July 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Outdoor dining in Kennebunkport is one of the most frequent requests we hear during the summer months, because even on an unusually hot day like today, the ocean breeze made it very pleasant to relax outside.  Although a few people chose to have breakfast in the comfort of our air conditioned dining room, most people opted to enjoy their breakfast on the wraparound porch.  And even with a cup of hot coffee in hand, everyone was

Enjoy harbor views from Tia's, Federal Jack's, and Arundel Wharf

Enjoy harbor views from Tia’s, Federal Jack’s, and Arundel Wharf

very comfortable, all thanks to our location just one block from the harbor.  But come lunchtime, we were fielding requests for more outdoor dining, and fortunately for Kennebunkport visitors and locals alike, there area lots of great options! Just one block from the Maine Stay Inn, you’ll find the Arundel Wharf, a casual dining restaurant situated on a pier with indoor, tented, and open deck seating (but the tented area is my favorite, offering shade in the heat of the day, and protection from mosquitos in the evening.  If you head away from Dock Square for a bit, you’ll find Mabel’s Lobster Claw, which has a small porch for dining, but unfortunately isn’t right on the water.  In the heart of downtown Kennebunkport, you’ll find Federal Jack’s and Tia’s Topside, each serving casual fare from their perch high about the water. But if you’re looking for something a little different, you could try Pedro’s, the Mexican restaurant – it’s tacos and margaritas make a fantastic pick-me-up, especially when you’re hankering for something other than lobster.  Now, if you do want lobster and the appropriate fried fixin’s, heading out to the Cape Porpoise pier for a nibble at Cape Pier Chowder House and relax at the numerous picnic tables right on the dock.  And fortunately for everyone, David’s Kennebunkport has finally opened at the site of the old Landing Restaurant, complete with a stunning harbor side deck for dining!  Cast your worries aside, because we’ve got lots of great options for outdoor dining in Kennebunkport!

Happy Father’s Day from Kennebunkport Maine!

June 16th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

A special Father's Day surprise for Walter!

A special Father’s Day surprise for Walter!

Father’s Day weekend brought lots of sunshine to Kennebunkport Maine, which was a great way for Mother Nature to honor dads everywhere, and we were excited to host some incredible dads this weekend.  Because the weather was so incredible, most decided to spend lots of time outside, except, of course, when the Sox and Bruins were playing!  While some dads decided to hit the beach for some fun in the sun (and quite a few forgot their sunscreen!), others decided to do some different things, and heading out for a bike ride was one of this weekend’s top activities.  Some folks decided to rent bikes and cruise through town and along the beach, while others bought their own and headed out to explore the Eastern Trail, which stretches from Kittery to Portland.  Although, I must admit, none were up to traverse that whole distance this weekend!  The Schooner Eleanor hosted quite a few proud fathers this weekend on a glorious and peaceful sail around the Kennebunkport Maine coastline.  And while golfing is typically a big draw on Father’s Day Weekend, it seems like this year many were just happy to relax in the backyard with their families.  Yes, the hammocks got a workout this weekend!  Now, I have to mention that while my dad and I spent lots of quality time together working on the gardens at the Maine Stay Inn, I somehow managed to pull off a special little surprise – a raised garden bed just for Walter’s tomatoes!  Some of you might remember that Walter’s tomato plants are like his babies, but a few years ago, after sneaking plants into almost every flower bed and planter throughout the property, he failed to produce a single red tomato.  So since we never want that to happen again, it’s time that his plants have their very own turf!  And while I really enjoyed spending some quality time with dear old Dad (and still managed to pull off a little surprise), it was just as much fun watching fathers spend time with their families here in Kennebunkport Maine.  It was clear to me that newbie and veteran dads alike enjoyed the chance to kick back and enjoy their families without any of the worries or stresses that come with everyday life, and we were honored to treat some dads to breakfast in bed (it’s not just for moms, you know!) and delicious treats in the afternoon and just help make their weekend extra special.  So Happy Father’s Day, Dads, from all of us in Kennebunkport Maine!

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!


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.