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Posts Tagged ‘Things to do in Kennebunkport’

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.

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!

A Great Summer Day in Kennebunkport!

June 29th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

A gorgeous beach day in Kennebunkport!

A gorgeous beach day in Kennebunkport!

This morning I awoke to a thick fog that was like rain just suspended in mid air, but by the time breakfast was on the table, you could see the sun fighting to emerge from the clouds, and by early afternoon, Kennebunkport was experiencing a truly great summer day!  And what better way to celebrate than to play outdoors?  Well since I couldn’t think of any, I swung through Dock Square to take in the sights and see what others were doing to celebrate the amazing weather.  Sure, there was plenty of shopping and strolling, but there were lots of bikers, kayakers, and runners out and about as well.  Since I still just had to stretch my legs a bit more, I headed out to one of my absolute favorite places (and somewhere that is a must-see during your Maine summer vacation) – the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.  Less than ten minutes from the Maine Stay Inn sits this special tract of land, a former farm encompassing over 1700 acres that has been converted into a nature and wildlife preserve.  As usual, the parking area was pretty empty, but I knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long, because strategically placed signs let me know that some lucky couple was going to be exchanging vows there that evening.  You could hear the soft musical stylings of a talented musical group and see the white chairs being set up in the field.  It was so picturesque!  And while I may have been inclined to oogle, I was on a mission to hit the beach!  So off I went on a leisurely stroll across the fields and into the woods.  Which brought me to my favorite bit of salt marsh.  Which brought me to the beach.  As usual, it was nothing short of spectacular!  Because of the curve of the shoreline, you can look across the water to Kennebunkport, and see St. Ann’s Church poking out into the Atlantic.  Relaxing to the sound of the waves what just what this gorgeous summer day called for, but as the evening breeze picked up, I decided to make the “hike” back and sneak one last peek at the beautiful wedding being held in the Laudholm Farmhouse tonight.  Yes, it sure was a great summer day in Kennebunkport!

Staying Cool as the Game Heats Up in Kennebunkport Maine!

June 24th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Enjoy a great view of the harbor while watching tonight's Bruins game!

Enjoy a great view of the harbor while watching tonight’s Bruins game!

With temps reaching into the low 90s today, it’s hard to believe that it could really still be hockey season, but the Stanley Cup Finals are still in full swing, and many guests are choosing to stay cool while watching the game in Kennebunkport Maine!  Federal Jack’s BrewPub is always a great choice, and with the most televisions and the largest bar space, Fed’s is sure to have the most vibrant crowd.  That said, you’ll certainly find a great vibe at Alisson’s Restaurant, which is the closest spot to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.  With lots of fun menu items that are perfect for game-time noshing (think fried goodies like chicken tenders, potato skins, and wings galore), both Federal Jack’s and Alisson’s are close enough that you can walk home after enjoying a few brewskis or to relocate back to the comfort of your room during commercial breaks and between periods without missing a moment of playing time. But these big guys aren’t the only Kennebunkport ME restaurants to catch the game.  Both Pedro’s and The Ramp have great bars for watching sports on television, but the food offerings here are truly excellent.  Plus, who wouldn’t want a great margarita while watching the Bruins on a warm summer night? Despite the plethora of viewing venues available, many visitors might choose to lay low, watching the game in the comfort and privacy of their own room, enjoying the air conditioning (or if they’re like me, the great evening breeze) with their choice beverage and favorite ice cream flavor.  Don’t worry – you can pick up a pint at a shop in Dock Square or hit up any of the amazing ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt shops just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Maine Stay Inn.  But wherever you choose to enjoy the big game, you’ve got lots of options for watching your favorite sports in Kennebunkport Maine!

Summer Solstice Approaching in Kennebunkport

June 20th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Now that the summer solstice is just hours away, I thought I would reflect on some of my favorite things to do in Kennebunkport during the summer.  Granted there are about a million things to do in the area and countless places to eat, so this isn’t even close to

Nothing better than watching the boats go by in Kennebunkport!

Nothing better than watching the boats go by in Kennebunkport!

exhaustive, but these are the things I most look forward to during the summer months.  So here goes!

  • Picnic dinners on the water.  And while I am a food lover, it’s not the cuisine that matters, because let’s face it – everything tastes better in the ocean air!  But since Kennebunkport Maine is known for its lobster, I am certainly partial to the idea of a lobster dinner!  So if I was hankering for lobsters with all the fixin’s, I would head out to Cape Pier Chowder House and enjoy a meal overlooking Cape Porpoise Harbor and the sun setting over the moored lobster boats.  But what I really love is grabbing snacks and sides from Cape Porpoise kitchen and picking up a boiled lobster from Port Lobster, which is a perfect stop between the Maine Stay Inn and Colony beach.  Plus, with a jetty sticking out into the Atlantic, there’s no better spot to enjoy a sunset picnic without worrying about sand getting in your food or bugs “bugging” you!
  • Riding bikes through Kennebunkport.  Cruising through the historic district and waterfront streets is always beautiful, but sometimes I’m in the mood for a longer ride, so I’ll head out to Goose Rocks Beach (don’t forget your water bottle!) and enjoy some time on the beach.  But I have to admit, I always have an ulterior motive when heading that direction – Goose Rocks Dairy, a family run ice cream shop with incredible homemade ice creams.  And with such generous portions, a bike ride is a great excuse for some sustenance!
  • Water sports of any kind – seriously.  Whether it’s surfing, stand up paddle boarding, wake boarding, kayaking or canoeing, I am all in!  And if you’re game for something a little more leisurely, you can pick up a spectacular sailboat ride on the Schooner Eleanor just down the street from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.
  • Fun in the sun!  I love the beach as the next person, and there’s nothing better than a leisurely day on the beach.  Unlike some vacation destinations, visiting the beach is a breeze (especially with the complimentary parking passes we provide!), with no schlepping required since your parking spot is just steps from the sand.  But the protected beach at the Wells Reserve is one of the area’s hidden gems, so while you’re in for a bit of a stroll, you’ll find yourself on a nearly deserted beach.  And what could be better than that?
  • Breakfast on the porch, of course!  Sometimes referred to as the front porch of Kennebunkport, you can enjoy gourmet breakfast served on our wraparound porch, and watching the horse drawn carriage go by with a cup of coffee in hand is my favorite way to start the day.

Now that the Summer Solstice is upon us, that means loads of daylight to enjoy your favorite summer past times in Kennebunkport.  So whether you’re into dining and shopping or surfing and sailing, Kennebunkport has got the summer activities for you!

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!

A Father’s Day Getaway to Kennebunkport

June 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

A Father's Day trip to the beach!

A Father’s Day trip to the beach!

It’s hard to believe that Father’s Day is already upon us, but Kennebunkport is gearing up to treat the dads in your life to an awesome getaway!  Now, when it comes to Mother’s Day, we’re thinking about treating Mom to lots of flowers and chocolate, some retail therapy, relaxing spa treatments, and breakfast in bed, but at least in my family, that’s not exactly what Dad is hankering for.  With one exception – breakfast!  I mean, who doesn’t love to start the day with a gourmet meal that doesn’t require you lift a finger?  So whether you choose breakfast delivered to your suite or your morning meal at a private table on our wraparound porch, Dad will be in for a delicious treat!  And while the Kennebunkport shopping options are pretty incredible, they’re usually not at the top of Dad’s Father’s Day getaway list.  A round of golf at one of the area’s scenic courses, though, is usually right up there.  So after a few holes at the Cape Arundel or Webhannet Golf clubs, lunch is usually on the agenda, and fortunately you won’t go wrong at any of the Kennebunkport restaurants!

So whether Dad wants to hit the beach or go for a bike ride or nearly anything else he can imagine, we’ve got it covered!  But sometimes a guy’s just gotta recharge, so the men in your life might be game for a tour of the local brewery and quick nap – my dad sure would be!  And male or female, everyone loves to enjoy a delectable dinner on the ocean before tucking in for the night at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.  No matter what the dads in your life enjoy doing in their free time, Kennebunkport is sure to be a hit for a special Father’s Day Getaway, and we look forward to helping make his trip a little extra special!

Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfasts Prepare for Garden Party

June 7th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Guests enjoy complimentary limo service to the Kennebunkport bed and breakfasts!

Guests enjoy complimentary limo service to the Kennebunkport bed and breakfasts!

Now that the Kennebunkport Festival is underway, a group of Kennebunkport bed and breakfasts are busy preparing for this weekend’s Garden Party.  Tomorrow, guests of any of the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport can enjoy complimentary limo service from inn to inn.  They’ll get an opportunity to explore each of the very unique properties while socializing with other visitors to the area.  Plus, at each of these Kennebunkport bed and breakfasts, they will find refreshing beverages (both adult and otherwise, depending on the location and predetermined menu) and a selection of delectable treats!  At the Maine Stay Inn, visitors will be treated to a true Maine classic – the whoopie pie.  And while we’re serving the traditional devil’s food cake with fluffy marshmallowy filling, we will also be serving “reverse” whoopies with tender golden cake and an ultra-rich chocolate buttercream, and a third variety that will just have to be a surprise!  For the past few weeks, we’ve had many testing sessions and competitions judged by our guests to help select their favorites, and it’s taken all of my willpower to not joke about “making whoopie” – but tonight and tomorrow morning will be filled with making whoopie…pies, that is!

Last year’s Garden Party was a phenomenal success, and serenaded by the musical stylings from the Kennebunkport Festival‘s Brews and Tunes held on the town green just a block away, do all of the participating Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfasts are thrilled to bring it back this year!  Plus, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy some of the offerings of the Kennebunkport Festival without committing to any of the high ticket events.  But as an aside, food and wine lovers who frequent festivals like this one know that the schedule of events provides an intimate setting for incredible selections of culinary creations and locally crafted spirits.  Stay tuned for an update on the Kennebunkport Festival and the Garden Party hosted by the Kennebunkport bed and breakfasts!