As the sun set this Saturday evening, I watched the sun set from the edge of the Kennebunk River, enjoying the sight of sailboats heading in after a day on the water. It got me thinking about some of the best ways to enjoy the best sails on the Maine coast. While there are countless ways to enjoy the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, both by land and sea (like biking and strolling, kayaking and paddle boarding), there is just nothing like a peaceful sail on the water.
The first sailboat cruise that comes to mind is the Schooner Eleanor, which is just about a block from the Maine Stay. It sits moored next to the Arundel Wharf Restaurantr, which is perfect for a pre- or post-sail meal! The 55 foot ship was built right here on the Kennebunkport Maine Coast, and it is a beauty. On the 90 minute (or so) cruise, you’ll motor down the Kennebunk River to the confluence with the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll enjoy a tour of the rocky and sandy shores, and the captain will point out area favorites like the Bush Estate, Goat Island Lighthouse, and St. Ann’s Church-by-the-Sea. The Schooner provides blankets in case the ocean breeze feels chilly, but a windbreaker is always a good choice.
Another excellent choice is the Pineapple Ketch, moored just down Ocean Avenue at the Nonantum Docks. The Ketch is a bit smaller than the Schooner Eleanor, but its tours are equally lovely. You’ll enjoy the triple masts during your sails, which typically run three times daily. And while soda and water is provided on board, you are welcome to bring your own adult beverage. So order a hand-crafted local lobster picnic from your boutique Kennebunkport hotel, and pick up a bottle of wine to pop the cork on a romantic sail along the Maine coast.
The third boat to make our list doesn’t actually go anywhere – you’ll find the Spirit of Massachusetts moored right in the harbor at Dock Square. It is home to a great restaurant, open 7 days a week. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the feel of a classic summer sail, without the sailing time restrictions! Worried about choppy water? Not a concern when securely docked in the harbor. And did I mention the food is awesome?
But whether you enjoy the Maine Coast by land or by sea, there are countless ways to experience the glorious views and fresh salt air on the water, but these three sailboats are pretty darn special!