We’re finally back from our summer hiatus…and WHAT a summer it’s been! Family trips and weekend escapes with lovely warm weather and not much rain – just the way we like it here!
So much to log in our journal and to think we haven’t even finished the Thailand series yet…well, that’s just going to have to wait until later. Gotta flaunt this season while we still can! 😉
The first is a three-day trip to Kennebunkport, Maine to celebrate our parents’ anniversary!
Kennebunkport is most famous for the Bush family summer home. [Pause] Let’s face it – Republican or Democrat – you’re JUST as curious to see the place!
The “kennebunks” (collective term for Kennebunk and Kennebunkport) is a picture of a quintessential New England town…
Where lightly tanned smiling folk dressed in khakis + collared shirt, a casual cotton blazer/sweater for cool nights; stroll down flower-lined streets…and summer afternoons are spent lounging on yachts while lunching on buttered-lobsters with an air of appropriateness that can only be perfected over years of a great vacation…
Yes, THIS is what makes a Maine experience, and you can find it on a smaller and less-touristy scale in the Kennebunks.
We decided to drive from NYC to Maine, although one could take the train to Boston with a much shorter (~90 min) and probably more scenic route to Maine. Our Friday-afternoon drive turned out to be a bit poorly timed (with the traffic) and our 5 hour drive ended up more like ~8 hours…so, act smart and leave EARLY morning to beat the mad rush!
Arriving into Kennebunk late evening, we faced a deserted town where most folk had already retired for the night. Just as well…since we wanted to get a good night’s sleep for the weekend ahead.
So, HOW does one spend a weekend in the Kennebunks?
1. Stay at a lovely Bed & Breakfast
There are lots of lovely and historical Bed & Breakfasts’ in the Kennebunks. I had initially reserved our rooms at “The Kennebunkport Inn” but due to a change in dates (and unavailability), we stayed at The Port Inn which had a great location, and clean spacious rooms.
Some other recommendations: The Captain Lord Mansion, White Barn Inn
2. Soak in some sun
After a leisurely breakfast, we made our way towards the Beach to spend some family time and soak in some sunshine! A short drive to Goose Rocks Beach is completely worth the effort; 2.5 miles of a beautiful stretch of powdery sugar-white sand. The beach is not very crowded and it’s easy to find a good spot to spread out your blanket and plop your picnic basket 🙂
3. Feast on a Lobster Roll
When in Kennenbunkport, you must stop at The Clam Shack (on the Kennebunk river bridge) to taste this absolute lobster goodness! Reputed to be a winner of several taste awards, this is a perfectly toasted bun with a bit of Mayo and topped with a pound of lobster meat doused in butter…Mmmmm
The next day we picked up a lobster roll at Wicked Tails, and that was quite good as well!
If you’re not up for some lobster, there are several other options in Dock square; cafes (Salt & Honey) serving vegetarian panini and a delish grilled cheese…
4. Get your shopping fix
Head towards Dock Square that is bustling with activity in the afternoon! A central square packed with indie-shops, art galleries and antique dealers in former 18th century homes and warehouses. This makes for a great spot for some souvenir shopping, and that perfect roll of handmade paper that you know you need (but can never find a use for)! Stroll across the Kennebunk river bridge and take in the view…
5. Take a scenic lobster cruise
Late afternoons call for a sailing tour to Walker’s Point (Bush summer home) and a view of the gorgeous mansions lining Ocean’s Avenue. We took the (1.5 hr) lobster fishing tour from Kylie’s Scenic Lobster Tour that also showed us how to pull a few lobster traps and see the life of a real lobster-man! (let me tell you, it ain’t that bad with these views 😉 )
And of course, there’s Walker’s Point – Bush summer home! Not a bad location eh?
The lobster-man showing us how to pull those cages. Only one little guy got stuck but was thrown back into the water (too young!) There’s lots of regulation around lobster fishing in the state of Maine – curious? you can read more here.
While on the tour, we also saw several seals bobbing in the ocean or lounging on a rock, and terns diving in the waves to catch little fish…
6. Grab a drink at the sea captain’s house
Stop by the Colony Hotel and grab a drink, preferably a Gin’n’Tonic at the sprawling 20th century white mansion. We lounged by the poolside terrace that offered splendid views of the ocean almost perfectly timed with the sunset. It was a great time savoring the ocean breeze and taking in the sweeping ocean view with a faint cacophony of the terns in the background…
Another recommendation is the Cape Arundel Inn, famous for the incredible 180 degree views of the ocean, but expect a blue-blazer, vintage-chanel crowd; so dress appropriately.
7. Dine like a local
We stopped by Pedro’s for a fun dinner celebrating our parents 38th anniversary! It was a delicious meal with lots of fresh vegetables and yummy margaritas
The previous night, we also ate at the Bandaloop, delicious farm-to-table fare and the most amazing butter I’ve ever had!
8. Walk in the moonlight
A good dinner should ALWAYS be followed by a romantic walk under the moonlight, don’t you think? Walk on the kennebunk river bridge and admire the peacefulness of the twinkling yachts reflecting off dark still water…
9. Kayak in the Kennebunk river
Glide along the picturesque tidal river in a kayak and work off all that food from the previous day! You can either take a self guided trip, or join a guided tour of the river.
10. Eat a crazy ice-cream
You can’t possibly leave without getting a scoop (or two) of the famed Rococo Artisan ice cream. They make fourteen eclectic and delectable flavors every day and you must try at least one of their unique parings 🙂
We tried all unique flavors…ultimately deciding on Guava Maria, Real Mint and Olive Oil Rosemary Caramel!
And THAT dear folks pretty much wrapped up our Maine weekend! Hope you’re making the most of this summer just like us! ❤
Oh! …and since we’re on the topic of lobsters, we leave you with this little piece of wisdom…