I hope you’re not tired of my steady stream of Maine-related posts, because I’ve got a couple more coming at you. Today’s is about Kennebunkport, a town that holds a special place in my heart. I visited Kennebunkport with my family while I was growing up, both in summer at the height of the “season” and in winter when the inn we stayed at was covered in snow. Literally, we once stayed there and got snowed in during a blizzard. This time around, there were no snowflakes, but there was sunshine, gorgeous ocean views, seafood, and ice cream in abundance. Nothing more needed for a perfect Monday. Or any day, really, but especially Monday when you’re on vacation and it feels great not to be back to the daily grind 🙂
We stayed at the Captain Jefferds Inn, a bed and breakfast that was once a prominent sea captain’s mansion. The inn owners are originally from a Connecticut town not too far from where I grew up, and my family has been going there since before they took over, so we know it pretty well. It’s a gorgeous place right near the center of town, and the amazing three course breakfast served every morning is quite a treat. They’re very accommodating of allergies, so I enjoyed a stuffed omelet with a gluten free muffin or scone and fruit each morning of our stay.
After breakfast on Monday morning, we took a stroll into Dock Square, the Kennebunkport side of “downtown” which is connected to the Kennebunk “downtown” by a footbridge. We ducked into some of the seaside-themed shops and art galleries, and made our way to one side of Kennebunk Beach.
From the beach, you can see across the inlet to the Kennebunkport side, where large stately homes march down Ocean Drive all the way to Walker’s Point. We made our way back through town and part of the way to the Point around noon. But before we got there, we had to stop for lunch at Mabel’s Lobster Claw, a Kennebunkport institution. I had the crab salad and Brett had the fish chowder, onion rings, and a lobster roll, and we both had Gifford’s black raspberry chip ice cream to finish.
We made our way up Ocean Drive to Walker’s Point, where the Bush family summer compound is located. It’s a beautiful view out to the water, marked by an anchor statue on the bluff.
Once we got back to the B&B, we relaxed for an hour or two before heading to an early dinner at One Dock Prime at the Kennebunkport Inn. In summer, there’s a beautiful outdoor seating area but it dropped to the 40s with a breeze off the water by the time we were seated, so we had to be content indoors. We did enjoy the best of the ocean on our plates. We split the seafood tower to begin, with a lobster tail, crab meat, oysters, and fresh clams. I enjoyed roast duck with asparagus for my main, and Brett went for the potato crusted cod. They also served us up some fancy sea salt, although truth be told I can’t tell the difference and just put a bit of the pink one on my clams because of the color 🙂
Afterwards, I couldn’t resist stopping at the ice cream window at H. B. Provisions for some good old-fashioned Shain’s of Maine ice cream, since it was the final evening of the trip. Brett was too full, which I mocked him mercilessly for, but he did have a bite of my delicious chocolate peanut butter with rainbow sprinkles. Eating ice cream while looking out over the watere was the perfect way to cap off an amazing lazy day.
While we really enjoyed our three days in Portland and exploring other towns along the southern Maine coast, at the end of the trip when I asked Brett which his favorite was, he said it was Kennebunkport hands down. Naturally I anticipated this and had saved the best for last. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, precisely because you don’t go there to “do” very much, you go there just to “be” – be happy, taking a walk in the sun down Ocean Drive, eating ice cream, reading a book on a lawn chair, poking around Dock Square. I enjoy the opportunity to really disconnect, and Kennebunkport is a wonderful place to do just that. I can’t wait to go back.
Do you prefer to explore new cities on vacation, or relax in a small town?
Which of our meals would you want to try most?
Have you ever been to Kennebunkport?
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