Weekend Getaway: Kennebunkport, Maine

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No matter how much we adore our families or room mates, spending time alone every once and a while can be so rejuvenating. Since Serena’s birth, alone time has been in serious short supply, so I was excited to get away to Kennebunkport on my own a few weekends ago!

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I had been invited along with a few other bloggers to spend the weekend at the Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport, a charming spot where I had taken Daniel for his birthday a few years ago! It is a beautiful old house nestled in a neighborhood a 5-minute walk from town. It was so wild to revisit the same town and stay at the same B+B a few years later!

It was also the first time I left Serena overnight! She was in good hands with her dad, but since it was something new I was a bit nervous. Turns out she had a great time — they made pancakes, visited the Children’s Museum and the MFA (on the same day!), took long walks by the river, and ate macaroni and cheese for dinner. It felt so strange pulling out of the train station on Friday afternoon, and I bought her a sentimental book after browsing a kids’ store later that day, but then after seeing all the updates on how much fun she was having, started to really enjoy being away!

I opted to take the Amtrak Downeaster to Wells, and got an Uber from there to Kennebunkport. In peak season, there is a trolley that connects the two, but using Uber or cab services do work as well, however expect that it might take quite a while to get picked up and leave ample extra time. I brought this book with me, and read the entire thing on the train rides — such a pleasure to read a whole book in a weekend! It was very plot-driven, and definitely had it’s poignant moments — perfect for an enjoyable quick read. (The same author wrote Little Big Lies, which was recently turned into a wonderfully-acted HBO series.)

The Captain Fairfield Inn is a beautiful mix of historical charm and updated style, like so many of the Lark Hotels. The innkeepers were a lovely couple from Venezuela, who decided to move to the Northeast and go into hospitality after working as an endodontist and in the pharmaceutical industry — so fascinating! They were amazing cooks, and the breakfasts were delightful. They even made delicious gluten-free bread! It was such a treat to wake up a little late, take a long shower, and drink a whole cup of coffee while it was still hot! ;) Parents of toddlers, I know you feel me.

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The town of Kennebunkport is so sweet. I really like that by staying close to town you can walk to a few beaches, while also being within walking distance of browsing, good restaurants, and amazing ice cream. If you have a car and are venturing afield, Goose Neck Beach (maybe a 20 minute drive from town) is a gorgeous long beach perfect for strolling and swimming, and there are lots of others nearby. I had such a great time hanging out with the other bloggers who attended, and felt grateful to have a little “time off!”

Here are a few of the highlights from my time in Kennebunkport this past weekend, and some from our previous visit too.

What to Do:

Strolling in town and popping into shops here are there is a fun way to spend a cloudy afternoon.

Walking along Ocean Avenue admiring the beautiful houses and soaking in the salt breeze at the little Colony Beach (below) is delightful.

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In a place like Kennebunkport, I love to spend as much time as possible by the water! There is something so relaxing about that smell and the sound of the waves. Below are a few pictures from an August trip to the area — so beautiful in all seasons! (top: Goose Neck Beach, middle and bottom: Colony Beach)

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What to Eat:

Bandaloop. I eat a bit of seafood, but mainly plants, so a restaurant that can do vegetarian food well ranks high in my books! Bandaloop has some absolutely delicious dishes, and lots of great cocktails too! It is almost hidden around a corner in the center of town, and is such a lively and fun spot for dinner. Their tofu is so so delicious, and it is certainly a difficult thing to do well. There are great seafood dishes, plots of gluten-free options! (I wish this restaurant was in Boston.)

Old Vines Wine Bar. This wine and tapas bar has a fire pit outside lots of cozy seating inside. Standouts were the cheese plates, shishito peppers, and, of course, the french fries. The wine offerings were lovely, as were the cocktails. I really liked the Lori 75, a blood orange riff on the French 75.

Rococo Ice Cream. Well, this place is just delicious. It is a must-try when you are in Kennebunkport. There are the more traditional flavors like chocolate and salted caramel, as well as options that are a little more unusual, like goat cheese blackberry chambord. My favorite on this last visit was the cantaloupe ice cream!

The Clam Shack. This is the place to go for a lobster roll in town according to a zillion lists of best lobster rolls. I am not the hugest fan of lobster, but my husband tried it on our previous visit and reported that it was delicious! There is often a line in the summer, but it tends to move fairly quickly, and you can get a lemonade to drink while waiting. ;)

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Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn. This is more of an old-fashioned ‘occasion’ restaurant, and I visited with my husband for his birthday on our previous visit. We walked there from town along Ocean Avenue, and the setting of the inn on the water was one of the highlights of the meal. We had a cocktail on the front veranda, and then a very leisurely and luxurious meal.

Mabel’s Lobster Claw. For fans of lobster, this restaurant along Ocean Avenue is a great spot to stop in. When in Maine… ;) They also offer a “lazy man’s lobster” where they have done all the cracking and extracting, and all you have to do is dip into butter!

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I’ve heard really great things about Earth, the restaurant at Hidden Pond, but haven’t gotten to chance to go yet. I guess I’ll have to visit again!

Where to Shop:

Daytrip Society. This shop has so many cute things! It is a great place to browse around, and the perfect spot to find an adorable gift. They stock things you don’t often see — like an illustrated memoir by a yeti, and Native shoes for adults. It’s a really fun spot to stop in.

Daytrip Jr. The kids’ outpost of Daytrip Society, and just around the corner from the main store, this shop has an amazing selection of clothes, shoes, books, and toys. It isn’t often that one shop has such a great blend! I found a sweet book for Serena here, but if I hadn’t already bought her plenty of summer clothes I would have been tempted by their little dresses.

Antiques on Nine. This shop on the way into/out of town is such a gem. It is an eclectic mix of new and antique or repurposed items — lots of unusual pieces! There are tons of interesting stone vessels and statue fragments that would be amazing for a garden.

Snug Harbor Farm. This spot is close by to Antiques on Nine, and is my favorite shop in the area. They have a beautiful selection of plants, especially succulents, planted in unique containers. Interspersed among the plants is gorgeous rustic pottery, wooden spoons, and other gifts. Warning: you may be tempted to bring something home! There are also mini horses outside (photo below from our previous visit) — I mean you really can’t get more charming than that!

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Such a lovely spot for a getaway, and so close to Boston. Thanks to Lark for a wonderful stay!

2 comments

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  1. Molly Galler says:

    It’s always so tough to find vegetarian food in a seafood-dominated town. Thanks for the tip on Bandaloop!

    • Laura Chassaigne says:

      Yes, I totally agree, Molly!! And that tofu was seriously so so good… I wish I had been able to go and order it a second time! Haha ;)