The Maine coast has been a retreat for city folks for over a century – people continue to love to escape for a summer by the sea. There is something so relaxing and restorative about the cool ocean breeze and the quiet natural setting of Maine.
At the turn of the century and even into the 1920s, people from away, Boston and New York, would come to southern Maine and stay for weeks, even months or the entire “season” by the sea, staying in a summer cottage or one of the grand oceanfront resorts in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk Beach and Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach and Portland. There were large hotels on the water, with grand porches, pools and beaches.
Today, many of those historic seaside hotels have closed, converted to condos like the Narragansett on Kennebunk Beach, or were torn down and replaced with massive private mansions like the Shawmut Inn (pictured here courtesy of Kennebunkport Conservation Trust) formerly located off Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport, now a private residence.
Guests can no longer afford to stay for a month or the summer season, time and money constraints in our fast-paced lives don’t allow for such long lavish getaways, but a few days at these top seaside hotels can feel like a grand getaway even if its just for a few days.
Sipping a cocktail on The Colony porch’s gazebo overlooking the Atlantic, or watching the sunset over the Kennebunk River from an Adirondack chair at the Breakwater Inn is rejuvenating…and reflective of the good ole’ days on coast in the summer.
There are so many fun events in Maine from Kittery to Kennebunkport and Portland Maine. You just have to “sea” some of these zany vibrant foodies fun festivals to appreciate how Maine does things, fun parades, parties, and celebrations …”The Way Life Should Be”!
Every Saturday in Kennebunk is a Farmers Market from 8-1pm. Fridays throughout Southern Maine.Art Walks occur every Friday evening in Maine – the 1st Friday in Portland, 2nd Friday is the Village Art Walk in the Lower Village Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, and 3rd Friday Art Walk in downtown Kennebunk.
Fireworks at Old Orchard Beach every Thursday night on the beach next to the Old Orchard Beach Pier all summer June 25 – September 3rd.
July 4th fireworks on the coast at Maine Beach Towns including York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk Old Orchard Beach, Portland.
The Tallships Parade Comes to Portland Maine July 18-20 2015 – Portland Harbor will hosts 8 historic tallships on their final stop of the 2015 Tallships Challenge . The highlight, the Tallships Parade, sails into Portland Harbor at 1pm July 18
Love food? Love the southern Coast of Maine? How does a week devoted to dining out on the southern Maine Coast sound? Coastal Maine Restaurant Week is April 26 – May 2, 2015. What started as Kennebunk Restaurant Week in 2013 has expanded this spring to include Coastal Maine towns of Wells, Oqunquit, York, Kittery and Eliot including some of the top places to dine on the waterfront like York Harbor Inn, The Cliff House and MC Perkins in Ogunquit, Ocean, Stripers and David’s in Kennebunkport!
Maine Restaurant have become progressive about promoting their talented local chefs and Maine ingredients – by flaunting their fine food during these special culinary weeks in spring and fall, when restaurants aren’t super busy like they are in peak summer. The dining format is three-course themed price fixe menus – above and beyond the Chef’s usual offerings for foodies to celebrate and congregate. Kennebunkport’s top restaurants are participating, Davids, Ocean, Stripers and On the Marsh.
April 26 – May 2 is Coastal Maine Restaurants with special dining menus from Kittery to Kennebunkport– organized by the York County Coast Star. During this week southern Maine chefs will prepare special three course gourmet menus –often with an ocean view at a prix fixe dinner of $25, $35, and $45 per person, before beverages, tax and gratuity. So maybe not a steal of a deal, but a special tasting experience.
Maine has attracted top chefs in recent years, and received high praise in food article from Forbes to Yankee, Gourmet and Bon Appetite, to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Many of the culinary talents in the Pine Tree State are focused menus featuring Maine sourced, locally grown and farm raised food, fresh caught lobster and seafood and artisan cheeses. Maine has more than just blueberries, broccoli and potatoes as native food to rave about.
What’s fun about Coastal Maine Restaurant Week, besides the view and delicious cuisine, is meeting fellow foodies in your travels. You meet new people while dining out – folks who share your passion for fine food and wine. Wine pairings and drinks specials are often offered to complement the chef’s menu, but not included- nor is gratuity.
Here are the Coastal Maine Restaurants participating in Coastal Maine Restaurant Week April 26- May 2, 2015:
Ocean 207-967-1504, 208 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport David’s KPT 207-967-8223, 21 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport Stripers Waterside at Breakwater Inn 207-967-3118, 133 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport Mabels Lobster Claw 207-967-2562, 124 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport
Federal Jack’s 207-967-4322, 8 Western Avenue Kennebunk
On the Marsh Bistro -207-967-2299, 46 Western Avenue, Kennebunk
Duffy’s Tavern and Grill 207985-0050, 4 Main Street, Kennebunk York Harbor Inn – 207-363-7151, 480 York Street, York
Jonathan’s Ogunquit 207-646-4777, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit
Bintliff’s 207-646-3111, 335 Main Street, Ogunquit
MC Perkin’s Cove 207-646-6263 111 Perkins Cove, Ogunquit
Angelina’s Ristorante 207-646-0445, 655 Main Street, Ogunquit
The Front Porch 207-646-4005 9 Shore Road, Ogunquit
Clay Hill Farm 207-361-2272, 220 Clay Hill Road Cape Neddick
The Cliff House 207-361-1000, 591 Shore Road, York The Steakhouse 207-646-4200, 1205 Post Road (Route 1) Wells Five O Shore Road207-646-5001, 50 Shore Road, Ogunquit
Cape Neddick Inn 207-351-1145, 1273 US Route 1, Cape Neddick Stage Neck Inn 207-646-8988, 8 Stage Neck Road, York
One of the highlights of spring in southern Maine is Ogunquit’s Patriots weekend April 17-20, now celebrating its 25th Patriots Weekend in 2015! You must muster to this historic fun weekend celebrating our early colonist, with fife and drum, period costumes, a parade, war re-enactments, Taste of the Town Americana-style, and a kids carnival. This is a family-oriented weekend – the kids will learn US history- in a fun festive way. Come to Ogunquit, enjoy the beach, a lobster dinner, and stay at Ogunquit Resort for a deal! The Patriots are coming
Here is schedule of the fun events during Ogunquit’s Patriots Day Weekend:
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015
7:00pm: MAINE OUTDOOR FILM FEST (259 Main Street) Tickets are $10 for the “OUTDOOR” film festival outdoors at the historical 1923 Leavitt Theatre.
FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015
9:00am-5:00pm: LIBRARY BOOK SALE at Ogunquit Memorial Library – all weekend
7:15pm-7:30pm: HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENT: WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE at Main Beach Parking Lot
7:30pm-7:40pm: FIFE & DRUM PARADE and Concert at the Ogunquit Baptist Church!
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY:
OGUNQUIT STOCKS AND PHOTO OPS (Main Beach Parking Lot) fun photo opportunity with a life-size cut-out stand-up, dress in old-time bathing suits, as Uncle Sam, and more!
LANTERN TREASURE HUNT (under the tents at the beach) Paper lanterns at the craft fair can be sued to unscramble the letters to solve the phrase
SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2015
8:00am – 11:00am: PANCAKE BREAKFAST at the Fire Station $6 for adults and $4 for kids
9:00am – 4:00pm: BEACH BAZAAR (at the Kennebunk Savings Bank tents on the Main Beach parking lot)
9:00am-2:00pm: ABC SALE (Ogunquit Museum of American Art) ABC stands for art, books, and collectibles from the museum, the museum shop, and from donated gifts.
9:30am – 10:30am: COLONIAL CHILDREN’S GAMES AND CRAFTS (Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road)Play games from the colonial era, and make your own to take home and play later! Make your own Bilbo Catcher, Button Whirligig, or Toothpick Top, then learn how they work. Learn about the crafts of the colonial times, then make your own doll of yarn. Learn about the fashions of colonial times – make paper dolls and appropriate outfits for you to dress them in!
10:00am – 3:00pm: HAY RIDES (Main Beach Parking Lot. Weather permitting.) $5 per person.
10:00am – 12:00pm: TRADITIONAL CRAFT and QUILTING at Knight’s Quilt Shop, 1901 US Route One, Cape Neddick – live demonstrations
10:30-11:30am: TRADITIONALCARDING AND SPINNING WOOL at Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road
11:00am: AMERICAN PIE CONTEST at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street – A contest of home-made pie in “American” flavors for “celebrity judges” in a Taste o fthe Town event.
11:00am – 2:00pm: “TASTE OF THE TOWN” Dunaway Center, 23 School Street – Area restaurants serve up their special dishes in samples! Tickets at the door or $10. Tickets for “Touring Taste of the Town” are $15, and include admission to the event at the Dunaway Center as well as tasting portions at establishments during their business hours.
2:00-5:00pm: WINE TASTINGS at Village Food Market, 230 Main Street and at Perkins & Perkins Wine & Cheese Shop, 478 Main Street)
3:00pm: BOOK MAKING at Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Decorate a book to record your Patriots Day Weekend adventure! You will leave with one or two books made from paper or fabric. Appropriate for ages 9 and up.
SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2015
10:00am – 3:00pm: BEACH BAZAAR at the Kennebunk Savings Bank tent at the Main Beach
10:00am – 3:00pm: HAY RIDES at Main Beach $5 per person.
11am: PATRIOT RE-ENACTMENT at Marginal Way
12:00pm: PATRIOTIC POOCH PAGEANT AND FASHION SHOW at Liquid Dreams 696 Main Street. Dress your dog in patriotic costume, or just come to watch the show!
Maine has arrived as a Foodie State, now hosting several Maine Restaurant Week events – in the fall and spring. Having caught the culinary attention of top food magazines and media of late, Bon Appetite, Gourmet, Saveur, Taste, Food and Wine, and The Food Network have all featured Maine’s best chefs, the Maine local food scene and of course – articles on Maine seafood with lobster as the king. But recent culinary competitions have me wondering where’s the Maine lobster – instead of “where’s the beef?”
March 1-14 Maine Restaurant Week 2015 kicked off their Signature Tasting Event as Maine chefs paired a cocktail and signature dish – but the menus fell short of Maine ingredients and culinary classic that have made Maine’s seacoast famous. Here’s a sampling of Maine Restaurant Week tastes, with seafood and lobster sadly under-represented:
The new Portland restaurant, Timber Steakhouse, won Maine Restaurant Week Signature Judge’s Taste with a cucumber martini and bite-sized cucumber cup filled with smoked salmon-goat cheese mousse and topped with tobiko (Japanese fish roe). David’s Opus Ten in Portland won People’s Choice with a Mexican chocolate martini and pulled pork beignet. Chef David Turin now has a very successful sister restaurant to his Portland original, David’s KPT in Kennebunkport at the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel near Dock Square on the Kennebunk River.
Other Kennebunk based chefs, chefs Brian and Shana O’Hea from Kennebunk Inn – served a meatball slider skewered with fried mozzarella with an Italian Sunday Tuxedo -a spicy style bloody Mary, made of pureed roasted vegetables, hopefully from Maine gardens.
Another other-worldly taste from Tiqa, the new Mediterranean restaurant on Commercial Street in Portland, served The Miss Muffet Cocktail combining Double Cross Vodka (Ok- a Maine potatoes based Vodka – finally), Vya dry vermouth and labne whey (the milky liquid from strained yogurt), garnished with a Palestinian olive, paired with chef Bryan Dame’s Berbere-spiced labne on crispy chicken skin. So much for the good old fashioned Maine lobster roll or Clam Chowder. Is anyone else hankering for some recipes representing Maine flavors and fresh seafood?
Good news, you can dine at Stripers at the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport on their 2 for $20 Lobster Lovers menu this month. Also from March 1-14, foodies can dine at participating Maine Restaurant Week restaurants on three course lunches and dinners – specially prepared by the Chefs at a prixe fixe of $15, $20 and $25 for lunch, $25, $35 and $45 for dinner. I hope the Chefs include local lobster.
Maine Restaurant Week is predominantly Portland Maine restaurants, but expands to Freeport, Boothbay and south to Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and York, where Maine’s best Chefs flaunt their flavors and local-sourced food turned into culinary delights.
New this year to Maine’s food scene is Coastal Maine Restaurant Week – April 26 – May 2 Coastal Maine Restaurants will offer special dining menus, in Kittery York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and Kennebunk – organized by the York County Coast Star. During this week southern Maine chefs will prepare special three course gourmet menus –often with an ocean view at a prix fixe dinner of $25, $35, and $45 per person, before beverages, tax and gratuity. Ok, maybe not a deal, but a special tasting experience.
November is a hidden gem in Maine, the leaves are falling, so are the lodging prices. Our peak season has passed, but you can still come walk the beach, enjoy the shops, coastal drives and dinner at Maine’s best restaurants, no lines or waiting. What we love about November is the deals, call it “no excuse not to escape in November.” Maine shops from Kittery Outlets to Freeport offers sales, lodging properties put their best price forward and your weather can be anything from balmy beach walks to beautiful snowflakes.
So pack a jacket, and put your feet up in front of a fire at a Maine inn on the coast. Here’s a great deal for a seaside inn in Kennebunk, located right on the beach. Actually, it’s called The Seaside Inn, and its owned and operated by 9th generation innkeepers. Your November stay includes daily breakfast served in the charming 1850 Boathhouse, and use of the extraordinary ocean view outdoor hot tub on the second floor deck… how decadent! Staying at the Seaside Inn Nov 1 – Nov 25 and Dec 14 -24 is just $98 for two nights midweek! That’s for both nights, $49 a night in a Terraceview room. Upgrade to an Oceanfront room for only $149 for 2-nights during the week, or come for a weekend stay at just $149 for both nights in a Terraceview room.
So come to Maine, visit the fantastic coastal village of Kennebunkport, walk the beach, enjoy Dock Square’s shops and walk into any of the great Kport restaurants like David’s, Stripers, Pedros, Hurricane, Bandaloop, or Stripers. For fun day trips you are a short drive to Ogunquit, and Portland’s Old Port. Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach is just 1.5 hours north of Boston, and if you call and mention the VisitMaine.net Special, you can stay “seaside” for as little as $98 for two nights.
How can you say No to this November lodging deal?! We will see you on the southern Maine Coast. This Southern Maine Coast special is valid now until Nov 25 and Dec 14 to 24.
Ogunquit is a fun festive town, in all season, but Ogunquitfest just may be the best. Every fall Ogunquit throws a foliage festival, OgunquitFest, complete with costume parade, scarecrow contest, an outdoor film fest, monster mash and a high heel dash. The Ogunquit fall events range from family friendly to silly and scary to an absolute scream… Ogunquitfest is Thursday- Sunday October 23 -26.
MAINE OUTDOOR FILM FESTIVAL Leavitt Theatre. 8pm. short outdoor films from the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Maine Outdoor Film Festivals. Tickets: $10 adults, $5 children. Buy your tickets at the door or online at ogunquit.org.
Friday, October 24, 2014
MONSTER MASH Dunaway Center, School Street. 5-8pm. A child-friendly group of vignettes and great photo opportunities! Come in costume for dancing, music, refreshments, and more fun! Appropriate for the entire family. Bring your camera!
Saturday, October 25, 2014
AUTUMN BAZAAR 9am-4pm, Ogunquit Beach. 75 vendors with Maine crafts, perfect for holiday shopping! Non-perishable food donations are accepted for local food pantry or pet food for the Animal Welfare Society.
GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH PRESENTATION 10-11:30am, Dunaway Center, School Street. An autumn delight for kids of all ages. Pumpkins, paints, markers, and stickers supplied, however no sharp instruments or carving for everyone’s safety.
ANTIQUE & CLASSIC CAR SHOW 10am-1pm, Main Beach parking lot. Vote on your favorite classic car! Winners announced at 12:30pm. Free admission.
WINE TASTING 2pm-5pm. Village Food Market, 230 Main Street. Wine tasting with Aissa Sweets tasting as well.
OGUNQUITFEST OBSTACLE COURSE 2:30-3:30pm, Ogunquit Main Beach. Let the kids run off some energy in our Halloween-themed Obstacle Course on Ogunquit Beach.
WINE TASTING 3-6pm, Perkins & Perkins Wine and Cheese Shop, 478 Main Street. Featuring great wines for fall.
CHILDREN’S FALL STORYTELLING 4-5pm, Dunaway Center, School Street. Listen to local storyteller Diana Abbott tell tales of spooks and haunted happenings.
GHOSTLY TOURS, 6-8:30pm. Ogunquit Heritage Museum, Obeds Lane. Stop in for a ghostly walk through Ogunquit. Tours by the Ogunquit Heritage Museum. Bring your flashlight – it’s dark out there! $5 Adults, children under 10 free. Weather permitting.
“PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” SILENT MOVIE, 8 pm, Leavitt Theatre, Downtown. Long before Andrew Lloyd Webber created the hit stage musical, this 1925 silent film adaptation starring Lon Chaney helped place ‘Phantom’ firmly in the pantheon of both horror and romance. Live piano accompaniment. See for yourself, if you dare! $10 per person.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
AUTUMN BAZAAR 10am-3pm, Main Beach parking lot. See Saturday description.
COSTUME PARADE 11am, Ogunquit Square to Main Beach. Costumed kids, adults, and canines welcome! Rain location: Under the tents at the Main Beach Parking Lot. DJ Jodi will spin tunes for this and the Bed Race that follows.
OPA’S OOMPA BAND Noon-4pm: Join Cornerstone for some fun polka music!
HIGH HEEL DASH AND WALK-OFF 3pm, Perkins Cove. Watch this hilarious high heel race as men, ladies and a mix of brave souls put their best, highest foot forward and dash for cash. The race around Perkins Cove in high heels is fun to watch, even better to participate! Racer’s HighHeels must be at least 2” high. Prizes are awarded for Best Time, Highest Heel and Most Outrageous Costume! Proceeds from registration will go to Frannie Peabody Center.
OgunquitFest Weekend is sponsored by the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce, our thanks to them from the SouthernMaineCoast.com
I just love fall in Maine! Warm sunny days, usually a perfect 65-70-degrees allows you to stroll the sandy beach, or paddle a kayak on the rivers with just a light jacket. Some September and October weekends can be super warm, with swimming at the beach for brave souls. Evenings the temperatures drops to a delightfully cool 50 and the sky fills with fantastic stars after a brilliant orange sunset.
Fall foliage is truly the highlight of a Maine visit in autumn. Peak foliage is typically Columbus weekend, but the last few weekends in September and first week of October offer prime viewing of the splendid changing leaves from yellow to gold, orange to red, all offset beautifully with the bright green pines and sparkling blue waters of Maine’s lakes and coastline.
Fall foliage activities on the Maine coast and inland on Maine farmlands include apple picking, hiking, biking and walking along nature trails. Fall also marks the harvest season and the craft fair and agricultural fair schedule. The Fryeburg Fair is by far the most famous fall fair in Maine, but craft fairs in York, Wells, Ogunquit Kennebunkport and on up to Portland, Camden, Boothbay and Bar Harbor offer locally made Maine crafts, art, food and entertainment. See our list of Fall events, fairs and festivals in Maine, and we hope to see you in Maine enjoying the foliage and the fun that autumn brings!
September in Wells – The Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival
Mid September in Freeport – The Lobstermen’s Triathlon
Mid September Maine Open Lighthouse Day
Sept 28 – Oct 5, 2014 The Fryeburg Fair – Maine’s largest agricultural fair
Oct 4 – 5, 2014: The Dempsey Challenge in Lewiston – Actor Patrick Dempsey’s annual Cancer Fundraiser walk/run/bike ride
After Labor Day weekend in Maine, for many its time to put away the beach chairs and surf boards, and settle back into work or back to school. While Columbus Day marks the next big holiday weekend on the Southern Maine Coast, the month of September is perfect for vacation seekers looking to extend their summer with a last beach vacation and for those traveling for Maine destination wedding celebrations. Continue reading September in Southern Maine – Best time to Get Away→
Hugging the borders of the Rachel Wildlife Reserve is the coastal condominium community of Village by the Sea. Village indeed best describes this resort, providing an enclave away from the hub bub of Route 1, the beach and downtown despite being close to everything and located right off of US Route 1 in Wells Maine. This charming beach vacation area brings vacationers and local visitors alike back year round for a very good reason.
Most people in search of lodging for their weekend getaway or week vacation will make their final determination based on the affordability of the hotel or resort. Village by the Sea is an incredibly affordable place to stay in Wells considering the amenities the resort features, the size of the suites with full kitchens and bedrooms, as well as its great location. Not to mention this condominium resort offers specials and vacation packages for their stays. Also, if you happened upon this blog post planning a wedding, you may be impressed by the Wedding Packages and Wedding Specials which even include a free onsite ceremony.
Lodging at Village by the Sea affords visitors with spacious full kitchen suites, suites even have distant ocean views. For families, staying in a suite like those at Village by the Sea offers more space for kids to play, and parents once they put the kids to bed. Parents can stay up, read a book, watch TV, or enjoy company while the kids sleep–sounds perfect, right?
Village by the Sea suites afford vacationers with added independence as they can prepare their own meals, breakfast. lunch and even dinner, rather than chewing up their budget dining out every night.
Though resort isn’t in the title, Village by the Sea is in every sense a resort community. This little village offers resort amenities including both an outdoor and indoor pool area and hot tub, a game room for the kids (and heck, adults too!), outdoor picnic areas replete with gas grills, bocce ball court, private decks and patios, basket ball hoop, onsite laundry facility and fitness room. The free WiFi is just icing on the cake. There’s really little need to even leave the resort – but the beach beckons just a short walk or drive away.
Personally, I had a friend who chose Village by the Sea as her wedding reception venue and it was simply the perfect place for a wedding/family reunion bash. There was simply so much to do after the wedding, while only being a short distance for a trip to the beach in the morning.
For those looking to make the best out of their vacation stay in Wells Maine while keeping as much cash in the ol’ pockets, search no further than Village by the Sea. Being awarded the Certificate of Excellence every year since 2012 with TripAdvisor reviews, you can trust that your stay by the sea will be a lasting memory.