Category Archives: Attractions

The Patriots are coming to Ogunquit this Spring

The beautiful coastal town of Ogunquit was established in 1686. To this day, Ogunquit carries a proud heritage of sea faring, coastal art and seafood. The “beautiful place by the sea”, Ogunquit’s translation in Abenaki, celebrates its seaside vibrancy with festivals.  perhaps the biggest event is Ogunquit’s Annual Patriots Day Weekend celebration!

The entire ocean front communities turns out and celebrates with historical characters walking the streets, musterings, and fife & drum concerts, craft fairs, Colonial treasure hunts, and a Chefs’ taste of the Town. this year marks the 27th Annual Patriots Weekend in Ogunquit with some extra fun events like a Pooch Pageant, Washington Crossing the Delaware, and Maine Street – Ogunquit’s biggest nightclub – celebrating 17 years with a big Friday night party. For lodging during this fun festive weekend, see our Guide to Ogunquit’s best lodging.

Ogunquit’s Annual Patriots Day Weekend Events:
All Weekend Long
TREASURE HUNTS:
 Complete your Patriots Day booklet to the Chamber at the Main Beach tent, and be entered to win a prize! As a bonus, answer the question on the entry card correctly, and we will double your prize!

HISTORICAL BUILDING HUNT (throughout Ogunquit) Patriots Day celebrates Ogunquit’s history. Draw at least six of the following the most historic buildings and landmarks in your Patriots Day booklet and be entered to win a prize: Ogunquit Memorial Library, Ogunquit Heritage Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit Playhouse, Marginal Way Lighthouse, Perkins Cove Bridge, Footbridge (at Footbridge Beach), pedestrian bridge (at end of Wharf Lane)

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017
9:00am-5:00pm: LIBRARY BOOK SALE (Ogunquit Memorial Library) Used book sale, with proceeds to fund the Ogunquit Memorial Library.

5:00pm: FUNDRAISING FRIDAY (Bintliff’s Restaurant, 335 Main Street). 

6:50pm-7:10pm: HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENT: WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE, December 25, 1776 (watch from Sea Chambers or the Main Beach Parking Lot) You’ve seen the painting – now see it come to life! asked that read to all of his soldiers. Hear George Washington excerpts from this reading of Thomas Paine’s December 23, 1776 The American Crisis before Washington crosses the River.

7:10pm-7:20pm: FIFE & DRUM PARADE (starting at Sea Chambers and ending at Ogunquit Baptist Church) March with historic characters to authentic revolutionary music to a fife and drum concert at the Ogunquit Baptist Church!

7:30pm (or directly following the parade): FIFE AND DRUM CONCERT (upstairs at the Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Learn about our colonial heritage of song as the Patriot Fife and Drum Duo play traditional songs and teach us about the instruments themselves and the signals revolutionary fifers and drummers gave to the soldiers in the heat of battle.

8:00pm: MAINESTREET CELEBRATES 17 YEARS (Mainestreet). – Free hors d’oeuvres and red carnations (the flower for 17th anniversaries) at Ogunquit’s biggest wildest night club. Free limited edition MEST pint glass koozies (come early-while supplies last). Fun music videos playing on our multiple TV screens in our newly renovated main lounge. 21+.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY:
OGUNQUIT STOCKS, AND  PHOTO OPS (Main Beach Parking Lot & Perkins Cove) Selfie photo opportunities for the whole family! Don’t worry, the stocks don’t lock, but they will be available all weekend for photo opportunities. Another fun photo opportunity available with a life-size cut-out stand-up where you can take a photo of yourself dressed in old-time bathing suits, as Uncle Sam, and more!

COLONIAL FLAG TREASURE HUNT (under the tents at the Beach) Find all of the flags at the craft fair. Using the page in your brochure, draw each flag in the appropriate colony’s box. Don’t worry, you aren’t being judged for artistic talent! We may throw in some other Colonial-era flags in to throw you off the trail! Turn in your solution at the Ogunquit Chamber table under the tent, and be entered to win a prize.

GUESS THE WEIGHT OF THE TEA CHEST (under the tents at the beach) How much did a tea chest weigh? Look at the chest and guess what it would have weighed when full of tea. No, as a safety precaution, you will not get to lift the box! As a bonus, answer the question on the entry card correctly, and we will double your prize! 

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017 
9:00am – 4:00pm: BEACH BAZAAR ( Kennebunk Savings Bank tents at the Beach parking lot) Over 50 vendors will sell their wares under the tent! We’re collecting donations of non-perishable food for York County Shelter Program, and pet food for the Animal Welfare Society.

9:00am-5:00pm: OGUNQUIT MEMORIAL LIBRARY BOOK SALE (Ogunquit Memorial Library)

9:30am – 10:15am: 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!

10:15 – 10:45am: BOOK READING AND SIGNING (Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Local author Brenda York Goodale will read her new children’s book, The Pride of Perkins Cove, the tale of a boy’s quest to find a lost carved boat, loosely based on Perkins Cove history, that adults as well as children will enjoy. Appropriate for children ages 5-10. Books available for sale and signing by author after the reading.

10:45-11:30am: MAKE A PATRIOTS DAY SCRAPBOOK (Ogunquit Baptist Church, 157 Shore Road) Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a Kindle. But real books were all the fashion in colonial days. Learn how to make a book using a fold and cut method and a sewing method. Then use our art supplies to start decorating the book. Use it to record your Patriots Day Weekend adventure! Appropriate for ages 9 and up.

10:00am – 3:00pm: HAY RIDES (Main Beach Parking Lot0 $5 per person.

12:00 noon: AMERICAN PIE CONTEST (downstairs at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street) Submit one home-made pie in an “American” flavor to our “celebrity judges”. Pies will be judged during Taste of the Town in the following categories: theme, appearance, and taste. The grand prize winner will receive $50 in Gift of Ogunquit gift certificates, and the recipe will be featured in the next edition of our Ogunquit cookbook. Of course the best prize is the bragging rights for having made the best pie in Ogunquit! Winners will be announced after Taste of the Town.

12:00 – 2:30pm: “TASTE OF THE TOWN” (Dunaway Center, 23 School Street) A variety of Ogunquit restaurants’ top Chefs will serve up their special dishes for you to try out! Buy tickets at the door or ahead of time under the tent at the beach. AGAIN THIS YEAR: You can choose to eat only at the Taste of the Town at the Dunaway Center, or buy an expanded “Touring Taste of the Town” ticket. Tickets for the traditional event at the Dunaway Center are $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.

6:30pm: RE-ENACTMENT OF THE BOSTON TEA PARTY (Perkins Cove) Watch our colonists from the dock as they throw chests of tea off the Bunny Clark.

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017
10:00am – 3:00pm: BEACH BAZAAR (at the Kennebunk Savings Bank tent at the Main Beach parking lot) See Saturday description.

10:00am – 3:00pm: HAY RIDES (Main Beach Parking Lot. Weather permitting.) $5 per person.

10:30am: CUB SCOUT DUCK RACE (Ogunquit River) Buy your tickets for the Duck Race under the tent prior to the race. You need not be present to win.

11am: RE-ENACTENT OF THE FLAG RAISING AT IWO JIMA (Marginal Way) While the flag raising at Iwo Jima did not take place during the Revolutionary War, we take a moment to remember and give thanks to all of those who have fought for our freedom throughout our history. Weather permitting.

12:30pm: PATRIOTIC POOCH PAGEANT AND FASHION SHOW (Liquid Dreams parking lot, 696 Main Street. Weather permitting.) Dress your dog in costume, or just come to watch the show! Two costume categories: Patriotic(red, white, and blue) and Favorite American (any Abe Lincoln wannabe’s out there?) Prizes will be awarded for most patriotic costume and best costume impersonation. Animal Welfare Society will be there to feature some of their adoptable dogs.

2:00pm: OGUNQUIT PERFORMING ARTS PRESENTS FREE FILM – “THE PATRIOT” (Dunaway Center, 23 School Street) See “The Patriot”, starring Jeff Daniels as George Washington. Free parking! Free movie! Free popcorn!

5:00 – 8:00pm: MARGINAL WAY FUNDRAISER – MEATLOAF CONTEST (Bintliff’s Restaurant, 335 Main Street). Prizes! Raffle! Silent Auction! Lots of yummy meatloaf! All to help preserve the Marginal Way, one of Maine’s greatest treasures.

See more Southern Maine Coast events and festivals, like the Kennebunkport Festival, and visit Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and Portland Maine soon.

For Maine lodging, visit Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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What to wear in Maine in Fall Y’all

Maine fall landscapeIts sweatah weathah to quote my friend in her salty Maine accent. Mainahs just love fall, except for the raking of the leaves that fall in your dooryahd.

Fall along the Southern Maine Coast brings warm sunny days, usually a perfect 65-70-degrees so you can stroll the sandy beach, bike along pretty coastal paths, or kayak on the rivers to enjoy the spectacular kaleidoscope of colors. Maple, oak, and birch provide reds oranges and yellows contrasting Maine’s state pine tree in green and family-poolthe sparkling ocean and waters that turn a deep dark blue. Evenings on the southern Maine coast, the temperatures drops to a cool 50, perfect for a fireside dinner, and the sky fills with fantastic stars following a brilliant orange sunset.

w-farm-pumpkins4w-farm-pumpkins4Fall foliage is the highlight of a Maine visit in autumn. And there is still so much to see and do. For your planning, peak foliage is typically Columbus weekend, but the last few weekends in September through the third week of October offer prime viewing in various locations from the coastline to inland lakes and rivers.

Fall is a great time to go apple picking, Kport1 (3)hiking, biking and walking along nature trails. Fall also marks the harvest, with farmers markets,  craft fairs and agricultural fairs. While the  Fryeburg Fair is the big daddy of fairs, followed by the Cumberland County Fair, there are Maine craft fairs galore in York, Wells, Ogunquit Kennebunkport and on up to Portland, Camden, Boothbay and Bar Harbor featuring locally made Maine crafts, art, food and entertainment. See our list of Fall events, fairs and festivals in Maine.

Fall is also a great time to score a deal on lodging along the southern Maine Coast as peak summer is over, and rates really fall after Columbus Day weekend while the leaf peeping remains prime for a few more weeks. So lobster_platepack your sweater, your camera and be prepared to be wowed by the display of foliage, and don’t forget to make time for a Maine lobster dinner at a waterfront restaurant before winter arrives.

September in Wells – The Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival

Mid September in Freeport – The Lobstermen’s Triathlon

Mid September  – Maine Open Lighthouse Day

Early October The Fryeburg Fair – Maine’s largest agricultural fair

Oct 1-2 The Dempsey Challenge in Lewiston – Actor Patrick Dempsey’s annual Cancer Fundraiser walk/run/bike ride

Oct 8 Columbus Weekend Sunday River hosts the North American Wife Carrying Championships

5bass-harbor-maine18Oct 15 York Harvestfest

Oct 21-23 OgunquitFest

Oct 20 – 23 Harvest on the Harbor in Portland food and wine festival

Oct 22  Camp Sunshine’s Maine Pumpkin Festival at LL Bean in Freeport

See more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Fall sun, fun, music, beer and boats

1cape-arundel-inn-oceanFall on the Southern Maine Coast is super. The warm summer weather continues, ushering cool clear evenings and autumnal sunsets. You can still have your beach days, boat rides, and the towns of Kennebunkport ,Ogunquit and Wells are far less busy as kids have gone back to school. September and October are full of festivals, fairs, art and music in Maine.

pineapple-ketch-nonantumOur favorite events in September:
Nonantum’s Paddlebattle is a super fun day on the river Saturday, September 3rd, 1-5pm at The Nonantum Resort on Ocean Ave. Whether you battle it out on your paddleboard, kayak or canoe, or just observe and cheer from the waterfront, it’s a great event. This 4th annual river race is open to all levels of kayakers, canoers, stand-up paddle boarders, even surfboarders. The 1pm race, at high tide,  from the sup-kennebunkportNonantum goes up river, under the Mathew Lanigan Bridge, around a  barge and back for a  1.7 mile course, beginning and ending at the Nonantum with live music, and a BBQ on the riverfront lawn. You can be competitive or casual just enjoying the camaraderie and scenery along the way. There’s even a kids race, which was named a top Summer Fun event by Sports Illustrated Kids’ magazine. Sign up before September 2 – your $30 admission fee includes a t-shirt, day of the event is $35, benefitting the Kennebunkport Fire vinegar-hillDepartment’s Aquatic Safety Division.

For music the first weekend in September, Vinegar Hill Music Theatre hosts two great bands, Friday September 2 is the Live Bullet Band – New England’s Bob Seger Tribute. Saturday September 3 is the Johnny Winter All Star Band.

The fun keeps flowing Tuesday September 6 as Nonantum Resort’s new Executive Chef Steve Sicinski hosts a Craft Beer Dinner. Chef Steve will pair his four courses of innovative cuisine with local craft beers. The dinner with beer and Chef Steve’s accompaniment is $65pp.

Kport1 (3)Friday September 9 is the Village Art Walk, always the 2nd Friday. Art galleries and artisan studios in Lower Village Kennebunk and Kennebunkport open their doors and serve snacks and drinks for patrons to enjoy while browsing local art, photography and crafts.

The weekend of September 10- 11 is the big Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival in Wells at Laudholm Farms.

While you are visiting Southern Maine, be shore to get aboard a boat, The Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour is a great hour and half trip out the Kennebunk River, you will haul lobster traps, see the Bush’s estate – Walkers’ Point from the water, and maybe a few harbor seals during your beautiful cruise. If you prefer pineapple-ketchto sail, The Pineapple Ketch is a beautiful sailboat which also departs from the docks at the Nonantum for daily sails and a spectacular sunset cruise. If fishing is your thing, then Captain Bruce will take you out aboard the Libreti Rose II to catch some striper and have a fun charter at sea.

See our Maine lodging guide for the best places to stay in Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, York and Old Orchard Beach, Portland and Freeport too.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0749.Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Best of Southern Maine, eat, beach, shop, boat!

american-flag-schooner-eleanor3The Southern Maine coast is the ideal place to vacation, visit, even relocate. Southern Maine from Kittery to Kennebunkport to Portland and Freeport is full of beautiful beaches, ocean drives, seafood and shopping. So much to see and do. Here is our favorite guide for your tour of the Maine coast, and our recommendations on the very best places to eat, drink, sleep, shop and boat!

wells-so-beach3Hit the beach – Maine has so many beautiful beaches from soft long stretches of sand, to rocky beaches with perfect smooth pebbles, tidal pools and quiet coves , to broad open strands that surfers love for the big breaking waves. Southern Maine’s beaches are the best, unlike anywhere else in the world, given the 8-11 foot tide twice daily, Maine beaches are incredibly scenic and unique. Old Orchard Beach, Higgins Beach and Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport are among the best in southern Maine. See our guide to Maine’s best beaches.

water_goat_island_lightBest Photographs – Maine Lighthouses   Maine has a proud maritime history, and the lighthouse is the beacon and best representation to this day. From Whaleback Light best viewed from Kittery’s Fort McClary, to the most photographer Nubble Light at Cape Neddick York, to Goat Island Light off Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport, Woods Hole Light in Biddeford and the oldest and most celebrated Portland Headlight in Fort Williams Park… you should see them all. Pack a picnic and enjoy the grounds Portland Headlight these gorgeous seaside settings, and ponder the shipwrecks these lights have thwarted over the centuries.

Take the Presidential pass to Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport Maine is the summer home to President George H W and Barbara Bush, as well as George W (we call him 43 versus his Dad 41), and Jeb too. You can drive along Kennebunkport’s Ocean Avenue and see their spectacular Walkers Point estate (locals call it gawkers point in prime tourist season), then visit Kennebunkport‘s White Columns Bush First Family Exhibit at Kennebunkport’s Historical Society.

Sea Food – Eat Maine
stripers-lobster-bakeEat some local Maine seafood, lobster, fried clams, shrimp, scallops, and oysters. You can dine at a fancy four star restaurant on artfully prepared lobster out of the shell, or you roll up your sleeves at a roadside Clam Shack, or enjoy a fresh made lobster roll.

Some of our favorite Maine restaurants include the York Harbor Inn – try the Ship’s Cellar Pub downstairs, Velveteen Habit and MC Perkins in Ogunquit, Joshua’s in Wells, David’s KPT at the Boathouse Waterfront in Kennebunkport, and Mabel’s Lobster Claw, Old Vines Wine Bar in Kennebunk, or casual pub fare at Alissons – it’s the Cheers of Kport1 (3)Maine. Portland has so many good restaurant – too many to mention.

Shop Maine
Maine is loaded with local crafts people, artists, chefs, and jewelers. Whether its lobster or lighthouse decor, starfish and sea glass jewelry, seascape inspired art, or Maine made blueberry and maple products, be “Shore” to save time to shop Maine boutiques. Score some bargains at Kittery Outlets and Freeport Outlets, and go open minded with an open wallet to Maine discount stores Mardens and Reny’s. You must LL Bean,  in Freeport 365/7/24 since 1913,  and see this Maine clothier and outdoor gear flagship store,  famous for its amazing return policy,  LL Bean boots, and the Bear and Moose display, plus the massive Bean Boot boat-tour-exits-river5outside (photo opp)!

Meet the Mainers
Accents – we got that! Mainers are incredibly proud,  funny, pragmatic people. They work hard, laugh often and have a strong sense of Yankee-ism. Mainers are  often sarcastic, you’ve been warned. See this guide to Maine slang for a clue, ayuh!

Biking in Kennebunkport MaineMaine’s natural assets
Besides the beaches, southern Maine is host to wonderful walking trails, bike paths and seaside walks. We recommend the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, and Parsons Way in Kennebunkport, plus the Eastern Trail which encompasses 65 miles from Kittery to Casco Bay, Portland. Get out and explore the great Pine Tree State.

Get on a boat
The best way to see Maine’s dramatic coastline is by sea. Maine boat tours range from lobster boat tours and sailboat rides that last an hour or two, to scenic lighthouse excursions, or all-day fishing cpineapple-ketch-nonantumharters and whale watch expeditions. Southern Maine’s most beautiful ports offering boat tours include Ogunquit and Kennebunkport and Portland. We think the best boat rides are the Rugosa Lobster Boat Toor from Kennebunkport‘s Nonantum for a fun family-friendly boat ride on the Kennebunk River, captain Bob takes you out to President Bush’s estate at Walkers Point, and you get to see how lobster is trapped caught and hauled. If sailing with the wind floats your boat, then the Pineapple Ketch is a beautiful sailboat charter from the same docks – the sunset sail is a 10. For a fishing charter, Libreti Rose II in the same Nonantum Marina is a great day, or a few hours, fishing with a licensed experience Captain Bruce, he was once featured on Deadliest Catch.

Kennebunkport Maine InnStay another day
There is a reason Maine is called Vacationland, and  “The Way Life Should Be” so slow down and enjoy your visit to Maine. Find a romantic seaside inn, or a full service hotel on the ocean, even a nice motel right on the beach. See our favorite Maine lodging locations and stay a little longer.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Maine Summer Concerts and Theatre

wells-so-beach3Summer on the Maine coast means more than just beaches, lighthouse beacons and breaking into a fresh Maine lobster. You can add some culture to that side of Maine crustacean… after all summer stock theatre on the southern Maine coast is classic, and some of the best bands and performers come to the coast to host concerts and performances. Let’s just say it a good gig for the audience as well as the band.

ogunplayHere are the top theaters and concert venues on the southern Maine coast:
The Ogunquit Playhouse got its start in 1933, in a garage, during the depression when Walter Hartwig brought the Manhattan Theatre Colony to Maine.  In 1937, the playhouse moved to its current location on Maine Street, Route 1. In 1951, John Lane took the reins, before Bradford Kenney. The Ogunquit Playhouse brings top off Broadway productions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2016 is Ogunquit Playhouse 84th season and with the following productions:
Let It Be May 18 – June 11, a celebration of the music of the Beatles
Anything Goes June 15 – July 9 – a Cole Porter Classic
Hunchback of Notre Dame July 13 – August 6 –Victor Hugo’s medieval novel
Priscilla Queen of the Desert  August 10 – September 3 – a Broadway Musical Classical
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers  September 7 – October 1
Million Dollar Quartet  October 5 – November 6 – a musical of the Fathers of Rock n Roll

kennebunkport-festival-singerHackmatack Playhouse in Berwick was founded in 1972 as a classic summer stock theatre in a 1716 barn, the old Gupthill farm in pastoral south western Maine. The following plays fill the Hackmatack summer 2016:
“Noises Off” June 17 – July 2
“On the Town” July 6-23, 1944 – a NYC story of three sailors
“Once Upon a Mattress” July 23- Aug 13 – The Princess and The Pea version play
“Almost, Maine” August 17 – Sept 3 – a romantic comedy on a mythical Maine town.

dine-kennebunk-innVinegar Hill Music Theatre is Maine’s newest music venue, in the old Arundel Barn Playhouse near Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.  The new name Vinegar Hill pays tribute to the history of this area in Arundel and the Smith Sister’s Farm. Tim Harrington (also of  Kennebunkport Resort Collection) is the man behind the scenes as Vinegar Hill’s managing partner, with Broadway experienced George Dvorsky as Creative Director. Vinegar Hill will be more music venue than playhouse. Here are the big name music groups and talents to perform his summer at Vinegar Hill:
Four C Notes June 25
Deep Blue C Orchestra June 29
Liz Callaway
July  1 famous actor and singer of film songs.
Comedian Justin McKinney July 2
Frank Santos
July 7 – Comic Hypnotist
James Montgomery Band July 7  – a legendary local 70s rock & harmonic band
Debbie Gravitte July 9 – Tony Award singer
John Davidson Roots, Roles, Rhythym July 10
Joel Known Trio July 12
Venus Mars Project  
July 13 – Boston pop rock band
Carolyn Rhea Live July 14 – Comedienne
Evan Goodrow Band July 15
Emily Skinner
July 16
Juice Newton Trio July 20
The Quebe Sisters
July 21 – a fiddling sisters trio from Texas
Elliott Yamin July 22 – American idol star
Well-Strung
July 23 Men’s Quartet playing Beethoven to Madonna
Paula Cole
July 24 Grammy Award winner for “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”
Terry Sylvester July 27
Adam Ezra Group July 28  – Boston based awarded band, Ragtop Angel & Takin off
Joe Louis Walker July 29 – Blues Hallof Famer
Linda Eider July 30 – Broadway singer
Livingston Taylor Aug 2
Medium Lauren Rainbow Aug 3
Frenchie Davis Aug 5 – American Idol & The Voice star
Evening with Ronan Tynan
Aug 6 – one of the Irish Tenors
Howie Day Aug 11
John Ford Coley
Aug 12  – the “I’d really love to see you tonight” wonder
Comedien Lenny Clark Aug 13
Sugar Blue Aug 18 Grammy award winning Harmonica
Evans Halle Salon Soiree
Aug 19
Larry Gatlin Acoustic
Aug 20 Catlin brother country singer
Sherry MacArthur
Aug 24 PBS musician
Joe Scarborough
Aug 26
Sally Mayes
Aug 27 – Tony award singer
Johnny Winter All Star Band
 Sept 3
Jennifer Porter
Sept 9 – Opera singer
Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders
Sept 16
Heather Maloney
Sept 30  -“Making Me Break” music fame
All About Elvis Oct 1

portland-headlight

Portland Maine State Pier brings in top shelf bands in summer, open air with a view of the ocean. For 2016, Maine State Pier will host Jackson Brown June 9, Bare Naked Ladies June 24, Beach Boys July 7, George Thorogood, Goo Goo Dolls,

At the Cross Insurance Center in Portland, aka the Portland Civic Center, summer rock concerts include Phish July 6, Bonnie Rait Aug 19, and ZZ Top Sept 4

Kittery Star Theatre and Community Center is another cool venue for music, productions and theater camps.

kennebunkport-festival-tentSo there are just a few fun performances and plays to mix in with your time at the Beach in York, Wells, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach and Portland Maine! May your summer be full of fun, music and theatre.

See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide  for lodging in Portland, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, Kittery and York.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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What is there to do on the Southern Maine Coast in winter?

5seaside-inn-winterWhat is there to do on the Southern Maine Coast in winter? Plenty – walk the beach, shop, eat, drink, ski, sled, skate, surf, cozy up to a fire at a romantic seaside inn, eat lobster, snowshoe, paint, read, write…

You can walk the beach all year round. In winter, Ogunquit, Wells Beach, Kennebunk Beach and Old Orchard are all beautiful. You can watch the surfers ride the winter waves, walk your dog, take pictures of the snow and sand, and just enjoy an entirely different season on the beach, read: not wearing your bikini.

Cross country skiing or snowshoeing at nearby Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm on their 7 mile of beautiful trails or Harris Farm in Dayton makes for a great day, even an hour outside enjoying the snow and the scenery.

2dock-square-kbpt2For a more relaxing romantic endeavor, take a horse drawn carriage ride through Kennebunkport’s Docks Square, Ogunquit and Kennebunk both have beautiful outdoor ice skating rinks. Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Pavilion is a free public covered ice rink in downtown Kennebunk next to the Kennebunk Inn.

Sledding hills are peppered throughout the coast – Kennebunk’s Sea Road Dump, no longer a landfill, is very popular for sledding on the well-pitched hill. Munjoy Hill and the Eastern Prom in Portland have some good sledding spots too.

99love-kbpt-davidsAs for fun festivals, Kennebunkport celebrates Paint The Town Red and February is For Lovers with red and white lights, Ice Bar at David’s KPT, heart decorations and romantic specials on lodging at fabulous inns, happy hours, dining and shopping.  Ogunquit throws a Mardi Gras party in February 20 weekend with fir jugglers, a Masquerade Ball and a Hat and Mask Parade down Ogunquit’s Main Street. Let the good time roll in Ogunquit in winter.

4dock-square-kbpt7Shopping is a four season sport, and Maine is no exception, especially with LL Bean open 365 24/7. Winter shopping in Maine means deals and sales – whether you are at Kittery Outlets, Freeport’s Outlets, or the many boutiques and shops in Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and the Old Port of Portland. You can also find bargains at Mardens and Reny’s  -two classic Maine shopping experiences – buy it if you see it – these Maine shopping institutions are never the same twice. The local people watching is a hoot to.

davids-serverMaine restaurants host Maine Restaurant Week March 1-16, 2016 – so it’s actually two weeks of great Maine dining deals at the best restaurants in southern Maine. Maine’s foodie scene as rocketed to top chef status, in fact Portland recently topped Boston as the coziest city in America – with the great dining spots as a number 1 reason.

Per capita, Portland Maine has more restaurants than any other city in the United States, and many are walkable and wonderful! Winter is a better time to tackle the Top Restaurants in Portland – less lines and less waiting for a table and better dining deals than peak summer. Don’t worry, lobster is always on the menu, clams too.

6captain-lord-mansion-kennebunkportLastly, cozy romantic lodging along the Southern Maine Coast in winter is a great deal. You can score a beautiful suite or a fireplace room in a BNB for less than spring, summer or fall, and you have the place to yourself. Many lodging properties like Seaside Inn and Captain Lord Mansion in K’port, and Ogunquit Resort Motel offer packages including wine and flowers, or dining certificates to local restaurants during your stay, even late check outs. Family resorts like Rhumb Line in Kennebunkport and Village by the Sea and Misty Harbor in Wells have indoor heated pools perfect for a family vacation.

love-kbpt-davids6See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide and plan a winter getaway today – bring the kids, the dog to a pet friendly place, or just your sweetheart to a romantic inn in Maine.

Photos by Greg Burke, see more at Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Love Wine and Love Maine? Try a Wine Walk

perkins-cove-footbridge2Wine Walks in Maine are the perfect pairing – wine education while on vacation – or an afternoon appreciating wine at new-to-you local venues. Your lovely host Erica Archer, CWP, WSET, offers this fun format of mobile wine classes in the Kennebunks, Ogunquit, and Portland, and Wine Sails in Portland and Camden.

I joined in a Friday Wine Walk in Kennebunk, as our group from Boothbay to Fort old-vines-bar-tableLauderdale, made our way to four Kennebunk restaurants tasting unique Chardonnays – the wine theme for the day. Erica, the beautiful blond brainchild behind Wine Wise – her wine event company founded five years ago, presented four fabulous wines with rich detail and description as we sipped away the afternoon together.

We uncorked our first taste at Duffy’s on Kennebunk’s Main Street. Chef John prepared a delicious poached salmon with summer squash medley that provided just the right balance to our buttery Kendall Jackson Vintner Reserve Chardonnay. Erica offered regional background, technical terms like malolactic fermentation, and then very pragmatic tips like how to open a bottle of wine perfectly and champagne like a pro (turning the bottle – not the cork).

winewalk2Our next stop at Owen’s Farmhouse, we smelled, sipped and savored a bright but subtle French Burgundy-region Albert Bichot Chardonnay which complemented the wood-fired pizzas we shared in this cozy café. Erica’s wine knowledge is impressive, she’s a Certified Wine Professional with Level Three Advanced Certification as a Sommelier. But she’s also warm, witty and passionate about her wines – no wine snobbery here. As Erica says, “If wine is a foreign language, we all become more fluent after a few glasses.”
winewalk1
At Academe, in the Kennebunk Inn, Chefs Brian and Shanna had created a clever BLT – Arancini with Brussels sprout and bacon which was fantastic with our beautiful bubbly – Veuve Clicquot Champagne (a Chardonnay in fancy French clothing).

We learned wonderful little wine facts:
Champagne corks can release at 45 mph
80% of the taste in wines comes from the aroma
Wines are served too cold, red, white, even rosé
French White Burgundy = Chardonnay
Red Burgundy = Pinot Noir
The Master Sommelier Certification Exam has a less than a 10% pass rate
The best wine opener* is the basic corkscrew with a knife, screw, and two notches
*note to my friends: please no more silly battery operated openers for my birthday

winewalk5Our final stop was 50 Local for a Foxglove Chardonnay from San Luis Obispo California paired with spicy tofu, local field greens, earthy pasta and mushrooms. So we had toured the west coast to France and back in our two-hour wine block walk. Our minds had been opened with each bottle, to new approaches to drinking wine, and better appreciation of how territory and treatment affect each vine and harvest. Our food pairings were excellent – showing Erica’s attention to detail and collaboration with her host chefs.

We walked away from our Wine Walk having tasted and toasted new friends with a new improved vino lingo and greater love of wines.

windjammer-maineNow I want to  Wine Sail in Camden or Portland at sunset, sounds sublime. See Wine Wise’s schedule for Erica’s upcoming Wine Walks in Ogunquit, Portland, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport and Wine Sails in Casco Bay and Camden.

Wine Walks in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport Poertland, and Ogunquit

Sunday, November 22 Wine (and food) Walk in Ogunquit, ME: Wines of Piedmont, Italy

Saturday, November 28 A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland’s West End: Delicious Wines of Spain

Sunday, November 29 Bourbon (and food) Walk in Portland, ME

Saturday, December 5  A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Cabernet Sauvignon

Saturday, December 12 A Wine (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Sparkling Wines

Saturday, December 19 A Wine Walk in The Old Port, Portland, ME: Italian Wine & Food Pairings

Sunday, December 20 A Wine (and food) Walk in Ogunquit, ME: Sparkling Wines

Saturday, December 26 -Wine (and food) Walk in the West End, Portland, ME: Wines of the Rhône Valley, France

Saturday, December 26 Wine (and food) Walk in the West End, Portland, ME: Wines of the Rhône Valley, France

Sunday, December 27 Spirits (and food) Walk in Portland, ME: Scotch

See more fun food and wine events on the Southern Maine Coast including  Kennebunkport’s Progessive Dinner Trolley and The Kennebunkport Festival!

Fall is Fair Time in Maine!

bouysFall is Fair season in Maine, and we’re not talking about the beautiful cool sunny days or the calm seas and turning leaves. No, we’re talking food fairs, craft fairs, agricultural fairs – where folks come from far and wide to enjoy rides, harvests, handmade goods, see livestock and live shows – often all that in the same day. Maine is very proud of its heritage and homemade art, crafts, food and fun – and there is no better place to witness all of this than a Maine fair, ayuh.

September 12-13 Wells Annual Laudholm Nature Craft Fair at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, now in its 28th year, crafts people show their wares at this beautiful farm on a natural slat water estuarine.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0749.September 12-13 Summer Solstice Craft Show in Wells – at the Wells Elementary is a display of over 70 Maine crafters, local food producers, artists and photographers.

September 12-13 Cappricio in Ogunquit is a town-wide festival of art, music, poetry, ballet, live theater, craft fairs and food, plus concerts. Ogunquit’ Festival of Kites is a highlight.

September 12 Old Orchard Beach Bikefest on the Pier – a fair for bike fans with motorcycles, parts, people and music on display by the beach.

September 10-13 is the Clinton Lions Agricultural Fair with a midway, animal pulling events, mechanical pulling event, exhibits, and live entertainment on stage .

September 11-13 Litchfield Fair is a classic Maine Country fair with midway, animal exhibits,  pulling events. and of course fair food

w-farm-pumpkins4September 14-20 Farmington Fair hosts a midway with rides, exhibit halls, livestock and animal games and  pulls, harness racing, and a demolition derby.

September 16-19 Oxford County Fair offers rides on the midway, Maine fair food, livestock shows, crafts, exhibits and harness racing.

September 18-20 New Portland Lion’s Fair – North New Portland. Midway with rides, exhibit hall, animal and tractor pulls, Maine crafts, livestock exhibits and fair food

September 25-27 Common Ground Fair in Unity celebrates rural life and farming with demonstrations, Maine organic-produced foods, crafts and livestock on display.

September 27-October 3 Cumberland Fair is a big one, with large exhibit halls, a midway with games, rides and prizes, plus food, crafts,   livestock exhibits. animal pulling events and harness racing.

October 4-11 Fryeburg Fair is the big daddy of all Maine fairs, the fair to which all others in New England compare. This is Maine’s largest agricultural fair, a Blue Ribbon Classic, that last over a week and spans acres – folks come out of the word (as the saying goes) to attend this fairest of fairs. Fryeburg Fair, started in 1851, features a midway of rides, games and fair food, plus crafts, local products, farming equipment and livestock, and nightly entertainment with top name live bands. The pig scramble and harness racing are top attractions – so is the people-watching and the fired dough, or watching the local Maine people eat fried dough!

October 10 Kennebunk Harvestfest is a family fair with a day dedicated to crafts, a farmers market, kids games, costume parade, climbing wall, and music in downtown Kennebunk.

October 9-11 Sunday River’s Fall Festival – Maine’s ski mountains come alive in fall with music, food and crafts, plus the annual North American Wife Carrying Championships at this annul peak foliage Columbus weekend.

October 21-25 Portland Harvest on the Harbor is a fancier fair featuring food- Maine’s best chefs compete to create the prize winning cuisine while patrons get to taste, sip and see a view of the water. Th pricey tickets, $465 for the whole event, is far higher than Fryburg’s $10 bucks a day, but this swank foodee event is a fundraiser for End Hunger in Maine.

Market Square Portsmouth, NH

So let’s be fair, there’s a fair for everyone in the fall in Maine!  For lodging on the southern Maine Coast during your fall fair visit, check out our lodging in Wells, Ogunquit, places to stay in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach, Portland and hotels all over Maine.

Copyright SouthernMaineCoast.com 2015, all photos and content.

Vacation Guide to the Southern Maine – Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, York, Old Orchard Beach – Resorts Inns

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Maine is famous for its food- more than just lobster!

stripers-lobster-bakeA trip to Maine is not complete with a crustacean… a fresh Maine lobster steamed and served with drawn butter. But there is much more to the Maine food scene than just seafood – clams, scallops, crab, oysters, mussels and fish.  You also have to sample Maine specialty foods like saltwater taffy, made right before your eyes at the Golden Rod in York Beach.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0442.Maine blueberries and strawberries are delicious in early summer -whether eaten fresh and simply by the handful of berries, or baked in cakes, pies, muffins, shortcake and cobbler or jams.  Maine gourmets are making their own delicious artisan cheese, apple cider in season and fresh berry jams and preserves. You can tour Stonewall Kitchen in York, and learn about their award winning Maine recipes and specialty food products.

old-vines-bar-tableThere are numerous Maine breweries and Maine wineries like Cellardoor using native berries to create unique homemade brews and wines. There is even a potato vodka made right here with Maine potatoes – one of Maine greatest products. Maine is also a top producer of broccoli – who knew?!

colony-kennebunkport-festival-aspenEnd your day with a cocktail on the deck of a gorgeous inn, or one of our favorite spots on the waterfront, then enjoy a perfectly prepared seafood dinner followed by homemade blueberry pie for desert.

In Scarborough, you can visit the world’s largest moose made entirely of chocolate (chocolate moose – get it?!) at Libby’s – next to Cabela’s.

bass-harbor-light (9)And you’ll have to take home some delicious Maine treats. So save room in your car for live Maine lobster packed to go, fresh picked Maine crabmeat, Maine Harbor candies, fresh Maine blueberries, and a quart of Maine maple syrup. Or you can just stay another day and try more of Maine’s best restaurants.

pineapple-ketch-nonantumEnjoy your Maine vacation  and see our southern Maine Coast lodging guide for where to stay!

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The changing coastline of Maine

pineapple-ketchThe 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. shawmut-kennebunkportThere 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.

pineapple-ketch-nonantumBut a few gracious and grand hotels remain on the coast, from the Wentworth in Newcastle New Hampshire, to the York Harbor Inn in York, The Cliff House in Ogunquit, the Colony Hotel, Breakwater Inn and Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, and the Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach.

Guests can no longer afford to stay for a month or the summer season, time and stripers-fishing-boatmoney 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.

colony-kennebunkport-festival-aspenConsider a summer escape to the southern Maine coast… the way life should be, by the sea.

See our southern Maine lodging guide, and things to do on the southern Maine coast from boating, the best beaches, shopping and dining.

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Photos and Copyright, property of Southern Maine Coast.com, IMS-21,  2015