Category Archives: Vacations

Maine Beach Getaways in Winter

The true beauty of the southern Maine coast is you can walk the beach year round. Southern Maine is legendary for its long sandy stretches of pristine, picture perfect beaches, from York to Wells, Ogunquit to Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach to Portland! While everyone comes for a Maine beach vacation in the summer.

Spring, fall and winter on the Maine coast are undiscovered gems for long beach walks, finding smooth beach stones, sea glass and shells, even the occasional lobster pot after a storm out to sea. What’s especially enjoyable about the southern Maine coast is that the Atlantic Ocean provides warmth in colder weather, with the sea temperature averaging in the 40’s. So seaside towns are more temperate often than inland and toward the Maine mountains.

The other bonus of a winter Maine beach vacation is great off-season lodging rates at the best waterfront inns and hotels, not to mention free available parking by the beach.

Here are some great oceanfront resorts, steps to beaches  – ideal for a winter getaway:

York Harbor Inn  in York Maine – a romantic BnB walking distance to Harbor Beach, with a cozy Ships Cellar Pub for happy hour.
Ogunquit Resort Motel in Ogunquit – near Footbridge Beach and Town, affordable and friendly lodging.
Cliff House Resort and Spa– which just underwent a complete renovation in Cape Neddick near Ogunquit.
Misty Harbor Resort in Wells is a short walk to Wells Beach Maine – with suite lodging and an indoor pool and spa too!
Village by the Sea in Wells is not far from the beach, and has an indoor pool and condo style lodging!
Seaside Inn in Kennebunk is steps to the a beautiful sandy beach, with an outdoor ocean view hot tub,  and its a nice walk to Kennebunkport.
Breakwater Inn and Spa is right on the river with ocean views, a short walk to a beach, shops and restaurants,  and a pleasant stroll to President Bush’s Walkers Point home on scenic Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport. Stripers Waterfront Restaurant is on site with a great happy hour, sunsets and lobster specials!
Rhumb Line Resort in Kennebunkport has an indoor pool and spa, plus an outdoor hot tub, and is great for families, in Kennebunkport, a short drive to several sandy beaches.
Sea Cliff is located directly on 7-mile Old Orchard Beach, open in winters with great rates and the sound of waves from your suite at night.
Portland HeadlightIn Portland Maine, stay in town in the Old Port at Portland Regency and you’re a short drive to Portland Headlight and beaches, best of all you walk around Portland’s great boutiques and bars from the hotel.

So make plans for a Maine beach break – this winter! Stroll the beach, save on lodging with off season special, walk in to your favorite restaurants for lobster and enjoy local happy hour specials at some of Maine’s best restaurants…  it’s a shore cure for cabin fever and winter blues, and sure easier and less expensive than flying to a tropical island.

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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Best Events on the Southern Maine Coast

wells-so-beach3There 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.

The Padpaddle-boarder2dle Battle at the river front Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport is August 2– this third annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River starts at 1:30,  register for the race here.  Food, music and fun are part of the event for non-paddlers too on this Father’s Day.

Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayFireworks 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.

pineapple-ketchThe 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

Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport has live entertainment and riverfront dining Monday – Thursday all summer 6:30-9:30.

Stripers Waterside Restaurant stripers-lobster-bakeat the Breakwater Inn in Kennebunkport has an authentic  Maine Lobster Clambake every Monday night at 6pm served outside on the river with beautiful sunset views.

Aug 29, 2015 is Wells Annual Chilifest at Wells Harbor – a Mexican fiesta in Maine as Wells best restaurants compete for the best chili title.

breakwater-river-view7Laudholm Summer Solstice Nature Crafts Festival in Wells is the 1st Weekend after Labor Day featuring 100 artisans, jewelers, and crafts people display at Wells Laudholm Farms.

MaineStage Shakespeare presents outdoor Shakepeare theatre in the park every Wednesday-Saturday at the Colony, Lafayette Park and River Green in Kennebunkport.

portland-headlightMaine Open Lighthouse Day is September 12 with free admission to Maine lighthouses along the coast

Maine Lobsterman Triathlon in South Freeport is September 12

cape-neddick-yorkFor lodging on the Southern Maine Coast during any of these events and festivals, go to our Lodging Deals Guide.

For a list of Events throughout Maine, see our Maine events page.

September in Southern Maine – Best time to Get Away

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

Stay at Village by the Sea

Wells Maine Resort CondominiumHugging 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.

Affordability

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

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.

AmenitiesBedroom suite

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.

Reasons you Should Visit Southern Maine

Whether you’re skydiving 10,000 feet above the ground, sailing off the coast of Maine’s shorelines, standing at the summit of a mountain or scuba diving under the Atlantic’s waters, a visit to Southern Maine is about gaining perspective. It’s getting away from it all to behold the majesty of Nature and reveling in the friendly Maine culture and finding repose in your quaint lodging.

Coastal Excursions

Kayaking in Kennebunk1. Rent a kayak or take a guided tour exploring the coast from York to Portland. Kayak Excursions. Kennebunkport, ME.

2. Navigate through Maine’s largest salt marsh in Scarborough sighting wildlife and removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of city sounds. Canoe Trips, Scarborough, ME.

3. Take a boat tour to Goat Island Lighthouse or cruise along the Kennebunk River with The Porpus. Tours also includes a BYOB Sunset Cruise. Kennebunkport, ME.

4. Haul in a lobster trap on the Rugosa Lobster Boat Tour along the Kennebunk River and Walker’s Point. Kennebunkport, ME.

Pineapple Ketch Boat Tours5. Hop onboard the Pineapple Ketch for scenic coastal sailing excursions along the shores of Kennebunkport. Kennebunkport, ME.

Land Lubbers Activities

6. Leave the sights and sounds of  the metropolis at Ferry Beach State Park with nature trails and walks on the beach. Stay the night at Ferry Beach Association. Saco , ME.

7. Immerse in merriment at the Salvation Army Pavilion Amphitheater for festivals, live music, games, pony rides and events. Old Orchard Beach, ME.

8. Peruse the fine arts and spectacular sculptures at the Portland Museum of Art, Maine’s oldest art museum exhibiting pieces dating from the 18th Century to present date. Portland, ME.

Biking in Kennebunkport Maine9. Take off on a bike ride through scenic coastal paths and maintained wooded terrain at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, Bridle Path. Rent bikes and find more trails through Kennebunkport Bicycle Co.. Kennebunkport, ME.

10. Bring the kids next door from the Portland Museum of Art to the Children’s Museum of Maine  and keep them busy with the toddler park, cave and farm, space shuttle, interactive science exhibits, and camera-obscura theatre.

11. Visit Maine’s curious natural phenomenon at the Desert of Maine with nature trails through sand dunes, glass museum, butterfly room and camps.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Southern Maine. See more attractions and things to do in Southern Maine.

Affordable Stay at Ogunquit Resort Motel

Giant Outdoor PoolFor an affordable coastal resort in one of Maine’s most popular beach towns, the Ogunquit Resort Motel has a lot to boast about. Ogunquit is renowned for its seaside setting, charming setting at Perkins Cove, beautiful sand beaches, and a bustling art and dining scene. Well, here is a lodging establishment that offers easy access to Ogunquit’s best, plus onsite resort amenities and impressive overnight rates. Continue reading Affordable Stay at Ogunquit Resort Motel

Southern Maine 4th of July Fireworks

Southern Maine Fireworks DisplayFor all of us who call America our home, celebrating 4th of July means we’re honoring the Independence of our country. It also means enjoying outdoor BBQs and beer with friends and family while sporting silly 4th of July hats. And of course 4th of July Fireworks Display is the highlight of the holiday.  It’s one of the few major holidays Americans can celebrate during the warmth of summer, at least for us New Englanders. We’d like to contend that there’s nowhere better than Southern Maine to observe the fantastic bright displays contrasting the dark summer sky while sitting back on the beach with toes in the sand. There are still rooms available in Southern Maine’s coastal towns for those who have procrastinated on their 4th of July getaway. So for those aiming to catch the best fireworks in a simply terrific aspect of Maine, here are all the 4th of July Firework Displays scheduled in Southern Maine from York to Freeport. Continue reading Southern Maine 4th of July Fireworks

Affordable Southern Maine Getaways

Kennebunkport Maine InnThere’s no arguing that the Southern Maine coast is a beaut with coveted luxury inns, oceanfront cottage rentals, and beachfront resorts for a perfect vacation stay. With her white sandy beaches, scenic rugged coastline, intriguing boutiques and divine dining, it’s not hard to see why people make the Southern Maine coast their annual vacation destination. Despite her top of the line scenic allure, you can still find vast opportunities for affordable lodging in Southern Maine. Continue reading Affordable Southern Maine Getaways

Father’s Day Getaway Ideas to Maine

Kennebunkport Sailing ToursSadly, for dad, statistics indicate that mothers tend to get more gifts and gestures of appreciation of gratitude than fathers. We think it’s time to show dad how much we actually care, and prove that dad is more than a statistic.  What better way than trip to Maine to celebrate Father’s Day? From sailing the coast of Maine, teeing off with rolling forested landscapes, touring local Maine breweries, and lounging at the beach, Southern Maine is sure to appeal to dad. Continue reading Father’s Day Getaway Ideas to Maine