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September 30, 2014

The Wells Reserve – A Great Kennebunkport Destination

Filed under: Kennebunkport — dawn @ 3:26 pm

In terms of famous coastlines in Southern Maine, the Kennebunks boast some of the best (and still public) sandy beaches for miles. But funnily enough, one of the most beautiful tucked-away natural places to visit hides just out of sight—and notice—of most visitors to our colonial port town.

Wells Reserve in Kennebunkport

Wells Reserve is a lovely place to take a stroll during your visit to our boutique Kennebunkport inn

Approaching Kennebunkport from the south, you’ll find yourself winding along route 1 in Wells, past well-loved ice cream shops and old clapboard antique shops proudly spilling their collections out onto their lawns.

But if you’re not paying attention, you’ll easily miss the right-hand turn for Laudholm Road, home of one of the best-kept “secrets” in the area: The Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.

Transformed and preserved by local community efforts in 1982 from the lapsed Laudholm Farms into the non-profit Laudholm Trust, the Wells Reserve now offers its rolling hills, beautifully preserved working farm buildings, winding trails and miles of coastal estuarine habitat for public visits, events and education.

Whether it’s cross-country skiing in January, an evening lecture by a well-known author in May, a summer trail run in August, or an autumn craft fair and pumpkin festival in September, there’s beauty, education and natural splendor to be found on these 2000 acres of protected wilderness all year round.

Visiting the reserve, you can enjoy beautifully maintained trails rich with informative wildlife and ecological information that wind down to a beautiful and secluded corner of sandy beach and crashing surf. Visiting the Kennebunks for the summer? The little people in your family can enjoy summer science camps and workshops, too.

With its ongoing residential estuarine research activities, The Wells Reserve brings together an inspiring array of community events with an ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

And what’s more, (for the soon-to-be brides who might be reading) it’s large and roomy barn offers a glamorous and down-to-earth A-list wedding and event destination that books up over a year in advance!

No matter when your next visit happens to be, be sure to bring your camera, and your sense of wonder and make sure this charming and oh-so-beautiful hidden gem is at the top of your must-visit list.

May 28, 2014

A Maine Vacation for your Bucket List

Now that Captain Fairfield Inn’s unbelievably luxurious Lark Suite is complete, we find ourselves pondering the nature of a truly exceptional getaway.  The spacious suite itself has charming historic details like centuries-old hardwood floors as well as contemporary touches like stylish, comfortable furnishings and a 40 inch LED Smart TV.  Such unique accommodations deserve better than a generic agenda – perhaps something special and memorable for 2014 that does not necessarily make your trip itinerary every year.  

Kennebunkport inn luxury suite

The Lark Suite at our Kennebunkport boutique inn.

Our boutique bed & breakfast hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine is surrounded by iconic New England attractions.  Within easy walking distance you can shop local artisans’ wares, enjoy water views, eat amazing food, and climb aboard a sailboat on its way out to sea.  Driving distance things to do in Coastal Maine are too numerous to count, but top sights are outlets, downtown areas, lobster shacks, hiking trails, sandy beaches, museums, and lighthouses.

A few offbeat or uncommon activities can transform a great trip into an unforgettable escape.   These items on our concierge staff’s bucket list might give you some inspiration.

1)  Go horseback riding on the beach.  How many of us consider this a perfect romantic date?  And how many of us have actually done it?  Riverhurst Farm, which is just over 5 minutes from Captain Fairfield Inn, offers guided horseback beach rides.

2)  If the sky’s the limit, then take a scenic biplane tour with Atlas Aero.  The plane takes off from Sanford Seacoast Airport, less than half an hour from Captain Fairfield Inn.  It’s a pretty drive, plus you can stop on the way in Downtown Kennebunk and/or the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area former blueberry barrens. Once you take to the skies you’ll fly to see everything from Biddeford Pool to Portsmouth, NH.  

3)  Our favorite sommelier, Erica Archer of Wine Wise, often hosts wine tasting events in Southern Maine cities.  It is now our dream to catch the brand new HydiWave Water Taxi service that would carry us over the ocean out of Dock Square to and from one of Erica’s wine walks in Ogunquit.

February 4, 2014

Introducing the Lark Suite!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dawn @ 4:39 pm

Our very popular garden suite, The Library just completed an upgrade and we are loving the new look. Until we can get professional photos taken we are offering a sneak peek with a few Instagram shots. Check it out:

IMG_2085 IMG_2076 IMG_2081 IMG_2091 IMG_2094

November 11, 2013

A Late Fall “Staycation” in Kennebunkport

Captain Fairfield Inn guests come from all over the globe, so it surprised resident managers Jed and Alana to encounter guests who live very close to our Kennebunkport boutique inn.  Several residents of the southern Maine coast have elected to stay with us for a while.  We think being the boutique choice of those familiar with the area is quite an honor! Especially as the holiday season begins.

Popcorn from H.B. Provisions.

Popcorn from H.B. Provisions.

For some, a staycation in their home can actually seem difficult and stressful. If they do manage to dodge the neighbor who “spotted” them and wants to chat and they do keep that fervent promise not to run an errand or pick up the phone, it is still a challenge to shake routine.  Such a struggle does not automatically encourage rest and relaxation.  

You can more easily change your mental mode in a different environment.  Staying with us creates the opportunity to limit locals’ expenses and travel time while still allowing them to enjoy attractions just a short walk from our prime location in Kennebunkport.

Guests from far away also hunker down for a staycation experience.  We deliver breakfast baskets–our version of room service–so you can enjoy plenty of food, coffee, and juice outside our dining room.  Whether you rise early or sleep in, you can choose breakfast in bed. You could even access your own Netflix and iTunes through the room’s AppleTV, pick up some movie-style popcorn from H.B. Provisions, and curl up in bed to watch a show or three.

 

October 5, 2013

Late October in Kennebunkport

Filed under: Kennebunkport,Seasonal Activities — dawn @ 6:47 pm

One thing we’re sure about is that there are always things to do in Kennebunkport. Each time of year has its own special draw, but Halloween is a personal favorite of our resident managers Jed and Alana.

A spooky Kennebunkport in the fall

A spooky Kennebunkport in the fall

Each October, the southern coast of Maine boasts harvest festivals and holiday happenings aplenty.  Every garden overflows with mums; every stoop with pumpkins.  Some visitors survey the Fall foliage between apple-picking and antiquing.  Others try free samples of small-batch mead before hitting a farmer’s market or craft fair.  The shoulder season means no worries about crowds whether you roam the day away or spend it fireside with a good book and mug of spiced tea.

Last year our Kennebunkport boutique hotel introduced a BYOP pumpkin carving contest with some sweet rewards.  Every entrant received a bottle of local craft beer perfect for a fall night as well as a bag full of homemade candies fresh from our kitchen.  The contest winner—who had never before carved a jack-o-lantern—wine a future free night’s stay.  We are thrilled to resurrect this Halloween event for 2013!  Click here for details.

 Guests less than enthralled by All Hallow’s Eve are not out of place if they visit in late October.  They can still sample decadent seasonal specialties at breakfast, like caramel apple scones and Brazilian pumpkin rabanada (think hearty, fried French toast!), but each guest celebrates or doesn’t on their own terms. Foodie festival Harvest on the Harbor  in Portland and wine tastings at Kennebunk’s Bel Cibo da Cherie and Downeast Wine Imports are among the events appealing to any traveler.

 Those reveling in all things scary, silly, and spooky have almost too much to choose from.  The Brick Store Museum will celebrate area history on Halloween weekend with their 10th annual All Souls Walk through Hope Cemetery. Plus, this year clothing from the Brick Store’s collection of 19th and 20th century costume pieces will be on exhibit through November 15th. Bentley’s Saloon always hosts a costume party with live music and plenty of raucous fun — this year on the 26th.  All of Dock Square comes alive with decorations, sales, and trick-or-treaters on October 31st. Neighborhood brewpub Federal Jack’s will host a Haunted House for charity on the big night, which might be the perfect excuse to stop by for a harvest ale or two.  

We’re so looking forward to Halloween!

September 19, 2013

Day Trip to the South from Kennebunkport

Filed under: Food and Drink,Seasonal Activities — dawn @ 1:44 pm

Fall is the perfect time for a slow, meandering drive — whether it is to peep at the leaves, or simply enjoy the golden Autumn light over the ocean. We offer turn by turn directions (just ask!) for a variety of drives from here at our boutique Kennebunkport inn. One of our most popular unique driving routes follows the Coast to the South. The expedition begins at the Captain Fairfield Inn and ends in Portsmouth, NH, and includes the ‘Maine Beaches’ region towns of Wells, Ogunquit, York, and Kittery.   

Salad from Kittery Maine cafe

Yummy salad at Beach Pea in Kittery.

It is a nice way to enjoy a few more hours of vacation for those who have checked out and are traveling toward Boston, just an hour and a half away from our design-driven Kennebunkport lodging.  Of course, you can easily take one day (or even two!) during your stay at the Captain Fairfield Inn to fully explore some of the many fantastic coastal towns less than 45 minutes south.

Even travelers who have utilized our instructions before or who are familiar with the area will always find something different to see near the Southern Maine shore.  Perhaps you’d like to head to the summit of Mount Aguamenticus and feel like the ruler of all you survey.  Captain Fairfield Inn guests have raved about their experiences taking an entertaining and informative class from the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York.  Or maybe you’d like to see the port city just over the border in New Hampshire.  Portsmouth’s Strawberry Banke Museum is always a favorite historic site.

We understand, though, if you’ve finished with the outdoorsy, edifying, and/or historical part of your vacation and instead you’re after some retail therapy.  When headed to Kittery, ME for shopping at the Kittery Outlets and Kittery Premium Outlets, we like to grab a nice lunch first at an all natural bakery and cafe called the Beach Pea. If you linger until late afternoon or dinnertime, there’s no better choice than The Black Birch for a refined take on classic comfort food.

August 16, 2013

It’s August! Hit the Beach in Southern Maine

We’re in for a phenomenal stretch of summer weather here in Southern Maine. Time to hit the beach!

Parsons Beach Kennebunkport Maine

Road to Parsons Beach

The winding coastline of Kennebunkport has a number of options — sandy and rocky, festive and secluded. Each beach seems to have its own personality. Check out these stretches of sand and pebble close to our Kennebunkport boutique inn.

Colony Beach

Colony Beach–or Arundel Beach–is a true neighborhood beach.  Locals fish the breakwater, watch the sunlight hit the ocean, or even sit in their cars reading.  Parking here doesn’t require a pass, and it is walkable from the Captain Fairfield Inn or Dock Square.  Probably the smallest choice in the Kennebunks, the sand and pebble Colony Beach marks the beginning of Parson’s Way Shore Walk.  Start here and follow the seashore to spot some other free attractions:  St. Ann’s Church, Walker’s Point, Spouting Rock, and Blowing Cave.

Mother’s Middle and Gooch’s

The connected Kennebunk beaches, Mother’s Beach, Middle Beach, and Gooch’s Beach, are often full of people and energy.  They offer a sidewalk, facilities (in season), and a playground.  Residents stroll the sandy expanse with their dogs in the morning, and families and lively groups populate them each afternoon.  They’re great for sunbathing, but watch out for high tide!  Captain Fairfield guests can borrow a season pass and make the easy five minute drive from the inn.

Glorious Goose Rocks

Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach is one of our favorites. Between the miles of sand skirted by tall grass and the rocky outcroppings emerging from the bay, Goose Rocks feels like the quintessential Maine beach.  Being fifteen minutes outside of town keeps it somewhat less crowded and ideal for a long walk or a picnic.  We provide one day pass (on us!) for guests headed to Goose Rocks Beach.

Quiet as a Parson

An off-the-beaten-path find for in or off season visitors is Parsons Beach.  Parking is limited but free. The scenery?  Lovely.  The mood? Quiet and relaxed.  We recommend Parson’s Beach to those of our guests exploring the coast to the south or simply heading that direction after check-out.  Ask for turn by turn directions leading to this narrow, sandy strip in Kennebunk.

Wherever you’re bound, Captain Fairfield Inn staff will be happy to lend you a tote with large, luxurious beach towels from vineyard vines as well as folding chairs.  Just like our creative cooked-to-order breakfasts, a parking pass and beach gear (to use during your stay) are included in your room rate.

 

August 7, 2013

Kennebunkport Happy Hour

Strolling around Dock Square after lunch?  Looking for a place with a view where you can sit and relax?  Feeling peckish in the afternoon or hankering for a cocktail? There is one solution for all these dilemmas:  the consummate Happy Hour in Kennebunkport.

Kennebunkport restaurant appetizers

Duck Slider and Calamari at David’s KPT.

Sure, you can grab a drink at the Captain Fairfield Inn and snack on our freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but it’s nice to have abundant opportunities for going out on the town.  These are a few fabulous options within walking distance of our boutique hotel.

Dine with a View

For expansive views, there can be no better choice than Stripers Waterside Restaurant.  Between 3 & 5 on Sundays and weekdays you can sit in adirondack chairs overlooking the river delta and beach.  Servers bring drinks right to your seat while you watch the waves and let the sun soak into your skin.

Affordably Delicious

For affordable, delicious food we favor the instantly popular David’s KPT, Kennebunkport’s newest waterfront dining destination. Just a few blocks from the Captain Fairfield Inn en route to Dock Square you can find generous, shareable dishes.  Tasty steak tartar, mouthwatering fried calamari, to-die-for duck sliders, and more for $6 or less!  The indoor/outdoor happy hour runs from 3 to 5 all week long.

Noshing Nearby

For convenience, we recommend Tia’s Topside, which is just over the bridge in Lower Village Kennebunk.  Oh no, it’s after 5?  Don’t fret, because Tia’s offers happy hour every day from 3-6PM. Get an appetizer or two, or simply enjoy 50% off alcoholic beverages.  Don’t miss out on river views from the deck!

For the Oyster Lover

Incomparable oysters harvested from Maine’s clean, cold waters can be found at each of the above hot spots as well as nearby One Dock.  Still, our pick for the oyster lover is The Hatch, located underneath Federal Jack’s.  Those on a quest for fresh, local oysters can dine happy on quite a selection.  When in town on a Wednesday, stop by between 4 & 7 for $1 oysters and $3.50 beers.

You can stay on budget and continue your appetizer round-up in the evening. Simply order some small bites for dinner at one of the area’s superb restaurants.

June 27, 2013

Summer reading for Kennebunkport summer getaways

If there’s one item that’s high on the list of things people hope to do with their limited leisure time, it’s catch up on their reading.  Many guests at Captain Fairfield Inn simply peruse the ‘Newsstand’ on the complimentary iPads we provide for guest use.  

Library near Kennebunkport B&B

Louis T. Graves Library in Kennebunkport, Maine

Still more leaf through current magazines provided in their rooms and in our boutique hotel’s lounge overlooking the Kennebunkport River Green.  Like us, though, you may like to tackle a tome cover to cover when you travel.  

Need a beach read?  Forgot or finished your fiction?  Just around the corner from Captain Fairfield Inn is Louis T. Graves Public Library, pictured here.  They are open seven days a week and have a helpful program allowing our guests to gain temporary membership with a small, refundable deposit.  Borrow books to your heart’s content!

In case you’re not a speed reader or you’re in the market for a literary souvenir, here are a couple of locally owned bookstores in the Kennebunks you could delve into:

Kennebooks has a little bit of everything housed in their bright blue building in Lower Village Kennebunk.  The inside is crisp and professional, making it easy to find a Maine publication or a bestseller, and their craft & hobby section is always worth a look.

Mainely Murders is a specialty shop full of mysteries, true crime novels, and thillers.  At this indie store with a blood red door, uncovering the right find for you amidst fully stocked shelves may be as great a challenge as solving the case in its pages.

 

June 10, 2013

June in Kennebunkport

A stay in early June can easily be enriched by the Kennebunkport Festival, which offers something for every taste.  Midweek or weekend, budget or elaborate, daytime or evening, and lively or intimate happenings occur throughout the Kennebunks.  As I write, this year’s collection of food, wine, art, and music events is winding down, but we are already excited for Kennebunkport Festival 2014.  

Kennbunkport festival food

Pork belly sandwich at the Blues & Tunes event.

Most festival venues are within walking distance of the Captain Fairfield Inn, including the popular Brews & Tunes concert held annually just across the street.  We popped over to listen for awhile and had a pork belly sandwich at the event (see pic). Yum!

Traveling to Kennebunkport after all the hoopla doesn’t necessarily mean you’re missing out.  For instance, guests of our boutique inn between now and July 4th can check out the Choice Art Show launched during the festivities and featuring works of Maine artists chosen by the public.  Chefs introduced dishes at the festival they’ll be serving throughout the season.  Live music will ring out in restaurants and brewpubs on a weekly basis.

To us, this six day celebration serves as the herald of the high season.  As the official first day of summer swiftly approaches, our guests are already revelling in summer perks.  They’ll park at Captain Fairfield Inn when they arrive and then go on foot throughout their stay; devouring The Clam Shack’s famous lobster rolls (which, by the way, just won the Lobster Roll Rumble in NYC) with fried clams before hopping onto their favorite water based excursion.

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