Water, Water Everywhere

Spring and summertime in Kennebunkport are all about outdoor living, and after the long winter we just endured, can you blame us? Along with the unexpectedly quick disappearance of the snow, signs of the new season are everywhere, from the budding flowers to the people strolling around town. As the mercury continues to rise, we think one of the best ways to explore this area on your next stay at the Captain Fairfield Inn is by boat, and we’ve got all the seaworthy details for you.

Lobster buoys

Colorful buoys dot the KPT landscape

For the Love of Lobster – If you’ve wondered about the life of the storied Maine lobsterman, Rugosa Lobster Tours is where you’ll want to drop anchor. Departing from the Nonantum Resort Marina, this classic New England wooden lobster boat offers a 1.5 hour trip down the Kennebunk River. You can watch the professionals haul in the lobster traps or roll up your sleeves and pitch in. Sadly, they do not pay in fresh lobster, but we have lots of recommendations for a lobster dining experience when you’re back on dry ground. The Rugosa departs daily at 10:30am, 1:00pm, and 3:30pm during height of season, and private charters are also available.

Sail Away on a Schooner – Imagine gliding over the waves aboard an elegant schooner, and then head for the Arundel Wharf. Helmed by Captain Rich Woodman, Schooner Eleanor is a traditional gaff rigged schooner constructed with modern materials. Although she was built in 1998, her four flying sails, large teak cockpit, and spacious cushioned cabin tops to stretch out on will transport you to another time. This two hour sail along the scenic coastline from Cape Arundel to Cape Porpoise departs daily at 11:00am, 2:00pm, and 4:30pm, depending on the weather and tides. 

A Whale of a Time – While not always popular with the out-of-towners, Kennebunkport’s cold Atlantic waters are a fertile summer feeding ground for Finbacks, Humpbacks, Minkes, the rare Blue Whale, and the endangered Right Whale. Bring your binoculars and step aboard the 87-foot Nick’s Chance vessel from First Chance Whale Watch. All trips are approximately 4.5 hours, and Captain Gary will do his best to show you some of Maine’s best specimens. There is a galley on board with snack items and beverages for you to enjoy while you scan the horizon.

Drop a Line – There’s something so peaceful about sitting in a boat in the middle of the vast ocean, holding a fishing rod and contemplating life. And then suddenly – a tug at your line! Manta Ray Adventures promises to provide guests with the former, if not always the latter, on their 36-foot Northern Bay. Just beyond the port lies many of the Gulf of Maine’s most famous and productive fishing grounds, home to bluefin tuna, shark, cod, haddock, stripers, bluefish, and more.

Paddle Power – For a completely different vantage point and more active water experience, consider a guided sea kayak tour. Based in the Lower Village by Federal Jacks, Coastal Maine Kayak offers rentals and excursions to nearby Cape Porpoise Lighthouse, Kennebunk River, Mousam River, and Casco Bay. Tours are led by a licensed Maine Guide and are approximately 3 hours. They provide a kayak, PFD (that’s a personal flotation device for you landlubbers), and a paddle. Trips can be tailored to all levels of experience, and each trip begins with instruction and an introduction to safety techniques. Coastal Maine Kayak is also your one-stop-shop for stand-up paddleboard and bike rentals.

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.

Southern Maine Scenic Walks

Southern Maine and The Kennebunks are full of scenic strolls.

Kennebunkport Maine hiking

Captain Fairfield Inn guests on the Monastery Trails in Kennebunk.

We love meandering along Marginal Way, which is less than half an hour’s drive from our Kennebunkport boutique inn. You begin the journey by Perkins Cove shops and restaurants at one end of the cliff walk, then enjoy a mile of beautiful panorama on the way to Ogunquit Beach.  The accessibility is a serious plus.  People in wheelchairs frequent Marginal Way, and benches are situated only a stone’s throw apart.

Still, some of our favorite scenic walks in Southern Maine are even closer to Captain Fairfield Inn and not quite as well traveled.  There’s something out there for serious hikers as well as those who just want a little fresh air and New England scenery.  

Scenic Strolls Nearby

The Franciscan Monastery, just over the bridge in Kennebunk, contains interesting architecture as well as footpaths along the riverbank. These byways are perfect for viewing our beloved port town, boats and buildings alike.

Wells Reserve at Laudholm provides surprisingly varied sights, including historic farm land and structures, salt marsh, woods, and a quiet beach.  Be sure to pause at each overlook! If you’ve seen it all and still want more, there is a great mile loop just down the road at The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.  This refuge actually spans many miles of Maine’s coast and includes quality trails in several communities.

When we visited the East Point Sanctuary to the north of Kennebunkport, there was not another soul in sight. Vistas of Biddeford Pool and Saco Bay as well as Wood Island Lighthouse can be found in this tucked away spot.

Of course, you can’t beat a stroll down Ocean Avenue, starting at Captain Fairfield Inn and following the river and shore to Walker’s Point.  It’s a perfect route for jogging.  If we’re feeling less inclined to exertion, we drop in to Striper’s for a midwalk drink with an ocean view.

Rain or Shine — Spring in Kennebunkport offers plenty to do!

rarebrick_20100607_8421

Spring flowers in Kennebunkport

It’s been a beautiful spring so far in Kennebunkport, and our guests here at Captain Fairfield Inn are making the most of it. Some gather shells and sea glass while others visit Cabela’s for outdoor supplies.  We love balmy days and the mild climate of the Southern Coast of Maine, but spring can be unpredictable — and we have our wet days, too. 

Don’t let precipitation stop you from venturing out from our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast and exploring the many rainy-day Maine attractions and activities!

We think there’s truly something spectacular about strolling a deserted beach as the rain softly falls or savoring seafood chowder while gazing out the window at the misty town and sea.  Go ahead, grab one of our large, complimentary umbrellas and wander to a few of the fabulous local shops.  Don a wetsuit and kayak on the Kennebunk River.  Devour a double-scoop ice cream cone.

Still, sometimes you just want something warm and worthwhile when the sky goes grey.  To help you enjoy The Kennebunks as we do no matter what the weather, we’ve compiled this list of things to do on a rainy day in Kennebunkport.  All of these attractions and activities have our stamp of approval and are just a short distance from the Captain Fairfield Inn.

Top Ten Things To Do on a Rainy Day in Kennebunkport:

10. Indulge in some comfort food – as if we need to suggest this.  Whether your favorite is fish and chips, a hearty burrito, or delivery pizza, you won’t have to go far in our foodie town.

9. Attend a live theater performance. The famous Ogunquit Playhouse is not alone.  There are some great choices in Portland and Portsmouth, plus Biddeford’s City Theater, and the Arundel Barn Playhouse which is 10 minutes from the inn.

8. Hop on the Intown Trolley Tour. It’s a good way to learn a bit of history, stake out the area for future exploring, or get off (and back on later) in locations you’d like to traverse.

7. Stop by a gallery or an art venue, even if only a block or so away.  Mast Cove has a wide collection of artists as well as the occasional jazz event. You can meet the painter at W. Robert Paine Gallery and see pictures of him and Norman Rockwell as young artists.

6. Go to the movies. The area has a few singular silver screen options: Cinemagic & IMAX, Saco Drive-in Theater, and Smitty’s, where you can enjoy a full meal in an oversized chair.  

5. Hit the gym!  Boost those endorphins with a workout.  You can purchase a day pass from Quest Fitness and enjoy up to date machines, classes, and even a pool.

4. Shop the outlets in Kittery or Freeport.  If you can’t treat yourself, think of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!  Antiques dealers and independent shops also abound.

3. Visit a museum. While we love the Portland Museum of Art, it’s also memorable to visit the niche transportation museums:  Wells Auto Museum and Seashore Trolley Museum.

2. Tour a brewery like Allagash or Kennebunkport Brewing Co. We carry awesome local beers at Captain Fairfield Inn, but visit the source and you might learn a thing or two and sample something special.

1. Take a spa day. Cottage Breeze Day Spa is great for a Maine River Stone Massage or full body treatment, while Soakology in Portland earns the description “foot sanctuary”.