In early September, Marchay’s own Joanna Kuflik did what many travelers have been up to this summer – packed up the car and headed out on a road trip. One of her favorite spots along the way was the quaint seaside town of Kennebunkport, Maine. Read on to find out what makes this place so special, along with some of her favorite properties in the area.
Why Go: A tiny New England town on Maine’s rocky southern coast, Kennebunkport epitomizes seaside Americana. From beautiful, wide open beaches to family-run ice cream stands and quaint nautical design shops, “Kport” is the perfect vacation destination for those looking to move at a slower speed. While it’s widely known as a summertime spot, Kennebunkport has something for everyone year-round. Fall is a favorite time to visit, as the foliage is undeniably breathtaking. In addition to the picturesque ocean views and enduring “small town” feel, Kennebunkport boasts its fair share of antique shops, art galleries, local farm stands, coastal inlets for kayaking, fishing, sailing and more. There are also enough bike routes and hiking trails nearby to explore for a lifetime.
How to Get There: Kennebunkport serves as an ideal driving distance getaway for those based in the Northeast, considering its southern Maine locale. If wanting to fly in from elsewhere, the city of Portland is an easy 35 minute drive away, with Boston only 1.5 hours south.
Photos courtesy of White Barn Inn
Where to Stay:
White Barn Inn – New to the Auberge collection, this historic 26 room property is comprised of several classic clapboard cottages and the main inn, all connected by flower-lined walkways and gardens. With the beach ten minutes one way and town ten minutes the other, the location cannot be beat. Truly one of Maine’s most elegant boutique hotels, White Barn Inn houses a serene outdoor pool, lovely spa and a stellar fine-dining restaurant serving contemporary New England fare.
Photos courtesy of Hidden Pond
Hidden Pond – Opened in 2008 and only 15 minutes from Kennebunkport village, Hidden Pond serves as a contemporary update on the classic summer cottage resort. This 60 acre property is split into several sections— the adults-only one-bedroom bungalows, family-friendly two-bedroom cottages and the brand new treetop lodges. The décor varies greatly between accommodations depending on the vibe you are looking for, but all have spacious porches, stone fireplaces and kitchens, with many complete with washer/dryers. Earth, their widely renowned locavore eatery, is one of the best in Maine and an absolute must visit.
Photos courtesy of Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club
Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club – A 5-minute walk to downtown Kennebunkport, this newly gut renovated former motor lodge has bright, super chic accommodations, each with its own private patio – complete with Adirondack chairs and unobstructed views of the Kennebunk River. Bonus during these times: as it was former motel, all rooms are accessible from outside, without having to enter through a lobby. Stop for an afternoon cocktail at their outdoor Marina Bar or head down the dock for a dip in the S.S. Sundaze, their floating “pool boat.” The Yachtsman Marina is a perfect spot for younger clientele looking to be walking distance from all the action.
Places to Visit: Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach is slightly off the beaten path but cannot be missed, with over 3 miles of powdery soft sand. The sunset views reflecting off the water, especially at low tide with the lighthouse in the distance, is like something out of a movie.
When in Maine, seafood is a must – meaning lobster every day is a prerequisite (some days, more than once!). A top locale for casual eats is The Clam Shack in the heart of town, known to have the best lobster roll in New England. Pro tip: They’ll ask you if you want “mayo, butter, or both” — the answer? Go big or go home. Also, don’t miss out on the fried clam bellies.
Antiques on 9 has a mix of carefully curated antiques alongside new home accessories. The style blends New England vintage pieces with the nautical, preppy flair of Southern Maine. After a stop here, you will leave inspired with plenty of new ideas to channel that beach cottage vibe in your own home.
For delicious ice cream, check out Rococo for homemade, small batch treats. Known to have experimental flavors like Goat Cheese Blackberry Chambord, Sweet Avocado Cayenne and a local favorite – Maine Whoopie Pie. The house-made pretzel cone is the perfect add on, for a great mixture of salty and sweet.