Report on Kennebunk, Maine
My husband and I just returned from a week honeymoon in Maine and I thought I would share our highlights. Overall, it was fantastic and we had a beautiful week with sunshine and warm temperatures. One day of rain, which isn't bad at all!
We drove from Ottawa, Canada and if at all possible, I would strongly suggest leaving very early - i.e. 5-6am to avoid the long lines at the border crossing. We thought we were leaving early at 7am and we waited 1 hour, slowly inching our way up.
We booked our accommodation on Airbnb - you can google “cozy studio in Kennebunk” to see photos. It was as was shown - clean, just beautifully decorated and with everything we needed. It had a queen bed, bathroom, a small table with 2 chairs, a fully functional and equipped kitchen with a gas barbecue on the cute terrace (which had sun until about 4:00pm) with a patio table and chairs and seating for sun lounging, reading etc…it was relatively private and beautifully landscaped. It was removed enough from the hustle of the town, so it was quiet - but it was still close enough to walk into the centre of Kennebunk in about 10 minutes.
Our highlights and suggestions:
One Dock in the Kennebunkport Inn: Amazing! We went twice during the week. The first time, we stopped as it has a gorgeous little patio, with hanging lanterns and cool music. The atmosphere is what grabbed us. We ordered a Negroni and it was pretty near perfect! We sat and people watched. The staff are very friendly and cheerful. We returned a couple nights later, for dinner. They have small plates, which is the sort of thing we like. We like to order a few different things and share. We had a few drinks and then dinner. The scallops, boa boa buns, sliders, roast potatoes and grilled veggies were all delicious! The presentation and the taste were great. We shared a slice of cheesecake for dessert and it was amazing as well. A delicious end to a great dining experience.
Wayfarer in Cape Porpoise: This is a short (10 min) drive north of Kennebunk. A great spot! It’s BYOB, so make sure to bring your bottle of wine, beer with you. The menu is small but varied and it didn't disappoint! We shared the pork belly (OH MY GOD!). My husband had the pork chop and I had the salmon. It was all super tasty! We returned for breakfast a few days later, as we had heard that it was the place to go. There often seems to be a wait, but it is never very long. I had the classic eggs benedict and my husband had the Wayfarer benedict. Both were delicious! The hollandaise had that perfect yummy lemon tang to it!
The Ramp in Cape Porpoise: A bit further along from Wayfarer is the Ramp. It’s a sister restaurant to Pier 77 - but is more casual and smaller menu. It’s very small and is crowded, but you figure it’s because of it’s reputation. It was amazing! We sat at the bar and the staff is fun, efficient and knowledgeable. There’s tons of stuff on the walls to look at! We tried the local beer on tap which was really good. We shared crab cakes to start - really yummy! I had the fish and chips and my husband had the special which was pulled beef in a jus - both so delicious! The whole dining experience was exceptionally great!
Mekthong Thai: Just off Route 9, a nice change to the lobster/fish menus. Very good Thai and we’ve had Thai all over the world (Thailand, UK, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa). The atmosphere is as you would expect from the traditional Thai restaurant. The staff are eager to please, and seem a bit anxious about making anyone wait for anything - to a point where you want to say….relax, everyone is on vacation, we’re happy to wait a while! But that takes nothing away to the good flavour in all the food.
Bennett Brothers subs and sandwiches: Also along Route 9, on the corner of Route 9 and Sea Road - so worth a visit!! They make small (8”) and large (12”) subs - so fresh and delicious! We would order a large and share it as it was plenty big enough! Cute old time atmosphere in there and quick, efficient service.
And last recommendation, one of the best, I’ve saved for last…..HB Provisions: This is a small grocery store come food counter come coffee shop - it’s AMAZING! They do fantastic coffees (Lattes, as well as regular coffee), fantastic breakfast burritos and sandwiches, fantastic homemade chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies and just really good everything! The bread we bought there for our place was so delicious! Just regular sliced bread - but oh so good. They have a brilliant wine selection. They have cute little souvenirs - coffee mugs and such. The woman who runs the place is behind the food counter most of the time and even though there may be 15 people behind you waiting, she is so nice and friendly and makes you feel like you are the only person there. I just loved that place!
Other noteworthy places:
Marginal Way in Ogunquit: This is a paved walkway along the coast with beautiful landscape everywhere. So many great photo ops!!! The flowers along the way on the various properties are breathtaking. We started at the far end and walked to the other side, into the town of Ogunquit, had a perfect lunch of pizza (we shared) at Caffe Perfetto, iced tea and finished off with a yummy gelato and grabbed a coffee for the walk back. It was such a great day - despite the pain in the a** parking situation!! We ended up parking in a private lot that charged $15 for the day - a bit pricey for 3 hours - but it was well worth it to avoid any more hassle and the parking attendants were super sweet and efficient.
Beaches: Another pain with the parking! Either get there at 7:30am or be prepared to walk quite a ways. We ended up going to Perkins Beach - very beautiful beach! But doesn't have much around it, besides a portapotty. So, bring food, drinks and be prepared for the walk. :)
Another beach we went to was Goose Rocks Beach. SO gorgeous!! But again - parking permit required everywhere! You can get it at the General Store - cost is $12 for the day - even if you end up being there for 2-3 hours. Keep the tide times in mind as well. We were lucky and were there for 3.5 hours before the tide was such that we had to leave! But there were some people just arriving at that time.
I was grateful we had our gorgeous little patio with sun at our rented place.
Shopping: We went to the Kittery outlets - not really worth it as far as we were concerned. I sort of wish we had gone into Portland to a mall instead with Macy’s, JC Penney, H&M etc….we did go to TJ Maxx between Kennebunk and Biddeford and that was pretty good.
We spent one of our days - the rainy one! - in Portsmouth, NH. Only about 45 minutes away and a cute little city. Reminded us of any High Street in the UK. They have tons of good eateries and cafes and cute little shops.
That’s about it - all in all a great week! We had some amazing food, saw some beautiful scenery and had overall great experiences. We would definitely go back!
As a side note, we also went to All Morning Breakfast and Mornings in Paris and they were good - not brilliant, but good.