Born and raised in Maine,
it feels weird to talk about this state like it's a vacation, but as I've come to find out, there is SO much I don't know about it. I escaped the summer crowds of my current home in Newport Beach, California for a taste of that quintessential "summering in Maine" vibe in a town I had yet to indulge in — Kennebunkport. Here's what I learned so you can jet, drive, or bike your way there and vacation like a pro.
Where to stay...
Cape Arundel Inn & Resort is a stunning seaside escape. Take your glass of complimentary champagne upon check-in out to the wrap-around porch and breathe in the fresh ocean air, or settle for some sun on the lawn in one of the Adirondack chairs. Request a bungalow suite. French doors open up to the deep blue hue of the Atlantic, and a peek of the Bush Family compound.
Where to eat...
Ocean Restaurant is the type of restaurant perfect for accommodating foodies that yearn for innovative cuisine. But for locals and minimalists, don't fret. The food, though elevated, is so approachable. My boyfriend, Travis, is the no frills type of diner, while I prefer to get gussied up and make an event out of it. Ocean is the perfect in between. Get there early enough to enjoy the sunset, which the restaurant offers stunning views of. Stay for the swordfish — it's pretty on the plate and yummy in the mouth.
Earth at Hidden Pond is another gem of a restaurant. Tucked within the balsam trees and birch forest lies a farm-to-fork restaurant featuring ingredients picked daily from one of two onsite organic gardens. The meats and seafood are locally-sourced as well. If you want the scene, stay in the main dining area, but if you're looking for something truly special, call and reserve a shed. With my family only 40 minutes south, I invited them to join Travis and I for a private dining experience. As the sun sank, we gathered around a rustic table with rickety chairs in the chicest shed I've ever been in. The screened windows kept the mosquitos away while providing us a picturesque view of the reflection of the pine trees in the pond.
What to do...
If you're staying at Cape Arundel Inn, be sure to take advantage of their free beach cruisers. All you have to do is ask to check one out, and you're off. Cruise into the town. The ride alone is worth it — with the Atlantic on your left and colonial mansions on your right.
For a drink and some simple seafood, hop on the Spirit of Massachusetts. It's a giant sailboat docked in the river smack dab in the center of town.
If peacocks, roosters, horses, and a bounty of fauna and flora are your thing, hop back on your bike and ride just out of town and to Snug Harbor Farm.