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Maine is deceptively large and can be intimidating to drive through since most major locations are few and far between. Kennebunkport however is the southernmost place to visit and is an easy five to six hour drive from New York and an even shorter drive from Boston. It makes for a beautiful drive in the fall, especially through the red and yellow tree lined Connecticut and New Hampshire highways.
Rocky shore lines with deep navy blue seas, lush forests with occasional dense fog, quiet and rustic buildings, each house a different color. Driving through Maine can certainly look like something out of a Tolkien novel, especially late fall and during early snowfalls.
Just like every northern state, Maine can get incredibly cold. Every house and every hotel room has either a fire place or wood stove for those crisp and chill nights. Once October comes, the soft and heavy blankets come out along with the hot apple cider and the gas stoves.
Excellent food can be found all over Kennebunkport. Allison’s has been doing lobster rolls right since 1973. The Tides Beach Club has a modern cocktail scene but is also a favorite place to dine for the Bush family. Ports of Italy, a brand new Italian restaurant, crushes the stereotype that you can’t find great Italian food north of New York.
It’s either the serene landscape or the distance from hectic city centers, but Maine has some of the nicest people. They are always ready to welcome you into their home or tell you about the goods that they’ve made. They answer your questions about their beautiful state with pride and enthusiasm.
According to the owner of Motorland, a classic car trader, buyer, show room and service center in Arundel, Maine is one of the top states for classic car buying, due to its affluent population and number of retirees. Motorland offers an assortment of midcentury and European vintage cars, as well as a service center for new or old cars. He will also ship or drive the car to you, no matter how far away. They are the go-to spot for local independent driver service HydiDrive and her old station wagon.
Rich in history, specifically nautical history, there are many inns that were once owned by captains. Two such inns are Captain Jefferd’s Inn and Captain Lord’s Mansion, both updated with luxurious linens and the most modern bathroom amenities. Both keep with the traditional interior design, but The Inn at English Meadows, another historic inn, updated the entire interior to an elegant, modern minimalist look while keeping the original moldings and plank floors. The Nonantum Resort is reminiscent of Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing in that it appeals to families for its activity days, expansive property, and large banquet halls. The only thing missing was Patrick Swayze.
Kennebunkport is the Hamptons of New England, maybe even the new Cape Cod. Sprawling, gated vacation homes line the coast, a coast line that can be either white and sandy or pebbly and rocky. Either way, the oceans are a deep rich blue that is calm and clear.
You’d be hard pressed to find a CVS, Dollar Store or Whole Foods within the Kennebunks. They take pride in sourcing everything locally, like beer, vinegars and olive oils and ice creams. Farm + Table sells small batch foods and house wares from artisans throughout Maine and other states. They nurture their relationships with the makers as well, so everything remains closely connected to the source.
The Chamber of Commerce does a great job of creating community focused activities and events, as well as events that bring in tourists from other states and countries. The shop keepers, restaurant owners and inn-hosts all participate in growing the community, whether it is through cooking classes, holiday events, or press tours. Not to mention, everyone knows each other. Either way, community runs deep in the Kennebunks.