Where to beach, eat, shop, stay & play in Kennebunkport Maine

The perfect day in Kennebunkport Maine
what to see, do, eat, where to play and stay in Maine’s seaside heaven…

Kennebunkport Maine just may be the perfect town – its oceanfront, everyone loves to be by the sea, right?! It’s quaint and historic. It’s happening with a great social atmosphere of bars, restaurants and live music venues, plus a fun fabulous calendar of events from the Kennebunkport Festival to Christmas Prelude. It’s artistic with lots of cool galleries and studios. Kennebunkport also has beaches (check), boating (check), celebs and ex-presidents (secret service- check, check), beautiful hotels, bnbs an inns, and last but not least – cool local people. So how do you tackle all there is to see and do in KPT as a tourist, or a tourist-in-your-own-town, in a day?
Let’s play “perfect day in Kennebunkport Maine!” Ready set go….

WALK KPT
Mornings in Maine, particularly Kennebunkport, should start with a brisk walk. The best walk in Kennebunkport is Ocean Ave on the sidewalk from Dock Square out toward the sea, passing magnificent seaside St Anne’s Church, Spouting Rock then Blowing Cave to Walker’s Point where you can wave to President Bush (home of former Pres. #41 & #43 plus Gov Jeb and the rest of the Bush family clan). Walker’s Point is the Bush family compound and summer residence, not to be confused with Cape Cod where the Kennedy’s cluster.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorCOFFEE KPT
Breakfast in Kennebunkport – why not go to Paris? Lol, seriously for a delightful sidewalk café, Mornings In Paris in Lower Village at Coopers Corner roasts and brews fantastic coffee, serves yummy pastries, in a charming setting inside, or out on the patio where you can watch the town begin to stir. Dock Square Coffee is another pro choice for a cup-a-jo – take it to go to a picnic bench in Dock Square or down to the beach. All Day Breakfast on Route 9 Western Ave heading south is where locals go for a more bountiful breakfast, be prepared for a wait – this classic diner-style joint jams.

KENNEBUNK BEACHES
Fueled up for sun & fun? Go get your sand time at Kennebunkport’s best beaches, which are actually on the Kennebunk side. Gooch’s, Middle Beach and Mothers Beach are each unique and spectacular, from sand, to stones, to tidal pools. Just follow Beach Ave and you will see all three.

SHOP KPT
Browse all the great local boutiques, in Dock Square, from Day Trip Society for trendy gifts, to Compliments, Minka and Abacus for locally made jewelry, crafts and candles, to Emporium for a local Ts, to Shoot the Moon, Dock Square Clothiers, Green Tangerine, Zen, Carla’s and PJ’s  for that must have Maine sweatah (that’s with a Mainah accent, like lobstah & chowdah) .

LAUNCH INTO LUNCH
For a cup of clam chowder or a lobster roll, we love Alisson’s in the heart of Dock Square. This the Cheers of Kpt, where the locals go and folks from away feel right at home. Great table service, or sit at the bar. You can get anything you want at Alisson’s Restaurant…as the Arlo Guthrie song goes…

BOAT
Get out on the water! The best way to see the Maine coast is from the sea! From Nonantum Resort, get on board your choice of a lobster boat, sailboat or fishing charter. The Rugsoa Lobster Boat Tour is an hour and half, on a classic red lobster boat, you’ll get a tour of the Kennebunk River, head out the Breakwater toward Walkers Point and Goat Island Lighthouse, even pull up a lobster trap. If you prefer sailing, The Pineapple Ketch offers a beautiful sail on a black hulled sailboat with dramatic red salis. Those who love to fish can be hooked up on a private charter with Captain Bruce aboard Libreti Rose!

HISTORY BUFFS BUFF UP ON YOUR HISTORY
Stroll back in time at White Columns, the 1853 Greek Revival sea captains’ home, now home to the Kennebunkport Historical Society and the First Family Museum – a tribute to President and Barbara Bush and their family time at the “summer white house” at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport. Drive to the Wedding Cake House on historic Summer Street to see Sea Captains’ mansions lining the Kennebunk River banks.

GALLERY HOP
Kennebunkport is not surprisingly an artist community, with its inspirational scenery everywhere. Visit local galleries and studios to view art, photography, even jewelry and kaleidoscopes created right here, to bring a Maine memory home with you. Check out Kennebunk and Kennebunkport’s best galleries at Maine Art, Landmark, Northern Lights, True North, Rusty Fly Gallery, Chris Becker Photographer, Sue Rioux Kaleidoscopes and many more…

Sunset at Robinhood Marine Riggs CoveHAPPY HOUR
After a day of exploring, its time for some celebrating. Kennebunkport has so many fun bars with great happy hours, Old Vines Wine Bar is a favorite, so is The Boathouse Bar, The Burleigh, and Stripers Waterside at Breakwater Inn– all three of these have beautiful water views. Enjoy a craft cocktail, local micro-brew or a house wine and small plate tapas, and some social time to tide you over til you dine!

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamersLOBSTAH FOR SUPPAH
The best places to eat in Kpt have lobster on the menu, 95 Ocean at Nonantum, Stripers at the Breakwater, and Alisson’s, Boathouse! Reserve a table, bring your appetite, and wear the bib if you love your lobster with hot drawn buttah! Save room for Maine blueberry pie.

KPORT ROCKS WITH LIVE MUSIC
Catch live music at The Burleigh at Kennebunkport Inn, Old Vines, Pilot House, Ryan’s Irish Corner House, Alisson’s, The Nonantum, or go to Vinegar Hill Music Theatre for a show. Pick up the free informative Tourist & Town (no stereotyping – the locals read it too) to find out who’s playing when and where, or just ask a local!

STAY IN KPT
Ready to rest your head with a whiff of fresh ocean air and the purr of lobster boats gliding by? The Nonantum Resort is a great place to stay in Kennebunkport, its waterfront, with its own marina and charter tour boats leaving daily, and the staff is the friendliest around, its like family. Nonantum’s Chef Steve is so talented, we’re talking Divers Scallops, Tuna Tacos, Lobster Risotto, at their on-site restaurants – 95 Ocean and Heckman’s Pub. Breakfast is included too when you book direct, and their pastry chef is amazing! There’s an outdoor pool overlooking The River, kayak and bikes available, nightly entertainment, and it’s a short walk to town  – to Dock Square or out to Colony Beach on Ocean Ave. Nonantum means “blessing” and you will feel blessed to have stayed at this classic 1884 resort on the Kennebunk River in Kennebunkport.

Make plans to come stay and play in Kennebunkport Maine soon!

See our Maine Lodging Guide and Best Tour of the Coast for your Maine Visit!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Top 10 Things to Sea and Do In Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit Maine actually means beautiful place by the sea in Native American, Abenaki. It is truly one of the prettiest places on the Southern Maine Coast, with sandy beaches, dramatic rocky cliffs, quaint colonial architecture and gorgeous tree canopied streets. See how Ogunquit is a great place to stay, and play, explore and tour the coast, shop, wine and dine, at one the best coastal towns in Maine!

Marginal Way is a must, walk this 3-mile shorefront pedestrian walkway that connects Ogunquit village to Perkins Cove. There are promentories, picnic benches and a lighthouse along the way, more photo opps than you can count so keep the camera/phone handy.

Perkins Cove is about as cute a fishing village as you will find. Complete with a manually operated drawbridge, delightful little seaside shops, restaurants and ocean views, this a perfect place to spend the day. Ocean lovers can board a scenic boat tour from Perkins Cove too. Stroll the Marginal Way from here, then shop for locally made jewelry and crafts, before catching lunch at one of the waterfront bistros for a bowl of chowder or lobster roll.

Hit the Beach – Ogunquit has two long beautiful sand beaches including its namesake Ogunquit Beach, and Footbridge Beach. Ogunquit Beach is three miles long, with the Ogunquit River creating a peninsula, and the parking area off Beach Street as a social hub of this broad sandy beach. Footbridge Beach is a beautiful quieter stretch of sand, connected by a namesake “footbridge” or you can walk here continuing north east beyond the main part of Ogunquit Beach. Whether you like to stroll, sun bath, swim or surf, you will find your beach here.

Ogunquit Art! Ogunquit originated as a shipbuilding colony in 1641, and later flourished for its artistic community. The beautiful seaside setting inspires all mediums of art, and you can visit many studios and galleries. Ogunquit Museum of Art is small gallery with a fantastic oceanfront setting, founded in 1951, this art collection on Shore Road showcases over 3,000 paintings, ceramics and sculptures.

Soak in The Cliff House Resort – This spectacular property is worth a visit for a seaside cocktail, or a spa treatment, a splendid overnight stay of luxury – or more! Perched high on Bald Head Cliff, this incredible resort has fantastic views out to sea towards Boone Island Light and Nubble Light. The two story glass walled lounge is a lovely spot for a drink, or hit the heavenly 9,000 square foot spa for a massage and a dip in the ocean view oversized outdoor hot tub. For luxury lodging, stay at Cliff House in a chic ocean view balcony room.

Shop Ogunquit’s unique boutiques along Main Street in the historic village center. Browsing is both art and amusement in this great town full of fun shops like Sea Glass Jewelry Studio, Abacus and Whistling Oyster.

Taste Ogunquit with craft cocktails at cool bars like That Place and Beachfire! Enjoy fresh Maine seafood – lobster, oysters, clams, crab, at classic spots like Barnacle Billy’s, Lobster Shack and Bintliff’s. Ogunquit has many great restaurants, see our southern Maine dining reviews.

Take in a Play at Ogunquit Playhouses – one of the last, original authentic off Broadway summer theaters. Ogunquit’s Playhouse offers fantastic summer stock entertainment, top shelf entertainers, Broadway productions and musical theatre in a delightful 1933 barn.

Piano bar! The most happening place for nightlife in Ogunquit is The Front Porch. Go here, go upstairs and join in the live music as locals and folks from away gather around the grand piano bar for singalongs with Ogunquit’s best singers and entertainers, it’s a gay old time.

See our Ogunquit Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore for your Maine vacation!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Maine marijuana friendly state

lighthouse_burnt_island2In 2019, Maine finally adopted the 2016 voters’ initiative to legalize marijuana, to include recreational use, home cultivation, retail sale and taxation of marijuana, however interpretation is up to each local municipality pursuant to the Marijuana Legalization Act.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999. Residents who have lived in Maine for 4+ years  can apply for a license until June 2021, when the state will begin to allow outside applications.

What does this mean for Maine tourism? Can you toke on your trip to Maine? Light up at Maine lighthouses? Enjoy weed on Maine’s waterfront?

Marijuana possession remains illegal under keep-off-grass-fall federal law, and local police say enforcement won’t change. But Maine’s marijuana friendly initiative provides leniency for recreational pot use in private. It also serve as an intro to a future state sales, dispensaries, and products, and indicates Maine’s appetite for a more liberal allowance of cannabis consumption.

Maine marijuana recreational allowance includes:
-Adults 21+ can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis at a time. Penalties for possessing over 2.5 ounces to 8 ounces can result in up to $1,000 in fines and six months of incarceration. possession of up to and over 20 pounds gets 10 years, $20,000 in fines.
-Adults in Maine may cultivate up to 3 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings.

Portland was the 1st East Coast city vote for pot use in 2013. Colorado and Washington have embraced marijuana tolerant laws statewide. Colorado has truly capitalized on cannabis tourism , 420 shops and pot bakeries have popped up all over. Colorado ski towns and tourist destinations offer mj dispensaries, hemp stores and baked-bakeries. Tourism is up in Colorado because of their weed-leniency. Colorado brought in $34.8 million in marijuana taxes in year one of its pot-friendly policy.To the North Canada is also cannabis friendly, though its heavily texted and packaged in very small doses.

Maine Maple SundayImagine the pot possibilities in Maine? Our state is already high on taxes, big pot taxation would bring more tax revenue from those getting high. Wouldn’t blueberry baked pot brownies be a hit? How about Maine marijuana-laced maple syrup? Pot stuffed twice baked Maine potatoes from the County?

Will Vacationland change with Maine’s marijuana tolerance? Can you get baked at Maine beaches? Can you light up at Portland Headlight? #Lol. No. Recreational Maine marijuana use needs to be done in the privacy of your residence. There are not pot friendly hotels like Maine has pet friendly hotels. Whether we see Maine 420 tours, Maine marijuana bakeries and pot infused food products in the future remains to be seen and voted by the folks of Maine.

Allagash Brewery freezerRegardless, Maine marijuana initiatives have brought forth the public dialogue of health and healing benefits of THC and CBD, and about the relative harms of marijuana versus alcohol. Booze is already regulated and taxed lucratively for the state of Maine, along with tobacco and other “sin taxes.”

Maine, the way life should be…pot friendly?

See our Maine Lodging Guide

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Things to do in Portland, Maine

You don’t find many cities like Portland, Maine. It’s truly a gem and not only a great place to live, but to visit as well. Its just the right size, but full of fun, sights and bites! Situated on the mouth of the Casco Bay, visitors can find lodgings in Portland with ocean views, walking distance to so much, even ferry boats to explore the islands, or just indulge in city life and some of the best restaurants in New England.

There are many things to do in Portland, Maine that only include the typical city scene checking out new boutiques, concerts, bars and restaurants, but there’s tons of outdoor experiences too.Casco Bay Ferry

Embark on Casco Bay Ferries and tour the islands of Casco Bay. Some islands also have bike rentals – like Peaks and Long Island – to tour around the island or reach a nearby beach. The ferry ride itself can also be an adventure as the Casco Bay Lines often have events or sunset cruises to enjoy. Summertime, take the ferry to Peaks Island for Reggae Fest on Sundays.

Ride your bike or walk the Back Bay loop. Here, you can also play tennis at the nearby tennis court or pick up some snacks at the Hannaford across the street for a picnic at the park. From the walkway on the I-295 bridge section, you get a great view of the Back Bay area.

Visit Cape Elizabeth for picnicking in Fort Williams park. Here, you can take a walk around the large park estate and visit the Portland Headlight as well.

Go to Munjoy Hill to climb Portland Observatory, have lunch or dinner at great local cafes, then walk along the Eastern Promenade. Nearby, you could visit the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum which has affordable ticket rates.

See a Sea Dogs game at Hadlock Field. Players like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Kevin Millar have played at Hadlock Field, a Minor League team for the Boston Red Sox, so you’re likely to see some sluggers at the Sea Dogs

Walk the Old Port and Art District areas in Portland to shop boutiques, antique shops, comic book stores, and craft shops between Commercial and Congress Street.

Portland’s First Friday Art Walk is a must for art lovers.

Night life? Portland Maine has a thriving club scene in the Old Port along Wharf Street for those who want to dance the night away. You can also check out plays or concerts at the State Theater or Port City Music Hall.

Maine Brew Bus tours take you around the Portland breweries, a fun way to let someone else drive while you drink in the scene and local craft brews. See our Guide to Maine Breweries.

What sets Portland Maine apart from most cities like nearby Boston or Manchester  is that it still retains a small town atmosphere, quite walkable and friendly,  reminding you that you’re not in a place surrounded by strangers, but friends you haven’t met yet. You even feel a sense of safety walking the streets at night. Don’t be surprised if you happen upon a friendly conversation while dining out at one of Portland’s restaurants.

See our Maine Lodging Guide

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Portland Maine’s Best Happy Hours

Portland Maine has an amazing culinary scene, recently named a top foodie spot, and home to the best restaurants by Bon Appetit among others. But aside from sophisticated entrees and accomplished Chefs, there is also a fantastic happy hour scene in Portland. From the Old Port to the waterfront, and Portland’s best hotels, there is a lot to be happy about – especially midweek in Maine’s biggest city with drink deals and even $1.50 oysters and  free apps! Be sure to call ahead or check these restaurants’ websites & Facebook pages – as deals and happy hour specials change…

A few of Portland Maine’s best Happy Hours:

David’s in Monument Square has Happy Hour 3-6pm Monday-Friday $5 wines, and sangria, beers, and appetizer specials. We love David’s food and the city center setting is ideal for meeting friends.

DiMillo’s – this floating restaurant is a landmark on Portland’s waterfront, a bit touristy, but has Happy Hour with a view  Monday through Friday 4-7pm – appetizer and drinks specials. Parking is free – validated when you dine here.

Porthole – also right on the water – is casual but fun for Happy Hour deals Monday- Friday 3-6, and  Saturday –Sunday 1-4.

Old Port Sea Grill is  divey, but has daily Happy Hour 3 – 6pm with $5 Cosmos and Manhattans, $6 wines, $3 drafts, and $2.50 oysters. All day happy hour on Sunday means $5 Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Portland Lobster Company by the water has Happy Hour Monday – Thursday 4- 7pm

Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room on the waterfront has 4-6pm daily happy hour with
Oyster specials, $5 cocktails, $3  house wine, $2  beers and $5 food items like wings, nachos, Brussel sprouts and calamari.

The Corner Room has 4-6pm Happy Hour Monday-Friday with complimentary antipasto offered with drinks, $3 house  wines and prosecco, $3 draft beers.

The Grill Room has 4-6pm Happy Hour daily with draft beers, wines by the glass and bar snacks for $3.

Monhegan Island MaineLittle Tap House has Happy Hour 4-7 Monday – Friday – called Bar & Barrel – a petite appetizer paired with a local beer $5, plus $5 wines.

Bonfire Country Bar has “Bacon Happier Hour” with Free bacon, $1 tacos and whiskey, $2 beer & freis, $3 wien and burgers, 407 7 days a week!

Bull Feeney gets happy Sunday-Friday from 4-7pm with $4 draft beers and 20% off singe all malts, free snacks, plus other weekly treats.

Sur Lie has Happy Hour 4-6pm with $2 off drafts, $7 wines, and culinary $5 apps.

Northpoint has Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4-6pm with $5 Drafts, $6 Wines and a $7 Cocktail, and light bites for just $6 each! Sunday happy hour is 6-10.

C2 – Congress Square’d by the Westin, offers happy hour daily 3 – 7pm. $3 drink specials and bites.

Top of The East at the Westin has Happy Hour Sunday – Thursday 2-5pm with drinks specials, $6 wines, $4 beer, and an amazing rooftop view.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorDock Fore isn’t fancy but it gets happy every day from 3 -7pm, draft beers $2, wine are $1 off, free appetizer display.

MJ’s Wine Bar has a great outdoor patio, and Monday – Friday 4 – 6pm Happy Hour with $5 select wines and $4.50 20oz. drafts

Vignola Cinque Terre Happy Hour is just an hour, Monday to Friday 5- 6pm with $4 select wines, half-off beer, and $3.50-$9.50 appetizers.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland Hunt + Alpine Club has happy hour with select craft cocktails for $6 Monday to Friday 4 -6pm with popcorn.

Inkwell Bar and Lounge at Union, Press Hotel has “off the record “ happy hour with $5 house wine favorites, $5 well drinks, and $5 16oz local drafts Sunday- Thursday 4- 6pm.

Rosie’s has happy specials all the time – $1.50 Miller, $4 mixed well drinks, and Saturdays & Sundays $ 5Mimosas & Bloody Mary’s.

Taco Escobar offers happy hour 4-7pm Monday-Friday featuring $5 house margaritas, $3.50 select drafts, with free chips and salsa. Olé

Tomaso’s Canteen has 7 hours of happiness, 11-6 daily, with all kinds of drink and food deals from $2.50 beers to $6 wine & cocktails, plus nightly specials.

Bayside Bowl, on the Back Bay, has happy hour 4-6pm Monday-Thursday in summer on the rooftop deck, with half-price frozen cocktails, $2 Moosehead tall boy, and more.

Petite Jacqueline hosts
”apero” happy hour 5-6:30pm Monday-Friday at the bar and patio, with
$5 aperitifs, $4 draft beers, and $3 wine, plus $1.50 oysters, $5 small plates and $46 crepes. Mais oui!

El Rayo Taquiero gets happy 4-6 pm Monday-Friday with $5 house margaritas and sangria, $2 Sol Pacfico or Tecate.

Note: these happy hour offers are subject to change, this is just a compilation of current specials. If prices have changed or deals have been discounted – please let us know at sales@visitmaine.net, and please – don’t worry, be happy (every hour). See more Maine dining recommendations:

Portland’s Best Restaurants
Best Waterfront Dining
Top 10 Maine Restaurants

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Maine Wedding Locations

kennebunkport maine weddingWith a natural landscape so diverse and its distinctive seasonal attitude, Maine truly offers something for every bride and groom for picture perfect weddings. There are many reasons why Maine weddings offer an ideal location with its natural amenities, less expenses, and more season and venue options. At the end of the day, you know when you say I do in Maine, you’ve not only committed to your lifetime partner, but beautiful memories of your wedding as well. Continue reading

Top Romantic Things to Do in Maine in Winter

lobster-bouy-heartMaine is surrisingly romantic in winter, when #Vacationland resembes a #snowglobe and a vertiable #winterwonderland! Of all the pretty villages and serene settings, Kennebunkport is Maine’s most romantic town – especially in February when locals Paint the Town Red! Innkeepers and shop owners decorate with sparkling red and white lights, heart shaped everything. Kennebunkport’s best restaurants and pubs offer happy hours with craft cocktails and love potions, and red plates dining specials. Inns offer romantic lodging deals with champagne, chocolates, spa treatments, lavish breakfasts, even late check outs!

Top 10 Romantic Things To Do in Kennebunkport Maine
1. Have your picture taken by the big heart made of lobster buoys in Dock Square, then visit all the heart adorned boutiques and shop for “Red Tag” specials inside.

winter-beach-morn2. Walk the quiet beautiful beach. Watch the cool surfers riding the winter waves (brrr). Love the beach so much you don’t want to leave? Stay beachfront at The Seaside Inn, you ‘ll fall in love with their ocean view outdoor hot tub.

3.  February is for Lovers, and full of fun romantic events… The Igloo Bar Party at the Boathouse Bar and Avalanche at Old Vines Wine Bar. All month long, beer and wine tastings, cocktail classes and cooking demos take place at Alisson’s, Old Vines and Ports Of Italy!

4. Embrace the outdoors – Cross country ski or snowshoe at nearby Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm on their 7 mile of beautiful trails. Go on a skate date -ice skating on Kennebunks Waterhouse Pavilion, a free public covered ice rink in downtown Kennebunk. Date Skate is Feb 10 with a DJ on the ice, nice!

old-vines-bar-table5. Get happy at happy hours in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk and ask about “Red Plate” dining deals
and seductive cocktails specials at Alisson’s Restaurant, The Boathouse Bar, Kennebunkport Inn – Burleigh, Old Vines Wine Bar, and Striper’s Restaurant.

6. Reserve a romantic room overlooking the Kennebunk River at Breakwater Inn and Spa. Their Winter Valentine’s package includes lodging for two, Chocolates and a split of Prosecco in your room, Continental breakfast, afternoon Tea and snacks, and a romantic dinner at Striper’s Restaurant. Check out their Breakwater Spa package too.

7. Indulge in  “February is for Lovers” with Cacaptain-lord-mansion-kennebunkportptain Lord Mansion’s special mid-week package, your third night is free and you receive a split of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered popcorn and frequent visitor credits. Captain Lord Mansion lodging rates start at $199 per night including a delicious multi-course breakfast. Next door, Captain Fairfield Inn has a month full of love special!

love-kbpt-davids8. The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel has a “Love KPT” package with two-nights stay for two people with arrival goodies of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, drinks for two at The Boathhouse Bar downstairs, and a late check-out at noon.

9. Can’t escape without the kids? Rhumb Line Resort, Kennebunkport’s affordable family resort, has the solution. Book a Romance Red Tag Package for you and your restaurant-lobster-dinnersweetheart, starting at $199, including two nights, breakfast, flowers & chocolates, and you can get an extra room for the kids for just $20. Rhumb Line Resort has an indoor pool and
hot tub, plus an outdoor hot tub, a fitness room, free WiFi and Continental breakfast, and you’re just a few miles for Dock Square and the beach.

10. If Portland and the romantic city streets of the Old Port are more your speed, check in to The Pomegranate Inn, visit Portland’s best restaurants and shops, livley bars, theatres and the watefront. Their lodging package includes a book of love poems, bubbly, sweets and a sutie room will set the stage for #Vacationland romance in February~

Be social – tag your romantic, fun or funny photos with #LoveKPT #Vacationland and share with us @VisitMaine.net

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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New Year’s in Maine – Clam Drops, Lobster Dips and Fireworks

Maine knows how to ring in the New Year with Champagne, lobster, even Clam Drops. and fireworks followed by Polar Plunge and Lobster Dips,  Here are some Top New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Events in Maine.

fireworks_300In Kennebunkport, New Years is a party. Rock The Boat at the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel has a big New Year’s Eve Bash with snacks and raw bar, drink tix, DJ music and dancing for $100 per person. This event is a often sell-out so don’t hesitate. You can find lodging in Kennebunkport Maine at the Waterfront Boathouse, The Breakwater Inn & Spa, Captain Lord Mansion, and Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach.

Donwtown Kennebunk has a family-friendly Blueberry drop at 9pm on New Year’s Eve, its fun, funny and perfect for families well before midnight.

Winter Scene ColonyMisty Harbor Resort in Wells has a great stay and party package, with suite lodging, transportation and dinner at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit with live entertainment and champagne toast, plus the indoor pool at Misty stays open till 11pm for your own party pool fun.

prelude-horse-carriageMaine Street Ogunquit is a gay old time for New Year’s with 4 bars, 2 dance floors DJ AGA and DJ Ken. The party is $10 for advanced ticket purchase, or $15 at the door, and includes champagne toast at midnight, pizza and party favors. The MC for the Maine Street party is Nick Grey from Hot 104.7. Lodging is available nearby at Ogunquit Resort Motel, Misty Harbor Resort and Village by the Sea in Wells.

In Yarmouth, catch the Clam Drop on New Year’s Eve at 7 pm at the First Universalist Church, 97 Main Street. Yes, they actually drop a clam, his name is Steamer, the Yarmouth Clam Festival mascot, as he’s lowered from the church belfry (his lively smile never wavers, despite his precarious position). Music, hot cocoa and cookies are part of this silly but festive Maine tradition.

Nubble Lighthouse LightsIn York, The York Harbor Inn has an all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration Package with Two Nights Lodging, Cookies and Cocoa Reception, a Special Welcome Gift, Continental Breakfast daily, an Innkeepers Cocktail reception, Live Music and a Gourmet Five Course Dinner plus, Dancing, Party Favors and a Midnight Champagne Toast, and New Year’s Day Buffet Brunch. Many rooms have water views. This is fun Maine New Year’s getaway with most everything included.

Maine SkiingMaine ski resorts Sunday River and Sugarloaf  celebrate New Year’s with fireworks. If you have never seen ski resort fireworks, you must. The shiny sparkly burst of light reflect on the white snow and light up the ski trails in a magnificent way.

New Year’s Day in Maine you can ski – lifts open bright and early! Or you can wake yourself up with a brisk swim in the Atlantic – a Polar Plunge to start the New Year. Kennebunk Beach, Old Orchard Beach and Portland Maine all host a polar plunge to kick of the New Year.

Kennebunk Beach’s Polar Plunge is at Gooch’s Beach at 11am the first Satruday of the New Year, register in advance for $25 and your donation goes to Caring Unlimited. This fun fundraiser is called “Freezin for a Reason” and celebrates 20 years in 2020.

OOB PierOld Orchard Beach Lobster Dip is now in year 33. The Annual Lobster Dip at Old Orchard Beach is Maine’s original and largest ocean dip. As many as 300 participants dip into the chilly waters at noon on New Year’s Day, January 1, for fun and as a fundraiser to benefit Special Olympics Maine. Registration starts at 9:00am on the beach in front of the Brunswick Hotel. Sponsored by the Portland Rugby Club.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland Maine has too many New years Eve parties to list, be sure you get lodging in town for a fun safe First Night in Portland.  Portland’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash on New Year’s Eve is a Dash – 5k at 11am, and a Dip  at Noon. The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash hosts the 5K around Back Cove followed by a sprint into the icy water at East End Beach. A $35 entry fee includes your run entry and your chilly dip, but you can also do just one or the other. Proceeds benefit NRCM.

Happy Holidays!  Make the best of your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Maine!

Maine Polar Plunges on New Years 2019

Looking for a “cool” way to start 2020? How about a Lobster dip? Polar Plunge? Freezing for a Reason? Mainers love to start the New Year with a brisk swim in the Atlantic with other brave souls – and its all to raise funds for charitable causes. Call ’em crazy, but these icy events are big, attracting as many as 300 people to the beach in mid-winter to swim, celebrate and kick off the year with some serious cash raised.

These wild wet adventures are usually held on January 1, 2020 but stay tuned as events have been known to be postponed for super cold like some years…

Kennebunk’s Polar Plunge 2020

Kennebunk’s 19th Annual Atlantic Plunge – Freezin’ For A Reason will actually take place on Saturday January 4, 2020, 11am Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk. This chilly Polar Plunge event is lots fo fun, well attended and a great way to give a jump start to your  New Year., See you Saturday Jan 4 at 11am in front of Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach. This Atlantic Plunge benefits Caring Unlimited. Register for this refreshing swim, registration fee is $25, sign up by Noon on 1/3/2020.

Lobster Dip 2020at Old Orchard Beach

OOB Pier January 1, 2020 is the date for Old Orchard Beach’s 19th annual Lobster Dip. So mark your calendar and be at Old Orchard Beach at noon for a brisk swim in the Atlantic by the Pier. This polar plunge is not just a cold Lobster Dip – it’s a daylong event. Post Dip party at the Brunswick Inn includes free buffet, live music, cash bar and fun!  As many as 300 swimmers have turned out and jumped in past Lobster Dips, which benefits Special Olympics Maine, with previous dips – $100,000 raised! All Lobster Dippers must raise a minimum of $100. Those who do, and register, will receive a commemorative Lobster Dip t-shirt!

Portland 2019 Polar Dip & Dash New Year’s Eve!

Maine LighthousePortland Maine hosts its 2019 12th annual Portland Polar Dip and Dash on New Year’s Eve Day, Dec 31, 2019 at 11 PM  at East End Beach, Portland Maine. This Polar Dip benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine. The annual fund raising goal is to raise in excess of $17,500.00. All Portland Polar Dip participants who register here, and raise at least $100 will receive a highly coveted “I DID IT” event t-shirt. If’ you’re too chicken to do the plunge, you can participate in the “Chicken Dip” – where you only need to dip your toes in – after all its for fun and for fundraising!

Happy New Year Maine friends… see more Maine events, including some that aren’t quiet so chilly!

Be sure to reserve your Maine lodging during your visit to Maine with our Maine lodging guide.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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10 reasons to Visit Maine for the Holidays!

Here are our Top 10 Reasons to Visit Maine before Christmas:

#1 Maine is home to the Top Christmas Towns in the US. Ogunquit and Kennebunkport Maine are both heralded as the best holiday fests. Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude  Dec 3 – Dec 13 is a fantastic festival of tree lighting, caroling at the Monastery, craft fairs and cookie crawls, Historic Inns tour by Candlelight, Blueberry pancake breakfasts and Lobster chowder luncheons, Santa arrives by Lobster boats, Fire & Ice events at Nonantum Resort by the River, a Pooch Parade and Hat Parade to cap it off.

Christmas tree in Dock Square Kennebunkport, Maine
#2 Ogunquit celebrates Christmas by the Sea the 2nd weekend in December with holiday shopping, wine tastings, a parade, parties and fireworks at the beach, plus concerts and the grand finale Polar Plunge into the Ocean… brrrr – illiant.

#3 Wells host the Annual SOUTHERN MAINE CHRISTMAS PARADE is the 2nd Sunday in December at 2pm up Route 1, with Santa, holiday floats and fun!

Maine Skiing#4 SKI! Sunday River and Sugarloaf are open for skiing. Get out your skis, make tracks on these beautiful Maine ski resorts before the Christmas and New Year’s crowds arrive. Santa Sunday at Sunday River is the first Sunday in December. Sunday River’s Winterfest is the 2nd weekend in December with fireworks and a visit from Santa on the snow.

Christmas lights at Maine store during the holidays

#5 Fresh Maine Christmas Trees and wreaths are yours too bring home. You will save money versus the pricey pruned trees that were pre-cut in November (read: dry by mid-December). Your home will smell like the Maine pine forest, and you will long remember the joy of cutting your own tree in the Pine Tree state.

Christmas horse sleigh in Maine Christmas parade

#6 Santa Con in Portland is a holiday pub crawl dressed in red. Wear your best Santa, Mrs Claus or Elf outfit and jingle while you mingle from pub to pub in the Old Port, 1st Saturday in December.

Santa in Maine#7 Portland Merry Madness is early December, the annual event starts with drinks at Portland House of Music from 4 to 6:30 p.m. where you get your official Merry Madness shopping tote and wine mug to take with you for free wine tastings as you shop your way around town, stores stay open till 10 pm. Tickets are $20 for your tote, treats, glass, one pour, plus more at participating stores.

Christmas tree in Kennebunk Maine

#8 Portland Harbor Boat Parade is great – this Boat Parade of Holiday Lights is the 2nd weekend of December, Saturday evening, watch from Maine State Pier or aboard a Casco Bay Ferry as decorated boats parade through the harbor starting at 4:45pm.

Lobster Christmas tree topper in Maine#9 Shop Freeport and enjoy LL Bean’s classic Christmas decorations. Get your holiday to do list done, and enjoy the fun of Freeport, tree lighting and Sparkle Weekend takes place the first weekend of December with a Christmas Parade of Lights show.

Christmas at LL Bean in Freeport

#10 Hit the Kittery Outlets on you way home for the last on your list.

Christmas Shopping in Maine

Be sure to reserve your Maine lodging during your visit to Maine with our Maine lodging guide.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Christmas Tree in Kennebunkport Maine