Boston Sunday Globe, January 11th, The Concierge / Tips for Touring Here and Abroad features The Inn at English Meadows “Maine Indulgence” with many offerings plus dinner at The White Barn and private cooking class at 50 Local. Two of Kennebunk’s finest restaurants, just minutes from the Inn.
We love what we do and are proud to be able to offer uncommonly good comfort and value, year round, here in Kennebunkport lodging. The wonderful people we get to meet and share our home with make for a very special business and it seems like we’re not alone in that feeling.
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Located in a block of 19th-century buildings at the heart of Kennebunk’s historic district, the Brick Store Museum was originally constructed in 1825 by William Lord as a dry-goods emporium. Known as Lord’s Store, the building was unique in its then extravagant use of locally kilned bricks, rather than the far cheaper and more typically used lumber.
It was Lord’s great-granddaughter, Edith Cleaves Barry, who founded the Brick Store Museum on the second floor of the Lord’s Store building in 1936. It wasn’t long before the museum expanded into three other buildings on the block, all dating from 1810 to 1860. The interiors of these four historic buildings were linked together and now house a regional history, art, and archives center as the Brick Store Museum.
The Brick Store Museum’s collection had its start in heirlooms from the extended Lord family but now houses upwards of 70,000 artifacts, works of art, and archival materials from a variety of sources. You can see quilts with secret pouches, a rare chest from 1685, a painting of a Kennebunkport ship’s captain found floating at sea, items salvaged from area shipwrecks, the largest collection in Maine of posters from World War I and II, and artworks by Thomas Badger, John Brewster Jr., Abbott Fuller Graves, Louis Norton, and Hannah Skeele. The Brick Store Museum archives center features maps, documents, photographs, genealogical materials and more for researchers.
Current exhibits include “Vitamin V: How Food Fought the Second World War,” “To Walk Through the Pasture Barefoot,” based on the Museum’s natural history collection, and a wonderful, seasonal display: “Christmas in the 1940s.” The Museum’s new Christmas Store is open with unique gifts for everyone.
Kennebunk’s Brick Store Museum is open year-round – stop in for a look at one of the best historic and art collections in the state!
The Brick Store Museum
Tuesday – Friday, 10am to 4:30pm
Saturdays, 10am to 1pm
117 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043
Make your Kennebunkport vacation the very best it can be with a stay at The Inn at English Meadows! Our mid-1800’s, Greek Revival home is located in Kennebunk’s Lower Village, with lovely beaches and Kennebunkport’s Dock Square just minutes away on foot. Our unique combination of modern and classic amenities will delight your senses while the personal touches will have you thinking of The Inn at English Meadows as your second home.
This is not to imply that Kennebunk winters aren’t already fun and friendly but, let’s face it, an ice skating rink ups the fun factor with measurable results.
Opening on October 11th, 2014, Waterhouse Center ice skating rink is the brainchild of Geraldine Waterhouse. Seeing local children skating at a temporary rink in downtown Kennebunk spurred memories of her own childhood.
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Since 1982, the Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude has been ringing in the holiday season and now boasts 14 days of ceremonies, festivities, and, of course, a visit from a certain, jolly, old elf …
Having grown from humble origins, these days the Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude encompasses nearly two weeks of tree-lighting ceremonies, arts and crafts fairs, numerous holiday meals and teas, fascinating historical programs, and 12 holiday music presentations. Top it all off with Santa and his “lobster elves” arriving by traditional lobster boat and you have the enviable results of an entire community coming together in the spirit and joy of the Christmas season.
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Are you itching to pack your bags and explore the great outdoors? You’re in luck.
June is Great Outdoors Month, which makes it the ideal time to hit the open road and explore some of this country’s natural wonders. Maine is filled with stunning landscapes and terrains for every level of outdoor explorer, including mountains, rivers, and ocean with miles of coastline. You could even decide to hike it on foot, sail by boat, or hitch a plane ride and jump out to soak in an aerial view!
Whether you’re a novice or advanced, the Pine Tree State offers thousands of miles of trails, and many of them are open all year long.
Climb the mountain peaks and scramble over pink granite cliffs and ledges along the coastline of Acadia National Park for a beautiful view of Mt. Desert Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Peregrine falcons and eagles can be seen flying over ahead, and sometimes whales and seals can be spotted offshore. Running from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail and its 267-mile portion that cuts through this state extends from the Mahoosuc Mountains to Mt. Katahdin’s summit. It’s geared towards advanced level hikers due to its extremely rugged landscape. Try the Barren-Chairback and Whitecap Ranges or explore easier and less-traveled stretches near the Carry Ponds, Sabbathday Pond, and the Piscataquis River in Horseshoe Canyon.
Each of these locations is about three hours from the inn.
Would you rather climb with the sea at your back or amongst a wooded landscape? In Maine, you can do both! There are more 400 rock climbing routes located throughout the state, including Mount Katahdin, Shagg Crag, and Acadia National Park.
In Maine, you could grab a kayak and gently glide over the state’s abundant lakes, or strap yourself in for a wild ride down one of the country’s “Big Three” whitewater rivers.
The Penobscot River offers 12 miles of rapids that begin at the Exterminator Rapid at the head of Ripogenus Gorge, continues through the Staircase Rapid and the Cribworks above the calm of Big Eddy. Twelve-foot falls at Nesowadnehunk and the rapids of Big Ambejackmockamus, Abol, and Pockwockamus, await downriver. Intense waves at Big Mama and Whitewasher lead to an exciting plunge through Magic Falls at Kennebec River. “Playboater,” or freestyle kayakers, will find space to showboat between the dam at Harris Station and the village of West Forks. The Dead River provides 16 miles of whitewater that starts with the mild Spencer Rips, and then moves on to the turbulent waves at Humpty Dumpty and Elephant Rock. The trip ends with a flourish at Big Poplar Falls.
Whale Watching Trips
Beginning each April, whales make their long voyage to the waters of Maine to feast on sand eels, copepods, plankton, and fish. They feed and play about 20 miles off the coastline which makes for the perfect whale watching trip. These majestic mammals can be spotted breaching the ocean surface, spouting water, and nursing their young. Humpback whales, pilot whales, minke whales, and the massive finback whale, which can grow up to 80 feet in length, are frequent visitors.
Whale watching cruises offer a front row seat to all of the action. Kennebunk’s Nick’s Chance Whale Watch Tour provides plenty of room on their observation deck to snap photos, along with breakfast and lunch fare in the gallery. Cap’n Fish’s Whale Watch in Boothbay Harbor is located about 1.5 hours away from the inn. Their main salon boasts cushioned seating and 360 degree viewing, while the upper deck allows free roaming for better vantage points.
Instead of walking or hiking to view Maine’s breathtaking beauty, why not try going by horse? Many of Maine’s state parks and multi-use trails welcome horseback riding, whether you’re an experienced equestrian or a newcomer. Riverhurst Farm in Kennebunk offers lessons in a variety of disciplines, including Western, English (Basic Balance Seat), Dressage (up to first level), and Jumping. You can even opt for a romantic horseback ride along the beach. You can find a full list of stables around the state here.
Moose and Bird Watching
The moose population in Maine is estimated to be close 75,000, the second largest populations of moose in the U.S behind Alaska. Moose can be seen throughout the state, but their population is greatest in the Western Lakes and Mountains, the Kennebec & Moose River Valleys, the Maine Highlands, and Aroostook County. One of the best ways of spotting a moose is to set off on a moose watching tour, otherwise known as a moose safari. A day trip to Greenville to take one of Northeast Whitewater’s moose tours or safaris will get you close to these magnificent creatures.
With its vast amounts of forest, isolated islands, and numerous wetlands, Maine is home to a large number of migratory and non-migratory bird species. The variety of birds grows in the summer months to include the ruby-throated hummingbird, the common loon, and the iconic bald eagle. You can sign up for a tour by checking out the Maine Birding Trail or with organizations such as Down East Nature Tour in Bar Harbor.
You’ve heard the saying, “One if by land, two if by sea.” What about adding “Three if by air?” Satisfy your inner-dare devil, and see the state’s striking beauty from 10,000 feet in the sky on a skydiving excursion. You can observe the landscape from the soaring mountain peaks all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Lebanon’s Skydive New England, located 40 minutes from the inn, offers programs for tandem (jumping with an instructor), accelerated freefall, and experienced jumpers. Vacationland Skydiving in Pittsfield, about 1.5 hours from the inn, offers similar programs along with video services to capture the jump.
Hot Air Ballooning
If you’d prefer a more leisurely air ride, a hot air balloon excursion might be for you. You’ll still get the 360-degree views, but this time at a much slower pace! Kennebunk Balloon Rides and Balloons Over New England located near Kennebunkport will carry you 1,500 feet in the air above the gorgeous scenery below.
Whichever activity you choose, an adventure awaits you in Maine!
What’s summer like in Maine? In one word: spectacular! From the picturesque coastline to pristine parks, Maine offers countless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. But if indoor fun is on your agenda, you’re in luck. You can spend time savoring delicious meals at some of the state’s award-winning restaurants or touring historic lighthouses.
Here are 6 reasons to make your way to Maine this summer:
1. Maine’s natural beauty is breathtaking. If you’re up for a day trip while staying at the inn, Acadia National Park is located 3 hours away in Bar Harbor. It’s 47,000 total acres are home to some 40 different species of wildlife, 120 miles of hiking trails, 27 miles of biking trails, and two beaches. Only 1.5 hours away, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay offers trails, vernal ponds and forest over 248 acres. Want to stay local? The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Rescue is only minutes from the inn and stretches along 50 miles of coastline.
2. The lighthouses will still catch your eye. There’s a reason why Maine is sometimes called ‘The Lighthouse State’. There are 65 lighthouses dotting the state’s vast coastline, and the most prominent can be viewed while driving along Route 1. One of the closest to the inn is Goat Island Light, originally built in 1892 and rebuilt in 1859, located right up the road at the entrance of Cape Porpoise Harbor.
3. You can soak in Maine and its sunsets on the sea. Riding the waves along the rocky coastline on a windjammer or schooner is an adventurous and scenic way to see the state’s beauty. You can take a day tour or book a week-long adventure and end each day with a sunset cruise.
4. Summer brings fun and festivals. From June 1st – 8th, the Kennebunkport Festival brings together delicious foods, wines, and art, with the backdrop of some of the area’s most historic homes. If you’re a fan of the blues, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is being held from July 12th – 13th at the Public Landing in Rockland (about 2 hours from the inn). And, the annual Maine Lobster Festival featuring 20,000 pounds of the tasty crustacean is also being held in Rockland from July 30th – August 3rd at Harbor Park.
5. The food is fabulous. Everyone knows Maine for its lobsters, of course. You can stop by any number of lobster shacks, including The Clam Shack overlooking the Kennebunk River. But that’s not all. Portland, only 30 minutes from the inn, has become one of the best small foodie towns in the country thanks to a bevy of top-tier, nationally recognized restaurants such as Hugo’s and Fore Street. Foodie tours are very popular in the region (buying tickets in advance is highly recommended). Stay close to the inn and set out on the Kennebunkport Culinary Walking Tour for a taste of what the area is serving up.
6. Come visit us at the inn! We love welcoming our guests and providing each one a bit of R&R. From the daily, gourmet breakfasts cooked up by Liz, to the modern, luxurious touches of the guest rooms, we strive to give our guests a truly unforgettable experience. Our specials and packages are created with our guests’ happiness in mind.
We hope to see you this summer!
Spring is an interesting time in Maine. It’s the season where you can still enjoy downhill skiing while watching the early spring bulbs begin to peak through the soil. With the anticipation of the summer season, restaurants and a variety of warm weather attractions begin to open offering a sneak peak at what’s to come.
Celebrate Maine’s culinary staple cuisine at the annual Gulf of Maine Seafood Celebration taking place in April. Local chefs and the Culinary Partners of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute will be providing an array of ocean delicacies for your tasting pleasure. The Inn at English Meadows has also partnered with Epitourean.com for an out of this world culinary package for food enthusiasts. The special includes a five-star dining experience at the premier White Barn Inn Restaurant and a hands-on cooking class with Chef Ross, where you will learn the intricacies of creating New England culinary masterpieces.
Combine your love of skiing and reggae for a spring jam at the Sugarloaf ski resort. Now in its 26th year, the annual Bud Light sponsored event, brings together music lovers and skiers for a weekend of fun on the slopes.
Our beautiful lakes, rivers and ocean can be enjoyed in a variety of water activities that the entire family will love. Coastal Maine Kayak offers fabulous guided kayaking tours to nearby Cape Porpise Lighthouse, the Kennebunk River, Mousam River and Casco Bay. Enjoy the sites of coastal Maine landmarks including numerous historic buildings, open salt marshes and rich woodlands. Take a ride on the Casco Bay Ferry or set sail on a Portland Schooner for a scenic view of the Casco Bay Islands. Explore the marine life by chartering a fishing boat or take a whale watching tour off Maine’s beautiful coast. For a more thrilling outdoor excursion, take a day trip to West Forks, ME and enjoy a whitewater rafting adventures on the Kennebec River.
Beat the crowds and visit Kennebunkport this spring for a sea-side getaway full of adventure.