When you think of Maine, you probably envision warm summer days strolling the docks, visiting countless lobster shacks, and walking the sandy coastline while soaking in the stunning sunsets. But did you know the Pine Tree State is also a winter wonderland of fun? Not only will cold-weather enthusiasts enjoy the endless opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating, but there are also plenty of indoor adventures to be had for those looking to escape the chill.
Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm in Wells, Maine, offers seven miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for a more intense cross-country skiing experience, Harris Farm in Dayton, Maine, offers 40 kilometers of trails over 500 acres, ranging from beginners’ level loops to advanced adventures. The day lodge has a wood stove, and the large sunroom is the perfect spot to warm up while sipping a hot beverage!
A day trip will get you to some of the best downhill skiing in the region, including Shawnee Peak located in Bridgton, Maine. It’s the closest ski area to the inn (about 1.5 hours away), and the drive will take you through the picturesque Sebago Lakes region. A bit further out and about 2.5 hours away, you can enjoy verticals of 2,340 feet at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine, and also some of the best resorts in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, including Bretton Woods, Black Mountain, and Attitash.
A former Mobil gas station lot on Main Street in downtown Kennebunk transforms into an ice skating rink in the winters, while the Park at Crow Hill in Kennebunkport offers a skating pond. Biddeford’s West Brook Ice Rink is popular, along with the frozen pond in the center of the 52-acre Deering Oaks Park in Portland, considered one of the best spots in the state for ice skating.
Rockin’ Horse Stables offers family-friendly rides in authentic sleighs pulled by draft horses. Each ride lasts around 30 minutes and leaves from a 100-year old barn. Afterwards, you can thaw out while savoring a mug of hot chocolate next to a cracking fireplace in the reception area.
With all the physical outdoor activity, you may need to soothe some of your sore and tired muscles. You can book a 60 or 90 minute massage here at the inn (available in the suites only), or at nearby Cottage Breeze Day Spa.
Want to raise a toast without ever having to leave the comforts of the inn? You can purchase a delicious varietal right on-site! But, if hitting the town for an evening wine tasting is on your menu, try Down East Wine Imports in Lower Village. Do you harbor aspirations of being the next Julia Childs or Mario Batali? Like you, they both started somewhere. You can schedule a personal cooking class at the inn or at Stonewall Kitchen’s location in York, and learn the foundations for becoming more proficient in the kitchen.
Mast Cove Galleries in Kennebunkport features over 80 artists and is Maine’s largest privately-owned group gallery. But they don’t just features paintings; they host a music series featuring jazz and blues. The Chris Becker Gallery also in Kennebunkport features the artist’s own works of fine art and documentary photography.
If someone mentions Mr. & Mrs. Smith, you may think of the 2005 movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or perhaps your neighbors down the street, but savvy travelers know that Mr. & Mrs. Smith signifies a gateway to premier vacation destinations throughout the world. The Mr. & Mrs. Smith website takes you on a tour of the world’s most stylish and unique hotels, from New York to New Zealand, London to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, including Kennebunk Maine. The Inn at English Meadows is proud to announce that we are now part of the Mr. & Mrs. Smith collection.
Winner of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 “Favorite Travel Website” award, Mr. & Mrs. Smith hand-picks the best boutique hotels, luxury hotels and stylish vacation rentals to ensure you find the perfect spot for your getaway. Every boutique hotel in the Mr. & Mrs. Smith collection has been visited by the Smith team before being reviewed anonymously (and thoroughly) by a discriminating, travel-seasoned couple, who provide their own evocative first-person tale. Travelers can trust that at each Smith destination, vetted reviewers have personally tested the beds, surveyed the views and sampled the cuisine to make sure that each property really is best in class.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is much more than just another travel website. Thanks to their exhaustive research, anonymous hotel reviews, and their dedicated 24-hour Travel Team that is just a phone call away, your special stay – whether romantic, family or anything else – is in safe hands. They guarantee the best room rates available and, because they give you a free BlackSmith membership when you first book with them, you’ll get money back and added extras, too.
You might wonder why they’re called Mr & Mrs Smith . . . In their own words: “Well, we’ve been around a lot longer than Brad and Angelina, though we have to admit we like their style. Really, it’s because we’re all about romantic escapes with your other half; a wink to couples everywhere, who might fancy checking into a fabulous hotel under this classic pseudonym used by everyone from spies to celebrities.”
So grab your other half and get the inside track on the most unique and stylish travel destinations out there, including The Inn at English Meadows. No secret spy identity necessary.
Portland CBS television station WGME 13’s Road Trippin’ show recently featured The Inn at English Meadows. Road Trippin’ highlights the best that northern New England has to offer in places to stay, places to eat, and things to do and see. Host Dave Eid visited Kennebunk and Kennebunkport to interview Liz and showcase the lovely accommodations and deliciously creative breakfasts found at The Inn at English Meadows. Watch the video on WGME 13’s Vimeo channel.
We are excited to unveil our newest room – the Serenity Suite. Over the winter we added an addition to the Inn to house a new apartment for us and simultaneously renovated the previous living space into a lovely suite. The Serenity Suite is unique because it is the only suite in the Inn with two rooms and two bathrooms. The bedroom features a King size bed dressed in luxurious FRETTE sheets, a cozy gas fireplace and a bathroom with a double sink vanity and an over-sized shower.
The sitting room has a queen size pull out sofa and a second bathroom with a radiant heated floor and an indulgent soaking tub. Other amenities include: flat screen TVs in both rooms, a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and bottled water, and a Nespresso machine. We have carried our signature chic, modern style through the furnishings and decorations, pairing clean lines with finishes and fabrics that are delightfully soft and comfortable. The Serenity Suite is located on the second floor of the main house and has a private entrance, promising a peaceful oasis for a romantic getaway. We invite you to come seek serenity on the beautiful coast of Maine.
The Huffington Post recently ran an article in their Travel section highlighting chic, modern bed and breakfasts. The title says it all: “6 Doily-Free B&Bs.” The Inn at English Meadows is mentioned as a stylish place for a getaway that offers premium amenities, access to a curated wine collection, and a location that is convenient to everything that Kennebunkport and Kennebunk have to offer. Read the full article here: 6 Doily-Free B&Bs.
In the April 2013 issue, Maine Magazine visits The Inn at English Meadows as part of the “south coast cozy” article. Journalist Sandy Lang and photographer Peter Frank Edwards journeyed to York County to visit three inns in three days to chronicle their experience taking in all that the inns and the area have to offer. To read the article click Maine-Magazine-April.
We have also had our Roasted Tomato Soup recipe featured on the Tiny Green Mom blog and our Gourmet Hot Chocolate recipe featured on the Think Tasty blog.
Tiny Green Mom is an informative online magazine written expressively for parents interested in all things “green,” from tips on living a healthier lifestyle to the latest organic products available for the entire family. Written by a former educator and massage therapist who is dedicated to sensible, green living for her family, Tiny Green Mom offers fresh content to today’s eco-conscious family in one convenient location. To visit the blog click here.
Think Tasty seeks to provide readers of its online magazine with recipes, restaurant reviews, news, and interviews that provide food for thought. For all people, food is what sustains the body. But for others, food is also what sustains the soul. The editor and writers at Think Tasty are part of the second group. Although they aren’t professionals in the food industry, they have a penchant for delicious food and, even more than that, they love sharing it with others. To visit the blog click here.
On February 28, 2013, The Examiner featured The Inn at English Meadows in an article in their travel section. The theme of the article was that women need not despair during the basketball fueled frenzy of March Madness. Our inn is one of several properties mentioned as great destinations for a Girl’s March Madness Getaway.
We are always happy to custom tailor a stay to include elements that will personalize and enhance the experience of escaping to Kennebunk / Kennebunkport and the beauty of southern Maine. To read the complete Examiner article click here
We will be announcing a March Madness special soon. The rate discounts for March are sure to cure your cabin fever and offer an attractive opportunity to plan that Girl’s Weekend getaway!
Whether you are interested in delicious food, gardening, or boats, some wonderful events are coming up in Southern Maine during the month of March. As an added incentive to come come experience these great happenings, we are offering our Cabin Fever Special which features big savings on all rooms throughout March (rates are $129 – $199). Also, stay tuned for our March Madness Special which will be revealed soon. Check out all of our specials and packages by clicking here.
2013 marks the 5th year for Maine Restaurant Week. Over 70 restaurants are offering special prix fixe three-course dinners and some are also offering special $15 prix fixe lunches. Maine Maple Sunday is another upcoming event that is sure to please anyone who has affection for all things maple. The Portland Flower Show is a showcase event for anyone interested in gardening or landscaping. Rounding out the events in March are the Portland Boat Show and the Maine Boatbuilders show. The Inn at English Meadows is the perfect place to use as a base to take advantage of all of these great happenings. We have compiled details about each of these events below:
Maine Restaurant Week – March 1 -10, 2013 – Maine’s reputation as a foodie destination is well deserved. Maine Restaurant Week celebrates the ingenuity and innovation of our favorite independent, locally-owned restaurants. More than 70 restaurants are participating this year, offering customers three-course prix fixe dinners priced at $22, $32, or $42. Customers love it because dining on special 3-course menus at these prices feels downright decadent. Some restaurants are also featuring prix fixe lunches for $15. Through annual fundraising, local non-profit organizations also benefit from Restaurant Week. For 2013, the target is the United Way. Check out the lineup of fantastic restaurants at the Maine Restaurant Week website.
Maine Maple Sunday – March 24, 2013 – The Maine Maple Producers Association welcomes you to join Maine’s Maple Syrup Producers, statewide, as they celebrate Maine Maple Sunday. Most sugarhouses offer free maple syrup samples and demonstrations on how pure Maine maple syrup is made. Many farms offer games, activities, treats (including pancakes, maple sundaes, maple coated nuts, maple whoopie pies, maple butter, maple baked beans, and maple candy), sugarbush tours, music, and much more. This is a great opportunity to indulge your sweet tooth while peeking into the interesting process that syrup producers undertake to create their delicious amber product. The Maine Maple Producers Association has a great, interactive map that details the sugarhouses that are participating in Maple Sunday: Maple Sunday Map.
The Portland Flower Show – March 6 – 10, 2013 – Northern New England’s only annual flower show. The event features spectacular garden themed exhibits, vendor booths and informational seminars. This year’s theme is “Timeless Gardens.” Check out the Portland Flower Show website.
Portland Boat Show – February 28 – March 3, 2013 – For boating enthusiasts, people interested in checking out the latest boating accessories, or folks looking to jump into purchasing a new boat, this event features the largest display area of any of the local boat shows, with exhibits including center console & walkaround fishing boats, bowriders, cuddy cabins, cruisers, pontoon boats, wakeboard boats, and tournament ski boats. For details, visit the Portland Boat Show website. Boating season is right around the corner.
Maine Boatbuilders Show – March 15 – 17, 2013 – The Maine Boatbuilders Show brings the best in Maine marine craftsmanship together with some of the most discerning boat enthusiasts. The show includes everything from a 50-foot day sailer displayed by Brooklin Boat Yard to Rangeley Boats’ rowboats, as well as all the equipment and components in between – with each booth manned by a company owner. The show draws exhibitors from around the country and customers from around the world. Check out the Maine Boatbuilders Show website for more information.
Maine is a true winter playground, offering myriad ways to get out and explore the beautiful landscape, but also packs plenty of indoor ways to enjoy the season. The Inn at English Meadows is the perfect place to use as a base for your winter adventures, whether they involve sliding through wooded glades on cross-country skis or learning new cooking techniques in a cooking class. Afterwards, return to the Inn to relax by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa or a glass of wine. We have compiled a sampling of some of the many ways to enjoy Maine in the winter below:
Cross Country Skiing – In southern Maine you can cross-country ski alongside the ocean, across golf courses and through scented pine forests. Check out the trails at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm or the lovely Bridal Path. L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools offer inexpensive “Walk-On Adventures” in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing right from their retail store in Freeport. Some other resources for cross-country skiing include:
- Harris Farm XC Ski Center – Dayton, (207) 499-2678, www.harrisfarm.com – This 1,000-acre center has 40 kilometers of trails for novice, intermediate and advanced skiers, with skating lanes. Snowshoeing also available. Amenities include a day lodge with wood stove, snack bar, rentals, and ski shop.
- Smiling Hill Farm – Westbrook, www.smilinghill.com – 34 kilometers of trails for novice, intermediate and advanced Nordic skiers and snowshoers, as well as marked nature trails. Amenities include rentals, a farm building with snack bar, wood stove, changing area, gift shop and dairy store.
- Five Fields Farm – Bridgton, (207) 647-2425, www.fivefieldsski.com – This 70-acre orchard offers 27 kilometers of trails for novice, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowshoers. Of special note is the unlimited backcountry terrain to the top of scenic Baldpate Mountain and the surrounding 450-acre land preserve. Other amenities include a warming house and rentals.
Ice Skating – Close by, the Park at Crow Hill in Kennebunkport offers a skating pond and in Kennebunk center there is the newly opened Waterhouse Center skating pavilion. West Brook Ice Rink in Biddeford is also a popular outdoor skating destination. When the conditions are right, the pond in the middle of the beautiful 52-acre Deering Oaks Park in Portland is considered by many to be one of the best ice skating spots in Maine. City crews make a special effort to keep the ice cleared and its surface well groomed for skating. Up for a bigger challenge? The ice goes on for miles at Sebago Lake and other lakes of the nearby Lakes Region.
Skiing – Some of the finest skiing in the east is to be had at Maine mountains. Located less than two hours away are Shawnee Peak in Bridgton and Lost Valley in Auburn. Sunday River in Bethel is close enough for a day trip, as are numerous ski areas in the White Mountains of New Hampshire like Cranmore Mountain Resort, Bretton Woods, Black Mountain, Wildcat and Attitash.
Snowmobiling – Northeast Snowmobile Rentals, with locations in Gorham and Fryeburg can set you up with everything you need for an adrenaline-filled adventure over miles snow-covered trails and open fields. (800) 458-1838 or www.northeastsnowmobile.com.
Go for a sleigh ride – Enjoy snow sprinkled pine trees and frost tipped fields while you glide leisurely in a horse-drawn sleigh. Rockin’ Horse Stables offers horse-drawn sleigh/carriage/wagon rides. 245 Arundel Road, Kennebunkport 207-967-4288.
Bowling – The classic indoor sport is a favorite of young and old alike! Vacationland in Saco is a quick drive away, offering candlepin lanes and a billiard room. At Bayside Bowl in Portland’s revitalized Bayside neighborhood, you can bowl in an intimate, upscale alley and enjoy excellent food served right at the lanes.
Catch a game – The Portland Pirates tear up the ice at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland – look for their home games all winter long as well as those of Maine’s D-league basketball team, The Maine Red Claws.
Relax in a spa – What better way to unwind in winter than by pampering yourself at a day spa. Treat yourself to massage, a facial and aromatherapy; it’s the perfect antidote to the mid-winter blahs. Cottage Breeze Day Spa is right around the corner and numerous other spas are mere minutes away.
Take in a cooking class – Schedule a personal cooking class at nearby 50 Local, an acclaimed restaurant in Kennebunk. Alternatively, at Stonewall Kitchen’s company headquarters in York, classes are held almost daily on such savory topics as bread making, holiday menus, ethnic specialties and seafood delights. 877.899.8363 or www.stonewallkitchen.com. Wine lovers can often find a tasting at Down East Wine Imports in Lower Village Kennebunk or at Browne Trading Company or LeRoux Kitchen in Portland’s Old Port.
New England is famous for its glorious foliage as billions of leaves change from green to a kaleidoscope of colors. The air is crisp and cool – perfect for hiking, biking or a classic drive along back roads, where farm stands are piled high with crunchy apples and orange pumpkins.
The leaves started turning colors in the northern regions of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire around late September and will probably peak around mid-to late October. Along the coast of New Hampshire and southern Maine, color starts later and often lasts up until November.
Maine’s official tourism website has put together a particularly interesting driving route that begins in Kittery and loops up along the southern coast through York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, CapeElizabeth, Portland, and Freeport. After checking out the iconic L.L. bean flagship store, the route heads west through the Sebago Lakes Region and includes a covered bridge and an historic Victorian village before looping back to Kittery. The route offers myriad vistas of woods, water, and mountains while pointing out great opportunities to take in some of the most interesting cultural, historic, and scenic spots in Southern Maine. To check out the route, click this link: Antiques and Boutiques.
For those more inclined to explore on foot some excellent spots to get in a quick hike are listed below:
- The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust preserves tracts of land that have helped maintain the scenic and idyllic charm ofKennebunkport Maine and the surrounding areas. The Trust maintains large parcels of land with excellent trails. In particular, the Smith Preserve is well known for its trees and unique wildlife.
- Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm features seven miles of easy to moderate trails that cover a variety of habitats and offer rich opportunities for discovery. Take the beach trail down to the ocean, passing trees and grasses reaching their peak of color.
- The North Loop Trail at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport presents an exceptionally bright yellow display that normally peaks in mid-to-late October.
- Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal provides views of surrounding forests and Casco Bay’s Calendar Islands. The foliage color peaks usually occur in late September to mid-October.
Regardless where your interests lie, Maine in Autumn offers a beautiful destination rich with tradition and endless entertainment opportunities. We will gladly offers suggestions to help you tailor the perfect visit to Maine and Kennebunk / Kennebunkport.