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.
September is a perfect time to visit Southern Coastal Maine. The beaches are less crowded and the weather tends to feature warm, sunny days and evenings with cool breezes. Ideal conditions for sitting by the ocean or exploring everything Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have to offer. September is also a great time to take advantage of fairs, festivals, and events. An upcoming special event that promises delicious food, distinctive cocktails, and an opportunity to mingle and dance in a picturesque setting will be held at On The Marsh Bistro on Saturday, September 15, 2012. On The Marsh will present “The Great Gatsby” to benefit The Food Pantries of York County tented in the meadow outside their restaurant. 6pm Cocktails and hearty Hors d’oeuvres will be followed by 7pm Dinner and dancing to the ever popular “Straight Lace Band.” Dress for Prohibition times, and be prepared for an evening of surprises! $110 per person all inclusive, Cash Bar. Limited seating. Reservations for the event have begun. The phone number for On The Marsh is 207-967-2299. Come for a weekend getaway at the Inn at English Meadows and remember the Roaring 20’s at a fun event that also supports a worthy cause.
Some other events of note:
SCHOOL AROUND US SUMMER CRAFT FAIR
School Around Us 37th Annual Summer Craft Fair is Saturday, September 1st, 2012 from 9am to 4pm, on the Green, Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, Maine. Featuring 70 juried artists and artisans, live music and food. Rain date Sunday, September 2nd, Info: (207) 967-3143, www.schoolaroundus.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANNUAL CAPRICCIO & FESTIVAL OF KITES
A celebration of the Arts! in Ogunquit. Festival of Kites to take place on September 8, 2012. Rain date: September 9, 2012. Directly on Ogunquit Beach. Sponsored by Ogunquit Rotary Club and Ogunquit Performing Arts. Info: (207) 646-2261.
UNITED MAINE CRAFTSMEN’S FALL FESTIVAL OF ARTS & CRAFTS
A show and sale of unique handcrafted products, made by over 100 Maine Artisans, on the grounds of Smiling Hill Farm. Exhibitors will be selling, locally handcrafted Pottery, Fused & Stained Glass, Jewelry, Baskets, Folk & Fine Art, Wood Products, Specialty Foods, Fiber Arts, Soaps, Candles and much more. Ample Free Parking, Food Vendors, Rain or Shine.
Smiling Hill Farm
781 County Rd
Westbrook, ME 04092
September 8th, 2012
10am – 4pm
$2.00 at the gate. Children under 12 free.
Contact: Laurie Kelley
SHAKER HILL APPLE FESTIVAL
A beautiful old Shaker village in Alfred, Maine, comes alive on Sat. Sept. 22, & Sun. Sept. 23, 2012, from 10-4. Juried arts & craft fair, Shaker Museum exhibits & demonstrations, book & yard sales, silent auction, apple & pumpkin picking, wagon rides of Shaker village, live music, children’s activities, antique car rides, farm & food booths, Museum shop, continental breakfast, Giles Family Farm Store, pie sales, chili & chowder lunches, Bakery at Notre Dame, Brothers’ Apple Store, apple crisp. Free Parking & Free Admission. Proceeds benefit homeless children of York County Shelter Programs, Friends of the Alfred Shaker Museum, and Giles Family Farm.
York County Shelter Programs
Shaker Hill Road
Alfred, ME 04002
September 22nd, 2012 — September 23rd, 2012
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free admission, free parking
Contact: Mary Doyle
CELLARDOOR WINERY VINFEST 2012
Vinfest 2012, our annual fall harvest celebration takes place Saturday, September 29th and includes a full day of family-friendly fun! Grape-stomping, food and wine pairings, BBQ, music, winery tours, demonstrations and much more. $10 per person. Check out our website for many more events, classes and tours. http://mainewine.com/events/
367 Youngtown Rd
Lincolnville, ME 04849
September 29th, 2012
10:00 A.M-5:00 P.M.
$10 per person
Contact: Jasie Costigan
CAMDEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Located on the rugged coast of Maine, the Camden International Film Festival will return for its eighth season. Recognized as one of the top 25 film festivals in the world for documentary films and filmmakers, the festival highlights work that show dedication to craft and a unique and artistic approach to telling a darn good story. Films are selected because of their ability to arouse discussion on documentary film as an art form, a catalyst for change and as an outlet for the independent voice. For information on the festival, the purchase of passes, our film selection or the Points North Pitch forum, visit http://www.camdenfilmfest.org/
Theatres in Camden, Rockport and Rockland
September 27th, 2012 — September 30th, 2012
Contact: Lara Sitruk
Maine’s Blue Ribbon Classic! The largest agriculture fair in Maine! Eight days of entertainment and education for the whole family – A variety of livestock, draft show horses and ponies, pulling horses and oxen, a forestry research center, an agricultural exhibition center, crafts, a flower show, educational exhibitions and demonstrations, sheep dog trials and a huge parade on Saturday. A thrilling midway with amusement rides and delicious food. Live music all day, and nightly entertainment. The Fair attracts upwards of 300,000 visitors each year.
1154 Main St
Fryeburg, ME 04037
September 30th, 2012 — October 7th, 2012
Gates open at 7 – Buildings open 9-9
General Admission – $10 every day; Includes Night Shows; Children under 12 always free; 65 & over – Senior Citizen Tuesday – No Charge
Contact: Jane Lounsbury
The fullness of summer is upon us and our gardens are in full bloom. Pockets of green with punches of color are sprinkled around our property creating mini oases that invite rest and relaxation. Some of our favorite blooms include the showy Lacecap hydrangeas, which love the soil in Maine, and the intensely yellow Asiatic lilies. We’ve created a pallet that mixes cool purples and blues with riotous reds, sunny yellows, and punchy fuschias. We invite guests to stretch out in these tranquil spots and experience the full beauty of late summer in Maine: warm, languid days punctuated with cool, star-filled nights.
It’s no secret that inns and hotels can be bastions of wastefulness, with the average guest discarding about two pounds of paper, plastic, cardboard and cans each day. Pat Maher, the green consultant for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, states “Right now, half a million of those little bath product bottles end up in landfills every day.” Most are only 1/4 to 1/2 used, which sends a shocking amount of unused chemicals into our groundwater supply.
Another item that contributes to the amount of waste generated by the lodging industry is bottled water. “Each year, people are drinking 30 billion throwaway bottles of water,” said the Sierra Club’s Ruth Caplan. “If you put them end to end, it would go around the world more than 150 times.” Four out of five plastic water bottles end up in landfills, but even before they get there, they’ve taken a toll on the environment.
In an effort to be more green and waste less, the Inn at English Meadows is implementing some new eco-friendly practices – water carafes have been added to each room, which cuts down on the number of plastic water bottles needing to be recycled.
To reduce the number of individually sized bath products that would contribute to the waste stream, the Inn is now using full-size pump bottles of (MALIN+GOETZ) rum hand (+ body) wash and neroli hand+body lotion. When guests leave, the pump bottles are refilled so nothing is thrown out. It is a wonderful marriage of offering luxury bath products while keeping an eye towards being good stewards of the environment.
Another green practice in which English Meadows participates is the soap recycling program managed by Partners In Development, Inc. Each year, a staggering number of children die from hygiene and sanitation related illnesses. Partners in Development works to prevent those deaths and improve community health, by recycling used hotel soap and turning it into new bars that are distributed to vulnerable populations in Haiti. With 4.6-million hotel/motel rooms in theUnited States, an estimated 2.6-million soap bars are discarded every day. By participating in the recycling program, tons of waste are diverted from the landfill. We feel that small steps can have a large impact.
Every year at this time America gets ready to celebrate it’s birthday, and the Kennebunk / Kennebunkport area is ready to celebrate as well! Come stay with us and have easy access to the festivities.
There will be a lovely fireworks display on July 4th held at Kennebunk Beach. For the best view of the show it’s good to arrive early because parking is limited. There are many other great places to view the fireworks such as one of the restaurants that line the Kennebunk River like the Arundel Wharf Restaurant, Cape Arundel Inn, or Stripers. Another great place to see the display is the jetty at Colony Beach. Or how about a scenic lobster boat cruise to experience the spectacular show right from the water. Whatever your plans, be sure to take your time and enjoy the show.
Interior and fashion stylist Erin Gates, who writes the Elements of Style blog, joined us during the recent Kennebunkport Festival and took part in the Maine Home+Design dinner that we hosted. Erin put together a really nice piece, including some lovely photographs, about her experience here as well as some of the other events she attended and places she visited during her stay in Kennebunk – Kennebunkport. You can find the blog entry at the following link: A Kennebunkport Weekend. Below is one of the images she includes in the blog.
Seems that Erin took quite a liking to our English goldendoodle, stating that he has an “irresistible little face.” We might be biased, but we couldn’t agree more! Erin also enjoyed the “seriously amazing food” at the dinner created by guest Chef Dennis Franceschini, Executive Chef-partner of New York City’s Bar Italia.
We greatly enjoyed hosting Erin and hope that you will check out her Elements of Style blog!
7pm-10pm – Inn at English Meadows
Join us and Maine Home+Design editor Rebecca Falzano for an evening of conversation and great food at the exquisitely renovated Inn at English Meadows. Chef Dennis Franceschini, Executive Chef-partner of New York City’s Bar Italia, is creating a menu with wine pairings that will become a much-talked-about end to your Kennebunkport Festival experience.
Bar Italia Executive Chef-partner Dennis Franceschini is known for conjuring savory multiregional Italian dishes that are light and well-balanced. Examples include Polenta Gratinata (polenta with mushrooms) and Tuna al Balsamica, seared slices of tuna, fennel, and balsamic dressing whose presentation is as beautiful as the dish is tasty. Before opening Bar Italia, Dennis spent 20 years at Cipriani’s, eventually becoming the Executive Chef. During his career he opened 23 Cipriani restaurants all over the world, including in Argentina, Uruguay, Hong Kong and London.
This creative four-course dinner, which includes dessert, is $200 per person. Seating is limited to eight with advanced reservation and ticket purchase required. Reservations are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be purchased through the Kennebunkport Festival website http://www.kennebunkportfestival.com/tickets/.
Proceeds from this dinner benefit Share Our Strength Maine. Thanks to the Kennebunkport Festival and the commitment of the local community, including the many sponsors and volunteers, proceeds from the Art of Dining ticket sales will support Share Our Strength Maine’s efforts to end childhood hunger. With your help, we are teaching more families how to cook healthy, affordable meals through Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ program and by funding other nutrition education programs. And we are bringing more good people like you to the cause through the No Kid Hungry Campaign and Pledge. Your participation in the Kennebunkport Festival is helping us spread the word about how, together, we will ensure that no child in Maine goes hungry.
Special guest Erin Gates of www.elementsofstyleblog.com will be attending to blog about the event. Founded in 2007 by interior and fashion stylist Erin Gates, Elements of Style has become a touchstone for readers all over the world in search of design inspiration, advice and a few laughs.
We spend more and more of our free time exploring our surroundings on foot. Daily walks lead us to secluded beaches, wooded trails, and down quiet lanes in historic Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Each walk is a joyous occasion; there are always interesting scents and sounds, and of course friends to greet. It’s been great fun to see our community through the eyes of a dog.
One of our favorite spots to walk is Parson’s Beach*, which is only a few miles from our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast
Another favorite spot is the Rachel Carson Trail, in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. It, too, is just a few miles from our Kennebunk Bed and Breakfast; in fact, it’s close to Parson’s Beach. The flat trail meanders through woods and over wooden bridges through a salt marsh. It is a lovely, peaceful spot.
Both Parson’s Beach and the Rachel Carlson Trail are within biking distance of the Inn at English Meadows. This is good news, since there is limited parking at Parson’s Beach.
* Parson’s Beach is privately owned; please follow the posted rules and be respectful of the environment while there.
There are changes afoot in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine.
We’ve been keenly interested in changes happening around Kennebunkport and Kennebunk lately. We’ve been watching the progress on The Grand, a new hotel being built in Kennebunk’s Lower Village. We’re told The Grand will also have retail space, and we’re excited to see what new shops fill it. The Grand is scheduled to open this spring, and it seems like it will open on time.
Another big change in Kennebunkport is The Landing. It’s gone. A new restaurant and inn, Portwatch, is going to be built in its place. Portwatch is owned and operated by the folks who run the Cape Arundel Inn, a place known for its amazing dinners. We’re already looking forward to our first meal at Portwatch!
Our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast has been hopping lately. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to slip away for a little romance, and since it was closely followed by Presidents Day Weekend, many couples enjoyed several days here. It was fun to surprise some guests with Jacques Torre Chocolates and bouquets of flowers. Often it’s men who treat ladies to such treats, but this year, one lovely lady showered her Valentine with champagne, chocolates. and rose petals. Such fun.
Some people like to escape the kitchen while on vacation. Others like to spend their vacations in the kitchen. Our Bed and Breakfast in the Kennebunks can accommodate both kinds of travelers.
Most of our guests don’t get anywhere near the kitchen, of course. All indulge in three-course gourmet breakfasts, and some opt for additional treats such as homemade cocoa, marshmallows and cookies, or artisanal cheese trays with fruit. But from time to time, we hosts guests seeking to enrich and broaden their own cooking skills through a culinary adventure at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.
We recently hosted a bridesmaids’ dinner with close to ten women. The bride and her friends gathered in our kitchen for a demonstration by Chef Timothy Jordan. After watching him prepare the meal, the ladies enjoyed it in our dining room. They had a delicious evening here at the inn, and departed the following day with new recipes and fond memories.
The bridesmaids’ dinner was arranged through Epitourean.com, our partner in culinary travel. Plan your own gustatory adventure in the Kennebunks of Maine through Epitourean.com, or give us a call. Many talented chefs in the area are interested in offering cooking classes and demonstrations at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.
Fear not! You won’t spend all of your time in the kitchen. A culinary getaway allows plenty of time for visiting Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, walking on the beach, and exploring the rocky coast of Maine. You’ll have time to visit a lighthouse, drive by the summer home of President George H.W. Bush, and sip wine by the fire back at the inn. Yet you’ll also have fun in the kitchen. For some, that’s the ideal vacation indeed.