In spite of challenging times, sometimes a girl has just got to getaway. But could one visit Kennebunkport, Maine, a hideaway of the rich and famous on an average girl’s budget?
I was out of work. The uncertainty surrounding the next step in my life was bogging me down and I needed to refocus without spending much cash. I searched for a last minute destination that wouldn’t be far away or too pricey and invited my girlfriend, Christina, to join me on an overnight escape to Kennebunkport, Maine
Christina is my go-to girl for spontaneity and because we share the same name, we have enjoyed more than a few laughs from introducing ourselves to new people. We get strange looks of disbelief when I say, “Hi, I’m Christina.” And she follows with, “Nice to meet you, I’m Christina.” So we dubbed this the getaway of the Christinas.
Curiosity drew me to visit Maine, as I had never been there despite living in New England for five years. I turned off the interstate and onto a winding two-lane road. It was covered by a canopy of dense woods and connected small, one-stop towns along the way. Good conversation made the four hour drive pass quickly.
Kennebunkport is located on the mouth of the Kennebunk River extending to the Atlantic Ocean. The streets of this seaside village are lined with two story Cape Cod style cottages and mansions that date back to the 1800s. Shipbuilding and fishing brought Kennebunkport to life in the late 1700s but today, it’s a place for dignitaries, well-known personalities, and wealthy business people to find leisure. In fact, two weeks after my visit, Taylor Swift filmed a music video here. I am neither a celebrity nor wealthy but wondered if I might be able to play in this hideaway of the rich and famous on an average girl’s budget.
We easily found parking on a side street in Dock Square, the downtown section of Kennebunkport. After we browsed some of the gift shops, we strolled by the boat docks to watch fishermen clean their schooners. I wished one of those fishermen would take me out to sea to drink wine on the open water but that wish stayed inside my head. From the bridge in the town center, images of the boats reflected on the water like a mirror.
We decided to stop for ice cream cones; I had maple-nut and Christina had mint-chocolate chip. Everyone else at the ice cream shop was grey-haired and over 60. Two squirrels scampered by on the sidewalk and then ran up a tree. We skipped the t-shirt store filled with clothing and trinkets that can be found in any tourist destination. Instead, we peered in the stained glass shop on our way back to the car.
The Village Cove Inn (www.villagecoveinn.com) was well worth the $99 we paid for our one night stay. A breakfast of fresh bagels, chocolate chip muffins, seasonal fruit, and warm pastries was also included. More of a country villa than a hotel, I loved that a sliding glass door was the main entry into the room from the outdoors. The man who checked us into our room welcomed us with an overview of the available amenities and offered to get anything we might need. He mentioned that school kids were scheduled to be out for summer vacation the following week and after that, the town would be filled with families throughout the rest of the summer. I was quite content to have missed the summer rush.
We went to the beach on foot, just a 10-minute walk from our room. For me, a beach bum at heart, spending a few hours in the sun added a peaceful touch to this furlough. I admired the sunset over the surf and the changing shades of blue and pink in the sky. Christina and I agreed that this intentional time-out was exactly what our over-stressed minds needed.
I couldn’t leave Maine without sampling the local cuisine. Hungry for fresh seafood, we wandered into Mabel’s Lobster Claw on Ocean Avenue. I was not disappointed. I had the lobster, scallops and shrimp in wine and garlic sauce. Served with warm biscuits, my dinner showed off the fresh and flavorful local catch this town has been bragging about for years. To celebrate, we popped a bottle of champagne and offered up cheers to our impromptu getaway.
For more information about Kennebunkport
Cost: $120 – Meals and Snacks
$99 – Accommodation
$50 – One Tank of Gas
Total: $269 / 2 = $135 per person
*Photos by author except for first photo by Mislibrarian