Over the past few weeks we’ve been blogging about all the “Don’t Miss” things to do in DINE country. First we covered museums, ziplining, concerts and beaches in Massachusetts, then hiking and boat rides in New Hampshire. The next week we offered up ideas for Foodie Tours and nature museums in Vermont, riverboat rides and aquariums in Connecticut and mansions and scenic drives in Rhode Island. We’ll end our “Don’t Miss” summer blog series in Maine with ideas for things to see on Maine’s beautiful rugged coast in Kennebunkport and Camden. In fact, perhaps you’ll recall one of our 2014 blog posts where we covered “DINEtineraries” including one up the coast of Maine from the Captain Jefferds Inn to the Camden Maine Stay Inn.
Today, we’ll start with a visit to the Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport. Within an easy stroll of Dock Square, the first thing you won’t want to miss here is all the eclectic shops in Kennebunkport. Independently owned and filled with a treasure trove of gifts, specialty foods, apparel and more, just about everyone who visits, spends a little time at Dock Square. Of course, there’s the obligatory ride past Walker Point, but there are plenty of other lesser known attractions in Kennebunkport.
New to the entertainment scene in Southern Maine is Vinegar Hill Music Theater in nearby Arundel. This live music venue has just started offering the finest in national, regional, and local music talent throughout the summer and fall season. In a rustically gracious, historic barn setting, Vinegar Hill offers an intimate venue that provides entertainers with a superlative, vibrant setting to showcase their talents and genres, like cabaret, classical, rock, folk, and blues. Plan to arrive early to enjoy the charming outdoor garden area and one of the Playhouse’s signature classic cocktails from the handmade rustic garden bar. Replete with social seating and strung globe lights, this area offers a quiet respite. Make a weekend of it, with a stay at Captain Jefferds Inn, shopping and dinner in Dock Square and then a performance at Vinegar Hill Music Theater! The perfect Southern Maine romantic getaway this summer.
Next it’s on to Camden and the Camden Maine Stay Inn. Make a day of the journey, stopping at the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth on the way. George Washington commissioned this iconic lighthouse, the second one built in America. Jump on Route One after traveling through Portland and Brunswick on Rt 295 and you’ll pass fabulous farm stands, fields of flowers and ocean view glimpses through small New England town centers.
Arrive at the Camden Maine Stay Inn and the first thing to do after getting settled in your room is to take a tour of the fabulous gardens here. Paths wind over man made bridges to a lovely fire pit, and you’ll find beautifully maintained gardens that you simply can’t miss. Next, just like in Kennebunkport, take a stroll into town and visit some of the independently owned stores and restaurants. Camden is a foodie town with wonderful restaurant options right on the water.
Take advantage of Camden’s harborside location and enjoy a day on the bay in one of the area’s classic schooners. The Schooner Olad sails daily from Camden, Maine Memorial Day weekend to mid-October. The Schooner Olad offers historic two-hour day sails aboard a completely restored, classic yacht built in 1927. Another option is the Schooner Surprise. Get involved with sailing the boat or hoisting the sails. If you’d rather just take in the views of scenic Penobscot Bay and relax, that’s certainly fine too.
And for those who prefer moving through the water under their own power, guided kayak tours and kayak rentals are offered through Breakwater Kayak and Maine Sports Outfitters. Get up close and personal with seals and other marine life and birds while paddling in the Penobscot Bay out of Camden Harbor. Or if you’d rather try the newest sport – paddleboarding on the Penobscot – you can rent them from both of these outfitters too. Both the kayak tours and schooner day trips start just blocks from the Camden Maine Stay Inn.
There you have it. Don’t Miss ideas from every one of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England to augment your romantic summer getaway to New England this year. Learn more about the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites where your relaxing romantic getaway can begin.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic
In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport