Innkeepers at the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) wish they had a nickel for each time they answer the question, “Do you offer a Hallmark movie experience?”. The answer, Virginia, is yes! There is a Santa Claus, along with the classic holiday event, twinkling lights, holiday singing, and so much more happening in and around the ten DINE inns this holiday season, not to mention plenty of romance too! Many of the towns where DINE inns reside offer established holiday events and traditions – from the tree lighting in the town square to Santa arriving by sleigh, boat or carriage, depending upon the location. We’re bringing you a peek into the perfect New England experiences you’ll get when you combine a stay at beautifully decorated inns in DINE country with the events close by. However, we must advise…book soon or forever hold your caroling. Inns are already booking up for the holidays – both during event dates and leading up to holiday celebrations. You’ll want to make plans soon for your upcoming holiday getaway!
This is part one of a state-by-state look at the holiday events and experiences you’ll find at DINE inns. We start today by highlighting the DINE inns in Maine.
At Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden, Maine
The time honored tradition of Christmas By The Sea will return to Camden once again this year for the 35th event, December 3-5, 2021. Nothing says “traditional Christmas seaside cheer” like Camden’s Christmas by the Sea celebration which features a traditional holiday parade through downtown Camden on Friday evening, plus tree-lightings, downtown holiday music, visits with Santa Claus, story time with Santa and his elf, cookie decorating, a family scavenger hunt, and other fun surprises throughout the weekend. The whole town gets behind the lighting of the star high above Camden on Mount Battie, a symbol of hope that shone throughout the pandemic last winter and once again for this holiday season. Plus, there’s always a lit Christmas tree high atop at least one of the windjammers that call Camden their home. From the mountains to the sea, this area is right out of a Hallmark movie.
Just a few blocks from the center of the fun, the Camden Maine Stay Inn will be decorated with wreaths on the windows outside and holiday décor in all of the common rooms. Check in on Friday and enjoy a warm drink and homemade afternoon goodies, then stroll downtown to take in the parade. The weekend’s events are so close, along with Camden’s eclectic shops offering so many ideas for those hard to shop for friend. Innkeepers Peter and Janis will be happy to share a complete schedule of the weekend’s events and some insider tips for shopping and dining too. Best of all, you’ll start each day with a fabulous homecooked breakfast to energize you for a day of holiday fun.
At Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport, Maine
Viewers of HGTV voted Kennebunkport the #2 Christmas Town in America! Just about every holiday event you can imagine – from a hat parade to a pooch parade – is on the schedule for Kennebunkport’s 40th Annual Christmas Prelude celebration, December 2-12, 2021. Santa arrives twice – once by lobster boat and the next time by Fire Engine. In keeping with the Maine theme, the tree at the center of Kennebunkport’s Dock Square is topped with a lobster and decorated with buoys. The schedule of events is so long that the Prelude spans over two weekends, with plenty to do midweek in between.
Nothing pairs better with the holidays than a getaway to a DINE inn, and the Inn at English Meadows is walking distance to all of the events. While weekends are filling up fast, there’s still plenty of room midweek, and an incentive to stay a little longer. You’ll receive a 20% discount on mid-week stays of three or more nights, checking in on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, Dec 5, 6 or 7th. Simply book online and look for the Prelude Midweek rate. You’ll enjoy beautifully decorated contemporary surroundings and gorgeous holiday decorations here. Plus each day starts with a hand crafted breakfast to fuel you through a day of shopping and holiday reveling.
We’re just getting started offering ideas for your holiday getaways. Each week we’ll feature another state and the fun you can have during the holidays there. From Thanksgiving to the end of the year, holiday time is a busy time at DINE inns. Don’t forget to book directly with the inn of your choice to get the best rates and availability.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic