Weary of hiking the Green Mountains and yearning for the sound of the surf and the taste of salty air? The drive from Stowe to Kennebunkport is right around 3.5 hours on easy interstates dropping south from the mountains of Vermont and crossing the border of Maine. The town boasts everything you’d expect from a historic New England harbor town turned playground for the well-healed (including the Bush summer cottage, pictured above). Restaurants and upscale shops are crowded into the walking friendly village, including the most amazing ice-cream parlor I have ever found…among the flavors: Persian love cake, Chèvre and blueberry, and lavender with honey.
There are lots of restaurants boasting $20 lobster rolls, but if you’re looking for a large menu with tons of tasty options, check out Federal Jack’s (www.federaljacks.com) on the left just as your enter town from the south end. If you get a table on their deck you can enjoy a nice, albeit limited view of some hulls and masts.There is a very large and pretty pristine public beach, and here’s the best part: it is open to dogs after 5 pm! I had the big H with me and he hasn’t seen a beach since his days in Miami. The sand in FL was way too hot for his paws, hence he never got to the water’s edge. But here in Kennebunkport, he had a slice of heaven. Note: If you want to bring your K9 to the beach just remember to give them full access to a good long drink of water before you let them go crazy – and keep an eye on them while they are in the surf. Salt water can be really bad news when ingested even unintentionally and in small quantities.
My next trip to Maine will include the additional two hours north to Northeast Harbor. It’s been way too long since I walked Little Hunter’s Beach and gone scallop diving in the frigid waters. Last time I had the jaw-dropping experience of swimming with a pod of gray seals. Plain fact – Maine NEVER disappoints. I’d forgotten just how addictive it can be, and I’m so psyched that I’ve reconnected!