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Chilling out in Maine  

by Nick Tate

Now that the holidays are's time for you to enjoy some real relaxation. Maybe a little "me" time is what you are longing for? Perhaps a romantic weekend getaway with that special someone in your life, just the two of you...or a catch up with your best pals?

It's time for you to get away, relax and rejuvenate. You deserve it!

And Kennebunkport, Maine offers it all; plenty to see and do, or just do nothing and lots of lodging choices and sensational dining options. All offering great value at this time of year and just a hundred miles north of Boston and only five hours from New York City.

Upon arriving in the Kennebunk region, you feels that you have stepped back into time. It is not difficult to understand why the carefully restored Main St. is listed in the National Historic Register. The charm of the quaint brick buildings is not diminished by the twenty-first century shops, boutiques and cafes that dwell within.

The Kennebunkport seaside community offers the eclectic New England ambiance that you would expect, while also offering an array of fine accommodations and dining opportunities, endless miles of beaches, panoramic views of lighthouses, eclectic boutiques, art galleries and outlet stores. The brisk winter air serves to refresh the soul and the spirit, and then the abundance of crackling fires in most establishments warm the body and soul.

Perhaps the most renowned lodging in Kennebunkport is the famous White Barn Inn ( The Inn itself offers guests a plethora of choices of accommodations that combines history, romance and luxury. Every guest room or suite comes with fresh flowers, fresh fruit and terrycloth robes. Spa packages are available for those seeking to indulge in luxurious massages, rejuvenating body wraps and manicures. Modern conveniences are available to those that do not want to forgo the luxury of plasma screen TV's, wireless internet access and voicemail access.

The Beach House Inn ( is located just two miles (within walking distance) from the historic village of Kennebunkport and offers all of the amenities of a luxurious seaside retreat, but in a more relaxed "cottage" type atmosphere. Here, you can sit inside beside the fireplace and enjoy the panoramic ocean views or you can walk the beach hand in hand and watch the chilly water spray into the air while the Atlantic surf pounds.

Yet another accommodation choice to consider is the Breakwater Inn and Spa (, sitting at the mouth of the river and straddling the juncture as they say, "where the river meets the sea". This 1800's Inn offers the nautical atmosphere of the sea for those who desire to stay in the lap of luxury whilst watching waves as boats maneuver in and out of the inlet. Indulge and relax even further at the Breakwater Spa, located adjacent to the main Inn.

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at your accommodation of choice, there are a multitude of ways to spend your day. If you are staying at one of the hotels that offer a Spa menu, you could spend the day being pampered inside by the crackling fire. If you forget to bring a good book, be sure to ask your hosts as they always seem to find some suitable reading material for you to enjoy as you snuggle up.

There are miles of beaches to walk in and around Kennebunkport. Even in the winter, you will enjoy the endless spread of pristine sand, the white pounding surf and the sights of people walking dogs, flying kites, running and walking. Going to the beach in the winter is an adventure for those who enjoy seeing what the winter sea storms have washed ashore, discovering shells that have come from halfway across the ocean!

Staying in the Kennebunks also offers the winter visitor the opportunity to enjoy a drive along the rugged Maine coastline without having to battle the traffic that clogs scenic Route 1 in Spring and Summer. Maine has dozens of lighthouses along its rocky coastline and attracts many visitors ; Kennebunk is home to the Goat Island lighthouse, the last manned lighthouse in Maine and the next to the last to be automated in the United States. There are at least a half a dozen more within a short driving distance of Kennebunkport.

For those who prefer to enjoy the rich culture of this historic town, a stroll along the village streets will be to your liking. There are scenic walking tracks, dozens of cozy boutiques to browse and many fine art galleries to enjoy. The gallery "Home and Away" is the only one of its type along the New England coast and offers visitors a multi-cultural experience in one location. Scattered throughout the village are places to buy steaming lattes, cocoa and herbal teas to enjoy while taking in the wonder of seemingly stepping back to the 1800's.

After a day of total rejuvenation and being invigorated by the crisp winter air, you will want to enjoy dinner at one of the famous eateries that Kennebunkport offers. Grissini Italian Bistro ( is the perfect dining experience for those wanting to continue the day that has been filled with absorbing rich history and culture. The atmosphere touts the exhibition wood-fire oven where authentic Tuscan meals with a touch of New England are prepared to order. The bistro ambiance and décor creates the illusion of being in Olde World Tuscany.

For those desiring to enjoy a formal dining experience, there is only one choice. The White Barn Restaurant ( offers a genuine gourmet experience in New England's only AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star award winning restaurant. The finest of dining cuisine is served in two fully restored mid-1800's barns that offer crisp white linens, candlelight and floor to ceiling windows. Service is impeccable and meals are prepared with finesse, using only the finest of ingredients.

So, are you ready now for that Kennebunkport getaway weekend or mid-week escape? Are you longing for the opportunity to explore another world for just a day or two? Kennebunkport is within easy reach of anywhere in New England and offers enough variety to meet the individual needs of each and every visitor. Go on, jump on the internet or make that call for your reservations today and then start looking forward to the spectacular rugged coast, the foaming surf, the crackling fires, and being pampered at some of the finest of accommodations and dining experiences in New England.

About the Author

Nick Tate is an experienced, professional travel writer having worked with some of the leading travel publications in the world including Travel & Leisure and Lonely Planet. Having traveled the globe from Abyssinia to Zanzibar on assignment, Nick is now semi-retired and is based in New England.

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