Contemplating an escape to Coastal Maine evokes images of clipper ships, rugged beaches, lighthouses, and the most prized lobsters in North America. Kennebunkport is a fine example of where all this and more comes together. Where you stay has a big impact on the quality of your experience, and thankfully your search is now much simpler with Inns Along the Coast, a new coalition of 8 historic inns also situated in Bar Harbor and Rockland Maine that all meet 5-star standards like impeccably maintained rooms appointed with luxury amenities, chef prepared breakfasts, in room spa tubs and fireplaces, collectible art on display, and no foolin wifi that’s strong no matter where you roam. And the best part is you’re connected with properties guaranteed to be unique destinations in themselves made all the richer by their unique history and innkeeper legacy.
Inns Along the Coast also provides complete locally pre designed itineraries that take the guess work out of which activities and sights can’t be missed. 1802 House, Captain Jefferds Inn, and Inn at English Meadows are all Inns Along the Coast within walking distance of each other in Kennebunkport yet offer completely different experiences.
Captain Jefferds Inn
Situated among other sea captain’s homes of the same era in Kennebunkport’s historic residential district, Captain Jefferds Inn is a several block stroll away from the Kennebunk River, Dock Square, and many dining options, art galleries and unique shops. Like many of Maine’s coastal towns, Kennebunkport was established on shipbuilding. Thankfully, its original walk ability and 18th century architectural charm was preserved as a historic district in 1976 so it really feels like you’re stepping back in time.
Captain Jefferds Inn owners Erik and Sarah Lindblom took their first innkeepers course 25 years before even buying the property. Over the years they searched for the perfect inn on the coast of Maine before settling on this inn. The deciding factor along with its compelling historic charm and in town location was the perfect spot for their prized grandfather clock to be tucked next to the central staircase leading from the foyer to rooms upstairs.
Each of the 16 guest rooms is unique with many featuring a gas fireplace or wood-styled stove, spa tub, or perhaps a private screened in porch or deck approaching cottage-like privacy and coziness. 3-course breakfasts are served in the fireplaced dining room with an adjoining sun porch set up with a coffee serving station and magnificent selection of loose leaf gourmet teas for brewing. Simply fill up one of their small tea pots with your choice and linger or bring up to your room and indulge with a good book. Saving you a trip to the market, Erik and Sarah sell wines by the bottle as well as local maple syrup and homemade snacks.
Teri and Roger Walker’s journey as innkeepers began upon returning to the US after living in the UK for 20 years. Teri always fantasized about being an innkeeper and happily, “Roger was a good sport and supportive of that dream.” Their challenge was finding the right inn in the right location while living in the UK raising a family and working long corporate hours. They overcame this by consistently taking vacations in the US staying in B&B’s whenever possible to test the waters. Serendipitously, on their first trip to Maine in 2011, they quickly fell in love with Kennebunkport and the 1802 House which happened to be for sale and bought it soon after.
15 Locke Street is a quick drive or an entirely doable walk to Kennebunkport village but worlds away in ambiance. Instead of water views and village life, 1802 House is tucked away down a country lane ensconced in the serenity of historic Cape Arundel Golf Club. As the name implies, this stately colonial was built in 1802 starting out as a family home with additions gradually added over the years. In the 1990s it was converted into a bed and breakfast but it wasn’t until Teri and Roger took over in 2012 that the property’s interior was completely overhauled to include a central dining room, custom spa baths, premium bedding, heirloom furnishings, and a 3 room Sebago Suite outfitted with oversized 2-person spa tub and private balcony.
Inn at English Meadows
A quick stroll down Port Road in Kennebunkport’s Lower Village to eateries like Old Vines Wine Bar and relative newcomer Ports of Italy, Inn at English Meadows, a meticulously renovated 1860 Greek Revival, brings a Soho vibe to a farmhouse originally built by local dairy farmer Asa English.
Kate and David Parisi are the latest couple in a long string of innkeepers welcoming guests to the property for over 75 years. 10 artfully appointed guest rooms and suites along with a separate two-bedroom Carriage House bungalow meld original moldings, wide plank floors, and the original rambling layout with a thoroughly modernist ambiance of Blue Dot-esque furnishings, Vera Wang beds, Frette linens, Malin+Goetz soaps and the owners’ personal collection of watercolors and collages on display throughout the property.
Waking up here is made extra sweet with readily available locally roasted Coffee by Design and a 3-course gourmet breakfast beginning with fresh baked daily pastries like Maine blueberry scones with sugar cinnamon butter. Then it’s on to exquisite dishes like honey roasted plums or pears infused with thyme from the onsite herb garden and then perhaps a breakfast pizza topped with prosciutto and lemony mascarpone.
Evening possibilities include kicking back on the Inn’s patio or landscaped English gardens in Adirondack chairs with a bottle of wine or favorite cocktail. For beach walks, you have Mother’s and Gooch’s Beaches lining Beach Avenue entirely accessible by sidewalk from the inn. And just a 15 minute ride away, you have 3 mile long Goose Rocks Beach, a powdery sandy stretch kept that way by a barrier reef just off shore.
Photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky, Captain Jefferds Inn, & 1802 House, & Inn at English Meadows. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored visit.