New England Diary - Part One
I travelled through nine states this summer, but I can easily say that Maine was my favourite. Upon my return I received many emails and text asking for our New England trip itinerary. I can't take much credit for planning this awesome vacation as several of our friends who are regular New England summer vacationers provided many recommendations on where to stop and where to stay. We decide to road trip so that we could see more of the North Eastern US, specifically Vermont and Upstate New York in the summer and because we both like shoes :) - see my Chicago Diary for insight into that joke.
Toronto -> Burlington, Vermont
Burnington -> Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport -> Boston, Massachusetts
Boston -> Toronto
When planning our road trip we tossed around a few ideas for overnight stays on our way to Maine. Most obvious were Montreal or Lake Placid. We thought Montreal was a weekend getaway unto itself (plus my hus is there regularly for work) and he's already been to Lake Placid, I hadn't, so we decided to stop in Lake Placid for lunch and then continue on to Burlington, Vermont for the night. While it was an extra hour's drive to Burlington (so six hours on the road) we were an hour closer to Kennebunkport. The drive from Toronto to Kennebunkport is about 10 hours. This route also included a boat ride across Lake Champlain from New York into Vermont. Not something you everyday...and super pretty.
Where to Stay
With a little research my husband found Hotel Vermont, a very sweet boutique hotel within walking distance to Lake Champlain and the Church Street Promenade. It frosts me a little that I didn't discover this hotel because it turned out to be one of the chicest hotels we've stayed in. Think Thompson Hotel in the mountains. Hotel Vermont is busy all year...think Vermont skiing in the winter, so be sure to make a reservation early.
Where to Eat
Within walking distance of the Hotel Vermont is Church Street or Church Street Marketplace. A larger portion of the street is set up promenade style with with no vehicles allowed. It's bustling with people, historic architecture, and over 100 spots shopping and dining. What I loved most about Church Street was the number of local businesses on the street. While there was a Starbucks, there was also several independent coffee shops as well. I always love checking out the independents when I'm in a new city.
For dining we choose a sweet French Bistro called Leunigs. Many of the restaurants have patios for summer dining and the weather happened to be beautiful the night we visited.
For breakfast we hit the charming Henry's Diner which has been a Burlington mainstay since 1925. If you like diner breakfast, Henry's is not to be missed, but be prepared for a lineup - even to sit at the charming retro counter.
A beautiful drive through Vermont lead us to our second stop - three nights in Kennebunkport, Maine. In hindsight, we should have stayed the duration of our holiday here because we fell in love with this charming seaside town and surrounding area - but alas, there's always next year.
Where to Stay - Kennebunkport, Maine
There are many lovely boutique hotels and inn's in Kennebunkport, but only one in the famous Goose Rocks Beach area - Tides Beach Club. Several friends suggested we make this adorable seaside inn that's overflowing with an easy 'east coast' vibe a stop for a drink or dinner, but since we were travelling without our teens, we decided it would be a perfect place to call home for a few nights. With only twenty-one rooms, it has the feel of a Drake Devonshire - for those familiar with the popular Prince Edward County boutique hotel.
Where to Eat
The town of Kennebunkport and surrounding areas including Cape Porpoise and Walker's Point ( home of the Bush family compound) and the Goose Rocks Beach area make for some incredibly 'instagramable' moments and amazing culinary moments. We took a full day (away from the beach) to explore the area. Parking is at a premium in Kennebunkport, so arrive early to get a good spot, otherwise you might have a walk into the heart of town. There are so many great places to eat in the area. We choose David's KPT for sit down lunch by the water (lobster rolls and a glass of wine - obvi), but if you want your lobster roll on the run, The Clam Shack is a great choice.
Before you leave, make sure you swing by Satellite Doughnuts on Spring Street for a dozen or so...the yummiest mini doughnuts since Tiny Tom!
One of the sister hotels in the KRC Hotels chain that includes Tides Beach Club is Hidden Pond. This luxury cottage resort is nestled among the pines just five minutes away from Goose Rocks Beach. It's also home to the award winning, farm to table restaurant Earth. If you're in the Kennebunkport area, this is THE place to dine. The dining room is reminiscent of a beautiful log cabin, or possibly Cindy Crawford's cottage in Muskoka. ;)
More of my New England road trip in New England Dairy - Part Two.