For most people in this country the third Monday in April passes by without much fanfare. However, in Maine and Massachusetts (and Wisconsin oddly enough) the day is celebrated as Patriots’ Day. Patriots’ Day commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles in the American War for Independence, which were fought on April 19, 1775. Obviously celebrated in Massachusetts, it is also celebrated in Maine, given the fact that Maine remained part of Massachusetts until 1820. Traditions like the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox morning start make it a truly remarkable day in Boston, but the small town of Ogunquit does their best to provide some fun and educational activities of their own. Activities include treasure hunts, a fife and drum parade, beach bazaar, and historical reenactments. Be sure to visit April 21-23 to enjoy this uniquely Maine tradition.
This is one of my favorite images that we’ve been able to capture on Wells Beach. Mostly because this is exactly how my friend would look if he were a seal. However, people are often astonished to find out that seals really do come right up onto the beach, and that this picture was actually taken right here in Wells. The species of seal that we see here is called a harbor seal, also referred to as a common seal. They are typical inhabitants along coastlines of the north Atlantic in both Europe and North America. They spend most of there time at sea, but will come ashore to rest or sun themselves. And although they may look cute, adults can weigh close to 300 pounds and have razor sharp teeth. So it’s important to give them their space. Solitary baby seals also find there way onto Wells Beach from time to time. This is almost always because they have been separated from their mother and are lost or tired. Never touch a baby seal! A mother can tell when her pup has been touched and will refuse to care for it afterwards. The best thing to do if you see a baby seal on the beach is to call the Maine Marine Animal Reporting Hotline. Other than that, just try to enjoy Wells Beach as much as this guy does.
For many years Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort has supported a family for the holiday season, providing gifts to those who may not be as fortunate as others. Once again, the Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort family is working with Caring Unlimited to provide gifts to many children and families to give them a holiday season to remember.
A Christmas tree is displayed in our lobby with tags containing various items for children of all ages, as well as parents. If you would like to help out, and will be staying with us through early December, we encourage you to pick up a tag and drop off any items in the boxes provided.
For those who want to help, but cannot make it up to Wells Beach, below is the list of items that you can purchase and send to us at the hotel. Your generosity is greatly appreciated as everyone deserves to have a happy and fulfilling holiday.
Any questions on this project can be directed to the hotel front office at (207) 646-2831. If you choose to send a gift or a monetary donation, please address the package/envelope to:
Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort
Attn: Christmas Family
P.O. Box 639
Wells, ME 04090
Checks can be made payable to Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort. That money will then be used to purchase remaining items on the gift tree. Please reference “Christmas Family” on memo line. Items will be delivered on Monday, December 19th. If you choose to send a gift/donation, please have them to us by Friday, December 16th.
Gift Tree List:
*List includes more than one family. Duplicates may occur.
Male, Age 1 – Boots (Size 4)
Male, Age 1 – Snowsuit (Size 12 months)
Male, Age 1 – Large mega blocks
Female, Mother – Winter coat (Likes color black, plain styles)
Female, Mother – Wool socks
Female, Mother – Laundry bag and laundry soap
Female, Mother – Pajama lounge pants (Size small)
Male, Age 2 – Luvs diapers (Size 5)
Male, Age 2 – Toddler set of silverware and plastic plate/bowl set
Male, Age 2 – Llama Llama and Curious George books
Male, Age 2 – Wooden building blocks
Male, Age 2 – Stuffed Mickey Mouse
Female, Mother – Gas card(s)
Female, Mother – Hannaford or Market Basket gift card(s)
Male, Age 5 – Boots (Size 1)
Male, Age 5 – Wrestling action toys
Male, Age 5 – Finding Dory DVD
Male, Age 5 – Outfit (Size 6)
Male, Age 5 – Large monster truck
Male, Age 13 – Over-the-door basketball hoop
Male, Age 11 – Pokemon card collection set
Male, Age 10 – Pokemon card collection set
Male, Age 14 – Hooded sweatshirt (Size men’s medium)
Male, Age 15 – Hooded sweatshirt (Size men’s medium)
Female, Mother – Bath towels
Female, Mother – Hannaford gift card(s)
Family – VCR/DVD player
Male, Age 5 – New release children’s DVD
Female, Teen – Purse (side bag style)
Male, Teen – Nike socks (Size 9/10)
As the month of November rolls on our Thanksgiving plans will be in the works, if they haven’t already. If you’re looking for a more relaxing Thanksgiving holiday, come join us at Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort in Wells Beach, Maine! We still have plenty of rooms available and there are several area restaurants that are open for Thanksgiving, providing the traditional spread and more. Here are a few of the places you can dine at:
- Jonathan’s Ogunquit — Jonathan’s will be open between 12-8 p.m. on Thursday. For reservations, call (207) 646-4777 or visit www.jonathansogunquit.com. You can check out their Thanksgiving menu here.
- Bull and Claw — For another year the Bull and Claw will be open to the public for a Thanksgiving feast. Starting at 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., you can enjoy anything from mussels to prime rib and of course, turkey. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling (207) 646-8467. To take a look at the holiday menu, visit www.bullnclaw.com.
- Spring Hill — Located just a short drive into South Berwick, Spring Hill will be open for a Thanksgiving luncheon buffet, opening at 11 a.m. and closing at 3 p.m. Reservations are required, with the cost being $26 for adults and $12 for children between the ages of 4 and 12. To see the full list of details for the event as well as the buffet menu, visit www.springhillmaine.com. Reservations can be made by calling (207) 384-2693.
- White Barn Inn — The beautiful White Barn Inn, a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes 5 Star Fine Dining rated location will be open between 1-7 p.m. Reservations can be made via Open Table. White Barn’s Thanksgiving menu can be viewed here.
- Merriland Farm Cafe — This dining favorite will open its doors for the afternoon, between 12-4 p.m., serving dinner. Reservations are welcomed and can be made by calling (207) 646-5040. More information on the restaurant can be found at www.merrilandfarmcafe.com.
- Clay Hill Farm — This award-winning restaurant located in York will be open once again for the holiday, beginning at 12 p.m. and lasting until 5 p.m. To reserve your table today, call (207) 361-2272. A look at their Thanksgiving menu can be found right at www.clayhillfarm.com.
- Cape Neddick Inn — The Cape Neddick Inn Restaurant and Tavern will be open for a majority of the day, serving up a delicious menu of soups, salads, lobster, pork tenderloin and more. Opening at 12 p.m. and serving dinner until 7:30 p.m, the Cape Neddick Inn requires reservations for the holiday, which can be made at (207) 351-1145. Click here for a look at their Thanksgiving menu.
- Stage Neck Inn — Dine right on the Atlantic with a well-stocked buffet. Reservations are required, which can be done by calling (207) 363-3850 extension 405. Hours on Thanksgiving are from 12-5 p.m., with a price of $44.95 for adults, $29.95 for children ages 6-12, while children ages 5 and under are $19.95. A full look at their menu can be found right on their website at www.stageneckinn.com.
- On The Marsh Bistro — Located in Kennebunkport, this restaurant with a view will be open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. serving not only the traditional turkey dinner, but some of their staple items as well, including a variety of seafood dishes. Table deposits are currently being taken, with reservations being made via telephone at (207) 967-2299 or on Open Table, to which someone will call you after submitting your request. Make sure to check out their menu for all they have to offer.
- Pier 77 — Look out on to the Cape Porpoise Harbor while you enjoy a turkey or ham dinner, or maybe one of Pier 77’s signature items on their regular menu from between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Reservations are currently being accepted for the holiday. Place one today at (207) 967-8500.
- East Restaurant and Lounge — If you’re looking for something more casual, pick up your favorite Chinese cuisine at East just a few miles down the road from Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort. East will be open for their regular operating hours. You can also have food delivered right to you room! Choose your favorite meal from one of their menus at www.eastdining.com. Menus are provided here in the main lobby as well.
As always the staff here at Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort would be more than happy to see you! Be sure to give us a call and check on our availability for the holiday weekend. We are always booking reservations all year round between 7 a.m. – 10:30 p.m at (207) 646-2831.
When you think of the beach you think of summer, basking in the sun as the waves crash in front of you and children build their sandcastles or splash in the waves. However, here at Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort, the beach isn’t the only thing that allows for a fun and relaxing time.
Today is the first official day of Fall, or Autumn if we’re being exact, and that means it’s time for pumpkin spiced everything, apple picking, hay rides, corn mazes and more. One of the great things about our location is just how close we are to a lot of these activities.
One popular event that takes place each year is just around the corner in Ogunquit, conveniently known as OgunquitFest, beginning on October 22. There is something for all ages. Between 9am-4pm, the Autumn Bazaar kicks off in the Main Beach parking lot, featuring 75 different vendors. You can also join in on the Painted Pumpkin Pursuit or try and guess the number of gourds at the Chamber of Commerce booth to win a prize!
Other events during OgunquitFest include an antique and classic car show, the great pumpkin presentation, the OgunquitFest obstacle course and even a wine tasting. Don’t forget to try out some great beer at the Sam Adams Beerfest located at Amore Breakfast, or for the younger crowd, get your strut on in the costume parade. For more information on all the events on OgunquitFest, check out http://chamber.ogunquit.org/events/details/ogunquitfest-1542.Just a short drive down Route 1, York Beach will kick off its 32nd Annual Harvestfest and Kidsfest on October 15. Between 9am-4pm rain or shine, jam along to the music of the Don Campbell Band and Friends as well as Dan Blakeslee and Dr. Gasp.
For Kidsfest, your child can participate in a full list of games, a roaming railroad, pumpkin carving and painting, pumpkin stroll, face painting and horse-drawn wagon rides. A full list of details can be found here: http://yorkharvestfest.com/
If you’re looking to get into the Fall spirit sooner rather than later, take a drive up the coast to Freeport, located just under an hour from Lafayette’s, and check out the Freeport Fall Festival, taking place on October 1 and 2 between 11am and 4pm.
The notable flagship store of L.L. Bean will be front and center, bringing in some of the best New England artists and makers of fine craft. Once you’ve had the chance to check out all of the artists’ exhibits, grab some lunch and listen to a full list of great music, all for FREE!
It also wouldn’t be a Maine event if seafood wasn’t involved. Check out the 22nd Annual Freeport Community Services Chowdah Challenge. Each year local restaurants donate their traditional and gourmet clam and seafood chowders to benefit the Freeport Community Services programs. Ten restaurants compete for the People’s Choice Award and the Judges’ Award for “Best Chowdah” and it only costs $10 per person! For a more in depth look at the Freeport Fall Festival, visit http://freeportfallfestival.com/
After a full day of Fall and fun, take home a cup of your favorite pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate or swing through our lobby for a cup of coffee and kick back and relax to the sound of the waves on your patio or balcony. Give us a call anytime during the day, (207) 646-2831 and we’ll be more than happy to help you get away for a weekend and enjoy the Fall sites and sounds.
More events from around the area can be found at the following links.
The list of reasons as to why people to choose to vacation with us at all times of the year vastly differs from one guest to another. Besides the beach and the ocean views, the variety of businesses, restaurants, shops, etc., top the list as destinations during our guests’ vacations.
Since there are so many places to visit and dine out, we would like to highlight a different business each week to share with you, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something that you didn’t know before!
For this first week, our own restaurant, Forbes Seafood Restaurant, kicks off the business profile feature. Forbes has been in business since 1921, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to the tourists that visit the area, as well as the people of Wells. The beachfront location makes Forbes a must-visit location as they serve up tasty fried seafood, homemade onion rings, pizza, beer and wine and much more.
The restaurant was originally opened by Vander Forbes Sr., and his wife Marguerite, and has been passed down through the family, eventually being taken over by their grandchildren, Joe and Karen. The siblings still manage the restaurant, but have since sold the business to the Lafayette family, the same family that bought the Forbes Hotel that sits on the same complex as the restaurant.
The structure of the restaurant has changed over time, but still sits in the same location today. Before starting the restaurant, the Forbes family built The Marguerite Hotel in 1919 and began to indulge in the hospitality industry. After the building was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 1965, the Driftwinds Motel was erected in its place. Vander and Marguerite’s son Vander Jr., along with his wife Mary, ran the Wells Beach Casino, which included a bowling alley and dance hall. Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort’s main building, The Ledgeview Inn, now stands in its place.
Throughout that time, the restaurant thrived off the busy summers, with beachgoers lining up to buy ice cream to cool down from the hot summer sun, as well as grabbing one of their famous Scrambled Burgers when lunch time struck.
Forbes is open on the weekends through the early part of the summer, but is open all seven days between the middle of June until September. For more information on the restaurant, you can visit their website at www.forbesseafoodrestaurant.com or their Facebook page by clicking here.
Anyone who has been a frequent guest at Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort probably knows that we are a little different from your typical hotel. We have a complex of 9+ buildings with numerous room types, varying views, and different amenities. It is a massive and constant effort to maintain and improve these buildings over the years, and every offseason we try very hard to improve, modify, or update some of our rooms.
This offseason we focused on the third floor of the Ledgeview Inn, which is our main building that also houses the pool, hot tub, and our office. We began renovations this past December and after months of hard work, we were finally able to open our brand new rooms a couple of weeks ago. The rooms received new furniture, carpet, and fixtures, as well as an overall facelift. Initial reviews from our guests have been fantastic and we can’t wait to share these new rooms with the rest of you.
Hope to see you soon!
Working at the front desk I get asked a lot of questions. Directions, activities, tides, etc. are all topics that come up on a regular basis. However, the question that I undoubtedly answer the most is “where should we go to eat?” On the surface this appears to be fairly simple question, but with varying tastes, food allergies, and price points it can become a rather tricky answer. Below, I’ve compiled a list of five different restaurants in the Wells area that I recommend the most.
- The Steakhouse – Wells: There’s really only one thing that can be said about The Steakhouse, and it’s that it is absolutely the best restaurant in town. In all my years I have never heard anyone say a single bad thing about this place. My only bit of advice is that you should be prepared to wait. Whether it’s April or August, wait times of an hour or more are not uncommon, but it is worth the wait every single time.
- Allison’s – Kennebunkport: Allison’s has always been one of my favorites, and the renovations they made this past winter have elevated it even further. It has your local neighborhood bar feel and is a place beloved by tourists and locals alike. I normally go for a cup of clam chowder and a sandwich, but the menu is sure to have something for everybody.
- Varano’s – Wells: This is the place to go if you have a hankering for Italian. The menu consists of Italian classics as well as some fun and unique offerings. Their comprehensive wine list doesn’t hurt either. Be sure to grab a coupon for a free appetizer at the front desk!
- Joshua’s – Wells: If you’re looking for a place to spend a romantic evening than this is your place. The price point at Joshua’s is higher than most restaurants in town, but is well worth the price. Keep in mind that this is not a place designed to please young children, but it is one of the few restaurants in the area that will accept reservations.
- Merriland Farm Café – Wells: I almost didn’t include this one on the list because I like the fact that it’s a little bit off the beaten path and is still a bit of a secret. Well, I guess the secret is out. This is my go-to place for breakfast. Whether you like omelets and hash or pancakes and waffles, Merriland Farm has you covered. Blueberry French toast is their specialty, but make sure you get there early, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and I’m sure many people have their own list of can’t miss restaurants, these just happen to be the ones that I recommend the most.
Wells Beach is a beautiful place that hosts thousands of visitors each year. Many visitors come in search of sand, sun, and relaxation. However, not all of these visitors arrive by car, by bus, or by rail. Every year numerous animal species flock (or swim) to Wells Beach to take advantage of the area’s natural resources.
One visitor who is perhaps a bit more famous than others is the piping plover. The piping plover is a small, sand-colored bird, that nests and feeds on Wells Beach. The plover is a federally protected species, with a total population of just over 6,500 individuals. They arrive at Wells Beach during the months of March and April and they spend the summer building their nests, mating, and raising their young. They migrate south during late August and September.
On Wells Beach they generally build their nests in the tall grass on the north end of the beach. They are very sensitive to disturbances in their nesting area, and it is usually fenced off to prevent beachgoers from intruding. So if you see them on the beach, please be sure to give them space. They’re not trying to bother anyone and they would like to not be bothered themselves.
Throughout our lives we develop our own personal connections to various things that we encounter. Sometimes there is a deep story behind what we connect to that may differ from someone else.
Year after year we have guests that stay with us who come to “get away from it all” and comment many times that the beach is their happy place, their place of serenity and salvation that they may not otherwise get when they’re at home.
However, what is it about the beach and its ocean counterpart that brings people to a different place mentally no matter the time of the year? Is it because of the seemingly endless stretch of water that lies upon our eyes that develop a feeling of endless possibilities, just like the path we travel throughout life? Or is it because, much like the human mind and spirit, the beach constructs its own personality each day?
I think we can all agree that a sunrise or sunset over a calm ocean with clear skies, is one of the most beautiful works of art that nature can ever paint, but yet, seeing the waves build and crash, with no organized fashion, while offering an almost angry tone during a storm that is rolling through the area has, a unique sense of beauty to it as well.
Along with this, we leave our footprints behind when we walk the sandy beach, creating an unpredictable path, just to have the water wash it away, fill them in and wipe the slate clean for another story to be written.
When you put these aspects together it starts to make sense as to why we connect so well to the beach. It allows us to escape from reality and the societal norms that we’re almost expected to follow. When we’re able to take the time to stare out at the ocean or lie on the sand looking up at the sky, for once we’re able to pave our own path with no restrictions. We are finally able to dictate life for ourselves with no boundaries or obstacles.
The beach becomes our own personal life therapist, allowing all of our thoughts to be poured out within ourselves as the waves crash down, always in tune no matter how rough the surf is. So in tune, it’s almost like it has ears and is listening like another human would be able to do.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said at a dinner for the America’s Cup Crews, “I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.”
Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort’s slogan “where memories that last a lifetime are made,” is more than just a business pitch, but a goal. That goal is for our guests that stay with us, experience something different here each time, something they can take home with them and hold close for the rest of their lives. Being right on the beach, that goal becomes limitless and all the more possible day in and day out because of that forever resetting slate of sand and water that allows us to rewrite each day.
Furthermore, let us help you connect with life in a different way and escape from what has otherwise been defined as the “norm” in society.