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.
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.
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.
Spring has sprung and summer is on the way! There are countless ways to enjoy the beautiful weather on the southern Maine coast, and one of the simplest and most enjoyable activities is getting out and going for a walk. Southern Maine has numerous scenic walking/hiking trails, but in an effort to keep this short I will list my top five.
- Marginal Way – Ogunquit: The Marginal Way is perhaps the most well known walking path in southern Maine, and for good reason, the views are spectacular. Starting in picturesque Perkins Cove, the path hugs the cliffs for 1.2 miles before eventually finishing at Beach Street in downtown Ogunquit. Benches are strategically placed along the path to allow walkers an opportunity to relax and take in the scenery.
- Wells Beach – Wells: Wells Beach is a predominantly sandy beach that stretches for just over a mile. A common tradition is walking the entire length from the public parking area on Mile Road to the jetty and back, which is right around two miles. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for sea glass and shells while you’re out, and you may even spot an endangered piping plover or two.
- Mount Agamenticus – Wells/Ogunquit: Mount Agamenticus is best known for its well maintained trail system that is open to both hikers and bikers. At 692 feet it may not seem like much of a mountain, but with the topography of southern Maine being relatively flat, it actually dominates the landscape and provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
- Laudholm Farm – Wells: Laudholm Farm offers seven miles of easy to moderate hiking trails that allow visitors to explore a variety of ecosystems. Three separate interpretive trails help to educate hikers about the differences between salt marsh, forest, and beach environs. Guided tours by trained naturalists are also available.
- Eastern Trail – Southern Maine: The Eastern Trail is a 65-mile section of the East Coast Greenway that connects Kittery to Portland, and passes through several southern Maine towns. The trail is a combination of both paved and off-road sections and is open year round for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, etc.
Maine is famous for a lot of things, among them are lighthouses, lobsters, sandy beaches, and rocky coasts. However, for locals and those that visit often enough, the numerous festivals that are held each year throughout the state offer an opportunity to make fantastic memories and enjoy the culture of Maine in a fun and lively setting. I was tasked with trying to pick out the five most notable events and festivals that take place in Southern Maine each year. My list is by no means definitive, and I was forced to leave several notable events off, but in my opinion these are the can’t miss events of the year.
1) Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport – Prelude takes place during the first weekend of December every year, and honestly, the only word sufficient to describe it is “magical.” Events include a champagne reception, candlelight caroling, tree lighting in Dock Square, arts and crafts shows, pancake breakfast, and lobster bake. The main event however, is when Santa arrives via lobster boat. It’s a great time for families and couples alike.
2) York Days and Lighting of the Nubble – This event takes place during the final week of July and is centered at Short Sands Beach in York. Events include local concerts, tournaments, sandcastle building, and fairs. Christmas in July and the annual lighting of Nubble Light is typically held on the opening Sunday of the festival and a fireworks display usually caps off the festivities on the final Sunday.
3) Capriccio in Ogunquit – Held in the middle of September, the Capriccio is a town-wide festival that celebrates art, music, poetry, theater, and concerts. The culminating event is the Capriccio Festival of Kites which is held on Ogunquit Beach. Hundreds of kite enthusiasts take to the sky, with a mass ascension typically held around noon on the final Saturday of the festival.
4) Kennebunkport Fine Living Festival – This festival occurs during the first week of June and is a celebration of fine food, art, and wine. Activities include art shows, cooking demonstrations, live music, inn tours, and food and wine tastings. All in all it’s a perfect way to kick off the summer on the Maine coast.
5) Wells Family Jamboree – The Family Jamboree is a fun event for the entire family and is usually held during the middle of September. Everyone can enjoy hayrides, apple picking, pumpkins, games, prizes, and great food.