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.
I thought I’d take today to address a question that we at the hotel hear a lot, particularly at this time of year. Guests always ask me why the beach looks so different or why there are so many rocks compared to when they visit Wells Beach in the summer. The answer is actually fairly simple, though maybe a bit unexpected. Every year at the end of autumn the ocean currents actually change and begin to erode the beach. The sand is carried away and deposited on a sandbar that sits about a mile offshore. This exposes rocks on the beach that are normally hidden during the summer. The ocean currents switch again in the spring and the sand is carried back to shore and redeposited on Wells Beach. This fluctuation in ocean currents and ocean tides means that Wells Beach can look very different depending on the season.
Every few years the town of Wells makes an additional effort to combat erosion by dredging sand and sediment that has been deposited in Wells Harbor. They pipe that sand the length of Wells Beach and deposit it in the area of our Driftwinds building. The sand is then moved and graded until the beach has the appearance that so many of us are familiar with.
I have a dream…
It seems hard to believe, but 2015 is over and we’re already a full week into the new year. The holiday season can often times feel like a whirlwind, and for many, can involve a great deal of work. So if you’re in need of some time off to recuperate from the holidays you’re in luck. The first long weekend of the year is nearly upon us. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is being celebrated on Monday, January 18th, and for many that will mean a much welcomed three-day weekend. Oceanfront and ocean view rooms are still available, but they’re filling up fast, so give us a call to reserve your room for the holiday weekend. Happy New Year!
Fun Fact: One of the few places outside the United States that celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The day is celebrated with a special banquet at the mayor’s office as a way of unifying the city’s call for peace with Dr. King’s message of human rights and nonviolence.