Throwing caution to the wind we decided to try to escape to the coast of Maine during the busiest week of the summer season.
Summer doesn’t officially begin in New England until July 4th, and this year a heat wave only heightened everyone’s desire to getaway. Finding a last minute room anywhere in Maine during the July 4th weekend was unlikely, but after scanning a few bed and breakfast sites, we were lucky to grab a room at the Dockside Guest Quarters in York Maine. This is truly one of the most picturesque and quiet settings in the York Harbor/ Ogunquit area. The inn is located on Harris Island and affords their quests beautiful waterfront views.
We were looking for peace and quiet and busy hotels and 4th of July crowds were not for us during this weekend getaway. We arrived while the inn was setting up for afternoon tea which offered quite a delicious spread, and the view was breathtaking.
Eric, the innkeeper, welcomed us and grabbed his wagon to help us with our bags. We had a beautiful suite, which provided us with lots of room and balcony looking directly at the waterfront. We started each day with a picture postcard view of the sun shimmering on the water and ended the days with gorgeous sunsets. One of the reasons we enjoy staying in Bed and Breakfasts are the wonderful homemade breakfasts and The Dockside produced a bounty of breads, eggs, fruits, cereals and pastries. The staff was very accommodating, and if you needed something, just ask. There were several settings at the inn for enjoying your breakfast.
The first night we dined at the Dockside Restaurant and being in Maine, of course we had lobster, which was terrific. I admit the service was a bit slow, but we were in no hurry. We were a bit disappointed in our deserts, not the taste; but the ice cream was quite melted when it was served. But, there is nothing like dinning on the water and watching the sun slipping into the sea at days end.
The next morning, we headed to Ogunquit for a scenic coastal cruise to the Nubble Lighthouse with FinestKind Scenic Cruises. The Nubble Lighthouse is the most photographed Lighthouse in New England. Since Maine’s rocky coast was a hazard to ships, they petitioned the government to have a lighthouse built. In 1874 $15,000 was appropriated to build the lighthouse and today it is all automated and requires no attendant. The boat cruise took us past the magnificent “summer homes”, which are not visible from the shore road. The trip was about 1 ¾ hours and was the absolutely best way to keep cool, with a full bar is available on board and the crew was not only informative, but delightful.
Restaurants’ are plentiful in Ogunquit and none more famous than Barnacle Billy’s, best known for their clam and lobster rolls. The service is excellent, and our waitress Chelsea greeted us with the most welcoming smile. The lobster rolls were very good, but sorry to say, the clam chowder was not as good as Legal Seafood’s. Barnacle Billy’s has both a takeout and sit-down restaurant. If you are looking for other restaurants in Ogunquit we have a few recommendations; Café Prego www.caffepregoogt.com, Frills www.facebook.com/pages/Frills-Restaurant-Spirits/153078168083216, and for breakfast, coffee and little nostalgia try Amore www.amorebreakfast.com.
We discover a local takeout for great pizza and sandwiches Anthony’s Food Shop, http://anthonysfoodshop.com. When you drive by it looks like any gasoline station and pantry, but inside they are baking brick oven pizza and are mobbed. They do have a place to sit down in the back, but their business is mostly takeout. The salads are great and watching the pizza guys is a real treat.
We really enjoyed our three day getaway and what would a trip to York/Kittery be without a stop at When Pigs Fly http://www.sendbread.com bakery and restaurant. I had the most amazing endive salad and their pizza’s looked yummy. We stopped at the bakery to bring home some of their famous breads, chocolate bread anyone?
Maine is the perfect place for a summer getaway with beautiful beaches and the best seafood available right-off the fishing boats. If it is peace and tranquility you seek, Bed and Breakfasts are the way to go, but if you want 7/24 service there are many hotels/motels available. Beachfront or waterfront options are plentiful, along the shores of the Maine waters. Places do book quickly and no vacancy signs are a frequent sight, so if you are considering Maine for a summer escape now is the time to make your reservations.