We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Summer Vacation 2018 Part 3: Kennebunkport, ME & The Cottages at Cabot Cove

So far I've recapped our PEI and Nova Scotia experiences, and the last leg of our journey back home was two glorious days in Kennebunkport.

One thing I wanted to say was that we loved our Canadian Maritimes adventures so much, that I'm contemplating a trip back to Nova Scotia in the Spring to visit some of the towns we weren't able to see, namely Peggy's Cove and Luenburg. And maybe pop over to PEI on the ferry for one night to see more of the Eastern part of the province that we didn't have time to explore this time around. I'd love to be able to take the ferry there from Portland, ME to save time, and drive around a different part of the province because it was just so beautiful. Something about small fishing villages makes my heart flutter with happiness. It's about a 50/50 chance I'll be able to make it work with our schedule, but I'm sure going to try. If not in the Spring, definitely sometime in the future. 

Anyhoo, after camping and hiking all over PEI and Nova Scotia, we were ready for a slightly more upscale experience, and also, some relaxation. During the planning process, we knew we'd probably be really tired at this point, and want to treat ourselves to a nicer hotel and two days with not much planned. And let me tell you, we were all those things by the time we got back into the States, and I'm so glad we planned it out this way. We landed on ending our trip in Kennebukport because one, we were there four years ago, and were already familiar with the town. So, we found comfort in not feeling pressured to see everything since we had done much of it before. Two, it's a great little town that's easily walkable and offers so much depending on the type of vacation you're looking for. If we felt like a quick walk into town for some lunch and shopping, we could do it. If we wanted to spend the day at the ocean, we could do that, too. There are also tons of restaurants to choose from and so many things to do within an easy driving distance. It was the best of both worlds, and we knew it would force us to slow down a little and unwind during our last two days of vacation.

We also wanted a place to stay where we would just enjoy the hotel and grounds in case it either rained, or we were too tired to do anything, and didn't want to feel like we were missing out by staying in one place. A few years ago I saw the Cottages at Cabot Cove on social media, and have wanted to say there ever since. It's basically a little neighborhood of perfectly adorable little cottages on a river cove, all uniquely decorated on the inside. They were a bit more of a splurge than we were expecting, but I'm happy to report it was worth every single penny.

It's not possible to be gloomy at the Cottages at Cabot Cove.
Our budget allowed us to stay at one of the two most affordable cottages, and we went with Anchorage because I was a little starry-eyed for the green lobster walls. When we pulled into the seashell-filled cul-de-sac, we knew we had made the right choice. The little neighborhood of cottages lined up overlooking the cove truly made you feel like you were living in a Hallmark movie or in a fairytale storybook.

Our cottage, Anchorage.

The little alcove as you enter the cottage, which leads to the backyard sitting area, overlooking the cove.
To the right is the door to the actual room portion of the cottage. 

On top of the atmosphere, your stay at the cottages offered on-site bikes with baskets you could ride into town, a beautiful setting with adirondack chairs and chaise lounges all over to view the cove, a fire pit that was lit at night, corn holes to play, and complimentary use of the rowboats, kayaks and paddle boards. My favorite feature was breakfast, which was brought to every cottage in the morning around 8 a.m. in an insulated cooler, and hung on your door. It was so fun every morning to hop out of bed and unpack it for a little breakfast-in-bed. It consisted of juice, mason jars of fresh fruit and a breakfast sandwich or pastry.

Adirondack chairs overlooking the cove for guests to enjoy.

Breakfast delivery was around 8 a.m. every morning. They also included a daily rundown of the weather and high/low tide times to plan your excursions on the boats.

Breakfast always included two mason jars of fresh fruit, juice and a pastry or breakfast sandwich.
We enjoyed these feta and spinach pastries one morning, and another morning we got two huge slabs of coffee cake and yogurt.

Our first day in Kennebunkport, we drove right to Cape Porpoise to grab lunch since we arrived well before our check-in time at the cottages. The last time we visited this charming little town, Cape Porpoise was one of our favorite destinations because of the water views and the buoy walls ev.ery.where. When we arrived, it was just about to rain, and we ran to the places we took photos four years ago, and took in the amazing New England fog before it started to sprinkle. Then, we grabbed lunch at one of the two restaurants right at the water, The Ramp.

Cape Porpoise has the best buoy walls.

Four years ago.

Four years and a few extra pounds later, but definitely wiser and more confident.

Lunch at The Ramp restaurant.

Few things in life are better than a foggy New England day at the water.

Four years ago.

Four years later, grayer and maybe even a little skinnier (damn him), but he's become master home renovator
and has come into his own. And I love him even more than I did four years ago.

The cottages were only a 15-minute walk from Dock Square, where pretty much everything is. We spent the rest of our trip eating delicious food (having an abundance of restaurants to choose from felt like a luxury after our Nova Scotia experience), shopped at the boutiques after biking into town, afternoon naps to catch up on all the sleep we missed the week prior, and lazy evening trips to Goose Rocks Dairy for ice cream, and later, passing out after eating lobster gummys in bed and watching HGTV in our air-conditioned cottage. It was so nice to slow down for a moment and just be really lazy. And we only had one afternoon of rain, which only lasted for a few hours, but other than that, the weather continued to be perfect. I don't know how we pulled that off over 11 days on the East Coast of all places, but I've been trying to send positive energy into the universe as a thank you.

The cottages at night were equally as magical.
On Saturday, we left Kennebunkport to come home. When we checked out of the cottages, they gave us a little bag for the road filled with bottles of water, trail mix, gummy lobsters and an adorable little watercolor painting of the cottage property to remember our trip by. It was so touching, and it made the drive home a little less sad.

Normally I'm really depressed after vacation, but this time, I was ready to come home. We missed the doggies, and we felt so rejuvenated being away from our routine for so long. It had me wondering if two-week vacations (which I've heard to be standard in Europe) are truly the way to go? I'm leaning yes.

That's not to say we don't miss galavanting around PEI and Nova Scotia. The night we got home, we definitely tried extend our vacation as long as possible by watching Anne of Avonlea (since we watched Anne of Green Gables right before we left) while eating gummy lobsters on the couch. And I can't think of a better way to end a perfect adventure.

Favorite Restaurants
We tried three new-to-us restaurants this time - The Boathouse and Stripers, and we enjoyed both! They both offered great views of the water and delicious food. The Boathouse had lobster tacos on their menu, and I was dying to try them so we actually changed our plans and went here instead. We were able to sit out on the back deck overlooking the water and boats, and we really enjoyed our food. I was also kind of in love with the banquet seating and yellow striped pillows.

Our view at The Boathouse restaurant, which was on the back deck.

Lobster tacos in wonton shells - so cute, and so tasty.

Stripers was also excellent. The service here was impeccable, and the food awesome. They have an outside area with adirondack chairs overlooking the water and boats, and there were a lot of people bringing drinks out to enjoy before and after their meals, and I can see why.

There are two restaurants in the same building by the water in Cape Porpoise, Pier 77 and The Ramp. We went to The Ramp, the more casual of the two. And I loved the lobster roll I got. It was probably in my Top 5 of all time. They also had really great drinks, and the decor is not to be missed.

Inside The Ramp.

One of the best lobster rolls I've ever had at The Ramp.

Last time we were in Kennebunkport, we went to Alisson's, and I really enjoyed the food, so we went back and it was still great! It's a nice little lunch spot that has a nautical/tavern feel to it, and a pretty great menu with pub food/seafood offerings.

Favorite Moments
Honestly just enjoying the cottages. We don't have air conditioning at home, and we had that heatwave before we left where it was almost 100 degrees for a week (which didn't let up in the evenings, either). It was pretty rough, and we were expecting cooler weather in Nova Scotia, too, which we definitely did not get (but we were also definitely not complaining). So really, cranking the A/C and burying ourselves in blankets for an afternoon nap was glorious. And relaxing in the chaise lounges overlooking the cove just a few steps from our front door was also so nice.

There are some really great stores right in town, but my new favorite store in Kennebunkport is Farm + Table. It's not in town, and actually close to Cape Porpoise, and well worth the trip. It's a home decor and giftables store that focuses on farmhouse and nautical designs. So clearly, this was my place. I definitely bought a few things from here, and loved their displays. It was hard to get me out of there.

Minka was a store that wasn't there the last time we were in Kennebunkport, but we quickly came to love it on this trip. They had an eclectic offering of home decor, body products that are made just for them and some unique t-shirts and such. It was beautifully merchandised and inspiring, and we both loved it in here.

Home Ingredients is a home decor store that I don't think we popped into last time (probably because we didn't have our house yet), but this year, it was one of my favorites. It has a lot of nautical home decor, but a lot of it could easily be worked into a non-seaside house. Everything was fairly priced and the staff here was so insanely friendly and welcoming. Everyone was around talking to everyone and genuinely seemed to love what they do. It was delightful. I didn't get any photos of the stores because I was so distracted by the lovely displays.

Anchorage at Cottages at Cabot Cove & Kennebunkport
For anyone that may find this looking for ore information about the cottages, I wanted to elaborate on the one we chose. Our cottage, Anchorage, wasn't an independent cottage, but rather, attached to the main office where you check in/out. For that reason, we were really nervous that our stay wouldn't be as nice, or wouldn't quite be the tranquil oasis we were hoping it would be. But we took the plunge, and hoped for the best, and all I can say is that I'm thrilled we did. Anchorage, while attached to the office, doesn't share any walls with it. There's a little alcove  that separates the two buildings, and the alcove portion, which is separated from the actual room, belongs to the cottage. So not only do you get the cottage portion (a studio room, really good-sized bathroom and wet bar), you also get this little mudroom you walk into that's all yours, which also leads to a private back yard with adirondack chairs overlooking the cove. The walkway to the cottage is separated from the office by a fence and tall hedges. We really never saw or heard anyone, and felt completely secluded. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. One thing I will note, though, is that there are two cottages close to the road, Infatuation and Sunrise, and I feel like you actually get less privacy with those because they butt right up against the road. Although, I don't think it's possible to have a bad, or even okay, time here.

Kennebunkport is one of the most charming little places we've ever visited, and I cannot recommend it enough if you're looking for a New England getaway that has it all. The only word of caution I have is that you must stay somewhere that's walkable to Dock Square. Traffic and parking in the town is pretty terrible (everyone who lives there will tell you as such - even the lovely folks who work at the cottages told us to walk and bike everywhere). Paying for a hotel or cottage that's walkable to town will pay you back a million times over because you won't waste time driving around, looking for parking because it's rare to get a spot. But, it's all worth it because the restaurants are all fabulous, the scenery is spectacular, you have ocean-swimming access, tons of shops, etc. You won't get bored. It's one of my all-time favorite destinations for a weekend escape.


  1. How did your cottage this time compare the the Bed and Breakfast you stayed in last time? Was the Bed and Breakfast you stayed in last trip also within walking distance to Dock Square?

  2. The cottage was better, but also more costly. It was just a more unique experience because it was technically a hotel, but you felt secluded and pampered. Both were within walking distance to town, so the main difference was really the experience and it was much better at the cottages. There are so many places to stay in Kennebunkport, but now this is the only place I want to stay!

  3. So fun to read this! I live very close to K'port and with a friend have driven through the 'pretend' town. It's like a dream little village and I had a desire to peak in every window!

    I'm glad you enjoyed Maine and felt welcome!


  4. I love this! You had me at it was like a Hallmark movie! Thank you so much for sharing with us. I’m inspired to plan a 2 week getaway to the east coast (from California).


  5. Such a perfect ending to your amazing trip. Have filed all this away for future plans!

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to post all this for us.

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