It’s that time of year when all of us in New England are enjoying spending as much time outside as possible, including at mealtimes, and recently I have noticed more folks enjoying romantic picnics here on the Maine Coast. In an area as beautiful as Kennebunkport, it is hard to think of a bad place to enjoy a picnic. That said, there are some pretty spectacular spots that are a bit off the beaten path, sure to set the scene for an intimate meal for two. But let’s not forget the plethora of great restaurants in town that have the romantic dinner down pat – and are a great indoor option if you are looking for something special like an anniversary celebration or are expecting to pop the question!
Since many people visit Kennebunkport Maine in search of the beautiful beaches and breathtaking coastline, a list of three top spots for a picnic wouldn’t be complete without a beach destination. And while the Kennebunk Beaches or Goose Rocks Beach are natural options and offer ease of access, they don’t really check off the “privacy” box. If that isn’t important for your picnic setting, definitely add those to your list. Not too far from the inn, however, is a spot that really only the locals tend to frequent and it is spectacular – at the end of Turbat’s Creek Road (about a mile or so from the Maine Stay Inn), you’ll find a very small protected beach. Where this creek empties into the Atlantic, the rough ocean waves are buffered by Vaughn Island, which means you won’t get those expansive ocean vistas, but the air and surf is quiet, and the water tends to be a bit warmer. There are a few warm rocks that would be great to set up your picnic, but the setting is idyllic and it isn’t common to find many others visiting this spot.
Sometimes, though, a picnic isn’t complete without soft grassy areas, and that can be a challenge on the water, given the pressures salt water puts on lush lawns. Plus, sand is usually a thing. But there is one stellar spot where locals and visitors alike can enjoy the soft grass under their feet, sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the sound of the surf lapping nearby while tucking into their romantic picnic – it’s at St. Ann’s By the Sea. An historic Episcopal church might not seem like the most romantic spot, but with its wide lawns that spread right up to the ocean’s edge, it couldn’t be better. Not to mention, it’s a great spot for a wedding! But don’t stay too late – the gates close at dark.
For a true sense of the classic Maine coastline with craggy rocks and splashing waves, you should head over to Halcyon Way, not far from the Bush Compound off Ocean Avenue. Parking can be a little tricky given that it sits on a private way, surrounded by homes, but if you walk, bike, or Uber to this picnic spot, you are in for a treat! A small rocky beach surrounded by dark rocks that meet the Atlantic is at the bottom of Halcyon Way, and given the parking situation it’s rare to see another person, which is obviously key when looking for a romantic picnic spot.
The truth is, however, that I could go on and on about amazing spots to enjoy a meal while taking in the sight, smell and sound of the ocean – there really isn’t a bad spot to find! But no mention of picnic locales would be complete without mentioning the backyard at the Maine Stay – while you won’t see the ocean, you might smell the salt air if the breeze blows just right. Surrounded by gardens and with plenty of shade or sun, there is ample opportunity for privacy. Plus, the convenience can’t be beat! No matter where you choose to kick back and relax, don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy a summer picnic right here in Kennebunkport Maine.