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Southern Maine Coast - Best place to stay to eat well?

We're visiting the southern Maine coast for the first time in mid-October. Only have three days, so would like to find a charming inn, park, and not drive again.

What town should we stay in to have the best choice of great eating WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE (say a mile radius) - casual and charming preferably, but we'll take all suggestions.

We're considering an inn in York Harbor, but are not sure about great food possiblities there.

Picturing a classic Maine coatal town, no t-shirt shops.


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  1. White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport? One of the best restaurants in New England, and a beautiful inn as well. Of course, it's not exactly cheap.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      We've looked at it and it sounds wonderful, but too pricey for this trip. Do you suggest Kennebunkport for walkable food places, though? We can look for other inns there.


      1. re: Bostonbob3

        BTW, another very good Kennebunkport restaurant is at The Cape Arundel Inn, right on the water. Still quite pricey for accomodations, but along with the White Barn Inn restaurant, a must try for fine dining.

      2. Well, I'd say the very best dining in southern Maine is in Portland (some would argue that stretches the limits of the word "southern," but whatever). There are a number of wonderful restaurants there, all within walking distance. That said, there is also a fair amount of T-shirt shops and such.

        I'd say Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are a mix of quite good (yet typical lobster shacks) and very high-end dining. If you're looking for quaint with a fair amount of great food and a few GREAT selections, go with the Kennebunks. If you're looking for a plethora of wonderful restaurants in a more urban setting (but still with beautiful views), try Portland.

        1. Kennebunkport is probably your best bet for mid-October. Fall color will be at or very near peak, quaint village atmosphere. Plenty of good restaurants within walking distance. Lots of shopping places. Granted there will be a t-shirt shop or two.

          1. If you end up in Kennebunkport, be sure to try Bartley's Dockside for the greatest blueberry pie on the face of the earth. Seriously, it's amazing. October will be bordering on just-out-of-season, but I'm sure they'll have some peak summer pies frozen for our blueberry pleasure.

            1 Reply
            1. I think you would love Portsmouth New Hampshire. Fabulous restaurants, nice shopping and walking, close to Kittery, Ogunquit, York, etc.

              1. Ogunquit is a beautiful place - there are t-shirt shops but this, as well as Kennebunkport are the two coastal towns that are the prettiest, without any honky tonk (like York Beach and old Orchard). That said, Portland also has many woderful restuarants. Look online at Ogunquit website-there are many b&b's, inns, motels etc and you can walk to probably 10 restaurants from most of these. ROckmere Lodge is on the rocky coastline marginal way; the Anchorage Motel is central as is anything on Shore Road. good luck

                1. Based on your post, As far as im concerned you need to stay in Ogunquit. Try a place called the Meadowmere Resort.Its right on Rt 1 just a 1/2 mile form the center of town, and with in walking distance of at least 10 very nice restaurnats. There prices are reasonable that time of the year. Reswevations number is 800 633-8718. You can even walk to the town beach and walk the beach to walking to Perkins Cove, where there are at least 5 nice places to eat, with vairing prices. Try Ogunquit. And Im not even from Maine. Let me know how you make out.

                  1. I will second the Meadowmere in Ogunquit.
                    I was married in Kennebunkport, had my reception at Clay Hill Farm, and spent my wedding night at the Meadowmere.
                    Plenty of indoor pools and hottubs if the weather outside isn't cooperating.
                    For an April wedding 2 years ago on Patriot's Day weekend, they were offering my wedding guests extra days at about $60 per night during school vacaton week. I know of one couple that drove back to MA, picked up their kids, and drove back to the Meadowmere to take advantage of this.

                    1 Reply