Kennebunkport always draws a boisterous crowd during the heat of the summer, where tourists and locals alike spend the day at the beach, shop in the boutiques around Dock Square, lunch on lobster rolls, and sip cold brews well into the evening at Federal Jacks. Ah, sweet summertime. But did you know Kennebunkport is just as magical in the winter months? Few other towns deck the halls like KPT and after the snowfall we just experienced here in Southern Maine, strolling through downtown is like being in a winter wonderland.
As any New Englander can attest, winters can feel long and dark–and coupled with the 2020 pandemic it can be especially challenging to get outside and have fun safely. For those seeking a quiet evening out, a fun date night, or a mellow girls night, Kennebunkport has something to offer everyone this time of year.
Morning Walk Lane Cottage Shops
On our drive into Kennebunkport we stopped at Morning Walk Lane, a collection of gingerbread-like cottages that are home to a variety of local craftspeople. Our first stop was at Talula’s Bake Shop where we picked out gingerbread cookies (they make great stocking stuffers!) and other sweet treats. They are decorated so beautifully it’s sad to eat them! Like the cookies they make, the shop owners are so sweet.
Our next stop in the village was Cellardoor Winery’s Christmas pop up shop. I picked up a few bottles for gifts and also ordered a cup of hot mulled wine (it’s a must if you stop in, the spices are perfectly balanced and it tastes like joy in a cup). There is a beautiful outdoor fire pit and chairs between the two cottages so we took our wine and gingerbread cookies outside to enjoy!
There are few words to describe the next shop I visited, but the definition of the Danish word hygge seems pretty spot on: “hyg·ge (noun) a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Seacraft Vintage is the cutest seacoast-inspired, vintage home store I’ve ever seen. Add in their festive Christmas decor and I wanted to move right in! While the shop is newer to Kennebunkport, it has cultivated a strong following from the get-go with its collection of unique “coastal curiosities.” The shopkeeper was so friendly and we chatted about the store, its history, and hopeful plans for expansion.
Our final stop at Morning Walk was Sea Love Candles. Again, the shop owner here was so cheery and answered all my questions about the various candle scents. My favorite seasonal scent was “Coastal Christmas” and I cannot wait to have this candle burning at home all winter long. The owner also mentioned that they host intimate events where you can pour your own scented candle! It’s such a perfect winter activity and I am looking forward to going back to try it myself.
I could have stayed at Morning Walk longer, chatting with the shop owners and drinking more mulled wine, but we had a dinner reservation at The Kennebunkport Inn, so we promised to return again soon and headed on our merry way.
Dinner at The Kennebunkport Inn
The Kennebunkport Inn has created the ultimate socially-distanced outdoor dining experience with its red gondolas and igloos. We dined in one of the igloos, overlooking the curling rink as well as a guitar duo who braved the cold and provided guests with live acoustic music!
I highly recommend the spiked hot chocolate, which is velvety smooth and deliciously rich. We shared the pierogis to start and each ordered the Burleigh Burger, which is served with hand cut fries. We were really impressed with the wait staff, who all took excellent precautions at maintaining distance while providing exceptional service. We look forward to dining there again this winter!
Strolling Around Dock Square
After dinner we strolled our way around Dock Square, over to the Boathouse foot bridge, and then all the way to Coopers Corner. We popped into shops along the way and admired the wonderful holiday displays all around us.
For those who still have some holiday shopping to do, I cannot recommend the shops at Morning Walk Lane highly enough. Or for those who are just looking for a fun night out of the house, Kennebunkport is a great destination this winter!