Kennebunkport, Maine

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More Travel Info:
The Heart of New England
Romantic Kennebunkport, Maine
by Norman Goldman
Art Work by Lily Azerad-Goldman

Kennebunkport - what an unusual name for a town!

According to the town's historical society the name is of Native American origin.
It translates from kini-banek "long cut bank," and refers to the "Great Hill" or a
grassy high cliff projecting into a large body of water.

Located on the southern coast of Maine, about twenty five miles below Portland,
it is 88 miles from Boston, 298 miles from New York and 188 miles from Hartford.

An Interesting History

History tells us that at least five centuries before the first Europeans arrived here,
and perhaps even thousands of years earlier, Native Americans inhabited

In 1630, it was called Cape Porpus (Porpoise), and in 1719, it was changed to
Arundel. Finally, in 1820, when the town was a very busy port playing a pivotal
role in the maritime industry second only to Portland, it became known as

Prosperous sea captains, merchants and shipbuilders vastly contributed to the
town's fortunes, and were instrumental in building some of the prettiest homes
and churches in the region. They also were influential in creating one of the
wealthiest villages in the state.

Seizing the many opportunities, the Europeans believed that the new world was
only an extension of their old homeland. Consequently, the homes they built, the
communities that evolved and the names they gave to the various villages and
towns only reflected their own cultural heritage.

Today, you can still view some of these Colonial residences if you meander
along the tree-lined streets that surround
Dock Square in the center of its historic

Summer Visitors

When the shipbuilding era ended in the 19th century, the age of the summer
visitor followed. During the latter part of the 1800s the idyllic and romantic
image of Maine with its rugged and scenic beauty played an immense role in
attracting Kennebunkport's earliest summer visitors.

The Boston and Maine Railroad transported several thousand-summer visitors to
Kennebunk, where a station had been established. In 1900 the Atlantic Shore Line
trolley system was constructed carrying visitors to their various destinations and
making access easy. Interesting to note is that Maine's publicity slogan,
"Vacationland," can be traced to the publicists of the Maine Central Railroad in
the late 1890s.

Beaches and Fishing

These summer visitors, as do the visitors of today, enjoyed the various beaches
located in and around Kennebunkport, such as Gooch's Beach, Goose Rocks
Beach, Mother's Beach and Middle Beach.

It was fishing that attracted the earliest settlers, and this attraction has continued
today, as the excellent fishing spots located in and around Kennebunkport lure
many a traveler. Only minutes away is Cape Porpoise, where you can watch
lobster fishermen unloading their catch for the day and even purchase all the
fresh lobster you can eat right out of the traps.

Kennebunkport's Attractions

One of the most popular attractions of this seafaring town is a drive along Ocean
Avenue, where you can participate with many others in Bush-watching. The
11-acre estate of former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, is located
on Walker's Point overlooking the ocean.

How about experiencing an old fashion trolley ride? Check out the
Trolley Museum, where you will be able to catch one of these rides.

Take a
scenic cruise down the Kennebunk River for a romantic jaunt. There are
also the many art galleries to explore, guided kayak tours, whale watching and
nature charters, the Kennebunkport Brewery, and summer theatre in and around

In Kennebunk just minutes away from Kennebunkport you will find the most
photographed home in Maine, the
Wedding Cake House.

Romantic Dining

Once you have explored this charming little town, you may want to experience a
dining establishment that according to its owner, Denise Rubin, "is not only a
feast for the palate, but also a feast for the eyes." And that it is.

On The Marsh, located in a restored farmhouse and barn on three acres of tidal
marsh, has been named for the past two years by People's Choice as the most
romantic restaurant. It has also been honored with the Wine Spectator Award of
Excellence for superb cuisine, wine cellar and ambiance in 2003. If you have a
glance at its European country classic cuisine you can well understand the magic
quality that makes discriminating diners zero in on this restaurant.

As soon as you step into the front door you are amazed at how a dilapidated
building, previously known as the Salt Marsh Tavern, had been transformed into
a first class dining establishment by its owner Denise Rubin. In one word it can
only be described as "magnifique."

Rubin, with a keen eye and a very vivid imagination, realized the potential of
having a restaurant overlooking marshes, where tiny white lights adorning the
property's cedar and pine trees, would be nothing less than stunning. What
caught my wife's artistic eye was Rubin's knack of incorporating a Harlequin
touch in the restaurant's décor, such as the black and white diamond table
clothes, and some of the collection of art, antiques, furnishings and collectibles.
Apparently all of these items are ever changing, and all are available for

Add an elegant and exciting menu together with an outstanding wine cellar, and
you have an unbelievable romantic ambiance. For that special romantic
rendezvous you can even request to be seated at a table hidden away in an
alcove, where many a wedding proposal has transpired.

On the other hand, if you are curious about what goes on behind the scenes, the
restaurant's staff will set you up in the kitchen, where you can experience how
one of the finest chefs and his staff carry out their culinary skills.

There is also the owner's table where the chef will prepare a special menu for
you including the opportunity to savor various wines from their extensive

What makes On The Marsh one of the most outstanding restaurants in the State
of Maine is its creative dishes and perfect presentation. This was quite evident
when we had the opportunity to sample some of the Sushi Entrees followed by
the house salad of assorted greens and crisp romaine marinated red onions, and
grape tomatoes. The principal entrée consisted of the potato and basil crusted
Atlantic Salmon Filet, horseradish-thyme beurre blanc, crushed Yukon Gold
potatoes. The pièce de resistance was the trio of crème brulée and the lemon

There is no doubt that anyone who has had the opportunity to experience this
fine restaurant will return time and time again.

On The Marsh
46 Western Avenue-Rte 9
Lower Village-Kennebunkport, Maine
Tel: 207-967-2299
Fax: 207-967-3456

Kennebunk-Kennebunkport Chamber of Commerce
PO BOX 740
Kennebunk, Maine, 04043
Tel: 207-967-0857

About the authors

Norm and Lily Goldman are a unique husband and wife team, writer and water
colorist, who write and paint about romantic destinations. Their articles have
been featured on some of the most popular travel Internet sites such as:
BootsnAll, Lovetripper, Inetvacation, Travellady, and many more Internet sites,
as well as the print publication Canadian World Traveller Leisure & Lifestyle
Norm and Lily Goldman
Romantic Kennebunkport
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
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...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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