I grew up in Colorado and all of my early perceptions of winter in New England are from the television and movies. They’re pretty romantic images for the most part. Ice skating on frozen ponds, shushing through fields in a horse drawn sleigh and woods covered in snow with skies so blue and bright, you could feel the cold crisp air. We’ve found all of those things here in Kennebunkport – and more!
For 20 years, Vincent and Susan Thelin have owned and operated Rockin’ Horse Stables offering sleigh rides throughout the winter months. Their sleigh rides take place every Saturday and Sunday morning as long as there’s snow in the fields. The 30 minute ride seats up to 20 adults and is pulled by a team of beautiful Belgian draft horses. And what better way to warm up after shushing through the peaceful Maine fields than by sipping a cup of hot chocolate next to the fire back at the stables. If you want something more private, they have a two person sled that can be rented by contacting them. Vince will also take private rentals in their wheeled carriage around Dock Square and Lower Village if the roads are clear. As this is Maine, and Mainers know how to move snow, the roads are almost always clear. We had guests get engaged last Valentine’s Day while out on a moonlit ride through Dock Square. It doesn’t get any more romantic than that!
The Waterhouse Center Ice Skating rink opened in 2014 and is a big hit with locals and visitors alike. Located on Main Street in Kennebunk, this open sided 100’ x 120’ rink is open daily from 7am to 9pm, November through March. There is no charge to use this facility. The rink is a 10 minute drive from the 1802 House Bed and Breakfast and parking is readily available. So if you just want to meander around on the ice freestyle, or are one of those more advanced skaters with a salchow or camel spin in your repertoire, strap on your skates and hit the ice!
If you have a pair of snow shoes, you can strap them on outside our front door and hit the fields of the Cape Arundel Golf Course right behind the Inn. With 18 holes of golf course, there’s a lot of space to get out and stretch your legs. We also have two beaches to choose from which are spectacular for winter walks. You can watch the surfers on Gooch’s Beach when the surf is up or head out to Goose Rocks Beach and take in the serenity of the Maine coastline in the quiet season. Parking is never a problem this time of year.
When you’re finished with your winter activities outside, head to one of our restaurants to fuel up. Clam chowder, lobster and seafood at Alisson’s, Italian at Ports of Italy and pub grub and Shipyard beers at Federal Jacks are just a few of the choices this winter. Celebrating something special or just want some fine dining? The White Barn Inn is minutes from the 1802 House and is Kennebunkport’s only five star restaurant. Finally, make your way back to your room here at the 1802 House Bed and Breakfast to sit by the fire with a good book or movie, a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine. What could be more romantic than that?!
So bundle up and head north. We’ve got lots to do right on our doorstep when you’re here. We look forward to welcoming you to Kennebunkport for a taste of New England this winter.
(Rockin’ Horse Stables photos courtesy of Vanessa Thelin)