Burkie's Maine #2: From Wells to Biddeford Pool

Trip Start Aug 19, 2006
Trip End Aug 26, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Friday, August 25, 2006

Shops and Eats
What I know is the coast strip from Wells to Biddeford Pool.
Lets's start in Wells where you have a bit of a funky scene on ROUTE 1 which approaches cheesy but is a Mecca for antiques, breakfast eateries like The Maine Diner (more like a truck stop than the places in the Kennebunk area, but it packs a great lively scene), and of course the Wells Beach and Drake Island beaches.
Veering right off Route 1 down Route 9 as you are travelling north from Wells, you drive right into Kennebunkport - This place is almost a caricature of its own tradition, as it is so thick with a look and feel for what tourists would want in a New England resort town. FRIED CLAMS TO CANDLE SHOPS TO BREW PUBS
The Clam Shack for the most decadent fried clams and lobster rolls you will ever eat is probably the most common institution here. But my favourite shops are the long standing COPPER CANDLE, and the COMPLIMENTS Gallery featuring mostly custom made lamps and local artists' crafts. The dining in the port varies from the high end Colony Hotel to the blue chip riverside family dining spot THE LANDING, and the more recent addition (early '90's) FEDERAL JACKS Brew Pub. Fed Jacks has been such a smashing success that the founders created the full blown craft brewer THE SHIPYARD in Portland, Me. Shipyard "ships" to 30 states now and has been on a healthy growth clip for the past few years. Probably the most memorable excursion I ever took from Kennebunkport was the Whale watching tour that takes you 25 miles off the coast to see the real thing. Great experience.
Further down Route 9 is Cape Porpoise and that is where the phenomenal breakfast and evening dining joint called the Wayfarer is situated. Brandy is the Chef d'orchestre here and she has just launched her cookbook so that people can try their home version of dishes like the fulfilling Bake Stuffed Haddock. This is probably one of my favourite all-round dining places in the whole world. The atmosphere, the wicked Mexican Omelettes for breakie, the amazing sea food dishes in the evening - just the whole package really. The Wayfarer defines the New England eating experience. You can continue down the road from the Wayfarer out to the point of Cape Porpoise to the pier and hit one of the better seafood take-out eats as well (The name escapes me, but you can't miss it because if you drive any further you'll be in the ocean).....and if you want to try a Bush siting then you can try your luck at Pier 77 which shares the same parking lot as the former. The "Cape" is also home to the famous Lobster eatery - NUNAN'S. Huge reputation.
Back down 9 to Goose Rocks and you come to THE TIDES - you've already heard about that.
The POOL IS COOL. That's what I say anyway. So if you want to come out and continue on the rich seafood takeout circuit, then The POOL LOBSTER Co. is right up there with the Clam Shack but in a much quieter setting than The Port.
While the great places of Biddeford Pool would include the big waves at Fortune's Rocks Beach for body surfing, the even greater story about the Pool is the opportunity to go on a wonderful Kayak tour with the folks at GONE WITH THE WIND kayak tours and rentals. I took two cynical teenagers out with our fantastic guide Mike who showed us some tricks of the sea kayaking craft and brought us around some of the little islands in the Biddeford Pool harbour.
Kayaking is one of the great leisure sports invented to enrich your vacation experience, because you get to see a whole new perspective of the Maine coastline and its natural beauty, and anyone from 10 years old to 75 years old can do it.
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