If you’ve been on Facebook and Snapchat today, you spotted me on location in beautiful Kennebunkport, Maine, live from the waterfront and talking lobsters, lobster rolls, cocktails, and ice cream with experts, doing a little shopping, and sharing live views of one of the prettiest towns in all of New England.
Here’s a guide to where I was… click through on each of these spots to learn more, get hungrier, buy the best guidebook to New England’s lobster shacks, check out a gorgeous inn with a great cocktail and new lobster shack, and discover one of the best ice cream shops on the coast!:
STOP ONE: THE CLAM SHACK
There is a reason that this classic Maine seafood spot is one of the all-time best and acclaimed seafood spots in the whole USA (including being among Coastal Living’s Best Seafood Dives)… it’s just that good. And its lobster roll is beyond compare (no wonder we named it Best in America!). The setting, right on the Kennebunk River, makes it the perfect summer stop, whether you’re parking it in the lovely Kennebunks for an hour, a day, a weekend, or all summer.
MUST BUY: MIKE URBAN’S LOBSTER SHACKS BOOK!
No one knows lobster shacks (and New England seafood in general) better than Mike Urban. He drove all the way from Connecticut this morning to talk lobster rolls with us, and that’s proof of his devotion to craft. Mike has been naming the best of the best for my good friends at Yankee Magazine for years, and is also the author of four excellent guide books, including the newly revised and fantastic Lobster Shacks: A Road Guide to New England’s Best Lobster Joints. If you love lobster, you’ve got to have this book on your shelf and in your car. Trust me on this one.
PS: This is Mike, researching.
STOP TWO: KENNEBUNKPORT INN
I love everything about this historic inn, from its beautifully redone interiors, to its charming public spaces, to its cocktails on the patio. Right in Dock Square, it’s a cool and buzzy spot to enjoy the harbor scene up close and personal. The new addition of chef David Turin’s The Lobster Pot (which opened this weekend on the Patio at One Dock Prime here at the Inn), seals the deal with steamed lobsters and fresh lobster rolls.
MUST HAVE: THE LOBSTER POT’S SUMMER COSMO!
My favorite bartender, LaTara Dunn (pictured here), at Kennebunkport Inn’s new patio restaurant, The Lobster Pot, knows how to mix up the best summer cocktail there is, and she’s shared the signature recipe with me (and now you)! Sip on this KPI Cosmo:
1.5 oz Ice Pik Vodka or similar good quality vodka
0.5 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz pomegranate juice
- Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker over ice
- Strain into chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with lime wedge.
STOP THREE: DAYTRIP SOCIETY
This is my favorite, savvy little shop in Dock Square, and every time I visit, I find something else to crave (and often to buy), especially the Maine-made and Maine-inspired swag. My latest obsession (and purchase today) is Alaina Marie’s Custom Bait Bag Clutch, made from marine material and inspired by lobstermen bait bags. That’s it in the upper right corner of the photo, above.
STOP FOUR: ROCOCO ARTISAN ICE CREAM
This is one of my all-time favorite ice cream places in the USA, and the fact that it’s walking distance from the best lobster rolls in the country is an insane confluence of deliciousness. The flavors change every week, reflecting what’s local and fresh (strawberries right now in Maine), and what strikes owner Lauren Guptill’s creative fancy.
There’s so much more to explore just in Dock Square, which is why I keep returning to Kennebunkport. And with the brand-new Launch! Festival celebrating all things maritime, the party has really kicked into high gear. Follow my footsteps here, next time you’re on the coast of Maine, and let us know your favorite spots in the comments below!
Tracey Minkin’s next stop is to celebrate with America’s Happiest Seaside Town 2016: Stuart, Florida! Follow her adventures via Coastal Living’s Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram feeds!