There is something about pulling up at Captain Jefferds Inn, in Kennebunkport that is special. In fact, driving into Kennebunkport is very special as you pass some of the most stunning houses. OK, let’s call them mansions because this place oozes money, and these are some of the best examples of architecture from the late 1700s through the early 1900s. The history of this seafaring town is immediately obvious.
We see the surfers in their full wetsuits catching waves as fishing boats go back into the quaint harbor in the town. The waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash quite fiercely over the road.
What does Kennebunkport mean?
We enter the town of Kennebunkport, and I Google what the meaning of the name of the town is. Google tells me that it mean’s “long cut bank,” probably about Great Hill at the mouth of the Mousam River, which would have been an important landmark to native Americans coming along the coast in their ocean-going canoes.
The town of Kennebunkport
The quaint, idyllic village is located in and around Dock Square, on the harbor and the Kennebunk River. The Christmas decorations are around the town, and it is exactly what one wants the town to look like. We can guess why Maine has such an alluring reputation. Of course, we take a drive around the town to see where our neighbours, the former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, father of former U.S. President George W. Bush lives, because I am a sticky beak.
We see shops and cafes advertising the famous clams and lobster, but we are not quite in the right season, so many of the clam shacks have closed down for the season. We see the First Families Kennebunkport Museum, at White Columns, offering visitors a chance to tour the 1853 Greek Revival home and view exhibitions covering two centuries of Kennebunkport history, from sea captains to Presidents.
We look for the Wedding Cake House style of architecture, typical of this area and find it. It is ostensibly “most photographed house in the state” of Maine. You can read the story here.
Captain Jefferds Inn
And then we arrive at the 1804 building that is now Captain Jefferds Inn. This is one of the beautiful places in this charming town, and that is saying something because Kennebunkport is stunning. Captain Jefferds Inn is brilliant white surrounded by greener than green lawns, and a show-stopper garden. The green and red Christmas decorations that adorn the house are stunning against the white of the inn, and it gives you that good feeling. It is then we see that there are candles in every window. This is the sign that you are welcome here and that all will be right with the world when you walk through those doors. It is a tradition not exclusive to the inn, but it is a 1st for us.
William Jefferds, a sea captain, married Sally in 1802. Sally’s father gave his son-in-law Captain William Jefferds ’80 square rods of land’ where the captain built this beautiful home. He and Sally had 11 children, and this might explain the size if the inn.
In 1888, the house was remodeled in the Colonial Revival style. The third floor was added, and the house was connected to the pre-existing barn. It had undergone other changes through the time but still retains its architectural integrity. Erik and Sarah Lindblom purchased the Inn on April 25, 2005. They put electric candles in each window as the time-honored tradition and signal that guests will find warmth and security within.
What did We Love Here?
The ambiance of the inn from the moment you walk in. The downstairs living room with its open fire and huge lounge suites and knick knacks and antiques reflecting its seafaring past.
The sun room with the white wicker chairs and the blue cushions, that indeed capture the sun on the crisp days and retain the maritime theme. The selection of loose leaf teas and the homemade biscuits and cakes to enjoy while reading or indeed working.
We loved the very formal dining room with its own open fire where we share a cooked communal breakfast. We chat to business people from Boston, which is just 87 miles away and where a romantic weekend for two at Captain Jefferds Inn, is the antidote to a jet-setting lifestyle. We try Yankee pop tarts for the first time, though we started with an apple crumble and finished with a chicken bake – and that was breakfast.On the second day, we are served strawberries romanov, blueberry muffins, and you know exactly why Maine is famous for their blueberries. We finish off breakfast, and yes this is all breakfast, with a crustless quiche Lorraine.
We talk with a family from Minnesota who were here for the huntin’ and the fishin’, because huntin’ and the fishin’ are enormous here and throughout Maine – and obviously Minnesota.The unassuming and very pleasant man, here for the huntin’ and the fishin’, just happens to be the internationally renowned outdoor photographer, Lee Kjos. That is the beauty of staying at the inns – you just don;t know who you are going to meet and like a lot.
Look, we are going to rave about the sheets on the bed. This is exactly one of the reasons that Captain Jefferds Inn, is a member of the Distinctive Inns of New England because they go that extra mile. Even the hunters and the fishermen were raving about just how good they felt. We loved that there was a rubber duck in the deep and wide Jacuzzi in our bedroom. We certainly loved watching the open fire next to our Jacuzzi with the appropriate ship model on top and the duck seemed happy too.
This is a sophisticated inn and one where there is very obvious attention to every last detail. It is also a pet-friendly inn, so romantic couples who like to bring their dog or cat with them are welcome in the special suites that go straight onto the park.
Out and About in Kennebunkport
The Kennebunks are four villages. Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel and Cape Porpoise. Each are as distinctive and are as interesting as the other. Visit the archetypal lobster fishing village and watch the seals at Cape Porpoise and see all of the fishermen prepping their pots for our dinner. It is really interesting to drive around and admire the architecture of the area. It is lovely to wander around the very old-world shops that are putting on a beautiful show in Dock Square and Kennebunk’s Lower Village.
These are the two that we recommend, as after a 3 course cooked breakfast, we went without much with good reason. The Wayfarer at Cape Porpoise. If you want local and you do, if you want over size generous meals and service that is ridiculously good, go to The Wayfarer. Ask for Bert, or better still she will find you and this makes this a great place to go.
The Hurricane Restaurant is in the quaint Dock Square with views over the Harbour. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy amazing food. With lovely service we thoroughly enjoyed eating oysters, lobster of course because it is Maine after all, as well as some of the most beautiful desserts.
Decorating Captain Jefferds Inn for Christmas
This is no small feat and is not taken lightly. The effects are stunning.
This is a no brainer. There is no doubt that there is a reason for the popularity of Kennebunkport and of Maine. There is no doubt also that to enjoy this beautiful town; you should stay in the high-end luxury inn Captain Jefferds Inn. Play with my duck in the Jacuzzi if you like.
The writers were guests of Captain Jefferds Inn and Distinctive Inns of New England and we thank you all for your hospitality. Thank you so much Sarah (insert smiley face) and Marti Mayne.
5 Pearl Street,
PO Box 691
Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Read About the other Distinctive Inns of New England that we have had the fortune of working with
Link you your Weekend Travel Inspiration right here. Comment on others and share our passions
[inlinkz_linkup id=567155 mode=1]