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Kennebunkport
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Kennebunkport, Maine

The northeastern section of the USA which includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are commonly called "the New England" states because they reminded early British settlers of their homeland. The northernmost of these states, Maine, has a rugged rocky coast and dense forests strewn with pristine lakes and rivers. Its scenic beauty and cool climate attracts many visitors during the summer months. Here is Ron Harmon's wonderful description of the picturesque seaside village of Kennebunkport, Maine.

Damp misty fog and fishing boats at Kennebunkport Maine © Ron Harmon / USATourist.com
A damp misty fog that makes everything at a distance resemble a watercolor painting.

The morning air was clear; and its freshness mixed with the smell of the sea made the surroundings invigorating. I had been in Kennebunkport the better part of a week and this was my first glimpse of the sun. For almost two weeks, a damp misty fog that makes everything at a distance resemble a watercolor painting had held the whole southern coast of Maine in its grasp. Although I had been enjoying my stay in the serene mood cast upon the area by the fog, the coastal village took on a new look under the rays of a bright summer sun.

People were coming out of "hiding." It's amazing I thought to myself, exactly what effect weather has on people. During the fog, a few people strolled the streets, but now under the sun, everything was alive.

Summer is a special time in Kennebunkport -- a time when fun seekers are plentiful and store proprietors keep busy. Along the streets, shopkeepers set "sale" items in front of their stores to attract customer's attention. Visitors were not only looking, but lots of them were buying as well. Young couples on bicycles pedaled by the shops so quickly that for an instant they became a blur of color. At several points along the avenue, college-aged individuals congregated to discuss their plans for the day.

Apart from the shops selling everything from autographed first edition books to original oil paintings, there were plenty of other things to see and do. A few blocks from the village, an old gristmill had been turned into a restaurant where visitors can dine in the atmosphere of a bygone era. Other mills around the area have been transformed into a museum and playhouses were famous entertainers "pack 'em in."

At Kennebunk Landing is the ornate "Wedding Cake" house built in 1846. Nearby, on Blueberry Hill stands the 200-year-old farmhouse of once-famous pop singer Jane Morgan. It is thought that the old farm is haunted - in fact Miss. Morgan believed the story so strongly that she gave the "spiritual occupants" the names of Ned and Nellie.

Kennebunk Beach along rugged rocky coast of Maine © Ron Harmon
On Kennebunk Beach huge crumpled granite rocks dot the shoreline.

On Kennebunk Beach huge crumpled granite rocks dot the shoreline. A large group of persons at one end of the beach played in the cool waters of the Atlantic. Farther down, a young couple sat on top of one of the stones while a group of small children played in a tidal pool.

A few miles from Kennebunk beach is Perkins Cove. At one time, the cove's main industry was fishing, but for some reason, it has now become a home for artists. At Barnacle Billy's, a colorful eatery, one can sit on the sun deck and sip cool lemonade or dine on a lobster dinner. Boats of all sorts pass below the deck while lobster traps lay scattered on the shore. If lucky, a visitor might see one of the artists sitting in the noonday sun trying to sell his works. Most of the serious artists, however, have rented space at the cove and exhibit in a more professional style.

Evening in the Kennebunks is something special in itself. The hot pinks rich reds and tawny golden colors of a setting sun seem to change even the oldest houses into works of art. This little section of southern Maine is a place where a visitor could stay a whole summer, explore every "nook and cranny" and still not see it all. It is a place that lures a person back so many times that eventually it might be called home.

Written by: Ronald Harmon
Top Photo Credit: © Joanne Welch
Photo Description: Fishing and cruise boats at sunset in Kennebunkport, Maine.