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Archive for May 20th, 2015

Portland Dry Goods:

PortlandDryGoods

We started out with a store not technically in Kennebunkport, but in nearby Portland. Portland Dry Goods has been on our radar for a while, offering contemporary classics with an American flavor. Perfect for the Maine outdoorsman, the store has everything from rugged outerwear courtesy of their vast Barbour collection, casual workwear and manly accessories. Their impressive collection of Rancourt and Redwing boots had me drooling and I wanted pretty much every woven shirt, selvedge denim jean and pocket knife they had. The Corter Bottlehook I purchased while visiting the store served as a nice keepsake and will surely come in handy this summer.

David Wood Clothiers:

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Directly next store to Portland Dry Goods is David Wood Clothiers, a true gentleman’s haberdashery located in the heart of Portland’s coast. The two stores are actually, if I’m not mistaken, part of the same family while David Wood’s caters to a more Anglo clientele. I was greeted when we walked in by the exceptionally dandy David Hodgkins, who showed us around the store and gave a little history of David Woods. The store offers a wide array of Made To Measure services from suits, shirting, and vests. Their accessories collection in massive, offering top quality ties, colorful socks, dapper grooming accessories and classic footwear. The store does an impressive job of balancing the nautical look and feel of Maine with a traditional gentleman’s shop and I had a hard time leaving the store there was so much to look at and explore. Mr. Hodgkins is a true gentleman and if you ever find yourself in Portland, I highly recommend stopping in and speaking with him.

Minka:

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Located right in the heart of Kennebunkport, Minka was one of those shops that we found ourselves repeatedly going back into to have a second, third and fourth look. Specializing in handmade bags, jewelry, pottery, all natural bodycare and home goods, if we could wrap everything up in the store and take it with us, we would have. While their home goods collection was incredible, especially their birchware pottery and handmade nautical rope bowls, the men’s accessories and t-shirts were clearly my favorite. Wooden nautical cufflinks, deer antler pizza cutters, vintage inspired collage prints and the hilarious “Kennedrunkport” flasks would all make fine additions to any Dandies home. Even more impressive is everything in the store is either made by the husband and wife owners of the shop or by other local artists and designers. You are truly buying a part of Maine when you shop here.

Three Dories:

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Another shop which consistently showed up on our search engines for shopping in Kennebunkport is Three Dories. Featuring classic preppy clothing similar to brands like Vineyard Vines with bright sun-washed colors, this store seems to be the perfect clothing shop for Kennebunkportlanites(?). Various nautical themes are featured throughout, but I love the store’s small row boat logo used on their collection of shirts and polos. The logo perfectly embodies Kennebunkport with similar boats resting just outside in the nearby port. The store is also much more price friendly then some of the other shops we’ve encountered, making it an idea spot to pick up a shirt or two which can serve both as souvenir and as one of your day-to-day wardrobe pieces.

Daytrip Society:

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This incredible shop is like Wes Anderson opened a store and stocked everything in it himself. Vastly cooler than anything you will find in Urban Outfitters, Daytrip Society is a kitsch buyers dream come true, full of quirky nautical gifts, clothing, bags, books, home goods and everything else in between. The staff is incredibly friendly and upbeat, and the store offers some truly unique gifts you are unlike to find anywhere else. A favorite item of ours were the Recycled Lobster Rope Mats by Cape Porpoise Trading Co. Again, we kind of wanted everything in the store and they also have an adorable Kids store located just a few doors down.

Hurlbutt Designs:

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Hurlbutt Designs, which has an enormous showroom located just outside of the village, recently opened a smaller shop directly on the port side of Kennebunkport. Full of nautical home goods which would look fine in your house/man cave, Hurlbutt is also responsible for decorating some of the most prestigious establishments in Kennebunkport. They’ve recently published a beautiful coffee table book called Kennebunkport, Maine  which features stunning photography of the community’s people, landscape, artistry and culture with a forward written by one of Kennebunkport’s most famous residents: President George H.W. Bush. All proceeds from the book go to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust. While we weren’t quite ready to spend the $100 for the book by the end of our trip since we’ve pretty much exhausted our shopping fund, the book is available online for purchase so I think we might consider buying it in the near future.

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The wife and I had an incredible time in Kennebunkport last week. If you’ve never been, we highly suggest scheduling a visit, especially now that the warmer weather has arrived. Established in 1653 as shipbuilding and fishing village, Kennebunkport has become over the last 100 years a popular Summer colony and seaside tourist destination. The actual village itself is very small and centralized, full of souvenir shops, art galleries and seafood restaurants. We were surprised when we first drove into town how low the water lever was. Like, just mud… with little or no water. We thought for a moment that we had made a mistake in coming here. We soon found out that the water in town is tidal, with water levels rising as much as 12 feet when the tide came in!

We loved how small and quaint the village was. It wasn’t quite peak tourist season, so it was relatively quiet when we arrived on Thursday. Come Sunday, when we left and it was 70 degrees and sunny, the town was bustling with visitors. It was also nice that it was very much an adult town. Not a lot of kids running around and just an overall older and more sophisticated crowd which was just fine by us.

After exploring the village for a while, we headed out to Portland which was only a quick 25 minute drive away. Portland had a much more “city” feel to it, with plenty of shops and places to get “the best lobster in Maine” as well as a slew of local craft breweries. Also nearby was the Portland Head Light; one of New England’s most famous and photographed lighthouses. It was incredible climbing the rocks and cliffs surrounding the lighthouse which allowed for plenty of stunning photographic opportunities. Another popular site we saw during our stay were the various “Love Locks” seen around both Kennebunkport and Portland. Popular in places like Paris and NYC, couples write their names on padlocks and attach them to the bridge. You can even buy locks in some of the nearby stores as a reminder of your trip and your love for one another.

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The Ramp:
While Kennebunkport was full of amazing restaurants (several of which made the top 100 most romantic restaurants in the US) one of our favorite spots we actually stumbled upon by accident while out exploring. The Ramp, which is part of the Pier 77 Restaurant, was an incredible dive bar filled with a vast array of New England sports memorabilia (all of which was authentic). Buffalo fans would surely sneer at the large collection of Patriots gear, but the restaurant was so incredible looking, who cares? The small deck area, which we delightfully had to ourselves, provided a quite spot to sit and reflect with the Mrs. on the adventure which lay before us.

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