Looking for a great winter destination to get away from it all with your significant other? I have just the spot amidst the scenic beauty of western Maine. The friendly community of Kingfield, Maine offers a variety of romantic lodging options and activities for the makings of a wonderful, intimate escape for couples.
Once home to the Stanley Steamer Motor Company, an early 20th century pioneering automotive firm that specialized in the manufacture of steam-powered cars, Kingfield is now better known as the “gateway to western Maine.”
Stanley Avenue is a popular bed and breakfast option in Kingfield — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikThis community features a growing artist colony, as evidenced by several distinguished galleries which have opened their doors in recent years. For those interested in exploring Kingfield’s past, the Stanley Museum features a fine collection of exhibits and artifacts detailing the history of the Stanley Steamer company – including several of its automobiles that have been well-preserved.
While lodging availability is limited, it is diverse. One Stanley Avenue in Kingfield, Maine (www.stanleyavenue.com ) is a quaint and affordable bed and breakfast. During the height of the ski season (December through March), a room with a private bath is just $80 per night.
This bed and breakfast actually comprises two structures. One Stanley Avenue is the main house – a fine example of grand Victorian architecture. Also sharing the property is Three Stanley Avenue where the b & b lodging is located. Both were originally built by one of the Stanley brothers.
Three Stanley Avenue harkens back to the simple pleasures of the Victorian age: the late 1800s and early 1900s. Each room is individually decorated and features sheer curtains, wallpaper of pastoral or similar designs, rich woods and period furniture. . . but offers the convenience of complimentary wireless internet. The beds are plush and comfortable with quality blankets, comforters and other bedding. Several rooms feature a spacious bathroom with a full tub, shower and vanity. During warmer months, the residence’s wrap-around porch invites guests to curl up onto one of several rocking chairs to enjoy a good book.
At the main residence, the One Stanley Avenue Restaurant features owner and chef Dan Davis’ artistic takes on native Maine cuisine. Menu highlights include the rich Alluvial Chicken with sautéed chicken with white sauce, fiddleheads, juniper berries and hemlock; savory Roast Duck with Rhubarb Glaze with red wine, cinnamon and lemon; and the zesty Dilled Lobster on Zucchini with rich dill and curry flavors. The restaurant’s intimate, inviting and romantic atmosphere further enhances the dining experience.
A room at the Herbert Hotel — Photo courtesy of Herbert HotelFor those seeking a more traditional hotel option, the Herbert Hotel (www.herbertgrandhotel.com ) in downtown Kingfield offers the romanticism of early 20th century hotel style. Each room features exquisite antique furnishings, private bathrooms with plush towels, and wireless internet access.
The Herbert offers a variety of room accommodations for couples and families alike. In particular, their Honeymoon Rooms feature plush, comfortable king size beds.
For those seeking to get the most out of this area’s rustic charms, Seven Falls Cabins (www.sevenfallscabins.com) in nearby New Portland offers old fashioned log cabins with such choice modern conveniences as comfortable beds, bathrooms, and full kitchens. The magic of this lodging destination is its scenic location within the wilds of the Carrabassett Valley with hiking and boating activities practically at your doorstep.
The charms of this area are made all the more special by the plentiful local attractions. Sugarloaf Ski Resort (www.sugarloaf.com), one of Maine’s top downhill skiing destinations, is within a 20 minute drive. Meanwhile, the Kingfield-based, non-profit Maine Huts and Trails (www.mainehuts.org) hosts a free, expansive network of old logging trails that are perfect for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Several state trails are also available for backwoods Nordic skiing adventures. In the warmer months, the nearby Bigelow Mountain Range and the pristine Rangeley Lakes offer great opportunities for mountain hiking, boating and kayaking.
For those seeking to make the most of the romantic, backwoods wonders of Western Maine, Kingfield is a great destination just about any time of year.