When you think of Maine, you might picture the rugged coastline, the iconic lighthouses, or the bustling city of Portland. But tucked away in the heart of Vacationland, there’s a hidden gem that’s worth discovering: the charming town of Arundel. With its rich history, scenic beauty, and friendly community, Arundel offers a unique blend of rural charm and coastal sophistication. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, you’ll find plenty to love in this quaint New England town.

A Glimpse into Arundel’s Rich History

Arundel’s history dates back to the 1600s, when it was first settled by Europeans. The town was originally part of the Kennebunkport township, but it became its own entity in 1915. Today, Arundel is home to several historic landmarks that offer a glimpse into its past.

  • The Dutch Elm Golf Course: This historic golf course has been a staple of the Arundel community since the 1920s. It’s known for its beautiful elm trees and challenging layout.
  • The Arundel Historical Society: This organization is dedicated to preserving and sharing Arundel’s history. They operate a museum that houses a collection of artifacts and documents related to the town’s past.
  • The Arundel Barn Playhouse: This historic barn was converted into a theater in the 1930s. Today, it hosts a variety of performances throughout the summer season.

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Arundel

Arundel is nestled in a landscape of rolling hills, lush forests, and sparkling waterways. This natural beauty offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

  • The Eastern Trail: This 65-mile trail stretches from South Portland to Kittery. It passes through Arundel, offering residents and visitors a chance to hike, bike, or birdwatch.
  • The Kennebunk River: This river runs through Arundel, providing opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.
  • The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: This refuge is located just a short drive from Arundel. It’s home to a variety of wildlife and offers beautiful views of the Maine coastline.

Savoring Arundel’s Culinary Scene

Despite its small size, Arundel boasts a vibrant culinary scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafes, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

  • The White Barn Inn: This award-winning restaurant is known for its exquisite cuisine and elegant atmosphere. It’s housed in a restored barn that dates back to the 1820s.
  • The Arundel Wharf Restaurant: This waterfront restaurant offers fresh seafood and stunning views of the Kennebunk River.
  • The Dutch Elm Bakery: This family-owned bakery is a favorite among locals. They’re known for their homemade breads, pastries, and cakes.

Experiencing Arundel’s Community Spirit

Perhaps the most compelling reason to visit Arundel is its strong sense of community. The town hosts a variety of events throughout the year that bring residents and visitors together.

  • The Arundel Heritage Day: This annual event celebrates Arundel’s history with a parade, live music, and local food vendors.
  • The Arundel Farmers Market: This weekly market features fresh produce, handmade crafts, and gourmet foods from local vendors.
  • The Arundel Paddle Battle: This annual kayak race on the Kennebunk River is a fun and competitive event for all ages.

In conclusion, Arundel, Maine is more than just a stop on the way to the more famous tourist destinations in the state. It’s a place where history, nature, food, and community come together to create a truly unique experience. So next time you’re planning a trip to Vacationland, consider making a detour to discover the hidden gem that is Arundel.

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