A Lobster of a Day in Kittery, Maine

As with all good intentions, you start off the school year in a brand new place, thinking about all the wonderful day trips that New England has to offer. As a California native, I had an Elle Woods version of what I thought Harvard Business School would be about. You know, “trips to the cape and clam bakes on the beach!” Cape season may be winding down, but it will also be there come April and May when we all start driving out to the beach for Section retreats (part deux) in a futile search for sunshine and warmth. However, what will NOT be available after October 12, is the opportunity to get a group of friends and head up to Kittery, Maine, for fresh lobster. This past weekend I grabbed a group of girls and headed up north, for my first experience with lobster in Maine.

Located on Kittery Point is a restaurant called Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier that serves up an amazing assortment of boiled lobsters, mussels, clams and assorted side dishes. Going all the way to Maine for lobster may sound time-consuming, but the trip is under 1.5 hours and takes you through scenic sea-side towns littered across Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Before you know it, you are crossing the bridge into Maine: “Vacationland” as the state license plates affectionately name it.

Chauncey Creek is a bright wooden pier-style restaurant with a window where they take your order and serve from live lobster tanks. The menu is limited: lobster is really your only choice. But why drive all the way to Maine for anything else? The setting is spectacular, the pier literally floats along the river and people pass by in boats on their way to various coves & beaches. While Chauncey Creek isn’t cheap, don’t expect white linens and china, unless you bring your own. Many patrons covered the brightly covered picnic tables with their own picnic garb – including table-clothes, flowers, and extra food that Chauncey Creek doesn’t sell. The restaurants BYOB policy also applies to food, so feel free to bring desserts, salads, vegetables, and wine to compliment your main course.

If you are looking for a little exercise after you finish your meal, continue down the road to a gorgeous and secluded beach. You might get a glimpse of some young kids selling 5-cent lemonade, or locals searching for sea urchins in rocky waters. We laid out a blanket and watched people come and go, while treasuring the last of the summer weather.

Driving back through town in search for a Starbucks (I don’t pretend to be “country-folk” when it comes to coffee), we saw signs for Kittery shopping outlets. That got our attention! With everything from J. Crew to Pepperidge Farm, the outlets are a great stop to stock up on some last-minute warm weather clothes. Located conveniently in the shopping area are Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks to satiate that late afternoon lull. Armed with bags of argyle sweaters and parmesan-flavored goldfish, we packed back into the car and headed back to Boston.

Chauncey Creek is a fantastic place for friends, and also can be a great day date place. From HBS, head out on Storrow Drive and take Route 1 to Route 95. Head to Maine and turn off at Route 236 (exit 3). Follow signs to route 103 and finally make a right at Chauncey Creek. You will most likely get lost (we did), but the police officers are very helpful. (The deli on the right side of the road before you turn onto Chauncey Creek has a good chilled wine selection.) (For more information, you can go to: www.chaunceycreek.com. The restaurant closes October 12, so make day trip plans soon!