A Day Trip South to Kittery
Words & Photos By Courtney Elizabeth and Jamie Mercurio of Root + Abound
As we took to the road this month, we drove south. A short and sweet day trip down the coast brought us to the beautiful small town of Kittery, where we searched for design, culture, local eats, boutiques, and new hotspots. What we found? A hip and tight-knit community worth visiting. Kittery provides its visitors with consistent quality and a unique Southern Maine experience.
Our first stop is Folk, a boutique with an impeccable aesthetic. The owner and curator Amelia Davis and her co-worker Rae work on neat hand-crafted paper cutouts for display. Behind them hang pieces by contemporary clothing designers Ajaie Alaie, Black Crane, Ilana Kohn, and Paloma Wool. From the thoughtfully selected handmade goods to the local culture and artistry, we love everything about this shop. The shelves are filled with Davis’s selections of handcrafted jewelry and artisanal homewares.
We can’t help but admire the organic touches—the handwoven baskets made in Morocco, hand-poured beeswax candles from local artisan Danica Design Candles in Rockport, not to mention these custom geometric shelves designed and built by Davis and her friends.
A few doors down from Folk is Tayla Mac Boutique. The store’s owner, Mikayla Parsons, focuses on featuring as many local artisans and makers as possible, while making it a point to carry ethically produced goods in her store.
Geometric wall hangings are by Attalie Dexter, and the resin animal heads are by White Faux Taxidermy. Embroidered decorative pillows by Coral + Tusk line the nearby shelves. Though it’s not for sale, Parsons’ built-in sliding barn door provides a stunning backdrop for hanging pieces. The barn door is custom made of reclaimed wood from her grandmother’s barn, and designed by her store contractor Alice + Bird Interiors.
After exploring two of Kittery’s most eclectic boutiques, we decide a coffee break is in order. Lil’s Café is the place to go. The space includes some wonderful design details, making for a cozy workplace or meeting spot. Antique oriental rugs and paintings, mustard-colored mid-century lounge chairs, exposed brick walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows make us feel right at home for the hour.
Lil’s Cafe is known around town for their specialty crullers and generous Tandem Coffee lattes. While we love the traditional cinnamon sugar coated, we can’t get enough of their raspberry-basil flavor.
After the coffee and crullers, we stop into Festina Lente for a more substantial meal. New to town, the restaurant presents us with delicious farm-to-table eats. Heirloom tomatoes and burrata, and carrots with mascarpone and pistachios are among the seasonal dishes served.
Chef Sam Ostrow comes out to our table to chat and share his vision for the menu and his desire for a relaxed atmosphere. The cozy setting inspires conversation and we soon learn that the family next to us are back for the third time on their week-long vacation from New York.
Water Street Inn recently opened with six thoughtfully decorated guest rooms. Located right on the Kittery waterfront, the inn’s views look out onto Kittery Foreside and Badger Island.
When Jon Lessard and Tiffany Landry decided they wanted a life on the sea coast, they went all in, and pooled their pennies to start Lost Coast, the greatest store of all time—according to their Facebook page.
As we explore the diverse thrift shop, Lessard and Landry are by our side to help us find whatever it is we need. They are kind and genuine, wanting to provide only the best experience for each customer who enters their store. Jon and Tiffany will go above and beyond to help you find what you’re searching for, and we’re loving every minute of it.