Kennebunkport Travel Guide
It is hard to say what makes Kennebunkport, Maine so special. But this tiny, picture-perfect village, tucked along the southern coast of Maine is truly a gem.
Head a few miles east of Coastal Route 1, on Route 9 and you will find yourself in Dock Square – the centerpiece of Kennebunkport. Its streets are filled with gourmet foods, handmade jewelry and pottery, unique home furnishings, one of a kind clothing, gifts capturing the local flavor, art galleries, antique shops, and award-winning restaurants and cafes – all sitting alongside the waters of Kennebunk Harbor and the Kennebunk River.
Kennebunkport, Maine Attractions
With the Kennebunkport, Maine, Dock Square shops being the focal point for many who travel here, it’s easy to overlook the other great Kennebunkport tourist attractions.
At the Kennebunkport Historical Society you can step back in time – a very long time – to 1602, to experience the history of this centuries-old seacoast village.
Or, visit the distinctive buildings of the Brick Store Museum, located in the heart of Kennebunkport’s National Register Historic District, and learn more about Kennebunkport’s shipbuilding heritage.
Over 250 transit vehicles, most of them trolleys, are on display at the Seashore Trolley Museum. For a ride into the past hop aboard one of their streetcars.
Onboard the Intown Trolley you can enjoy 45 minutes of narrated Kennebunkport, Maine sightseeing.
The waterfront has great offerings, too:
The 87 foot Nick’s Chance will take you to the summer feeding grounds of the Finback, Humpback, Minke, and the rare Blue Whale.
Aboard Kylie’s Chance sit back and enjoy a scenic lobster cruise along the Kennebunk River and the Kennebunkport coastline.
Help hoist the sails of the Pineapple Ketch that departs from the Nonantum Resort Marina or the Schooner Eleanor on the dock at the Arundel Wharf Restaurant.
Have you tried sportfishing? Captain Greg Metcalf, Lady J Sportfishing Charter, Tidewater Fishing Charters, and many other local captains will happily share their favorite fishing grounds with you.
Back on land, a drive along Ocean Avenue will lead you past…
Saint Ann’s Church built of stone in the 1890s, and sitting on beautiful waterfront land, the Bush compound on Walker’s Point (the summer home of former President Bush) and Cape Porpoise, a quintessential New England fishing village.
And a walk on Parson’s Way will lead along the rugged and scenic Kennebunkport, Maine coastline from the end of Kennebunkport village out toward Walker’s Point.
Wherever your adventures take you, you are sure to find other hidden treasures: sea captain’s homes, historic landmarks, golf courses, blueberries longing to be picked, and if the tide is right – the Spouting Rock and the Blowing Cave! When you’re ready for some lazy relaxation…
The ever-popular Kennebunkport Gooch Beach is wonderful for swimming and riding the waves, and the three-mile stretch of Goose Rock’s Beach will provide you with plenty of room to stretch out.
What happens if you run out of things to do Kennebunkport, Maine? Within an hour’s drive are plenty of other southern Maine attractions…
To the south are the Kittery Outlet Mall and the seacoast towns of York Beach, Ogunquit, and Wells Beach – to the north is Maine’s largest city Portland, and the quaint town of Freeport, with its dozens of outlet shops and gorgeous inns.
Bed and Breakfasts Kennebunkport, Maine, Inns, Hotels
Historic inns, impeccable B&B’s, waterfront hotels, family-friendly, affordable “budget” motels, and Maine vacation homes all await your Kennebunkport, Maine vacation getaway, with warm Maine hospitality abundance at Kennebunkport lodging accommodations.
Nestled in a secluded tidal cove are the 16 unique Cottages at Cabin Cove, where a sumptuous breakfast basket is delivered each morning.
The Colony Hotel Kennebunkport, Maine, with a private surf beach, sits stately on a rock promontory overlooking the Atlantic.
Centrally located to Kennebunkport, Maine attractions, and one of Kennebunkport’s Historic Inns is the Captain Fairfield Inn – a boutique bed & breakfast featuring “a blend of historic and soft modern styling”.
At Hidden Pond, “flip flop” chic awaits you in luxurious cottages in a splendidly laid back atmosphere.
And, at the Captain Lord Mansion, Kennebunkport’s only AAA 4 Diamond bed & breakfast, you can enjoy the meticulously decorated rooms and “Day Spa Services”.
Sitting on the banks of the Kennebunk River…
The luxury Yachtsman Lodge with patios overlooking the water, the Breakwater Inn and Spa, with its cottages, apartments and spa rooms, and the Nonantum Resort, built in the 1880s, with the “ambiance of a bygone era”.
Want to “experience the quiet side of Kennebunkport”? Head to the Cape Porpoise Motel, situated just off a quaint New England fishing village. Or, for an “affordable family resort hotel” the Rhumb Line Resort offers “indoor and outdoor heated pools, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and spas and fitness center”. But, before you call it a day…
Restaurants and Kennebunkport Dining
Can a Maine coastal vacation be complete without sampling Maine’s finest and freshest seafood? No! Not in my opinion.
However, when dining in Kennebunkport, Maine you will not be limited to the sweetest lobsters you have ever tasted, succulent fried clams, fresh Atlantic haddock and the New England sea scallops that are so abundant in the area. You will also have plenty of other choices.
Serving up “casual excellence” to both locals and tourists, for over 35 years, is the Dock Square Alisson’s Restaurant. Just a few doors away from Alison’s, and winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, is Hurricane’s Restaurant with intimate tavern seating and a large windowed dining room that overlooks a tidal creek.
Located on a historic landmark that was once a ship’s chandlery and general store, and where ships were repaired and fitted before their long voyages, is the Arundel Wharf Restaurant, decorated with chart covered tables, mahogany, and brass.
Less than a mile up the road, in a one-story cottage, Mabel’s Lobster Claw Restaurant serves – you guessed it – lots of fresh seafood at its knotty pine tables.
You may want to head to Cape Porpoise and the Pier 77 Restaurant for stunning views of the Cape Porpoise Harbor and working lobster boats.
Want a fantastic ocean view? Cape Arundel Oceanfront Inn and Dining Room on a seaside knoll offer fantastic, unrestricted views of the Atlantic Ocean.
For something different, the Bandaloop serves organic local foods and many vegetarian and vegan options.
“Genuine provincial Italian dining with just a touch of New England” is the motto at the rustic, Tuscan style Grissini Italian Bistro. And…
At The White Barn Inn Restaurant in Kennebunk, encompassing two restored barns dating from the 1820s, you can experience AAA Five Diamond, Mobil Five Star restaurant dining.
You are sure to find your own favorite restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine. I have certainly found mine – a simple clam shack called just that, the Clam Shack, sits riverside – to the right of the bridge – as you head into Dock Square.
My warm weather visits to Kennebunkport, ME are not complete unless I stop at this unpretentious eatery – voted by Epicurious.com as one of the top ten seafood shacks in America.
I order a warm lobster roll with drawn butter only and drive to Walker’s Point. There, I sit on a park bench overlooking the wide-open Atlantic. The saltwater smell drifts over the top of the lobster meat and I am in heaven.
After your meal – Indulge! Kennebunkport, Maine has plenty of homemade ice cream, candy and pastry to ensure sweet dreams!