Kennebunkport, Maine Things To Do
Travel to Kennebunkport to experience some of Maine’s most relaxing and romantic things to do. The town is built at a juncture where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Kennebunk River. Once a ship building center and summer resort for the wealthy, the village is seeped in tradition and charm.
Today, Kennebunkport continues to thrive. Along the river, warehouses that used to produce schooners are now busy marinas. Gilded-Age mansions have been transformed into elegant inns. The one-time fishing port is presently known for its luxurious and laid-back beach living.
Kennebunkport offers superb shopping, restaurants, and opportunities to enjoy the rugged Maine coast. Only 1.5-hours north of Boston and 30-minutes south of Portland, Maine, its central location is easy to get to - and hard to leave!
For more information on Maine coast travel destinations read our articles on:
As New England residents, Joe and I have traveled to the southern Maine coast many times. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do in Kennebunkport:
Explore Kennebunkport’s Dock Square
Dock Square and Union Street are Kennebunkport’s main tourist hubs. In the area you will find a high concentration of boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and inns. As you stroll the narrow streets, you will see sailboats in the nearby water. The walkable area is a foodie’s delight with take-out shacks, restaurants, wine bars, breweries, and cafes to enjoy.
Join a Historical Walking Tour of Kennebunkport
The neighborhoods abutting the river and harbor are full of sea captain houses and the summer cottages of Gilded-Age industrialists. Wander through the neighborhoods of Kennebunkport’s historic district to see evidence of the village’s colonial and ship-building glory days. Begin your walk at Dock Square and end at Union Square.
Drive Ocean Avenue with Stops at St. Ann’s Church and Walker Point
Ocean Avenue is a twisty 2-mile stretch of road that runs between Dock Square and Cape Porpoise. The road is famous for its palatial summer homes and stunning ocean vistas.
Mid-way on the drive is the beautiful St. Ann’s Episcopal Church. This stone church sits on gorgeous lawns overlooking a magnificent rocky shore. There is an outside alter, and the church may be visited if not in use. The grounds are open to the public.
Further along Kennebunkport’s Ocean Avenue is the Walker Point Estate. The estate is the Bush family summer compound. There is a memorial to George “H” at one of the lookouts.
Discover the Fishing Village of Cape Porpoise
The fishing village of Cape Porpoise is about 3-miles outside of Kennebunkport. The small port has a working pier with views of the Goat Island Lighthouse. In the quiet town, there is a grocery store selling gourmet products, a chowder house, and the fabulous Pier 77 Restaurant. It is fun to explore the rustic village and the surrounding country roads.
Take a Lobster Boat Tour, Whale Watch, or Sailing Excursion
Kennebunkport has a rich seafaring history and flourishing harbor. The marinas along the river bob with yachts and leisure boats. There are many types of tours to book such as lobster boat tours, sailing excursions, whale watches, and fishing charters.
Join a Kennebunkport Lunchtime Culinary Walking Tour
Explore Kennebunkport’s renowned culinary scene with a guided lunchtime tour. The tour guide provides a colorful history of the area between stops for foods such as fresh “lobstah,” donuts, “chowdah,” and craft brewed ales. Enjoy meeting the shop keepers, gourmet chefs, and craft brewers of Kennebunkport.
Enjoy the Kennebunkport Beaches
The main Kennebunkport beaches are Kennebunk Beach and Goose Rocks Beach.
Kennebunk Beach is comprised three beaches: Gooche’s, Middle, and Mother’s Beach. Gooche’s and Middle Beach are nice swimming/sunbathing beaches. Mother’s Beach is fun for tide pooling, and there is a playground. In season, visitor permits are sold by the day or week at kiosks on the beaches.
Goose Rocks Beach is located about 6-miles out of Kennebunkport. The 3-miles white sand beach has gentle surf, and is popular with families. There are no facilities at the beach. In season, a parking sticker can be purchased at the Goose Rocks Beach General Store.
Visit Kennebunk’s Shops
The town of Kennebunk is located 5-miles away from Kennebunkport. Kennebunk has a pretty little Main Street full of shops and cafes. Like “K-Port,” Kennebunk’s historic streets offer great shopping, historic inns, and 5-star restaurants.
Hike or Kayak the Kennebunk River and Coast
Kennebunkport’s Parsons Way Shore Walk is a 2-mile scenic path hugging the coast of Cape Arundel. The free trail is considered ‘easy’ for most people. The hike begins at Arundel (Colony) Beach and passes by Sprouting Rock and Blowing Cave, St. Ann’s Church, Walker Point, grand summer “cottages,” and the cliffs of the rocky coast.
Another popular way to enjoy the outdoors is to rent a kayak and paddle the coast and Kennebunk River. There are several outfitters in Kennebunkport that rent by the hour or day. Guided and self-guided adventures tours are available.
Take a Kennebunkport Trolley Tour or Visit the Nearby Trolley Museum
Get an overview of the Kennebunkport area by taking a 45-minute trolley ride. Kennebunkport Trolley Tours offers guided sightseeing tours that take in the highlights of the area including the Franciscan Monastery, Gooch’s Beach, and other historic sites.
For history and transportation buffs, a visit to Kennebunkport’s Seashore Trolley Museum is a great choice. Wander the museum’s collection of trolley cars, ride on a vintage trolley, and visit the restoration shop. Open seasonally.
Visit Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude During the Holidays
Every year Kennebunkport’ Christmas Prelude draws thousands of visitors throughout the holiday season. The celebration includes tree lighting ceremonies, caroling at the Franciscan Monastery, and visits from Santa. The village is decorated with a nautical theme making holiday shopping fun.
Be on the lookout for Laura and George (Bush that is!). Have fun! Laura and Randy
For more information on Maine coast vacations read our articles on: