Maine Coast: Kennebunkport Travel Guide
Our Maine coast travel guide will help you discover all the best places to visit in the elegant New England village of Kennebunkport. Home to the Bush family summer compound, Kennebunkport has become synonymous with luxurious southern Maine coastal living.
Kennebunkport is not your typical oceanfront beach town. It has souvenir shops, clam shacks, farm stands, and trolley tours; but the overall vibe is a bit more upmarket. The lively boutique inn and restaurant scene are topnotch. Seeped in nautical tradition, the port-town has a chic modern flair.
Use our travel guide to discover Kennebunkport’s rocky coasts, stunning scenic drives, and all that this Maine vacation destination has to offer.
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Kennebunkport is located between York and Portland, Maine. It is situated along the Atlantic Ocean and Kennebunk River. In the 1800’s, the area developed as a ship building port.
Merchants and sea captains built magnificent homes near the sea. Guest houses were erected for tourists from Boston and New York who flocked to the beautiful oceanfront community. Today, these lovely structures are preserved as the town’s inns, resorts, restaurants, and spas.
Kennebunkport is a 4-season New England travel destination. “K-port” stays busy in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, many businesses close (always check ahead for opening information). To fully enjoy the region, a personal vehicle is recommended.
DISCOVER KENNEBUNKPORT NEIGHBORHOODS
The village of Kennebunkport is packed with designer shops, art galleries, antique shops, and spas. Dock Square is the main tourist hub. Its historic streets bustle, and it is not unusual to see vintage cars cruising the narrow avenues. Along Union Street, marinas and yacht clubs line the river. Ocean Avenue winds out of town past grand old hotels and Gilded Age “summer cottages.”
Five miles from Kennebunkport, is the charming town of Kennebunk. Like its sister-village, Kennebunk is full of historic streets, great shopping, and 5-star restaurants. Kennebunk has more of a small-town feel, than K-port.
A short 3-miles from Kennebunkport, is the lobstering village of Cape Porpoise. The quiet harbor is chock full of rustic Maine charm. In the village there is a working fishing pier with views of the Goat Island Lighthouse. There are houses on stilts, farm stands, and a surprisingly interesting food scene with a grocery store selling gourmet products, pier chowder house, and the renowned Pier 77 Restaurant.
Kennebunk Beaches: The Kennebunk beaches include Gooch’s, Middle, and Mother’s Beach. These flat, sandy beaches (some rocks strewn about) are located off Beach Avenue. The beaches are connected by a sidewalk. Parking is by permit only. Visitor permits are sold by the day or week at kiosks on the beaches.
Goose Rocks Beach: This gorgeous beach offers 3-miles of white sand, gentle surf, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. It is located about 6-miles from Kennebunkport. There are no facilities at the beach. To park in-season, a sticker can be purchased at the Goose Rocks Beach General Store.
Accommodations run the gamut from national chain hotels, to small family-run motels, to luxury 5-star resorts. Look for lodgings near Kennebunkport Village if you want to park the car and walk to most destinations. For a quieter environment, search in Kennebunk or along the stunning Ocean Avenue area.
The Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, and Cape Porpoise regions are flush with high-quality restaurants. Restaurants featuring seafood and other regional favorites are predominant, but there is a wide range of different food styles and offerings.
KENNEBUNKPORT THINGS TO DO
Explore Kennebunkport’s Dock Square and Union Square
Take a Lobster Boat Tour, Whale Watch, or Sailing Excursion
Drive along Ocean Avenue and Stop at St. Ann’s Church and the Walker Point Lookout
Discover the fishing village of Cape Porpoise
Join a walking tour of Kennebunkport’s historic neighborhoods
Have a beach day at Goose Rocks Beach
Shop Kennebunk’s Main Street
Rent a kayak and paddle the Kennebunk River
Take a trolley tour of the area or visit the nearby Trolley Museum
Visit Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude celebration during the holidays
Break out your best nautical attire and dope shades, Laura and Randy
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