Best Things To Do in Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport is your typical coastal New England town where water activities reign supreme. Hang out by the shore for a taste of the local water sports – like fishing, sailing and sunbathing. Or make your way to Dock Square to sample the area's fresh seafood. After you've had your fill of the village, head down Ocean Drive to look for the Bush family at Walker's Point. But remember to be polite and mind the secret service – the family is on vacation, too.
Updated April 22, 2019
- #1View all PhotosfreeCape Porpoise#1 in KennebunkportSightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
This little working fishing village, considered part of Kennebunkport, is a few miles from Dock Square and offers a scenic outing. Visitors can watch fishermen hauling in traps and coming in and out of the harbor in their boats at the Cape Porpoise Pier, just as they have done for years. Other activities include shopping in the quaint general store called Bradbury Bros. Market and browsing through the handful of shops and galleries. Goat Island Light, one of Maine oldest lighthouses, is also located in Cape Porpoise.
Recent visitors said the village is quite picturesque but warn if you want photos of the lighthouse, you'll need a camera with a zoom lens. Travelers also said the village is home to several seafood shacks, where the food is as fresh as it gets. Favorites include Musette, Pier 77 and Cape Pier Chowder House.
- #2View all PhotosfreeBeaches#2 in KennebunkportBeaches, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
This string of beaches, located along Beach Avenue, is packed on sunny summer days. It's not hard to understand why Gooch's Beach (often called "Kennebunk Beach") is one of Kennebunkport's most popular (read: crowded) stretches of sand. Not only does it boast scenic vistas, it's also the closest beach to the downtown area. Travelers say Gooch's is a great beach to bring your family and your four-legged friend as dogs are allowed here. Recent visitors loved the fact that the beach is not overdeveloped, but warn that it can be difficult to find parking at times.
Middle Beach may be rocky, but is still a gorgeous spot to sunbathe and enjoy the views. Meanwhile, Mother's Beach also has a large playground and, like Gooch's Beach, offers lifeguards and portable toilets July through Labor Day. You'll want to bring a cooler with food and drinks as there are limited facilities at the beaches.
- #3View all Photos#3 in KennebunkportSightseeing, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
One of the best ways to see the quaint coastal town of Kennebunkport is from the water. From kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to lobster boat tours and sailboat tours, there are ample ways to enjoy this city from the sea.
Rugosa Lobster Tours is a popular family-friendly option that takes travelers on an hour-long ride aboard a classic New England wooden lobster boat. You'll enjoy views of the land and sea and watch the workers haul in lobster traps; visitors said it was a highlight to see the lobsters up close. The Schooner Eleanor offers two-hour tours aboard a traditional schooner with an experienced captain of more than 25 years. Recent travelers loved the relaxing tour and knowledgeable and friendly crew members. Meanwhile, Coastal Maine Kayak & Bike offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals in Kennebunkport. If you're hoping to spot some whales while in Kennebunkport, past travelers recommend you sign up for a tour with First Chance Whale Watch. You can take your pick between a whale-watching excursion or a scenic lobster tour (perfect for if you want to enjoy Kennebunkport's top sites from the water).
- #4View all PhotosfreeDock Square#4 in KennebunkportShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDShopping, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
To get a feel for Kennebunkport's personality, spend an afternoon in Dock Square. This neighborhood – nestled in the center of town – bustles with boutique shoppers and art gallery-hoppers during the summer months. And the plentiful patio cafes offer perfect people-watching perches as well as succulent lobster rolls and other fresh dishes (especially at the Clam Shack, a traveler favorite).
Dock Square is best experienced in the summertime, though a handful of shops keep their doors open during the cold months and promote sweet deals for bargain hunters. Individual stores, shops and eateries operate different schedules, but for more information on the area visit the tourism board's website.
- #5View all PhotosfreeSt. Ann's Church#5 in KennebunkportChurches/Religious Sites, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
This historic stone chapel was built in 1887 and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Kennebunk River. It's a Kennebunkport staple that's lauded for its stone facade, its stained-glass windows and its surrounding gardens. The church is also popular for wedding ceremonies.
Recent visitors said the grounds are peaceful, the structure is unique and the colorful stained-glass windows inside are beautiful. Many say you don't have to spend much time here, but it's a quick "must-see" spot.
- #6View all PhotosfreeWalker's Point#6 in KennebunkportHistoric Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDHistoric Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
Travelers looking to play paparazzi should head out on Ocean Avenue to Walker's Point, home to the Bush family compound. While in office, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush hosted a variety of influential heads of state at their family summer home, including Margaret Thatcher and Vladimir Putin. The Bush family still spends their summer vacations on the picturesque property.
Visitors love the breathtaking vistas on the aptly named Ocean Avenue and suggest stopping at the lookout point to get a photo with the Bush compound in the background. That being said, there isn't much else to do at Walker's Point – and the secret service doesn't let you get too close – so a brief visit is best. You'll find Walker's Point about 3 miles south of downtown Kennebunkport.
- #7View all Photos#7 in KennebunkportMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
A visit to this quirky museum is a good choice for railroad fans and young families, many whom say it can be hard to get their kids to leave. Founded in 1939, the Seashore Trolley Museum has amassed more than 250 trolleys, buses and subway cars from around the globe. Visitors can learn about the history of public transportation and even take a ride in a few select cars.
Most travelers were pleasantly surprised with this museum, noting its interesting trolleys and knowledgeable employees. Visitors said you must make sure to take the trolley ride and stop by the gift shop. Meanwhile, others said a stop here provides a nice reprieve from the beaches.
- #8View all Photos#8 in KennebunkportChurches/Religious Sites, Parks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, Parks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
An active monastery, St. Anthony's serves as a popular rest stop for travelers, as well as a religious retreat for the devout. More than 60 acres of lush gardens and walking paths are open to the public year-round. And visitors are welcome to stay overnight in St. Anthony's Franciscan Guest House next door. Art fans can find a collection stunning pieces here as well, including a few slabs of stained glass created by Lithuanian architect and artist Vytautas K. Jonynas in the chapel. There's even a saltwater pool by the guest house if you're up for a dip.
Recent travelers said the grounds are peaceful, offering a beautiful place for solitude and reflection. Visitors who stayed in the guest house said it was humble, yet comfortable, and many suggested stopping by the gift shop.
- #9View all Photos#9 in KennebunkportShoppingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDShoppingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
A little removed from Kennebunkport, the Kittery Outlets are a solid rainy-day option for travelers and popular with shoppers looking for deals. The open-air shopping complex is home to stores like Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Eddie Bauer, J. Crew, Nike, Old Navy and more, plus fast-food eateries like McDonald's and Starbucks.
Recent visitors said the shops offer decent discounts and noted that you could spend the entire day here. However, some were disappointed with the spread-out design of the shopping hub. To make things more efficient, use the Kittery Outlets map to see what shops you'd like to visit and plan the best route before you go.
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