Former presidents are among the many who enjoy the picturesque beaches, tasty seafood and relaxing atmosphere of this charming coastal town.
Spend a day scouring the beaches for shells or soaking up the sun on one of Kennebunkport’s beaches. Take a tour around the coast on an old lobster boat and keep an eye out for a passing whale. End your day with a seafood dinner in one of the many inns or restaurants in the small town center.
Kennebunkport, Maine, is 28 miles (46 kilometers) south of Portland. The town is built along the banks of the Kennebunk River. Settlement here dates back to the 1600s. For many years Kennebunkport was an important boat-building hub, though recent times have seen the eastern town become a popular resort. Many former mansions of ships’ captains now serve as inns.
Walk or drive down Ocean Avenue to admire the coastal view on one side and the luxurious vacation homes of America’s well-heeled on the other. Towards the end of Walker’s Point you’ll see the vacation residence of former president George. W. Bush.
Spend a day or two exploring the area’s coastal treasures. Visit Goose Rocks Beach for swimming and snorkeling. The Blowing Caves, Spouting Rock and Goat Island lighthouse all make for pleasant excursions.
Take a tour on a former lobster boat or join a whale-watching expedition to see these giants up close. If you prefer to stay on land, then visit the Franciscan Monastery and the Kennebunkport History Center to learn about the area’s past.
Wander around the small town center and without knowing it you may well slip into the neighboring Lower Village. Only locals would really distinguish between the two, because both offer gift shops and galleries, good restaurants and plenty of places to stay.
Visit the town in summer and you’ll almost certainly be able to attend a festival. The Kennebunkport Festival in June features wine, food and music. The fireworks displays held as part of Fourth of July celebrations are best seen from a lobster boat out at sea. Winter offers different charms, with the possibility of picturesque empty beaches just one of the many reasons to visit in the low season.