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Things to do in Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport is a lovely little coastal town located in the Southern Part of Maine. During my one week New England roadtrip, we stopped for a night in this adorable location. Bordering the town of Kennebunk, they are together known as the Kennebunks! Though it be small there are plenty of awesome things to do in Kennebunkport.
The below things to do in Kennebunkport can also all be done even if you only have a day or two to spend in this place. It is definitely worth visiting even if you are short on time. It should be noted a lot of these suggestions centre around food or shopping. What could be more perfect?
Drive past President Bush’s house
Kennebunkport might be most famous for being the location of President Bush’s house. It is located on Walkers point, which is about a 10 minute drive out from the centre of the town. As you drive along the road, you can pull over into a lay-by on the right hand side of the road. From there you have views of the house from across the bay. Obviously, considering whose house it is, you can’t get too close but close enough for a picture for any Bush fans out there!
Walkers Point: Kennebunkport, Maine | Map
Taste Rococo Ice cream
Rococo’s signature shop is located in Kennebunkport, Maine and where it all began. The flavours are really quite something else and range from Earl Grey, Rose Hip Jam and Pistachio to Spicy Rocky Road. It is quite the Kennebunkport institution, so make sure you grab yourself a scoop and take it for a wander around town. It’s made by local milk, but inspired by global flavours. They even had a Jaffa cake flavoured ice cream, which apparently confuses a lot of the Americans. The Jaffa cakes themselves have to be imported from the UK – dedication to the cause. Although if you are looking for something more classically New England, they have choices like Maine Maple Walnut.
Drink Local Gin
Baston River Brewing and Distilling is the perfect place to head to try some local products. They sell their own gin and beer, and also have a tasting room if you want to really indulge. As soon as you step in the bar you know you are in for a treat. The outdoor patio has strings of fairylights, heat lamps and cosy blankets. When you step inside it is dark and inviting. The perfect place to sit back with a drink or two. They also serve food if you get peckish!
Visit Gooch’s Beach
Just outside of the town is the lovely stretch of beach, known as Gooch’s beach. Along the sea front you can spot all the gorgeous holiday homes that look out over the sea. After all even the licence plates in Maine label the state as ‘Vacationland’. Gooch’s beach is the first beach which can be found on Beach Avenue and is sometimes also know as Kennebunk Beach. You can drive down, and there is parking along the beach front, however this could get extremely busy in the summer months.
It is the largest part of the beach, which soft sand and wide open spaces. Perfect for watching dog’s frolic in the waves, for building a sandcastle or sunbathing. If you take a dip in the sea, be warned, it is freezing!
Gooch’s Beach: Beach Ave, Kennebunk, Maine | Map
Eat Satellite Doughnuts
Kennebunkport is home to some delicious treats, and a Satellite Doughnuts is must do! Located just off Dock Square on Spring Street. These tiny doughnuts are the perfect bite size, so you can definitely treat yourself to more than one! The flavours are seasonal, in the fall these included salted chocolate pretzel, apple pie and maple walnut.
The shop is also seasonal and closes in the winter, as well as having slightly reduced hours outside of season so make sure you check before visiting.
Watch the Town change as the Tide comes in
It is really quite remarkable how quickly and high the tide comes in to Kennebunkport, and how far into the town itself the tide comes. The first place to watch is over the bridge as you walk into town. At low tide there is clearance under the bridge, when if you spot it at high tide it is almost at the level of the bridge.
The other place to notice a big difference is around the back of Dock Square. The buildings here are built onto stilts, which at low tide go directly into the mud. By the time the tide comes in, these shops almost seem like they are floating. It is a really pretty site.
Shop in Minka
Kennebunkport is home to a whole host of amazing shops selling all sorts of wares, however Minka deserves a special mention. This is definitely one you need to check out. Selling all natural and handmade wares, sourced primarily from Maine but with all items being made in the USA. It sells everything from homeware, jewellery, clothes, vases and soaps, candles and so on. If you are looking for gifts or to treat yourself, this is the place to head. Plus it is laid out in the most aesthetically pleasing and soothing colour co-ordinated pattern.
Eat from the Clam Shack
Is there anything more typically Maine than eating fresh lobster? And some of the best can be found at the Clam Shack! Located on the bridge over the Kennebunk River, it not long provides an iconic image of Kennebunkport but is also famous for its Lobster Roll. For $20.95 you get fresh lobster meat, mayonnaise and melted butter. The Clam Shack has been mentioned in everything from Gourmet magazine to the New York Times, as well as being recommended by President Bush!
It certainly warrants the long lines that form, get there as it opens to try and avoid this!
Take a Lobster Boat Tour
Maine is the largest producer of Lobster in the United States; Maine Lobstermen brought ashore more than 119 million pounds of the seafood in 2018 alone. Therefore taking a lobster boat tour is the best way to get to know more about the traditions and rules of this trade. Did you know 75% of the lobsters have to be thrown back into the water?
There are plenty of options but Rugosa Lobster Tour comes highly recommended.
Take a Drink on a Boat
When walking around the town of Kennebunkport you will most likely notice this beautiful white ship. The Spirit of Massachusetts is moored up in the Kennebunk River, and provides quite the scenic location for a drink. She is a 125 foot long traditional schooner style boat, built in 1984 and launched in Boston Harbour. In 2014 she was moved to her new home in Kennebunkport. Now the boat is place to sip cocktails or indulge in a few small plates.
Some evenings they also host live music and events, so if you are looking for something a little different – keep an eye out!
Chose your Salt Water Taffy Flavour
Head the the shop The Candy Man for the most mind blowing choice of salt water taffy. For those of you who doesn’t know what salt water taffy is, it was rumoured to be discovered when a candy store became flooded during a major storm and the entire supply of taffy was became soaked in sea water.
The options in the Candy Man are endless, rows upon rows of all the different flavours you can imagine. You can pick up mixed boxes if you aren’t sure what flavours you want to go for. Or alternatively go for pick and mix to choose the biggest variety. You can even buy just one or two to try to start with! Plus the array of the sweets in the rest of the shop also looked amazing. Satisfy all your sweet tooth cravings here!
Buy the Candle of your Dreams
If you ever thought you had seen a selection of candles, you haven’t visited Copper Candle in Kennebunkport. This tiny, traditional shop located on Dock Square, has more candles in every colour, shape and smell you can imagine. They are crammed into the shelves, so it is quite the sight.
If you are a fan of Yankee Candles this store has a huge selection, in every smell you can imagine! There are also lots of seasonal options so make sure you head in for the perfect scent for the perfect season. At the back is a little grotto home to so many traditional Christmas decorations.
Take a Trolley Tour
If you want to learn a little more about the history and the sights of Kennebunkport, Intown Trolley is the activity for you! The tour last arounds 45 minutes and covers the town and some of the coastal areas. The tradition of trolleys in Kennebunkport dates back a while. The first trolleys ran in Kennebunkport from 1900 to 1927 transporting summer guests from the train station to their summer home. And for the last 30 years, they have been in Kennebunkport as a unique way to see the area.
The trolley tours are seasonal and run from Memorial Day weekend through to Columbus Day (Last Monday of May to mid October). The tour also ends at 3pm in the Spring and Fall, rather than 4pm in the summer.
If Trolley tours are you thing, check out this post from Salem: Salem Trolley Tours; the easy way to see Salem
Pick up Souvenirs in Dock Square
The options for Maine related souvenirs are endless, and in Kennebunkport by far the best place to find your favourites is Dock Square. This traditional, quaint looking square is located right in the heart of the town. And the options for shopping are endless. Can you buy anything from little bottles of maple syrup, Maine sweaters to all kinds of buoy related goodies to buy, Dock Square has it all.
Spend hours wandering around all the shops to find the perfect mementos, and the perfect gifts for friends and family!
Dock Square: Dock Square, Kennebunkport, Maine | Map
Heading to New England? Don’t miss this One Week New England Roadtrip post!
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