Kennebunkport, Maine, though scintillating in the summer months, evokes the quintessential quaintness of coastal New England all year round. Known most famously for hosting George H. W. Bush's summer home, Kennebunkport attracts tourists and visitors who venture to the town for a peek at the Bush compound but stay and return annually. Regulars spend lazy afternoons on the beach or mornings perusing the downtown's eateries, boutiques, and art galleries. Once you stay in one of our Kennebunkport vacation rentals, you'll become a regular, too.
The allure of the mighty Atlantic along the bluffs of Ocean Avenue inspires nostalgia for vanished days of yore when mighty ships cruised the sea. In Kennebunkport, you can channel your adventurous spirit on a boat tour or fishing charter, shop for nautical treasures downtown, stroll through history in local museums, or simply marvel at the majesty of the sea from your beach chair, all with the satisfaction of knowing you'll be returning to one of our comfortable Maine vacation rentals at the end of your daily excursions.
Things to Do in Kennebunkport
During the summer months, there is no clearer indication that tranquility is near than the feeling of soft, white sand between your toes. Goose Rocks Beach definitely delivers in this department, making it a perfect place for a romantic evening walk or a quick beach chair cat nap before searching for shells and sea glass on the shoreline (we dare you to say that five times fast). Occupying three miles of coastline, Goose Rocks boasts scenic views and ample space to get your serenity on. Just note that a parking permit, available at the Kennebunkport Police Station, is required for your vehicle.
Visitors of varying political affiliations will find novelty in snapping a quick picture of Instagram-worthy Walker's Point, the aforementioned Bush compound, from a small, easily found pull-off on Ocean Road that peers directly at the promontory on which the former president's stately pad is located. However, you'll still feel like a VIP as a guest in our Kennebunkport vacation rentals!
The Seashore Trolley Museum transports visitors back in time on an electric railway car. It claims the title of largest electric railway museum in the country with about 250 trolleys, acquired from every major US city with a trolley system, on display. The museum regularly hosts public events, from ice cream nights to themed "speakeasy" gatherings for celebration with libations in Prohibition-era trolley cars.
A trek downtown to peruse Kennebunkport's quirky shops for souvenirs and support local small businesses is a must for anyone spending time in this seaside destination. Meander with a mission to Maine-ly Drizzle, a specialty gourmet olive oil and vinegar store, or to Scalawag's Pet Boutique to pick up a new chew toy for Fido. Those looking to commemorate their getaways with a work of Kennebunkport art can purchase pieces by local artists in the W. Robert Paine Gallery and the Mast Gallery, among others.
When the sea beckons, there is only one way to truly feel the motion of the ocean and appreciate its delicious bounty. Rugosa Lobster Tours offer "a hands-on lobsterman experience" as well as a tour of the Kennebunk River. If there is one thing that Kennebunkport locals know, it's that salt water and sea breezes are good for the soul.
Dining in Kennebunkport
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any vacationer staying in a coastal New England town must be in want of lobster (or any other kind of fresh seafood, for that matter). Nunan's Lobster Hut opens up at five every evening and is regularly packed by six, serving up fresh Kennebunkport-born-and-caught lobster to all who come with an appetite only the juicy red shellfish dunked in butter can satisfy.
For upscale dining with stellar views, Kennebunkport's aptly-dubbed restaurant Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn is just the place to trade sandy beachwear for evening attire and settle in for an intimate dinner for two or food and drinks with good friends.
When it comes to the Kennebunkport art scene, perhaps no craft is as widely appreciated as the métier of exquisite ice cream, a specialty of the dairy virtuosos at Rococo Artisan Ice Cream. Sticky meets sophisticated with flavors like standard Honey Vanilla, specialties Maple Fig Jalapeño and Banana Salted Almond Caramel, and seasonal Spice Pumpkin Pie, among countless other unexpected gourmet concoctions of mouth-watering sweet and savory ingredients.
Though liveliest during the summer, Kennebunkport is picturesque when dressed in the gold and crimson hues of October foliage, enchanting under the twinkle of holiday lights in December, and romantic and cozy beneath a duvet of snow in February. This seaside town can be enjoyed year round, so there is no wrong time to book one of our Kennebunkport vacation rentals!
Photo credit: Esposito Photography via Shutterstock