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Kennebunkport Travel Guide

Where the Maine Coast and America's past meet.
Last Updated
:
February 17, 2024
by
Editorial Staff
Kennebunkport, Maine, USA
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Adobe Stock
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As self-proclaimed connoisseurs of quaint New England beach towns, we consider ourselves somewhat of experts on these idyllic coastal escapes. But even we were unprepared for the one-two punch of oceanfront bliss and presidential nostalgia that is Kennebunkport, Maine.

After just one glimpse of the sailboats bobbing in the harbor and the first whiff of lobster bisque wafting from a restaurant patio, we surrendered to Kennebunkport’s laidback charm faster than you can say “Hail to the Chief.” We’ll admit, as politics junkies, the chance to peek behind the gates of Walker’s Point and gawk at the summer home of George H.W. Bush like starstruck fans were high on our travel wish list. But shhh, don’t tell our spouse we dragged them on yet another presidential pilgrimage!

Luckily for our marriage, Kennebunkport offers plenty beyond an ode to America’s 41st president. From lazy days spent beach combing Three Mile Stretch to cliffside bike rides with views for days, this town dishes out oceanside fun by the scoopful. And with more mouthwatering lobster rolls than you can shake a piping hot fried clam at, let’s just say we’ll be returning with a few new notches on our belts. Hey, we can’t all have the metabolism of a former president!

So join us on a journey through this postcard-perfect Maine retreat that seamlessly blends small-town farmland charm with executive prestige. We promise, after 48 hours of inhaling salty ocean air and gorging your way through the seafood scene, you too will be singing Kennebunkport’s praises louder than Marine One taking off from the front lawn!

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About Kennebunkport

Aerial view of Kennebunkport with boats docked
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If you’re looking for a unique vacation spot, consider Kennebunkport, Maine. This coastal town is home to a number of beautiful beaches, such as Goose Rocks Beach and Arundel Beach. In addition, the town is home to the Seashore Trolley Museum, which showcases a collection of vintage streetcars. And, of course, the town’s lighthouse, Goat Island Lighthouse, which sits in the harbor of the lobster fishing town of Cape Porpoise.

If you’re looking for a more educational experience, the town’s Seashore Trolley Museum is a great place to start. As one of the country’s oldest mass transit museums, the museum showcases historic trolley cars, trolley buses, and rapid transit trains. You can even take a ride on one of these historic vehicles during your visit. And if you’re looking for a fun family outing, don’t miss the restored Town House.

Kennebunkport is a popular summer vacation destination. It’s located about 25 miles south of Portland, and features lively villages, sandy beaches, and a rugged coastline. It’s also home to George H.W. Bush’s summer home. The town is also known for its thriving shopping districts, which make it an ideal location for a getaway.

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Why Go to Kennebunkport

View of the small village of Kennebunkport, Maine, USA
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There are many reasons to visit the town of Kennebunkport, Maine. This charming town is located about 90 minutes from Boston and is accessible by car, plane, or train. You can visit during any season, but it’s particularly worth visiting during the fall when the foliage is at its best. Also, you’ll want to make a point to take a stroll through downtown Kennebunkport and visit its many antique shops.

The town’s seven-mile-long shoreline is one of its most photogenic features. The town also boasts a Ferris wheel, which is a popular attraction in the summer months. Another must-see attraction in the town is Cape Porpoise, which is just a short drive away. During your stay in Kennebunkport, don’t forget to visit the Snug Harbor Farm, a working farm that’s a true Maine experience.

Visiting the town by boat is another great way to explore the area. Boat tours are often one to two hours long, and allow you to get a beautiful view of the town. You can also visit Saint Ann’s Cathedral, an episcopal church built in the Gothic style. Though it’s not open for public worship, it’s well-preserved and worth a visit.

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Best Time to Go

The south congregational church kennebunkport Maine
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There are some seasons to visit Kennebunkport, Maine. In the summer, the city is very busy. The weather is nice during the daytime, but at night, it can get chilly. If you are a beach person, you might want to plan your trip during the cooler months, such as November or February.

Kennebunkport experiences mild summers and mild winters, which makes it a popular destination all year round. The temperature varies from about 16°F in July to 79°F in August. The temperatures rarely fall below 0°F, and they rarely rise above 80°F. The average temperature is between 69-78°F, while the lowest temperatures are around 60°F—perfect weather for swimming or relaxing by the ocean.

August is the hottest month in Kennebunkport when the days are the longest and the sun is shining the brightest. However, October has the highest number of rainy days, with an average of 8.2 miles per hour.

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How to Get Around

Kennebunkport, Maine
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If you are planning to go to Kennebunkport, Maine, you will want to know how to get around this town. The city is located on the southern Maine coast, a short drive from Boston. There are many attractions and things to do in and around Kennebunkport. Visiting the town is an ideal weekend getaway, especially during the shoulder seasons, when the town is less crowded.

There are many ways to get around the town, and many of these options are free or inexpensive. One of the best ways to get around Kennebunkport is by bike. There are plenty of roads and trails to explore, and the town is relatively flat. However, you may find parking difficult, particularly in the summer when the town is crowded. Luckily, there are bicycle rentals at many locations throughout the town. You can rent a bike for about $35 for 24 hours, and $10 for each hour you wish to rent it.

If you’re a shopper, the city’s Dock Square is an excellent place to shop. There are many local boutiques and souvenir shops. If you have enough time, you can easily spend a day wandering the town’s historic area. You can also check out the White Columns, where you can view historic art. There are also some good restaurants in the town.

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Best Restaurants

Restaurant view of Alisson's Restaurant
Alisson’s Restaurant

There are many great restaurants in Kennebunkport, Maine. The city has plenty of vacation rental homes and other attractions, but perhaps one of the best things about the area is its restaurants. Choose from local favorites, or try something a little out of the ordinary. Either way, you’re sure to have a memorable dining experience in the small-town atmosphere of this historic town.

The Pilot House is one of the best restaurants in Kennebunkport, serving up American fare for a great price. This rustic-themed restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. It often hosts fun events throughout the week, including karaoke and live music. You can find their schedule on their website. You can also order from a menu that includes seafood, sandwiches, and chicken.

Alisson’s Restaurant is another local favorite. This family-owned restaurant has been serving its signature American pub fare for over forty years. This cozy downtown space offers classic pub fare as well as local themed drinks, including the Maine Bluetini. A local blueberry vodka makes up the base for this cocktail, which is a must try.

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Things to Do

Kennebunkport Marina, Maine USA
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If you’re a foodie, you won’t want to miss out on the many dining options in Kennebunkport. You can sample local cuisine, meet chefs and learn about the region’s culinary history. You can even pick up insider tips for the best dishes.

While in the town, take a tour of the town’s historic buildings. You can also hop aboard the Intown Trolley, which offers a fun, one-hour ride around the town. The tour is a good way to see what Kennebunkport has to offer.

There are a lot of activities to enjoy in the harbor, including kayaking and fishing. If you want to get a different view of the town, you can rent a kayak up the Kennebunk River. The river is a major part of the local economy, and kayaking tours are offered by companies such as Coastal Maine Kayak.

There’s also whale-watching and scenic lobster tours. If you’re looking for a unique way to view the top attractions of the town, a scenic lobster tour is the perfect way to do so.

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Neighborhoods to Know

Kennebunkport Maine buildings over water winter
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If you’re looking for a coastal town with beautiful views, Kennebunkport may be the place for you. This town is known for its Arundel and Goose Rocks Beaches, as well as its many museums and historical buildings. The town is also home to the Seashore Trolley Museum, which showcases a large collection of streetcars. The town also has a historic church, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, which was built in 1887. The Goat Island Lighthouse, which sits in the harbor of Cape Porpoise, is another great place to visit.

If you’re new to the area, you may want to stay in a more touristy area. However, if you’re traveling alone, you may want to check out some of the local neighborhoods. Some have a great deal of attractions, and you’ll be able to walk to many of them easily. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may also want to consider the cost of hotels in those neighborhoods.

Kennebunkport’s ethnic diversity is also a factor to consider. Although the majority of residents of West Kennebunk report being of White race, you can also find many with French ancestry.

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Weather

USA, Maine, Kennebunkport. Village reflection
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The average precipitation in Kennebunkport is less than two inches. The winter season is cold with an average daily high temperature below 42°F. During this time, the town’s downtown Dock Square is busy with activity. As a result, prices can be high. During the summer, the town’s weather tends to be more pleasant.

The wetter season in Kennebunkport lasts for 9.1 months and has a greater than 29% chance of rain on any given day. The wettest month is June, with 9.8 days receiving at least 0.04 inches of precipitation. The drier season lasts for only 2.9 months, from December 23 to March 20. The drier season lasts for just over three months, from December 23 to March 20.

The climate in Kennebunkport varies greatly based on the time of year and location. The coolest season is January, but there are some chilly months, too. The hottest period is the summer, lasting 3.4 months.

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