Kennebunkport is an adorable small town in coastal Maine that’s home to quintessential New England charm.
With so many exciting things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, it’s no wonder this town captivates the hearts of visitors from all over the country!
From strolling along the scenic coastline to indulging in fresh seafood at one of the many local restaurants, there’s truly something for everyone in Kennebunkport.
To help you plan your trip, I’ve put together this mega guide of the best things to do in Kennebunkport.
This guide covers all the must-see Kennebunkport attractions and some hidden gems that are often overlooked.
It gives you the inside scoop on the best things to see in Kennebunkport and tells you where to stay, what to eat, how to get around, and more!
Without further ado, here are the 20 best things to do in Kennebunkport!
What Is Kennebunkport, Maine Known For?
Although small, Kennebunkport packs a big punch regarding things to see and do.
This Southern Maine town is most commonly known for its stunning coastline, fresh seafood, quaint shops and art galleries, and charming small-town atmosphere.
Kennebunkport is also a popular summer destination thanks to its many beaches, outdoor activities, and lively events calendar.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway in New England, a family-friendly vacation, or a fun-filled trip with friends, this seaside haven is the perfect place!
Brief History of Kennebunkport
Before we dive into all the fantastic things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, let’s take a quick look at the town’s fascinating history.
Kennebunkport was first permanently settled around 1630 and is one of the oldest towns in Maine.
Thanks to its convenient location and strong harbor, Kennebunkport served as an important port during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
After the war, the town’s shipbuilding industry flourished, and by the mid-19th century, Kennebunkport was one of New England’s largest and most prosperous shipbuilding towns.
The shipbuilding industry eventually declined in the late 1800s, but Kennebunkport’s fishing industry continued to thrive.
In the early 20th century, Kennebunkport became a popular summer destination for wealthy Boston and New York City families.
Nowadays, Kennebunkport is a premier vacation destination and is beloved by tourists from all over the world.
20 Best Things to Do in Kennebunkport Maine
Now that you know a little about the town’s history, it’s time to learn about all the incredible things to do in Kennebunkport Maine and start planning your trip!
1. Visit the Seashore Trolley Museum
195 Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
A treasure trove of history and nostalgia, the Seashore Trolley Museum is one of the best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.
Founded in 1939, it’s the world’s oldest and largest electric railway museum.
The museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying vintage trolleys and streetcars from around the world. In fact, the museum features 250+ of them!
In addition to exploring the variety of interactive exhibits that showcase the engineering and design of these unique vehicles, you can even step back in time as you ride on a vintage trolley around the 350-acre campus.
There’s also a gallery inside the visitor’s center that showcases the influence of the trolley on the people of Maine.
Pro Tip: Visit the Restoration Shop and take a peek at the trolleys being restored and in maintenance. The knowledgeable staff is always happy to answer questions!
2. Learn About Some Prominent Residents at First Families Kennebunkport Museum
8 Main Street, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Also known as White Columns, this 1853 Greek Revival home is one of the most unique things to see in Kennebunkport.
The museum houses exhibits, artifacts, and original furnishings that tell the story of Charles and Celia Perkins and their family.
The Perkins family owned the home for 130 years, and it now belongs to the Kennebunkport Historical Society.
In addition to learning about the lives of original settlers, you’ll also learn about some distinguished sea captains and late President George H.W. Bush and his family.
The First Families Kennebunkport Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in American history or simply looking for the best things to do in Kennebunkport.
3. See St. Ann’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church
167 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Whether you’re religious or not, St. Ann’s is definitely worth visiting for its beauty and history.
As soon as you step inside, you’ll feel a sense of peace and calm wash over you.
This stone chapel was built in 1887 and has been a focal point of the Kennebunkport community ever since.
The church is situated on a bluff overlooking the rocky coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and Kennebunk River.
The architecture is a sight to behold with its beautiful stained glass windows and ornate gardens.
If you choose to visit, please be respectful. This is an active church and services are held regularly.
4. Snap a Photo of the Wedding Cake House
104 Summer Street, Kennebunkport, ME 04043
The Wedding Cake House is one of the most photographed Kennebunkport attractions and for a good reason.
The striking mansion was built in 1825 by George W. Bourne, a wealthy shipbuilder.
Legend has it that Bourne had to go out to sea shortly after getting married, so he built this house to apologize to his wife.
The house is sometimes open for tours (the current owner donates ticket proceeds to charitable causes), and it’s definitely worth admiring the Gothic architecture exterior.
5. Meander Around Dock Square
Dock Square is the heart of Kennebunkport and is filled with shops, restaurants, and businesses.
This picture-perfect charming square is the perfect place to start your exploration of things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.
You’ll feel the New England vibe as soon as you set foot here, making Kennebunkport one of the best getaways on the East Coast.
There are plenty of things to do in Dock Square, so take your time strolling around and popping into the shops that catch your eye.
My favorites include Abacus, Copper Candle, and The Candy Man.
Whether you’re looking for a souvenir of your trip or simply want to enjoy some time in one of Maine’s beautiful small towns, Dock Square is the place to be.
👉 This 2-hour historical walking tour starts in Dock Square and the tour guide will take you around Kennebunkport and explain the town’s history to you.
6. Discover the Local Beaches
One of the best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine is to go beach hopping.
Kennebunkport beaches are blessed with soft sand, rocky shores, beautiful views, and plenty of things to do.
I spent an entire day bouncing from beach to beach, and I still didn’t have enough time to explore them all.
The best beaches in and near this coastal town are:
⛱ Parsons Beach: Parsons Beach is a beautiful spot for an afternoon of relaxation or exploration. The beach is well known for its stunning views of the Maine coastline and the open ocean stretching towards the horizon. Parsons Beach is quiet with limited parking spots and no facilities (so make sure to bring everything you need!)
⛱ Mother’s Beach: Also known as Kennebunk Beach, you’ll find this picturesque beach on Beach Avenue. This beach is part of a group of three beaches, including Middle Beach and Gooch’s Beach. As the name suggests, Mother’s Beach is an excellent spot for families with young children. The water is calm and shallow, making it ideal for little ones to splash around. Note that there are no lifeguards and facilities.
⛱ Goose Rocks Beach: Goose Rocks Beach is my favorite in the area because it stretches for three miles and has soft sand. The beach has a crescent shape, making it great for swimming, walking, and relaxing. It’s one of the best beaches in the USA and is well worth a visit. There are no facilities and lifeguards here, but you can grab a sandwich or meal nearby at The Tides Beach Club.
⛱ Gooch’s Beach: Gooch’s Beach is the most popular of the three beaches on Beach Avenue. (The other two are Middle Beach and Mother’s Beach). The sand here is white, and the beach has good surf. You can also enjoy some bass fishing from the jetty on Kennebunkport River. Lifeguards are present in season, and there are portable toilets.
⛱ Colony Beach: Colony Beach is a small beach with a big personality. It’s the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset. Colony Beach is situated between a breakwater and several rocks. As such, the water here is warmer than on other beaches. Be mindful of the tides and currents when swimming here. There are no lifeguards and facilities on the beach.
7. Watch the Sunset On the Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge
There’s nothing quite like ending an adventurous day in Kennebunkport by watching the sunset from the Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge.
It’s an idyllic spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.
The Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge spans the Kennebunk River and offers stunning views of the river and the town beyond.
On one side, you can see the sprawling dockyards and shipyards that have been a part of Kennebunkport’s history for centuries.
On the other side, you can see the charming shops and restaurants that line downtown Kennebunkport.
And in the distance, you can see the beautiful coastline that makes Kennebunkport a popular destination.
8. Explore Cape Porpoise & Go Kayaking in Cape Porpoise Harbor
There’s something special about Cape Porpoise Harbor.
Maybe it’s the way the water shimmers in the sunlight or the sailboats glide gracefully across the water.
Whatever the reason, Cape Porpoise is one of the best things to see in Kennebunkport.
Located on the southern coast of Maine, Cape Porpoise is a small coastal village that’s home to a working harbor, a lobster pound, and a few charming shops and restaurants.
Cape Porpoise Harbor is comprised of several small islands, and the best way to explore them is with a kayak.
If you don’t have your own kayak, you can rent one from Coastal Maine Kayak and Bike.
Once you have your kayak, paddle into the harbor and enjoy the views. Be sure to keep an eye out for seals, eagles, and other wildlife.
And don’t forget to stop by the lobster pound to pick up some fresh lobster for a picnic lunch!
Pro Tip 1: Not only should you be mindful of the tide, but you should also be mindful of the wind conditions since you’ll be kayaking on the open ocean.
Pro Tip 2: You can’t visit Cape Porpoise without going to Nunan’s Lobster Hut. The lobster rolls are delicious and reasonably priced. It’s a no-frills and cash-only joint that’ll wow you.
9. Soak in the Views of Goat Island Lighthouse
Located a mile offshore from Cape Porpoise, Goat Island Lighthouse is an exemplary landmark in the Cape Porpoise Harbor.
The lighthouse was built in 1833, and it was the last lighthouse in Maine to be automated.
Today, Goat Island light is a private residence, but guests can visit via boat in the summer months.
If the owners are around, they might even give you a tour of the tower! Please be respectful and considerate of their home if they give you a tour.
If you don’t want to take a boat out to the island, you can still get a great view of the lighthouse from the shore at the end of Cape Porpoise Pier Road.
10. Gaze At Walker’s Point Estate
One of the most notable things to do in Kennebunkport Maine is to see Walker’s Point Estate, AKA the Bush family compound.
Even if you don’t politically agree with the Bushes, there’s no denying that they’re an influential family with a long history in Kennebunkport.
The Bush family has been coming to Walker’s Point for generations, and it’s where President George W. Bush spent his summers as a child.
These days, the Bush family spends their summer vacations here, and it’s easy to see why.
Located on Walker’s Point, the compound is surrounded by water on three sides, and the family can see the ocean for miles and miles!
Unless you want to wrestle with the Secret Service agents, you can’t get anywhere near the house.
But, you can get a clear view of it from the road. The address isn’t publicly listed, so look for the above-pictured house on Ocean Avenue.
It’s pretty surreal standing in front of the home that has had several prominent world leaders as guests!
I’m 99.99% sure that I saw former President George Bush sitting outside on a bench gazing at the ocean which made the experience even more special.
Pro Tip: If you see the huge Texas flag, you’re in the right spot. Hang out for a few minutes, snap a picture and move on. Don’t be someone who gawks for too long and creeps the Secret Service agents out.
11. Drop by Blowing Cave Park
208 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
Right around the corner from the Bush family home is another one of the most remarkable things to do in Kennebunkport Maine — Blowing Cave Park.
The park is located on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and it is home to a unique geological feature: a cave that blows air out of the opening.
The cave was created by erosion from the ocean waves, and the wind blowing through the cave and the waves crashing against the cave creates an ethereal and thunderous sound.
It’s truly an awe-inspiring experience witnessing the power of wind and water at work in Blowing Cave Park.
Pro Tip: The best time to visit the cave is when the tide is high, and the waves are crashing against the cliff. Be careful because the rocks can get slippery.
12. Enjoy Nature at Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge
321 Port Road, Wells, ME 04090
If you’re looking for a quiet and serene spot to enjoy nature after all the hustle and bustle of exploring things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, look no further than Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge.
Located in nearby Wells, the refuge is a coastal preserve with walking trails that wind through woods and marshes.
The refuge spans 50 miles of coastline and has 11 divisions between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth.
The refuge is named after Rachel Carson, a marine biologist, author, and environmentalist.
She is best known for her book Silent Spring which was published in 1962 and is credited with jumpstarting the modern environmental movement.
The Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge was established in 1966 to protect salt marshes and estuaries for migrating birds.
Today, it is home to various wildlife, including ospreys, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, northern harriers, and more.
13. Catch a Show at Vinegar Hill Music Theatre
53 Old Post Road, Arundel, ME 04046
After you’ve spent the day checking out the major Kennebunkport attractions, spend the evening at Vinegar Hill Music Theatre.
Here, you can experience live music in a small and intimate setting, allowing the audience to connect with the singers and musicians on stage.
The theatre has a wide range of programming, from rock and roll to country to blues.
The theater is set in a rustic, historic barn with a bar area where you can enjoy a drink before the show.
On a warm summer night, there is nothing better than enjoying live music under the stars.
14. Sample Local Craft Beer at a Local Brewery
Sebago Brewing Company: 65 Portland Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043 | Batson River Brewing & Distilling: 12 Western Avenue, Kennebunk, ME 04043 | Federal Jack’s: 8 Western Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043
Kennebunkport is known for its charming atmosphere and beauty, and it has now also become known for its thriving craft brewery scene.
There’s seriously no better way to unwind after a long day of exploring the many things to do in Kennebunkport Maine than by sampling some local brews.
There are a handful of breweries in Kennebunkport, each with its unique style and personality.
🍻 Sebago Brewing Company: This is the place to go if you want to pair your beer with delicious food. Their wood-fired pizza is mouth-watering. Plus, they have a rotating menu of seasonal brews.
🍻 Batson River Brewing & Distilling: If you’re not into beer, don’t worry — they also distill their own spirits and turn them into delicious cocktails. Plus, they have an extensive list of local brews on tap. Be sure to try the Guava IPA.
🍻 Federal Jack’s: This is the place to go if you want a beautiful harbor view alongside your brew. The food isn’t impressive here, but what the food lacks in quality, the beer and views more than make up for it.
No matter which brewery you choose (or all 😉), you’re sure to have a great time sampling the local craft beer in Kennebunkport.
15. Hike Parson’s Way Trail
Looking for things to do in Kennebunkport Maine that are a little more active?
Hiking Parson’s Way Trail is a great way to get your exercise while being surrounded by stunning views.
Parson’s Way Trail is a two-mile, out-and-back trail that follows the ocean. It takes roughly 45 minutes to complete.
If you need a break, there are several benches where you can stop and soak in the views.
Don’t worry if you’re not into hiking because this is more of a scenic walk than a hike.
Along the way, you’ll see a variety of plant and animal life. You might even spot an osprey or bald eagle if you’re lucky.
16. Indulge in Seafood on a Food Tour
Simply put, Kennebunkport is a foodie’s paradise, and it’s home to some of the best seafood in the country.
If you love lobster, clam chowder, fresh oysters, etc., you must go on a food tour because this is one of the best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.
You’ll get to sample culinary delights from seafood shacks to fine dining and everything in between.
You’ll also have the opportunity to sample the town’s signature dishes, meet the local chefs who created them, learn about Kennebunk’s rich food history, and get insider tips on where to find the best meals.
Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, a food tour in Kennebunkport is an unforgettable experience.
👉 Book your Kennebunkport food tour here.
17. Hit the Open Seas for Whale Watching
One of the most popular things to do in Kennebunkport Maine is to go whale watching.
After all, this town is located on the Maine coast, which is one of the best places in the world to see these majestic creatures.
The whale-watching season in southern Maine runs from May to October, and you’ll get the chance to be up close to fin whales, humpbacks, blue whales, minke whales, and right whales.
You might also see dolphins, seals, and other marine life if you’re lucky!
Several companies offer whale watching tours, but I recommend First Chance Whale Watch.
The guides are knowledgeable and passionate, and they go above and beyond to ensure you have a great experience.
Regardless of which tour you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable encounter with these majestic creatures.
18. Learn About the Lobster Industry on a Lobster Boat Cruise
The lobster industry is a big part of life in Maine, so it only makes sense to learn about it on a lobster boat cruise.
Let’s be honest here — lobster is to Maine what wine is to Napa Valley. It’s a big deal.
It’s a totally different thing experiencing the lobstering process up close and personal than eating it at a restaurant.
Going on a lobster boat tour is one of the best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, and it’s a great way to learn about just that.
Trust me when I say this — this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who don’t live in New England.
My cousin is a lobsterman, and I got the opportunity to spend the day on the water with him.
It was an incredible experience getting to watch the entire process in person, and it gave me a deeper appreciation for the hard work that goes into catching these crustaceans.
However, if you don’t have a relative in the lobster business, no worries! You can still take a tour.
Rugosa Lobster Tours is the way to go for this lobster tour. You’ll be on a traditional New England wooden lobster boat.
During the cruise, you’ll learn about the history of lobstering in Maine, see how lobster traps are set and baited, and even help haul in the catch!
19. Tour St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery
28 Beach Avenue, Kennebunk, ME 04043
When planning your trip, you probably didn’t think that touring a monastery would be on the list of the best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.
But, trust me when I say this is one stop you won’t want to miss. This peaceful oasis won’t take much of your time and is the perfect place to clear your head.
The monastery grounds are stunning with more than sixty acres of flourishing gardens and shrines scattered around the area.
Lithuanian Franciscan friars were displaced due to the Soviet Army and found refuge in Kennebunkport.
St. Anthony’s was founded in 1947 and has been a haven for the Lithuanian community ever since.
Pro Tip: Don’t miss the path that leads down to the river. It’s one of the most peaceful places on the property. And, be sure to stop at the gift shop before you leave!
20. Try Blueberry Pie at Alisson’s
11 Dock Square, Kennebunkport, ME 04046
I know, I know. I have a section at the end of the post dedicated to the best places to eat in Kennebunkport.
But, trying blueberry pie at Alisson’s deserves its own section on this list of things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.
If you didn’t know, Maine is famous for its wild blueberries. In fact, Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the USA.
These intensely flavored little morsels of goodness have a deep purple color and are an integral part of Maine’s food culture.
As a self-appointed blueberry pie connoisseur, I can confidently say that Alisson’s has the best blueberry pie in Kennebunkport.
The crust is flaky and buttery, and the filling is sweet with a hint of tartness. It’s absolutely heavenly.
Pro Tip: Order a slice of pie to go and enjoy it later as a snack. Or just order a whole pie. I don’t judge. 🤭
Map of Kennebunk Attractions
Now that you know all the best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, it’s time to start planning your trip!
I’ve put together a map of the Kennebunkport attractions mentioned in this post to make things easier for you.
Simply click on the map to enlarge it, and then you can save it or print it out to take with you on your trip.
Is Kennebunk and Kennebunkport the Same?
Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are often referred to interchangeably, but they are two distinct places. Collectively, they are known as the Kennebunks.
They are separated by the Kennebunk River and are around a 13-minute drive from each other.
Kennebunk is the larger of the two towns and is home to schools, businesses, and grocery stores. It’s nicknamed “The Bunk.”
Meanwhile, Kennebunkport is more well-known and has half the population of Kennebunk.
Nicknamed “The Port,” it’s also home to the more popular restaurants and bed and breakfasts in the area.
Despite their differences, they are both beautiful places to visit, and you’ll find plenty of things to do in Kennebunkport Maine and Kennebunk.
Best Time to Visit Kennebunkport
The best time to visit Kennebunkport is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the days are longer.
During these months, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, and all businesses and attractions are open.
Ideally, mid-May through October are the best months to visit.
However, remember that this is also when Kennebunkport is the busiest and accommodation prices are higher.
So, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and save a little money, consider visiting Kennebunkport during shoulder season (April-May and mid-September-October).
You’ll still be able to enjoy many of the activities on this list of things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, but the weather may be a little cooler and the days shorter.
The winter months in Maine are brutal, and many businesses and restaurants are closed during these months.
As a Floridian, I wouldn’t dare visit Kennebunkport during the winter. But, if you’re looking for a quiet and cozy getaway, it could be fun.
No matter when you visit, Kennebunkport is sure to charm you with its natural beauty and New England hospitality.
How to Get to Kennebunkport
There are a few ways to get to Kennebunkport, depending on where you’re coming from.
The easiest way to get to Kennebunkport is to fly into Portland International Jetport in Portland, Maine. From there, Kennebunkport is a 45-minute drive.
Some people fly into Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, and drive an hour and a half to Kennebunkport.
If you want to save money on flights, another option is to fly to Boston Logan International Airport, which is a two-hour drive from Kennebunkport.
Rental cars are widely available at all three airports, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting around once you’re in Kennebunkport.
Finally, you can easily drive to Kennebunkport on a New England road trip (which I highly recommend!)
How to Get Around Kennebunkport
The best way to get around when exploring this list of things to do in Kennebunkport Maine is via car.
Having a car allows you the freedom to come and go as you please and explore all of the different Kennebunkport attractions at your own pace.
If you’re not road-tripping to Kennebunkport with your own vehicle, you can easily rent a car through DiscoverCars.
You can compare prices, rental terms, and vehicle options from multiple companies simultaneously. Plus, there are no hidden fees, and they offer incredible deals.
👉 See rates and vehicle options for your rental car in Kennebunkport.
If you’re visiting between the end of May and mid-October, you can explore a handful of the best things to do in Kennebunkport via the Intown Trolley.
It’s a fun and exciting way to explore some of the things to see in Kennebunkport, but the downfalls are that the tour is only an hour long, and you won’t be able to cover some of the attractions listed above.
Where to Stay in Kennebunkport
Part of enjoying Kennebunkport’s charm is staying at a cottage, lodge, inn, bed and breakfast, or a small motel.
These intimate accommodations are filled with tons of personality and all the cozy vibes you won’t find in some large chain hotels nearby.
To help you narrow down your options, here are a few great options with excellent reviews and beautiful guest rooms.
Each one is unique and has its perks, so take a look and see which one sounds like the perfect fit for your Kennebunkport getaway!
🏠 Kennebunkport Captain’s Collection: A small, luxury 4.5-star hotel set in a restored mansion, this is a luxurious option if you’re looking for a high-end experience. It was renovated in 2021 and features a beautiful garden and a complimentary manager’s daily reception.
🏠 Harbor Inn: This small B&B by the ocean is great for those looking for a relaxed and homey experience at a moderate price. It’s a ten-minute walk to the downtown area, and they offer bikes at no charge. The best part is the delicious, homemade breakfast made by the owners.
🏠 The Breakwater Inn and Spa: If you’re looking for a luxury hotel at a reasonable price, you’ll love this hotel. This riverfront hotel features a spa, a seafood restaurant, and complimentary breakfast in the morning. They also offer free bicycle rentals so you can explore the area.
Where to Eat in Kennebunkport
Read any list of things to do in Kennebunkport Maine, and it’ll say the same thing: eat at one of the many seafood shacks!
If you’re not a fan of seafood, don’t worry! There are still plenty of other great options.
Here are a few of the best places to eat in Kennebunkport, Maine.
🥣 Alisson’s: This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for fresh seafood that’s affordably priced. They have a casual atmosphere and serve lunch and dinner. Besides trying the legendary blueberry pie, you’ll also want to get some clam chowder.
🥣 The Pilot House: If you’re looking for a spot to eat where the locals hang, The Pilot House is it. The menu features fresh seafood, burgers, and chicken options; but, the real winner here is the Maine lobster roll.
🥣 Mabel’s Lobster Claw: This is another great seafood spot, and their lobster dishes are divine. I love that MLC creates fun dishes with seafood, and the lobster risotto and lobster cobb salad are amazing.
Final Thoughts About Things to Do in Kennebunkport Maine
There you have it – my list of the 20 best things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.
I hope this mega guide has given you some ideas about how to make the most of your time in this charming coastal town.
Whether it’s your first time in this New England town or your second, you’ll never run out of things to see in Kennebunkport.
What are some of your favorite Kennebunkport attractions? Let me know in the comments below!