Located on the southernmost tip of Maine, Kittery Point is a quaint seaside town that offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and New England charm. This coastal gem, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Piscataqua River, is a haven for those seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its rich maritime history, picturesque landscapes, and close-knit community, Kittery Point is a destination that captivates the hearts of its visitors and residents alike.

History of Kittery Point

Established in 1647, Kittery Point is the oldest town in Maine and has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the sea. The town was originally a shipbuilding hub, with its first ship, the “Blessing of the Bay,” launched in 1631. Over the centuries, Kittery Point has evolved from a bustling seaport to a tranquil coastal town, but its maritime roots remain evident in its historic homes, shipyards, and museums.

Population and Location

With a population of just over 1,000 residents, Kittery Point is a small but vibrant community. The town is located in York County and is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford metropolitan area. It is approximately 60 miles north of Boston and 50 miles south of Portland, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a quiet coastal retreat within easy reach of major cities.

Landmarks and Attractions

Kittery Point is home to several notable landmarks and attractions that reflect its rich history and natural beauty. These include:

  • Fort McClary: A historic military fortification dating back to the Revolutionary War, offering panoramic views of the Piscataqua River and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse: A historic lighthouse located on the grounds of Fort McClary, offering guided tours and breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
  • Kittery Point’s Historic District: A charming district featuring well-preserved 18th and 19th-century homes, churches, and shipyards.
  • Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: A beautiful wildlife refuge offering hiking trails, bird watching, and stunning coastal views.

Nearby Attractions

While Kittery Point itself offers plenty to see and do, its location also makes it a great base for exploring other attractions in the region. These include the historic city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which is just across the Piscataqua River and offers a wealth of cultural attractions, dining options, and shopping opportunities. The beautiful beaches of York and Ogunquit are also within a short drive, as is the iconic Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth.

While Kittery Point may be a small town, it has made its mark in popular culture. The town was featured in the 1956 film “Carousel,” which was based on the Broadway musical of the same name. More recently, Kittery Point was the setting for the 2018 film “The Equalizer 2,” starring Denzel Washington. The town’s picturesque landscapes and historic charm make it a popular location for film and television productions.

Conclusion

With its rich history, stunning coastal views, and charming New England character, Kittery Point is a true gem of Maine’s coastline. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply someone seeking a peaceful seaside retreat, Kittery Point has something to offer. So why not take a trip to this charming coastal town and discover its many treasures for yourself?

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