With its picturesque coastal views, charming boutiques, and rich history, Kennebunkport, Maine, is a destination that captivates the hearts of many. This quaint New England town, nestled between the Kennebunk River and the Atlantic Ocean, offers a unique blend of maritime heritage and modern sophistication. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, Kennebunkport has something to offer. Let’s explore the top five things to do in this enchanting coastal town.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the charm of Kennebunkport is by exploring its Historic District. This area, also known as the ‘Summer Colony’, is home to grand 19th-century homes and hotels that were once the summer retreats of America’s elite. The district’s centerpiece is the grandiose Captain Lord Mansion, a bed and breakfast inn that offers a glimpse into the town’s affluent past.
Walking tours are available, providing insights into the architectural styles and historical significance of these buildings. The Kennebunkport Historical Society also operates the Nott House, a Victorian mansion that offers guided tours.
For those interested in transportation history, the Seashore Trolley Museum is a must-visit. As the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world, it houses a vast collection of streetcars, interurbans, rapid transit cars, and buses from around the globe.
Visitors can ride on a vintage streetcar, explore the exhibit halls, and even take a behind-the-scenes tour of the restoration shop. The museum also hosts special events throughout the year, including the popular Pumpkin Patch Trolley event in the fall.
Just a short drive from Kennebunkport, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a paradise for nature lovers. This 270-acre garden features a diverse collection of plants native to Maine, beautifully designed landscapes, and a mile of waterfront.
Visitors can stroll through the various gardens, including the Rhododendron Garden, the Perennial and Rose Garden, and the Children’s Garden. The gardens also offer educational programs, workshops, and special events throughout the year.
No visit to Kennebunkport would be complete without indulging in fresh, local seafood. The town is renowned for its lobster, clams, and other seafood delicacies. Many restaurants in town offer waterfront dining, allowing you to enjoy your meal with stunning views of the harbor.
Some popular spots include The Clam Shack, known for its award-winning lobster roll, and Mabel’s Lobster Claw, a favorite of former President George H.W. Bush. For a more upscale dining experience, try Earth at Hidden Pond, which offers farm-to-table cuisine in a rustic yet elegant setting.
Kennebunkport is home to several beautiful beaches, each with its own unique charm. Goose Rocks Beach is a three-mile stretch of sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. Kennebunk Beach, also known as Mother’s Beach, is a popular spot for families with its playground and gentle surf.
For a more secluded experience, try Colony Beach at the mouth of the Kennebunk River. This small, rocky beach offers stunning views of the Bush Compound and the Atlantic Ocean.
In conclusion, Kennebunkport, Maine, is a town that effortlessly blends history, natural beauty, and culinary delights. Whether you’re exploring the historic district, riding a vintage streetcar, strolling through botanical gardens, savoring fresh seafood, or relaxing on a beach, you’re sure to fall in love with this enchanting coastal town.
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