First settled as a fishing village in the 1600’s, Kennebunkport grew into a bustling seaport and shipbuilding capital by the 1800’s. By the late 1800’s, the area had become a leisure destination, as visitors arrived by train to enjoy the beautiful beaches and sea breezes. Over the years, being a destination has drawn chefs, artists, and craftspeople, and as a result, our Maine village has become known for its culture as well as its natural beauty and proximity to the ocean.
Each season in Kennebunkport is a unique New England experience. Enjoy the beaches, sailing and other water activities in the summer, fall foliage and harvest festivals in autumn, the tranquility of a winter wonderland, and the budding greenery in the spring.
As innkeepers of the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport, we personally enjoy assisting each guest in planning a perfect itinerary; we can offer first hand recommendations because we enjoy the same restaurants, natural areas and cultural attractions as our guests. We look forward to showing you why “Our Kennebunkport is Your Kennebunkport.”
Beaches and Water Activities
The Southern Maine Coast is the only part of Maine with long, white sand beaches, mingled with stretches of dramatic rocky coastline. An early-morning stroll, a day of sunning and relaxation, a sunset picnic… there are many ways to enjoy the seaside. Or, get out on the water for an afternoon of sailing or whale watching, a day of sport fishing, or a few hours of kayaking on the Kennebunk River. For the truly adventurous, there are also wonderful opportunities to stand up paddle board or surf. Aquaholics Surf Shop offers lessons as well as equipment rentals.
Kennebunkport is a dining destination, featuring award-winning restaurants with something for every palette. Plan your vacation around a five-star, five-diamond culinary experience or keep it casual with a traditional steamed lobster dinner or a trip to a casual clam shack. Each establishment offers a truly unique experience, some more traditional, others more hip, bistro, rustic chic or pub-style. We invite you to enjoy our favorite spots and sample fresh seafood, local produce, and the hospitality of Kennebunkport’s many dining choices.
Exploring the coast is not complete without glimpsing one of Maine’s most famous landmarks: lighthouses. There are six of these historic and picturesque structures in Southern Maine, perfect for a quick stop en route to another activity or for a day trip of sightseeing.
It’s no secret that many people come to Maine to have a lobster dinner (pronounced lobstah dinnah). Kennebunkport is overflowing with authentic Maine restaurants at which you can enjoy our local delicacy. If you want to roll up your sleeves, put on a bib and enjoy lobster on a picnic table with a roll and side of pickles, then head down to Cape Porpoise and Nunan’s Lobster Hut. If Lazy Lobster and fine dining is more your speed, walk to Hurricane in Dock Square and choose from five different preparations. Whatever your preference, we can point you in the right direction.
In fall the days sparkle and the nights are crisp. Summer’s warmth still lingers in the ocean and on the beaches. There are treasures to be found in our shops, and the weather is ideal for biking, walking, tennis and golf. But fall’s shining star is “color.” In Kennebunkport, the fall foliage takes your breath away and the leaves blaze brighter against the backdrop of blue sea. Kennebunkport is a perfect staging point for foliage exploration into the western mountains and lake regions of the state. Your innkeepers will be more than happy to design a custom driving tour of the region that will highlight the beauty of the autumn.
The center of Kennebunkport, known as Dock Square, features a unique collection of shops, art galleries, boutiques and antique shops. Nearby Portland and Portsmouth offer their own shopping experiences, while Kittery and Freeport are home to famous brand name outlets.