Peaceful, enchanting, and whimsical are just a few words that describe Kennebunkport Maine in winter. This coastal town in Maine may be subject to the harsh winter weather that New England is known for, but its hardy residents know how to transform the dark days of winter into a sparkling wonderland.
Whether you are planning a Kennebunkport winter getaway or you are a local who simply wants to find something new and exciting to do in town, you will find many winter things to do in Kennebunkport.
Winter Things to Do in Kennebunkport
Go Cross-Country Skiing at the Town Forest
The Smith Preserve is a popular destination for hiking during the summer months, but many visitors do not realize that there is year-round access to this pristine recreational area. During the winter, the trails that wind throughout the preserve are open for cross-country skiing.
When the conditions are right, you find not only visitors exploring the trails but also locals out and about. Known to residents as the Town Forest, this is one of the best places to be during a typical Kennebunkport winter.
Enjoy a Charming Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride Over the Snow Banks
New England has long been known for its storied past, and some of the country’s oldest buildings can be found in this region. So it’s not surprising that people who visit cities like Kennebunkport want to enjoy a few nostalgic activities that give them the feeling of an authentic New England winter.
In Kennebunkport, you can stop by Rockin’ Horse Stables, where you can enjoy a warm and cozy horse-drawn sleigh ride along the soft snow. When your excursion is done, you can warm up with a steaming cup of freshly-made hot cocoa.
Dine Inside a Gondola
The historic Kennebunkport Inn has designed an innovative experience for both residents and visitors in the community. Situated outside of the building, guests and visitors will find several bright red gondolas that have been designed as their own micro-restaurants.
The gondolas allow for private and intimate dining, perfect for couples on a romantic getaway or friends looking to make memories together. The best part is that these gondolas are heated — so you will be completely comfortable throughout your entire dining experience.
Gondola dining is one of the most unique winter dining experiences in Kennebunkport.
Stop By Dock Square During the Holiday Season
The most festive place in Kennebunkport during the month of December is Dock Square. Here, you will find a scene that looks like it came from a classic Christmas movie.
There are wreaths on nearly every door front and plenty of sparkling lights, but of course, the towering Christmas tree is what makes this space what it is. It’s a great spot to grab a family photograph for this year’s holiday card.
Indulge in Romance During the Month of February
February is the time of year when everyone in Kennebunkport works together to Paint the Town Red. Shops, restaurants, and hotels create romantic experiences for couples that they can only enjoy during that time of the year.
For example, you may find private igloo dining at many of the top local restaurants, or you may discover that your favorite spa has created a new couple’s massage package.
In addition to these awesome activities and experiences, you will find that the entire town is adorned with sparkling lights, red hearts, and romantic decorations, making this one of the best places in the entire country to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Head to Goose Rocks Beach for a Winter Walk
Centuries ago, Goose Rocks Beach was where settlers would go to offload their cows, horses, and other livestock. Today, it’s a quiet escape from the sights and sounds of Kennebunkport.
If you are looking for a place where you can get away from it all and enjoy some of the most breathtaking, uninterrupted winter views in Kennebunkport, then bundle up and go for a stroll along the waterfront at Goose Rocks Beach.
There, you will see Timber Island in the distance, and you will be able to soak up the raw, natural beauty of the Maine coast.
Embark on a Winter Trolley Ride at the Seashore Trolley Museum
The Seashore Trolley Museum offers authentic trolley rides along its track throughout the entire year, but there is no journey quite as memorable as the one that can be enjoyed during the winter.
The trolley travels along a path that winds through the woods, where you can enjoy the picture-perfect vistas of snow resting on top of evergreen branches. During December, the heated trolleys are decorated with festive Christmas lights, and guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind holiday experience.
More Winter Things to Do Near Kennebunkport
Skate Along the Ice at Waterhouse Center
The Waterhouse Center in Kennebunk pavilion is one of the most recent additions to the winter scene near Kennebunkport. Situated in the heart of the city’s downtown area, this pavilion is one of the best places to go ice skating in the entire region.
The ice is known for being expertly groomed, allowing skaters of all skill levels to glide peacefully on it. The best part is that ice skating is free for anyone who wants to try it — just bring your own skates and get ready to step onto the ice.
The rink opens each year in late November and is open daily, weather permitting, until March.
See the Sights in Cape Porpoise
Cape Porpoise is a bit quieter than Kennebunkport, which makes it a favorite among those who are looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more intimate experience. If you head to Cape Porpoise during the holidays, you can’t miss the Christmas tree that is created from lobster traps each year.
Throughout the winter, you will find that the restaurants in Cape Porpoise offer wonderful dining experiences, particularly for couples who are looking to rekindle their romance in a charming setting.
As you explore Cape Porpoise, don’t forget to enjoy the views of the Goat Island Lighthouse. It’s one of the most well-known lighthouses in the state.
Go Snowshoeing at Laudholm Farm
Just outside of Kennebunkport, you will discover Laudholm Farm (Wells Reserve at Laudholm) in Wells. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at snowshoeing, then this is the best place to go in the area.
Laudholm Farm is a nature preserve that has plenty of wide open space to explore, but most visitors find themselves heading straight toward the water views.
This is one of the few places near Kennebunkport where you can enjoy your favorite winter recreational activity while still soaking up the coastal views that this community is known for. It’s an excursion that people of all ages can enjoy.
Stop by Nubble Light to Snap a Photo
Officially known as the Cape Neddick Lighthouse, Nubble Light is a stately light tower located on a small island off the coast of York Maine. Locals know it best as the Nubble Lighthouse, and while it is beautiful at any time of year, it’s particularly majestic during the winter months.
Whether it’s covered in a layer of fog or the ice on the island juxtaposes the glimmering white tower, you will find that it’s well worth stopping for a photo in front of the lighthouse during your winter visit to Kennebunkport.
The best place to view the lighthouse is Sohier Park, as the island itself is not accessible to the public. It’s worth noting that the restrooms at the park are not open during the winter.
FAQs About Kennebunkport Winter Things to Do
Are most Kennebunkport businesses open during winter?
Kennebunkport is not a seasonal town. The majority of its businesses — including Kennebunkport restaurants, shops, and hotels — are open all year long.
Where can you stay in Kennebunkport in winter?
From family-friendly resort hotels to historic lodges known for their romantic atmosphere, there are many places to stay when you visit Kennebunkport in winter.
Most hotels are open throughout the year, and there are many vacation rentals in the local area that you can consider.
What weather can you expect during a Kennebunkport winter?
Kennebunkport enjoys the frosty New England weather from late November until early April.
While you might expect freezing temperatures and flying snow, it’s the wind that might catch you off guard. Located just off the coast, the winter winds can be especially biting.
Does it snow in Kennebunkport in winter?
Yes, it snows in Kennebunkport throughout the winter season, allowing locals and visitors to enjoy their favorite outdoor recreational activities, such as snowshoeing, sledding, snowboarding, and skiing.
Enjoy Your Kennebunkport Winter Getaway
On the surface, Kennebunkport may seem like a suitable summer vacation destination — and it is — but you would be remiss if you ignored the beauty and wonder of this city during the winter months.
Kennebunkport in winter is an experience all its own, and you will be glad that you braved the elements to enjoy it.