The town of Kennebunk Maine is a charming vacation destination year-round. People don’t always realize that the more famous town of Kennebunkport is right next door to Kennebunk and many of the best shops, beaches, art galleries and great restaurants are actually in Kennebunk.
Regardless of when you visit, visitors will find so many things to do in Kennebunk and in the area. From coastal excursions to shopping at beachside boutiques, to picturesque nature walks and historical sites, Kennebunk is certainly a great vacation destination.
Continue reading to learn more about things to do in Kennebunk and lodging in the area.
Kennebunk beaches are perhaps the most popular attraction throughout the year, especially during the summer months. Visitors to Kennebunk have a few options when choosing a beach to spend the day at.
Gooches Beach, more commonly known as Kennebunk Beach, is the largest and most popular option for those in the area. Wide sand and mostly gentle surf make it ideal for families looking to spend some time playing in the sand and splashing in the waves – but be warned that the beach can get pretty full around high tide, when the waves come up extra high leaving less beach to sit on.
Mother’s Beach is located just down the road and its soft sandy beach, protected tide pools, and playground make it popular amongst families with small children. It is also a stop on the in-town Trolley, making it convenient to access without a car or Kennebunk Town parking sticker.
Things to do in Kennebunk
Though perhaps Kennebunk receives its fame from its sister town Kennebunkport, Kennebunk really has it all including the best beaches, historic intrigue, shopping and coastal walking trails. While there are many things to do in Kennebunk, visitors will want to explore the vibrant Kennebunk Art Scene.
Along Summer Street, you will witness more grand Captains mansions, and you can indulge in an architectural walking tour from the Brick Store Museum for more facts and fascinating stories of gothic styles to ghost tales. Aside from the recreation any coastal town in Maine is recognized for, Kennebunk also has two golf courses in town: Hillcrest Golf, and Webhanet Golf Club.
Many coastal recreation opportunities are available in Kennebunk’s Lower Village right on the River near Dock Square in Kennebunkport, including boat and kayak rentals. In Kennebunk, just before the Dock Square Bridge, you will find charters for whale watching, Lobster Boat tours, and professional fishing charters.
Boat tours in the coastal Kennebunk area are a true Maine experience anyone can enjoy young or old. Many fishing charters in Maine even offer shark fishing and giant bluefin tuna fishing excursions.
For those interested in the natural beauty of the coastal landscape, there are a few places to visit during your trip to Kennebunk, Maine. Kennebunk is home to a beautiful sidewalk along Kennebunk beach, and bridal paths along the watefront and marsh. Along Route 99, you’ll find a vast open space where the Nature Conservancy Blueberry Barrens are located (locally known as the Blueberry Plains).
Visitors can pick blueberries during peak season (July). There’s the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge that offers walking trails along the salt marshes and estuaries. You can also look into visiting the Wells Reserve at Ludlow Farm that offers lovely nature walks as well as snowshoeing during the winter.
Though many of Maine’s coastal towns are quite seasonal, attracting vacationers during the summer, many year-round visitors come for the peaceful fall, winter, and spring attitude.
Kennebunk has its boutique and art gallery shopping center along the Main Street where you can find some interesting shops offering Maine crafts and gifts, clothing and Kennebunk Toy Company, then dine on some ice cream, and walk over to nearby parks for a picnic. Downtown Kennebunk is host to a few art galleries like The Hive, where open houses serve wine and cheese, even entertainment some evenings, as you view the artwork.
Holidays bring out ice skating int eh covered Waterhouse Center, parades and tree lighting, including Kennebunk’s May Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Christmas. There are also some fantastic shops in Lower Village Kennebunk where Western Ave, Route 9, and Port Road intersect, and of course, there is nearby Dock Square just across the bridge in Kennebunkport, which hosts a varying congregation of quaint shops and art galleries.
While Kennebunkport is regarded for its dining scene with some of Maine’s best upscale restaurants, Kennebunk has its share of fine dining options. Kennebunk is home to the only 5 star restaurant in New England, The White Barn. Other restaurants include Old Vines Wine Bar, On the Marsh, and Pedro’s Mexican.
Among popular restaurants in downtown Kennebunk are Duffy’s, 50 Local, Kennebunk Inn Academe, and Sebago Brewing Company with a pub fare style scene. If you really want some delicious deli, go to Ashby’s—they have fantastic breakfast options too!