Things To Do in Kennebunkport

Your Must See Guide

Since the 1870s, when seaside hotels and summer cottages first beckoned to trainloads of city dwellers, Kennebunkport has been a dream destination for travelers in search of the perfect balance of serenity and stimulation. The pace remains easy, the vibe is laidback, yet beyond Kennebunkport’s charming ambiance, you’ll discover remarkable cultural sophistication.

With so many exhilarating things to do in Kennebunkport -- all within a small radius of this historic and happening coastal town -- how will you fill your days by the sea? Allow us to introduce you to some of the most cherished things to do, from spying lighthouses on a scenic drive to swimming, surfing or simply relishing the sights and sounds at four magnificent ocean beaches. There are myriad ways to get out on the water: schooner voyages, kayaking excursions, whale watching and fishing boat trips. Stretch your legs on a hike or on a golf course. Be inspired by museums, one-of-a-kind shops and galleries. Feast on fresh seafood, sip craft-brewed beer, enjoy live music as memorable days come to a close.

Museums
Seashore Trolley Museum Image

Seashore Trolley Museum

195 Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-2800

Even rail buffs may be surprised to discover that Kennebunkport is home to the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world. The Seashore Trolley Museum’s story begins in 1939, when the attraction was founded with just one open trolley car. Since that moment when 10 people chipped in $15 apiece to save car No. 31 from the Biddeford & Saco Railroad Company, thousands have supported the museum’s mission and growth. Today, the collection contains more than 250 transit vehicles from around the U.S. and from many other countries. The museum is open weekends in May and October and daily Memorial Day through Columbus Day. With advance reservations, the Be a Motorman program allows you to take the controls of an antique streetcar for a truly unique experience.

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First Families Museum

8 Maine Street, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-2751

The Kennebunkport Historical Society’s museum, housed at White Columns—a stately Greek Revival-style mansion in the heart of town—offers both a look at luxurious living in the mid-19th century and a chronicle of two centuries of Kennebunkport history. Exhibits focus on prominent individuals—from sea captains to presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush—who have brought fortune and fame to this Maine coast town. The museum operates from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day and reopens in December during Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude.

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Brick Store Museum

117 Main Street, Kennebunk, Maine, 207-985-4802

This eclectic museum of local art, history and culture has six galleries that house rotating themed exhibitions year-round. They’re tucked inside four historic buildings including a former dry goods store, built in 1825 by merchant and ship owner William Lord. It was Lord’s great-granddaughter who founded the museum in 1936 and filled it with her family’s treasures. Today, the museum owns nearly 70,000 artifacts that tell rich, human stories… from quilts with secret pouches to shipwreck relics.

Art & Entertainment
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The Grand Hotel

1 Chase Hill Road, Kennebunk, Maine 207-204-0096

This bright, contemporary gallery brought to life by Art Collector Maine showcases an evolving selection of works in a variety of media by Maine’s most sought-after artists. Maine-inspired paintings and sculptures transport gallery visitors to enchanting places along the coast, around the state and beyond into the realm of imagination.

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Maine Art Hill

14 Western Avenue, Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-2803

Located in Lower Village, just steps from Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, this enduring gallery represents more than 30 Maine-connected artists, whose one-of-a-kind pieces range from the whimsical to the profound. Outside the gallery, more than 100 kinetic copper wind sculptures hand-crafted by renowned sculptor Lyman Whitaker twirl with every breeze.

Rusty Fly Art Gallery Image

24 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine, 508-982-5398

This sunny Kennebunkport gallery showcases the works of owner/operator Peter Sheppard alongside other regional artists. Stop in to peruse a collection of fine furniture, sculpture, textiles, and jewelry.

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Vinegar Hill

53 Old Post Road, Arundel, Maine, 207-985-5552

An intimate, historic barn is the enchanting setting for the Kennebunkport area’s newest entertainment venue. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre books top national, regional and local music acts, from legendary performers like Rickie Lee Jones, Ronan Tynan and The Drifters to contemporary singer-songwriters like Maine native Howie Day. Comedians and tribute bands take the stage, too. With a full-service bar and a busy schedule of summer and fall shows, this vibrant, 240-seat music hall is Kennebunkport vacationers’ go-to spot for grown-up entertainment.

Golf Courses
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Webhannet Golf Course

26 Golf Club Drive, Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-2061

You won’t find a more classic Maine golf course than this 18-hole, par 71 beauty located just a block away from Kennebunk Beach. Fresh, clean Atlantic sea breezes will buoy your energy, as you navigate this lush course’s serpentine Kentucky blue fairways, tidal-fed water hazards, white sand bunkers and undulating bent grass greens. Founded in 1899, Webhannet is the type of place where the dress code is enforced, and golfers of all abilities face challenges that renew their respect for the game. Although this is a semi-private golf club, Webhannet welcomes visiting players on a limited basis from mid-April through mid-October. Ask our concierge to book your tee time.

Cape Arundel Golf Club Image

Cape Arundel Golf Club

19 River Road, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-2222

Have you ever played a golf course that is on the National Register of Historic Places? At the Cape Arundel Golf Club, the game has been played for more than 120 years by the likes of such luminaries as President Richard Nixon, President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, baseball slugger Babe Ruth, golf legend Arnold Palmer and PGA pro and course record-holder Phil Mickelson. The tidal Kennebunk River runs through this picturesque, 18-hole, par 69 course and is one of its most notable hazards. Our concierge is happy to arrange for you to play this semi-private course.

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Hillcrest Golf Driving Range

77 Western Avenue,  Kennebunk, Maine, (207) 967-4661

Regardless of your skill range, Hillcrest Golf offers a golf experience that can be enjoyed by all. With its one-of-kind mini par 3 pitch & putt, Hillcrest Golf features a natural grass course with 9 holes that vary from 25-40 yards. Bring your own equipment or utilize their clubs without incurring an additional fee.

Beaches
Goose Rocks Beach Image

Kings Highway, Kennebunkport, Maine

Located directly across the street from our sister property, The Tides Beach Club, this powdery white sand beach stretches three scenic miles. With grassy dune, island and summer cottage views, it is an alluring and uncrowded place to dip your toes in the sparkling Atlantic and let go of anything weighing on you. Keep an eye out for lucky sand dollars as the tide flows out. Goose Rocks Beach gets its name from the offshore barrier reef, visible at low tide, which shelters this pristine swath of sand, keeping waves warm and gentle.

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Beach Avenue, Kennebunk, Maine

Our area’s most popular place to play in and by the ocean has three distinct beach areas: Mother’s Beach, Middle Beach and Gooch’s Beach. Combined, they offer nearly a mile of seaside pleasures. Family-friendly Mother’s Beach is a petite pocket beach tucked into the rocks south of Lords Point, a narrow peninsula clustered with enchanting beach homes. This lifeguard-protected beach also features a playground. Just north is wild and rugged Middle Beach, where waves sculpt a quarter-mile of black pebble shore. From the sidewalk atop the seawall, you can appreciate both nature’s handiwork and the exquisite architecture of this area’s grand coastal homes. Gooch’s Beach is a 3,300-foot crescent of fine sand is the perfect place to sunbathe, body surf, stroll barefoot and carve your initials in the sand. Lifeguards watch over this beach during the summer season; portable restrooms are available. Parking permits for Kennebunk Beach are available from our concierge.

Colony Beach Image

Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine

This 450-foot, sand and pebble beach at the mouth of the Kennebunk River is angled for captivating sunset views. Also known as Arundel Beach, it’s about a mile south of Dock Square, yet it feels peaceful and secluded. Limited parking and no facilities keep crowds at bay, and a breakwater and rocky point create a hemmed-in pool of saltwater ideal for swimming. Stay at the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, and you can meander along Parson’s Way, which trails Kennebunkport’s rocky coastline, to this overlooked little beach: It’s about a 15-minute, scenic, easy trek.

Kayak & Boat Rentals
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Coastal Maine Kayak

8 Western Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-6065

Located in Kennebunkport’s Lower Village, this full-service kayak shop offers stand-up paddleboard (SUP), river kayak and sea kayak rentals, plus instruction and tours led by licensed Maine guides. Outings are available for all skill levels and interests. Hear tales of local history as you paddle the tidal Kennebunk River. Keep a lookout for Goat Island Light as you follow Kennebunkport’s scenic coast toward Cape Porpoise. Try to spy waterfowl while kayaking the Mousam River estuary.

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Kayak Excursions

Kennebunkport, Maine, 888-925-7496

For more than 20 years, this Kennebunkport-based kayak rental and tour company has made it easy to embrace the sport. Your SUP or kayak rental includes free delivery to the location of your choice, a customized map of the area you’ll be paddling and a free, quick lesson, if desired. Fishing kayaks may be rented, too. Prefer a guided tour? Stand-up paddleboard excursions are offered daily in-season during the early morning, daytime and at sunset. Reserve your space for one of these leisurely, scenic trips, which depart from varying locations based on the tides.

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If you’re looking for a spot to put in and explore on your own, these suggested kayak launch sites are located just a short drive from the Kennebunkport Hotel:

  • Government Wharf Launch, off Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport
  • Colony Beach, Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport
  • Cape Porpoise Causeway, Pier Road, Kennebunkport (accessible from 3 hours before until 3 hours after high tide)
  • Goose Rocks Beach, Kings Highway, Kennebunkport
  • Mousam River Boat Landing, Route 9 (Western Avenue), Kennebunk
  • Vine’s Landing, Biddeford Pool (avoid launching against the tide)
  • Little River, Granite Point Road, Biddeford (one of three launches within the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge)
Scenic Tours
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First Chance Whale Watch

4 Western Avenue (Route 9), Kennebunk, Maine, 207-967-5507

For a Maine marine life adventure that will remind you how small we are in the grand scheme of nature, cruise 20 miles out of Kennebunkport’s harbor to the feeding grounds where whales blubber up for their winter journey south. First Chance‘s knowledgeable Captain Gary knows where to find these majestic mammals, so have your camera ready. You may see finbacks, humpbacks, minke whales, dolphins and maybe even a rare blue whale or endangered right whale. These 4-1/2-hour voyages are offered Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. An on-board galley serves light breakfast and lunch fare, snacks and beverages. Cape Arundel Inn & Resort’s concierge can also arrange a picnic for you to take aboard.

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Striker Charters

21 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-590-9093

What will you chase? Stripers, bluefish, sharks, tuna, cod, haddock? Allow this fishing charter company to customize your inshore or offshore saltwater fishing adventure. Experienced captains provide the gear and show you the ropes. If you’re patient and alert, you just might be rewarded with the catch of a lifetime. And even if you don’t land a big one, you’ll learn new skills and see Kennebunkport and the Maine coast with an expert guide who knows these waters and the fish that call them “home.”

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In-Town Trolley

21 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-3686

Enchanting architecture, historic points of interest, natural wonders like Spouting Rock and Blowing Cave: You’ll see them all—in just 45 minutes—on these nostalgic trolley tours that depart hourly, seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. If you’re a Kennebunkport newcomer, these narrated tours are an efficient and entertaining way to see our coastal town’s highlights. You can also hop on and off the trolley all day if you prefer to explore on your own.

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Rugosa Lobster Tour 

95 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-468-4095

You haven’t really been to Maine until you’ve set out on an authentic wooden lobster boat to catch crustaceans. On these 60- to 90-minute voyages, which depart three times daily Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, you’ll cruise down the Kennebunk River and out to sea with a licensed lobsterman. Sit back and enjoy the scenery, or pitch in and help haul traps. These fun, family-friendly tours will teach you all about Maine’s signature catch and enhance your appreciation for every sweet bite of lobster meat.

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Schooner Eleanor

43 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-8809

How often do you have the chance to sail aboard a traditional gaff rigged schooner with the captain who lovingly built the beautiful vessel with a team of local craftsmen? Captain Rich Woodman launched the Eleanor in May of 1999, and he’s been treating tourists to the wind-driven thrill of sailing Kennebunkport’s coast ever since. On two-hour tours late May through early October, you can stretch out on cushioned cabin-top seating and enjoy the carefree, throwback experience of yachting 1930s-style. Or, help the crew set the sails, as you hit the open Atlantic. Every trip is different: Sea breezes determine your course.

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