It’s no secret that I love coastal towns. When you’re 5 minutes away from the beach, no matter what direction you walk in, you know the next few days are going to be good. This was my second time visiting Kennebunkport but this time I was here to experience LAUNCH, a maritime festival. Fresh local seafood, nautical history and an array of activities at locations throughout Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel are just a few of the experiences I had.
The festival highlighted the community’s maritime history. Events included a Castaway Cove for Kids at the Seafood Center of Maine with homemade clam cakes and ice cream, buoy decorating, touch tanks and bouncy houses; the Sailors & Sirens 5K, a chef competition, chowder cook-off and local food truck gathering in downtown Kennebunk, an authentic Lobster Bake with red-and-white checked tablecloths overlooking the water; and a VIP “Rock the Boat” adults-only after-party on board the Spirit of Massachusetts where we viewed the River Lights Boat parade. Needless to say, this long weekend was chock full of fun in the sun. Here are a few things you can do during your next visit to The Kennebunks.
This hotel is situated right in downtown Kennebunk on the Kennebunk River. It’s really in the heart of the Port. On any given day, you can see lobster boats, canoes, kayaks, and passerby’s enjoying a lobster roll. The Boathouse is really a home away from home with just 23 guestrooms spread across two buildings.
Ideal for romantic getaways, a quick trip to the coast or even a girls weekend the rooms are beautifully appointed with custom headboards (swoon), mahogany cabinetry and soft, cozy linens. Each room has a balcony of its very own. I enjoyed my morning coffee overlooking the Kennebunk River with my mom. Little moments like that are what it’s all about!
Downstairs you’ll find David’s KPT, know that this is more than just a hotel restaurant. Serving lunch and dinner, wharf side with panoramic windows, private balconies and an outdoor deck. Be sure to enjoy lunch and dinner here at least once during your stay. The seafood is delicious and fresh.
Live like a local! One of my favorite things about Kennebunkport is how walkable it is. Start at Federal Jack’s and enjoy some local brews! Then head to Old Vines and order the Lori 75- a local favorite and perfectly refreshing during the warmer months. Walk next door to Pedro’s and enjoy their margaritas. Next up head back downtown to Alisson’s and end the night at Pilot House. A local, I mean very local, spot.
Kennebunkport keeps it local. You won’t find any chain coffee shops here. My favorites are Dock Square Coffee House. Here I order a medium soy milk latte to start a chilly summer morning. Yes, in Maine we sometimes have chilly mornings on the coast. Next up is Mornings in Paris. This is my iced coffee spot but their specialty is the Nutella Latte- with real Nutella. There are countless fresh French pastries to complement your cup of joe.
What is a trip to the coast without a beach day? If you’re up for it, start the day at sunrise at Goose Rocks Beach. I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is THE sunrise spot. I will let this photo do the talking:
For the day pack up the cooler and head to Kennebunk Beach. It’s really divided into three parts: Gooch’s Beach which is the soft sandy beach, Middle Beach a quarter mile of black pebbles, and then Mother’s Beach cleverly named for its playground, on duty lifeguard and restrooms. Can you guess the guests that frequent this beach?
Kayak or Bike
Head to Coastal Maine Kayaks and rent a Kayak for a half or full day. In addition to kayaks, you can also rent bicycles, scooters and paddle boards!
A given! A tourist favorite is the coastal drive down Ocean Ave. Picturesque pull off points filled with flowers, cliffs and ocean views. Walker Point is also a spot of interest, also known as the Bush Compound. Yes, the presidential Bush family.
Cocktails on the Coast
Head to the Colony Hotel for sunset, cocktails and live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Perhaps the best way to uncover the hidden gems of Kennebunk is to just walk, bike or drive around. Some good photo opps include:
Pedro’s surf boards
Barn door across from Ben & Jerrys
Cape Porpoise Harbor and the lobster traps on the pier
Snug Harbor Farm
Langsford Road Lobster and Fish House
Gooch’s Beach jetty
Wind sculptures at Maine Art Gallery
View from Lanigan Bridge
Just as good cocktails as there is food. The chicken meatballs paired with a glass of white makes the perfect pair.
If it’s Mexican fare you’re after this is the spot. Chips, guac and salsa to start do the trick. I think I liked it so much because of the décor- take a look for yourself.
Open for 40 years, they know comfort food. A super casual atmosphere with delicious food. I enjoyed the veggie burger sans the bun with sweet potato fries. I had my eye on the gluten free pizza too!
This little spot made it on Travel & Leisure’s top 10 list for Best Lobster Rolls in Maine. It’s all about the meat- and man it was delicious. Again, I enjoyed it sans bun and over a bed of lettuce. But I hear the rolls arrive with the meat still warm. Are you drooling yet?
Now open for the season, enjoy some fresh seafood and cocktails on the back deck. The perfect spot to unwind after a long day.
Like I said before, I was here for LAUNCH but in my down time I explored a little bit more of what this beautiful area has to offer. Let me know if you make it to The Kennebunks this summer!
This post is written in partnership with The Kennebunks Chamber of Commerce, as always, my opinions are my own.