It may not seem like there are many things to do in Kennebunkport, Maine, given its small size.
However, this coastal town located 90 miles north of Boston has been a summer resort destination for over 100 years.
As such, it offers visitors much more than meets the eye.
From boat tours, to boutique shopping, to some of the country’s best lobster roll, Kennebunkport has become a popular year-round destination.
In addition, it’s also the perfect jumping off point to larger neighboring cities like Portland.
Here are some of the best things to do in Kennebunkport and beyond on your coastal Maine vacation.
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If you’ve been following along with this blog or my Instagram account, then you know I’m obsessed with Europe.
So when I discovered that there was a French-inspired café smack in the middle of Kennebunkport, I had to visit!
Mornings in Paris is the perfect way to kick off your list of things to do in Kennebunkport.
In fact, I gobbled up my delicious savory pastry before snapping a photo, whoops! (That, and it was my third wedding anniversary with my other half, so I decided to live in the moment for a change.)
Fortunately, I found a picture of my delicious breakfast on the café’s Instagram page!
Here’s what my savory pastry looked like as a reference:
Mornings in Paris is located at 21 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.
Dock Square is the heart of Kennebunkport.
This charming town center is filled with unique boutique shops, eateries, and other interesting finds.
My favorite section of town is actually nestled just behind the shops, off of Austin’s Alley. Here, you can observe how the cute storefronts sit atop the water.
Make sure to bring your camera along so that you can document this gem!
To reach this spot, head down Austin’s Alley.
Then, take the wooden footbridge over the inlet that brings you to the Boathouse Hotel & Restaurant. You’ll find this little alcove along the water, just behind the parking lot barrier.
If there’s one quintessential landmark that represents Kennebunkport, Saxony Imports is it.
This eye-catching gift shop is the image forever etched in so many visitors’ minds after exploring this quaint coastal town.
So what better way to remember it than by capturing it in a photograph?
You won’t have any problem finding Saxony Imports, as it’s located at the end of the bridge over Kennebunkport River. The exact address is 50 Dock Square in Kennebunkport.
After capturing your classic shot at Saxony Imports, it’s time to get your shopping on.
Since Kennebunkport is geared toward tourism, it’s actually known for having some of the best shopping in the state!
Here, you’ll find everything from unique souvenirs, to fine art, to specialty foods.
Admittedly, we didn’t spend much time shopping ourselves, as I preferred staying outdoors.
That said, the shops certainly get plenty of foot traffic!
As a coastal town, one of the main draws of Kennebunkport is its various water activities.
In fact, many visitors will tell you this charming village is best explored by boat!
From sailing, to lobster boating, to whale watching, you’ll find plenty of maritime activities to keep you occupied here.
While we didn’t have time on this particular visit, I’d love to do a lobster boat tour in the future!
To check out the best tours and water sports in the area, head here.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer an in-depth overview of Kennebunkport while on land, check out this historical walking tour instead.
If you go to Maine and you don’t have the lobster roll…did you even go to Maine?
Of all the things to do in Kennebunkport, this one is pretty essential, in my opinion.
That said, I realize that not everyone eats seafood.
However, if you’re even the teensiest bit curious about this delicacy of the crustacean persuasion, go for it!
I snagged my saliva-inducing roll at The Clam Shack, one of Kennebunkport’s most beloved spots.
Don’t be fooled by the laid-back appearance of this casual seafood shack; the lobster roll is divine.
In fact, it’s considered one of the best seafood establishments in the United States, according to Travel and Leisure. For more accolades on this unassuming seafood joint, check out the shack’s press page.
Although, I’ll say that the bun was nothing to write home about.
However, as for the fillings, you can’t go wrong!
Personally, I’m all about Connecticut-style lobster roll, as it’s pretty hard to compete with warm butter.
(That said, I have yet to try the Maine variety, so it may not be a totally fair assessment!)
In any case, The Clam Shack is unique in that they let you customize a roll to your liking. You can opt for cold, warm, or – as they recommend – a mix of both.
Plus, for all the lobster lovers, you can order a whole lobster from their indoor seafood market to take home!
In addition, they also offer non-seafood alternatives like burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese if seafood isn’t your thing.
You can usually expect a line at the order counter, given that The Clam Shack is quite popular. Fortunately, the line moves pretty quickly.
Then, you can either eat at one of the picnic tables or take your food to go. Although the wait for pick-up orders was a bit long, it’s definitely worth the wait!
The Clam Shack is located at 2 Western Ave in Kennebunk, just off of the bridge.
I highly recommend venturing out to Cape Porpoise if you’re looking to trade the tourist scene for some waterside seclusion.
Cape Porpoise Harbor is a safe, protected harbor halfway between Portsmouth and Portland.
Once the settlement area for Native Americans, today its pier serves as an active fishing and lobstering wharf.
Although there’s only a handful of restaurants in the area, we stumbled upon a gem: The Ramp Bar & Grill. I immediately fell in love with the colorful maritime-themed décor.
Cape Porpoise itself is located three miles northeast of Kennebunkport along ME 9.
The Ramp Bar & Grill is located at 77 Pier Road, inside Pier 77 in Kennebunkport.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Ocean Avenue, even if you’re not terribly familiar with things to do in Kennebunkport.
In addition to being one of the most scenic ocean routes in Maine, Ocean Avenue is famous for another reason…
…It’s the summer estate of George H. W. Bush, our 41st President!
This famous property is known as Walker’s Point and has been a family retreat for over a century. You can read more about the history of Walkers Point here.
The address isn’t publicly listed, as this is obviously a private property.
Instead, navigate to Blowing Cave Park to view the home at a distance. It’s located at 208 Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport, just south of the Bush Estate.
Did you ever unexpectedly land at an Instagrammable spot and have to pull over to capture it?
Brewed Awakenings was one of those spots.
Although it’s technically located outside of Kennebunkport in Wells, Maine, it’s only a brief, 10-minute drive down the road.
Unfortunately, this adorable coffee shop was closed when we arrived, but that didn’t stop us from getting a shot!
Brewed Awakenings is located at 1846 Post Road in Wells, Maine.
When in Kennebunkport, you must venture out to the neighboring city of Portland.
It’s located just over a half hour away and most definitely worth a visit.
This lively coastal city is known for its vibrant art and culinary scene as well as its picturesque lighthouses.
Luckily, I had the chance to visit the full collection of six lighthouses (save for one of a twin set). I’ve shared my findings and best tips for visiting in this comprehensive Portland lighthouse guide.
Ideally, I recommend venturing to Portland in the late afternoon/early evening to catch one of the lighthouses at sunset. You won’t be disappointed!
As you can see, Kennebunkport provides a taste of coastal village life while also serving as a gateway to other areas.
Undoubtedly, there are plenty of things to do in Kennebunkport and its neighboring cities to keep you busy.
Alternatively, you can also enjoy a slower, more relaxed pace with a day on the water, cold brew in hand.
Charming Kennebunkport truly offers the best of both worlds – and the best of both lobster roll varieties!
So if you’re planning a trip to Maine, make sure to add Kennebunkport to your list!
Additionally, be sure to check out my companion guides if you’re looking for more coastal Maine vacation inspiration:
- The 1-Day Acadia National Park Itinerary You’ll Want to Steal
- The Prettiest Lighthouses in Portland for Your Charming Maine Vacation
Have you ever visited this charming coastal village? If so, what were some of your favorite things to do in Kennebunkport?
Let me know in the comments below; I’d love some inspiration for a future trip!