Domestic Travel

10 Fun Things to Do in Kennebunkport

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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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10 Best Things to Do in Kennebunkport

1. Start Your Day with a Parisian-Style Breakfast

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:

Hungry yet?

Not to worry; you can view the café’s full breakfast menu here. Did I mention they also serve lunch as well as wine and beer?

Bon appétit!

How to Get Here:

Mornings in Paris is located at 21 Western Avenue in Kennebunk.

2. Explore Dock Square

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!

Dock Square in Kennebunkport

FUN FACT: This is a popular spot for boaters, so you may make some friends along the way. My husband and I actually struck up a conversation with a woman paddling by with her little dog!

PHOTO TIP: I recommend using a wide angle lens, as your photographer will only be a few feet away in this area.

Dock Square in Kennebunkport

How to Get Here:

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.

3. Capture a Classic Kennebunkport Photo by Saxony Imports

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.

Welcome to Kennebunkport

So what better way to remember it than by capturing it in a photograph?

PHOTO TIP: I recommend switching up your lenses here to capture various angles. A wide angle lens (used above) will give you a fuller scope of the surrounding water and bridge.

Alternatively, a 50 mm prime lens (used below) will enable you to hone in on the uniquely-shaped building.

Saxony Imports

How to Get Here:

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.

4. Browse the Unique Gift Shops

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!

5. Explore Kennebunkport by Water

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!

ships in Kennebunkport

From sailing, to lobster boating, to whale watching, you’ll find plenty of maritime activities to keep you occupied here.

ships in Kennebunkport

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.

6. Stop at The Clam Shack for Lobster Roll

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.

lobster roll from The Clam Shack, Kennebunkport

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.

The Clam Shack

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!

FUN FACT: Lobster roll is served two different ways: Maine-style and Connecticut-style. Maine lobster roll is served cold with mayo, while Connecticut lobster roll is served hot and topped with warm butter.

Some food establishments specialize in just one style, whereas others offer both options on their menu.

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.

What to Know Before You Go:

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!

How to Get Here:

The Clam Shack is located at 2 Western Ave in Kennebunk, just off of the bridge.

7. Visit Cape Porpoise

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.

The Ramp Bar & Grill

Located just below upscale Pier 77, this casual seafood restaurant also offers views of Cape Porpoise Harbor.

Unfortunately, we were here on a Wednesday, the one day the restaurant is closed! Sigh.

However, I hope to return to enjoy something fresh from their menus on the outdoor deck in the future.

How to Get Here:

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.

8. Drive Along Ocean Avenue

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.

How to Get 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.

9. Stop for a Photo & a Cuppa at Brewed Awakenings

Did you ever unexpectedly land at an Instagrammable spot and have to pull over to capture it?

Brewed Awakenings was one of those spots.

cute mural at Brewed Awakenings

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!

PHOTO TIP: Although this café is irresistibly cute, the layout makes it challenging to photograph.

This is particularly true if you’re taking Instagram photos, since the platform favors portrait-style photography.  It can be hard to nail a vertical shot here, as the various elements are pretty spaced out.

It’s definitely easier to shoot in landscape orientation. However, if you’re “doing it for the gram,” you’ll need some patience.

We actually cycled through three different lenses before capturing the shot with our 50 mm prime.

Ultimately, a wide angle zoom lens would be ideal here, giving you some more flexibility.

How to Get Here:

Brewed Awakenings is located at 1846 Post Road in Wells, Maine.

10. Go Lighthouse Hunting in Portland

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.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

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!

sunset in Portland

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:

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!

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13 thoughts on “10 Fun Things to Do in Kennebunkport

  1. I love Kennebunkport! I went a few years ago during my trip to Portland and it was so pretty. I really wish I spent more time there though (I only spent a few hours), but it was lovely and the food was delicious! Once again, love all of your photos Elena! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you had a chance to visit, even if it wasn’t for too long. Given its size, I don’t think you really need too much time there, but it’s a great jumping off point for other larger cities too. And thanks so much about the photos!

  2. Your photos of Kennebunkport are great, especially where you’ve captured the flowers and boats in the background! I have a co-worker who grew up here, but I have never been to visit myself. Love your post, and thank you for showing me more about this New England destination. I would love to take a walking tour to learn more about the history. And, of course, eat a lobster roll!

    1. Thanks so much, Courtney, I really appreciate that. I do hope you’ll get a chance to explore the area yourself in the future. Lobster roll is an absolute must and I’d also love to do a walking tour next time to learn more about the history!

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