The small, charming city of Kennebunk nestled in the heart of York County, Maine, captivated me with its coastal beauty and welcoming atmosphere. With a population of around 10,000 residents, Kennebunk exudes a sense of community and warmth that is truly unique.
One of the main draws of Kennebunk is its stunning shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean. The city boasts a collection of breathtaking beaches that beckon both locals and tourists alike. As I strolled along the sandy shores, I couldn’t help but marvel at the pristine beauty that surrounded me. The rhythmic crashing of the waves and the gentle sea breeze provided a soothing backdrop as I immersed myself in the natural splendor of Kennebunk.
In addition to its natural wonders, Kennebunk is home to the renowned Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. This sanctuary is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering an opportunity to explore diverse ecosystems and observe a myriad of wildlife species in their natural habitats. The refuge serves as a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and the beauty that can be found in the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature.
Delving further into the heart of Kennebunk, I discovered a treasure trove of historic buildings and captivating museums. Each structure seemed to whisper stories of a bygone era, transporting me back in time to witness the rich history that unfolded within these walls. The sense of heritage and preservation that permeates Kennebunk is truly inspiring, inviting visitors to delve deeper into the city’s past and gain a deeper appreciation for its cultural significance.
With so much to see and experience, I was eager to share with you the 15 best things to do in Kennebunk, Maine. From indulging in fresh seafood delicacies at local eateries to perusing the charming boutiques and art galleries that line the streets, Kennebunk offers a wealth of activities that cater to all interests and preferences.
1. Take a stroll along Walker’s Point
As I embarked on this journey, I was filled with excitement and anticipation, knowing that I will not only be able to immerse myself in breathtaking scenery but also catch a glimpse of the remarkable abode of former US president George Bush. Along the path, there are several memorials that serve as poignant tributes to America’s 41st president.
As I strolled leisurely at Walker’s Point, I feel compelled to pay my respects to this influential figure by laying down a bouquet of flowers and uttering a heartfelt prayer, expressing my gratitude for his numerous contributions to our beloved country. With a renewed sense of appreciation, I resume my walk along the picturesque coastline, cherishing every step of this memorable experience.
2. Explore to Gooch’s Beach
As I explored the beautiful town of Kennebunk, I found myself drawn to the allure of Gooch’s Beach. This captivating shoreline is just one of the many wonders this town has to offer, providing breathtaking views that captivate the senses regardless of the season.
It’s the perfect setting for building sandcastles and enjoying quality time with loved ones. However, even beyond the summer season, Gooch’s Beach remains a charming destination for a leisurely stroll, whether in the company of family, friends, or even our beloved canine companions.
I’m delighted to discover that the conditions here are ideal for surfers, as the waves beckon thrill-seekers to ride them. The sight of surfers gracefully gliding along the crests fills me with a sense of awe and admiration. This beach truly caters to the entire family, providing an array of activities and experiences to suit every taste.
3. Visit the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Let me take you to the mesmerizing realm of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. I was immediately struck by the sanctuary it provides for migratory birds, with its steadfast commitment to preserving estuaries and salt marshes. Today, I have the privilege of immersing myself in this natural haven, relishing in the beauty that unfolds in every season.
The refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to reconnect with the marvels of nature, allowing me to witness wildlife in its purest form. It is a sanctuary where the harmony of diverse ecosystems flourishes, inviting me to embrace the serenity and magnificence that surrounds me.
Embarking on the trail, which gently stretches for approximately one mile, I found myself weaving through the enchanting forest and alongside the mesmerizing marshland. Along the way, strategically placed benches beckon me to pause, providing a tranquil spot to rest and fully absorb the idyllic scenery that envelops me.
I couldn’t be more delighted to discover that dogs are welcome companions, although it is important to ensure they remain leashed to safeguard the serenity of the refuge. Additionally, in preparation for my journey, I equipped myself with essential mosquito protection, knowing that these resilient insects may make their presence known.
4. Stroll along Ocean Avenue
During my wonderful trip, I discovered that Ocean Avenue holds countless treasures to behold. Embarking on this delightful journey, I was greeted by an array of splendid sights that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The walk along Ocean Avenue proves to be a delightful adventure, spanning a manageable distance of approximately one mile. Regardless of my fitness level, I feltl invigorated knowing that this scenic stroll is accessible to all. As I traversed this picturesque route, I was treated to an exquisite panorama of the ocean, the majestic rocks, and even the charming presence of a lighthouse. Each step I take brought me closer to admiring the architectural marvels that grace this coastal haven, the beautiful homes standing as testaments to the artistry and allure of this region.
There is also a welcoming restaurant along the way, offering respite and sustenance to replenish my energy.
If it’s raining, you can drive along this stretch of road, but if the weather allows, it’s much better to explore it on foot.
5. Visit Saint Ann’s Church
Approaching Saint Ann’s Church, I was struck by its mesmerizing beauty and its unique architectural design, crafted entirely from rocks. The sight before me is truly awe-inspiring.
With great excitement, I took the time to admire every intricate detail of this magnificent structure. The opportunity to capture its splendor through photographs is one I eagerly seize, ensuring that I have lasting mementos of this extraordinary encounter.
In a stroke of good fortune, I learned that there may be a chance to step inside this remarkable sanctuary. With anticipation in my heart, I arrived at the perfect moment, allowing me the privilege of exploring the inner sanctum of Saint Ann’s Church. The prospect fills me with both reverence and excitement, as I yearn to witness the hidden treasures that lie within.
6. Chill out at Kennebunk Beach
Kennebunk Beach invites me to savor the simple pleasures of life, be it through the joy of swimming and sunbathing in the summer or the serene moments spent walking along the shore throughout the rest of the year. It is a destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty, tranquility, and cherished memories, making it an essential stop for anyone seeking solace and serenity by the sea.
This beloved coastal destination is renowned for its popularity as a swimming beach, boasting a shoreline adorned with magnificent granite rocks. Whether it’s the height of summer or the tranquil embrace of other seasons, this beach offers an array of experiences to be cherished.
The beach becomes a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation, as the soothing waves kiss the shore and the inviting waters beckon me to immerse myself in their embrace.
7. Discover the Seashore Trolley Museum
The Seashore Trolley Museum is more than just a collection of remarkable vehicles; it is a gateway to the past, a place where the wonders of transportation history come to life. This extraordinary destination is home to a plethora of historical treasures, featuring an impressive collection of old trolleys, trams, buses, trains, wagons, and various other modes of transportation.
Upon arrival, I was filled with wonder as I gazed upon the remarkable pieces that have withstood the test of time. The opportunity to witness such extraordinary artifacts left me in awe, and I eagerly captured these moments through countless photographs, ensuring that the memories will forever be etched in my mind.
But the excitement does not end there. The Seashore Trolley Museum offers a truly immersive experience, inviting visitors to step back in time and ride aboard antique rail cars along their private railroad. This unique opportunity allows me to indulge in the nostalgia of a bygone era, relishing in the joy of traversing the tracks in a meticulously restored piece of history. It is a delight that transcends generations, making the museum a destination that holds something special for every member of the family.
8. Admire St. Anthony’s Monastery
St. Anthony’s Monastery is nestled within a vast estate adorned with picturesque lawns, enchanting English gardens, and meandering paths that gracefully follow the course of the river, this place is truly a haven of tranquility.
The monastery itself stands as a testament to architectural beauty, its construction meticulously crafted and adorned with captivating sculptures. The unique architecture of the Chapel and the mesmerizing stained-glass windows create an atmosphere of reverence and awe, enveloping me in a sense of spiritual serenity.
What sets these items apart is that they have been blessed by the priests, infusing them with a sense of sacredness. It is a testament to the devotion and reverence that permeate this remarkable place.
9. Check out Maine Art Hill
As an big fan of art, my heart leaps with joy upon discovering the enchanting Maine Art Hill. This remarkable destination boasts not just one, but nine distinct galleries, each showcasing the extraordinary creations of 45 talented artists. For over two decades, Maine Art Hill has remained the premier gallery destination in southern Maine, leaving visitors awestruck with its diverse and captivating exhibits year after year.
Stepping into this artistic haven, I am immediately surrounded by a plethora of breathtaking paintings, sculptures, and intricate decorations. The sheer variety of art forms on display is awe-inspiring, with each piece offering a unique perspective and a glimpse into the artist’s vision. Among the many treasures that grace these galleries, the wind sculptures stand out as truly one-of-a-kind masterpieces, capturing both movement and grace in a mesmerizing display.
One of the most delightful aspects of Maine Art Hill is the opportunity to bring a piece of this artistic wonderland home. All the displayed items are available for purchase, allowing art enthusiasts like myself to support the local artists and curate our own personal collections. It is a testament to the gallery’s commitment to fostering the growth and appreciation of art in the community.
10. Get back to nature at Snug Harbor Farm
For those who are interested to engage in farming and gardening, you’ll surely enjoy Snug Harbor Farm. However, even those who may not share the same passion are guaranteed to delight in the wonders this remarkable place has to offer.
Upon arriving at Snug Harbor Farm, you’ll be greeted by a sight that fills my heart with joy—the vast array of beautiful plants and delightful animals that call this place home. The farm is a haven of natural beauty, where meticulously cultivated flora blooms in vibrant hues, creating a picturesque landscape that captivates the senses.
One of the highlights of Snug Harbor Farm is its charming gift shop, which showcases an assortment of antiques, topiaries, and other unique items. It is a place that beckons me to discover hidden gems and acquire treasures that reflect the essence of this enchanting farm.
The presence of mini ponies and other friendly farm animals fills the air with an atmosphere of warmth and joy. You’ll have the chance to witness the sheer delight on the faces of children as they interact with these gentle creatures, their hands reaching out to pet the mini ponies and extend greetings to their newfound animal friends. It is a heartwarming experience that embodies the magic and wonder of the farm.
11. Find a good book at the Kennebunk Free Library
The Kennebunk Free Library is a haven for book enthusiasts, a place where the love of reading is nurtured and celebrated.
Upon entering the library, you’ll be greeted by a warm and welcoming staff, whose friendly demeanor instantly puts you at ease. Their extensive knowledge and passion for literature shine through as they assist you in finding the perfect book to accompany me on my Kennebunk adventure.
From gripping novels to thought-provoking non-fiction, the library leaves no literary desire unfulfilled. It is a treasure trove for book lovers like myself, where I can indulge my reading cravings and explore new literary territories.
12. Relax at The Spa at Rivers Edge
When it comes to indulging in relaxation and self-care, my go-to destination in Kennebunk is none other than The Spa At Rivers Edge. With over 11 years of experience, this exceptional spa offers a wide array of rejuvenating services that cater to every need and desire.
The spa’s comprehensive range of services is truly remarkable, encompassing everything from soothing massages to invigorating steam baths, luxurious spa treatments, a hair salon, and a dedicated focus on skin care.
One of the standout features of The Spa At Rivers Edge is its dedication to excellence and accessibility. Moreover, the spa caters to special occasions, such as bridal and private parties, providing an exquisite setting for unforgettable celebrations of beauty and well-being.
The skilled and attentive professionals ensure that every visit is an experience to be cherished, as they expertly tailor the services to my specific needs and preferences. It is a place where I can surrender to relaxation, embrace tranquility, and emerge feeling refreshed and revitalized.
13. Amble through Rotary Park
Once I’ve had my fill of the breathtaking beaches lining the Kennebunk shoreline, I eagerly set out to explore a different side of this picturesque town—the enchanting Rotary Park. This hidden gem offers a refreshing change of scenery and invites me to immerse myself in the natural beauty that surrounds a small American city.
The soothing sound of rushing water fills the air, creating a serene atmosphere that beckons me to unwind and appreciate the tranquility of this hidden oasis. It’s the perfect spot to find a peaceful retreat and bask in the simple beauty of nature.
In addition to the captivating river, Rotary Park also features a dam, adding to the charm and character of the surroundings. A quaint gazebo stands proudly amidst the greenery, offering a delightful spot to pause and take in the idyllic scenery. Nearby, an informative plaque provides insights into the invaluable contributions of the Rotary Club, adding a touch of historical significance to the park.
After reveling in the natural splendor of Rotary Park, my stomach started to growl, leading me to the delightful discovery of Duffy, conveniently located just across the street. This charming eatery offers a quick and satisfying snack, providing the perfect opportunity to refuel and recharge before continuing my Kennebunk exploration.
14. Visit the Brick Store Museum
As I seek to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of local history, art, and culture, I discovered the Brick Store Museum. This remarkable institution serves as a gateway to the past, offering a diverse range of exhibits and educational programs that connect me with the vibrant heritage of Kennebunk and its surrounding areas.
Open year-round, the museum stands as a testament to the collective memory of the city, chronicling its captivating journey from shipbuilding to the notable legacy of George Bush. Recently renovated, the museum now boasts meticulously preserved exhibits that are thoughtfully presented, inviting me to embark on a journey through time and immerse myself in the captivating narratives of the past.
Antique clothing, delicate porcelain dishes, captivating paintings, and a multitude of household items and furniture paint a vivid picture of life in earlier times. It is a treasure trove of historical relics that captivate my imagination and offer a tangible connection to the stories of those who came before us.
These architectural marvels serve as living testaments to the craftsmanship of yesteryears and offer a glimpse into the lives of the visionaries who shaped the city’s legacy.