I have explored Kittery, a small town in York County, Maine. This place has a rich history, once renowned for its shipbuilding industry. Seavey’s Island and Badger’s Island, located in the Piscataqua River, were crucial sites where the newly independent USA constructed numerous ships to protect the country from its adversaries.
Being situated on the border between Maine and New Hampshire, Kittery is connected to its neighboring state through bridges spanning the Piscataqua River.
Despite its modest population of just under 10,000 people, Kittery has gained a reputation as an enticing shopping destination. It offers a diverse range of options, including large department stores, malls, and charming boutique craft shops.
However, Kittery has much more to offer than just retail therapy. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, many activities revolve around the splendid waters.
If you ever plan on visiting Kittery, here are some of the 15 Best Things to do that I would recommend considering.
1. Maine Visitor Information Center
In Maine, they take pride in catering to tourists by offering convenient information centers, and Kittery is no exception. If you’re visiting Kittery, I highly recommend stopping by the Maine Visitor Information Center. You can easily spot it to the north of the Piscataqua River Bridge, resembling a cozy ski chalet.
As you arrive, you’ll find ample parking available outside the center. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a wealth of helpful information. A friendly guide will be there to assist you in organizing your visit, equipping you with maps and brochures to help you plan your itinerary effectively. It’s truly a fantastic starting point for your Kittery adventure.
2. Fort McClary State Park
One must not miss visiting Fort McClary State Park when in Kittery. Named after Major McClary, who lost his life at Bunker Hill during the War of Independence, this fort has safeguarded the region for an impressive 275 years.
The fort’s captivating history is reflected in its architecture. The surrounding wall, constructed using local granite, stands as a testament to the fort’s durability. Over the years, modifications were made to the initial structure, ensuring its continued relevance. Although the fort was manned during various conflicts until World War I, it rarely experienced any significant battles.
One of the most remarkable features of Fort McClary is the gunpowder store, which still stands today. Built in 1808, it is the oldest building on the premises, serving as a fascinating reminder of the fort’s storied past.
3. Seapoint Beach
If you’re seeking a refreshing swim or a leisurely stroll along a scenic shoreline, Seapoint Beach is the ideal destination when the weather is warm and inviting.
One of the great things about Seapoint Beach is that you can bring your furry friend along for a run, as long as it’s not during peak visitor hours. However, do keep in mind that parking can be limited, especially during busy times. Don’t fret though; even if you have to park a bit farther away, a short walk will lead you to the beach.
Seapoint Beach boasts a charming narrow strip of sand, adorned with scattered rocks and seaweed. As the sole public beach in the region, it attracts a steady stream of visitors who come to appreciate the delightful coastal scenery it offers.
4. Kittery Historical & Naval Museum
As a traveler of Kittery, I take great pride in the preservation of this town’s rich naval traditions, which are beautifully showcased at the iconic Kittery Historical & Naval Museum. From the moment it opens in the spring, the museum welcomes a steady flow of visitors eager to explore its fascinating exhibits and hear captivating stories from the past.
Over the years, our town has amassed an impressive collection of historical artifacts. A visit to the museum allows you to delve into the history of Kittery, spanning from colonial times to regional struggles and the local shipbuilding legacy. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteers and generous donations, this precious history is meticulously preserved for generations to come.
Located on the Traffic Circle, this small museum is easily accessible and conveniently offers ample parking, making it a breeze to find and explore at your leisure.
5. Seafari Charters
Maine is a true paradise for those who enjoy angling. Whether you prefer inshore or deep-water fishing, there are abundant opportunities to reel in impressive catches.
Along the inshore waters, you’ll have the thrill of targeting bass or bluefish, providing an exciting challenge right near the shore. If you venture further out into the deep waters, you’ll have the chance to score prized species such as halibut, haddock, pollock, and cod.
For those seeking underwater adventures, Seafari Charters is an excellent choice. They offer scuba diving experiences from their platform, providing all the necessary facilities and instruction for beginners and experienced divers alike. The immediate region boasts numerous captivating dive sites, teeming with fascinating marine life waiting to be discovered.
However, if you prefer to stay dry while still enjoying the wonders of the ocean, I highly recommend embarking on a whale watching trip. The charter company that operates these excursions offers a wealth of experiences and sightings that are so incredible, you may find yourself wanting to spend multiple days exploring with them.
6. Badger’s Island
I have discovered the captivating Piscataqua River, I had the privilege of witnessing the boundary between Maine and New Hampshire firsthand. Situated in the heart of this mighty river is Badger Island, an historically significant location where several remarkable boats were constructed many years ago.
One notable vessel built on Badger Island was John Paul Jones’ famous ship, The Ranger, which was completed in 1777. Another remarkable achievement was the construction of The Raleigh, which impressively took only 60 days from start to finish. Additionally, the ship America, completed in 1782, held the distinction of being the heaviest and largest ship built in America during that era.
Today, Badger’s Island boasts a marina, making it an excellent starting point for exploring the river. Taking a tour of the river itself is a wonderful way to immerse oneself in the beauty of Kittery and appreciate the significance of this historical waterway.
7. Take Flight Adventures
If you’re seeking an exhilarating adventure and a surge of adrenaline, look no further than Flight Adventures. This thrilling destination offers an array of adventure courses that will get your heart racing. With over 65 activities to choose from, you’ll embark on an aerial journey, navigating swinging tires, suspended platforms, swings, catwalks, and even a thrilling zip line.
For those who love climbing challenges, Flight Adventures provides vines and nets that will put your skills to the test. Don’t worry if you’re new to these activities; you’ll receive instruction, safety guidelines, and the opportunity to practice before venturing out on your own.
Rest assured, the expert staff at Flight Adventures prioritize safety, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the experience with peace of mind.
8. Just Us Chickens Gallery
In 2005, the community came together with a shared vision, leading to the establishment of the Just Us Chickens Gallery. This wonderful space serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their remarkable talents. Initially, the gallery featured the works of 18 different artists, offering an impressive array of artistic expressions, including paintings and jewelry.
What sets this gallery apart is that it is now run by the artists themselves. This not only adds a personal touch to the experience but also ensures that their creations are presented with the utmost care and passion.
If you’re in search of unique and thoughtful gifts for your loved ones, the gallery is the perfect destination. Here, you’ll find a wide range of exquisite items to choose from, including ceramics, glassware, nature-inspired art, and beautifully crafted basketry. The variety of artistic mediums and styles guarantee that you’ll discover something truly special that resonates with your individual taste and preferences.
9. Chair Massage Now
After a long and hectic day, there’s nothing quite like treating yourself to a rejuvenating massage. And when it comes to finding the perfect spot for relaxation, Chair Massage Now on the Route One By-Pass is a fantastic choice.
What makes chair massages so wonderful is that they require minimal space while still delivering an incredibly soothing and invigorating experience. The expert therapists at Chair Massage Now focus on the areas that tend to hold the most stress and tension: the head, neck, and shoulders. The beauty of this type of massage is that these areas are easily accessible and can be efficiently addressed while you remain comfortably seated.
As you unwind in the cozy chair, you’ll feel the knots and stress in your limbs dissolve under the skilled hands of the massage therapist. The targeted treatment will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on the world again. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in this delightful experience at Chair Massage Now—it’s a true oasis of relaxation.
10. Yoga East
As someone who has experienced the transformative power of yoga, I highly recommend visiting the Yoga East facility in Kittery. Here, they specialize in authentic Ashtanga Yoga, following the teachings of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the tradition of Mysore, India.
Yoga has gained immense popularity worldwide, and there’s no need for you to miss out on your regular practice while you’re in Kittery. Even if you haven’t tried yoga before, I encourage you to give it a go during your time here. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore the benefits of this ancient practice and discover its positive impact on your body and mind.
At Yoga East, you’ll find a variety of classes offered throughout the week, catering to different levels of experience.
11. Tributary Brewing
I must say that craft beer has truly become a sensation. One must not miss the opportunity to visit the esteemed Tributary Brewing Company, helmed by an individual with an impressive two decades of experience in the industry.
At Tributary Brewing Company, you’ll discover an enticing selection of brews that cater to a variety of tastes. From robust IPAs to rich stouts, and even beers with origins tracing back to Germany and Belgium, there is a flavor profile to suit every palate. These delightful creations can be enjoyed by the glass or even in a 64 oz jug, perfect for sharing with friends or savoring on your own. It’s worth noting that some of their brews boast impressive strength, making for a truly memorable and invigorating experience.
To quench your thirst and satisfy your beer cravings, be sure to pay a visit to this exceptional establishment located on Shapleigh Road. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed by the remarkable craftsmanship and flavors that await you at the Tributary Brewing Company.
12. Kittery Premium Outlets
As a passionate shopper, I can attest that Kittery Premium Outlets is an absolute dream come true for any consumer. Stretching for a mile along this road in Kittery, it offers a haven for those seeking an exceptional shopping experience. The convenience of ample parking ensures a stress-free arrival, allowing you to indulge in retail therapy to your heart’s content.
At Kittery Premium Outlets, you’ll find a remarkable collection of renowned brand names, making it the perfect destination for those seeking high-quality products.
Moreover, the outlets are thoughtfully designed to cater to your every need. If you find yourself in need of sustenance during your shopping spree, you’ll discover a range of food and drink options readily available. Take your time, explore the stores, and make a day of it as you indulge in the ultimate shopping experience at Kittery Premium Outlets.
13. Kittery Trading Post
As an avid shopper who appreciates convenience, I suggest checking out Kittery Trading Post if you prefer a one-stop shopping experience. This expansive store offers an impressive range of items all under a single roof, making it incredibly convenient and efficient.
At Kittery Trading Post, you’ll find a treasure trove of famous brands, spanning clothing, sports gear, and specialty gifts. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking to find the perfect presents for your loved ones, this store has you covered.
What sets Kittery Trading Post apart is its emphasis on outdoor activities. If you’re a hiking enthusiast, camping aficionado, or fishing fanatic, you’ll be delighted by the wide selection of gear tailored to your interests. From top-notch equipment to essential accessories, you’ll find everything you need to elevate your outdoor adventures.
Before you leave, be sure to treat yourself to the renowned Trading Post Fudge. This delectable, sweet treat is simply irresistible, and trust me, you’ll find yourself wanting to stock up on this addictive indulgence.
14. The Dance Hall
Personally, I have a keen eye for arts and I can’t recommend The Dance Hall enough when visiting Kittery. This vibrant venue has a primary goal of providing a platform for local talent to showcase their skills. It’s truly a gem in our community, managed by a dedicated non-profit organization.
At The Dance Hall, you’ll discover a diverse range of events and programs aimed at fostering and celebrating our local talent. From captivating performances that showcase the incredible creativity of our community to engaging classes, cultural initiatives, and community programs, there is always something exciting happening within these walls.
What I truly appreciate about The Dance Hall is its inclusivity. Regardless of age or background, everyone is welcome to participate and enjoy the incredible offerings.
During your visit, be sure to check the program to see if there are any events or classes that pique your interest. It’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the local arts scene and support our talented community members.
15. Robert’s Main Grill
Robert’s Main Grill is a true gem in Kittery’s dining scene. The bustling atmosphere and constant flow of locals indicate that this is a top-notch establishment, dedicated to delivering exceptional culinary experiences.
Situated across a couple of levels, Robert’s Main Grill offers both a bar area and dining rooms with picturesque views overlooking the river and marsh. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a meal while immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
When in Maine, it’s a must to indulge in the abundance of fresh seafood, and Robert’s Main Grill certainly delivers. Treat your taste buds to the delightful flavors of fried calamari, Maine crab cakes, oysters, or succulent lobster. To complement these exquisite dishes, I highly recommend pairing them with a local craft beer or two, enhancing the overall dining experience.
However, if seafood isn’t your preference, fear not, as Robert’s Main Grill offers a variety of other delectable options to cater to every palate. From hearty meat dishes to vegetarian delights, there’s something to satisfy every craving.