In the crisp, cool days of fall, the Kennebunkport area offers the best of New England’s charms. Enjoy salt-tinged sea breezes along with colorful foliage in this historic village straddling the Kennebunk River. From antiquing to kayaking, to eating lobster rolls and sipping hand-crafted cocktails, there is plenty to see and do.
Start your visit with a narrated sightseeing tour by Intown Trolley. Along with stunning views of the rocky Atlantic coastline, you can learn about the history that shaped the area, from the native Americans through the shipbuilding era to its present day charms, including the summer home of President George H.W. Bush.
Relax with a cocktail on the porch of the oh-so-chic and casual Tides Beach Club, a beachfront hotel with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and Goose Rocks Beach. Signature cocktails, international wine selection and local-crafted beers are offered with raw bar and snazzy snack pairings.
The stand-out spot to enjoy a lobster roll is the Clam Shack. Take a seat indoors or out at this tiny establishment perched on the bridge across the Kennebunk River, and chow down on a freshly baked bun filled with the fresh-picked meat of a one-pound lobster. Other offerings include traditional boiled lobster dinner, hot dogs, burgers, and fried seafood.
Get out on the water for a paddle adventure with kayak and canoe rentals at Kennebunkport Marina, and observe shorebirds and other wildlife in the marsh grasses along the Kennebunk River shoreline.
For a seafaring experience, take a two-hour ocean sail on the Schooner Eleanor, a 55-foot traditional gaff rigged schooner that cruises the rugged coastline from Cape Arundel to Cape Porpoise. schoonereleanor.com
For creative contemporary fare in a casual-chic setting—for both lunch and dinner—David’s KPT can’t be beat. Located at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel on the Kennebunk River, the outside deck and indoor seating both have water views, and the seafood-centric menu features the best of Maine’s culinary offerings.
Lighthouse lovers head to the landing at the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise for photo ops of the iconic Goat Island Lighthouse. Dating back to 1833, the beacon is now owned and maintained by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.
Soak up the sun and go beachcombing at one of the many area beaches including Goose Rocks Beach, a three-mile long sandy stretch north of Kennebunkport Village offering views of Eastern Goose Rocks and Timber Island.
Treat yourself to a romantic candle-lit supper at Ocean. Overlooking the Atlantic at the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, this elegant dining destination features seasonally changing menus of local seafood, meats and produce crafted by Montreal-born chef Pierre Gignac.
Take a stroll along Parsons Way, a scenic seaside path that passes Saint Ann’s historic stone church en route to Walker’s Point and the Bush family summer compound. Along the way, be amazed by the water shooting skyward from Blowing Cave, a natural phenomenon that occurs as the sea crashes into the shore at high tide.
Shoppers love the boutiques, gift shops and art galleries in town. Antique aficionados seek out shops and dealers found along the area’s highways and byways.
Tee off in style at the Cape Arundel Golf Club, an 18-hole links-style course designed by Walter Travis located along the verdant shores of the Kennebunk River.