Kennebunkport Summer Guide

*Updated June 2024

This post was first published on Kristy & New England in 2020 and has been updated to include my recent favorites and new restaurants.

We are back from a wonderful week spent on the coast in Kennebunkport, Maine! I’m happy to report that in this time of uncertain travel and COVID restrictions, we were able to safely enjoy one of our favorite parts of New England. Today, I want to take a moment to share our favorite experiences, shops, and dining from this trip. If you follow me on Instagram, I went into a detailed assessment of how Kennebunkport is keeping visitors safe.

Here are the highlights from our vacation…

Where to Stay

When we bring the whole family up to Kennebunkport, we rent a vacation home, but if you are looking for some great hotels, you are in the right place too! I’ve stayed at all of these and would recommend them for couples or a girls getaway.

The White Barn Inn

The Kennebunkport Inn

The Kennebunkport Captains Collection

The Cottages at Cabot Cove

Hidden Pond Resort & Spa

The Tides

Dock Square


The day we arrived we hit a summer storm, so we decided to dodge rain drops and take advantage of the shops being emptier than usual. I love making rainy days our shopping days for souvenirs. I have a few favorites we always shop in and they have something for everyone.

F A V O R I T E shops

Day Trip Society— This one might be my favorite of all at Dock Square. So many great gifts, souvenirs, and goods to enjoy. Every time we visit we all find something we want to bring home and this time we visited a couple times for goodies. Good selection of Sara Fitz, Sea Bags, and more!

Saxony Imports & The Emporium— These two shops are right next to each other and we always grab a few Christmas ornaments and whatever else floats our fancy. It’s a souvenir shop but they have so many fun things to look at. This trip we picked up some ball caps, shirts, mugs, and yes—Christmas ornaments.

Scalawags Pet Boutique— One of the cutest pet shops you will visit. We picked up a lobster toy for Zoey since she wasn’t with us this trip. I wanted to bring so many more things home for her…next time.

The Candyman— The boys wanted some sweets and they have a good selection of Maine Salt Water Taffy. They have every kind of candy you can think of and a counter full of chocolates and fudge.

Farm + Table–A short drive from Dock Square in Cape Porpoise, this home and gift shop is my favorite. Kitchen and housewares, candles, and unique finds.

Snug Harbor Farm–This garden store would make the most untalented green thumb want to give it a go again. With a beautiful gift shop, potting shed, and garden store it’s a must visit. In every season, it offers a beautiful variety of harvest, plants, and gifts. Bunny Mellon would approve.

Sail Aboard the Schooner Eleanor


We enjoyed a sail with the Schooner Eleanor and it was one of my favorite activities. I wrote a post about it for Sternlines and I will share that when it is live on their blog. I highly recommend them if you want to get on the water. Such a great way to enjoy the coast.

M O R E water activities

Rugosa Lobster Tours— We haven’t tried this tour, but we have friends that have and they give it high marks. It’s a hands-on lobsterman experience! You get to go on a lobster boat, learn about lobsters, touch lobsters and more. It sounds like so much fun—next time!

First Chance Whale Watch— I have always wanted to do this, and it is also on the “next time” list.

Where to Dine


F A V O R I T E restaurants

( I have to preface this with the fact that there are SO MANY great places to dine! I am only going to name the ones we really enjoyed THIS trip 😉

Earth at Hidden Pond— This is our absolute favorite for dinner. The menu is ever-changing and always delicious. Plus, the atmosphere is so charming and unique that it truly is an experience.

Mabels— This is my favorite spot for a lobster roll and chowder when we vacation here. Inside is so cute with an old canoe above the counter and photos all over the walls.

Ultramar & Casa Seventy Seven— This dinner spot is great for surf & turf and overlooks a beautiful water view in Cape Porpoise. The Casa is the more casual digs with a small outdoor patio serving up onion strings, lobster rolls, burgers and more until 7pm.

Arundel Wharf Restaurant— This was the perfect spot to grab a bite outside after our sail with the Schooner Eleanor. The restaurant is right next to the schooner’s dock and office and has a great patio and tent with water views. I love all the signal flags and buoys everywhere. The food was classic New England fare and the desserts were really delicious! Get the Strawberry Shortcake…really!!

The Boathouse Restaurant— This was another family favorite. Great cocktails, appetizers, and everything we ordered was wonderful. My son swears the bacon mac and cheese was the best thing ever!! I loved the atmosphere too. We dined outdoors and it was so cute and had great water views too.

Nunan’s Lobster Hut— You have to go here for a lobster dinner. Family owned and operated for years, fresh lobster, and a fun very “Maine” atmosphere! It’s where the locals know to go for lobster.

The Tides Beach Club— Since we were on Goose Rocks Beach for our stay this is the neighborhood favorite. It’s always delicious. We ate here twice! Great hot lobster roll, the lobster rangoons are delectable! I even love the French fries. Again, it’s always good, but everyone in our family enjoys it. Also, you can come in your beach attire. One day, I was in a cover-up, and the boys in swim trunks and tees. You will probably need to make a reservation because seating is more spaced out.

Easy Day Drives


L E S S T H A N an hour away!

There are several places to visit up and down the coast of Maine, but here is where we ventured to this trip…

L.L. Bean Flagship Store— (Freeport) We can’t go to Maine without stopping here! The kids enjoy it too, so it’s a win-win! I also like the J. Crew Factory on the same street. It’s a bigger one with lots of inventory. We usually save it for a rainy day and just bring an umbrella to walk from building to building on the campus.

The Portland Head Light House— (Cape Elizabeth) This was well worth the visit. We spent way more time exploring here than I anticipated. It’s such an iconic lighthouse and the rocky coast is beautiful. You can make a day of it and they have food trucks to get a lobster roll or sweet treat. I wrote all about it here in THIS POST.

Nubble Lighthouse–(York) A trip up the coast of Maine is never complete without a stop at our favorite New England lighthouse. This truly is a great one to visit and you can climb on the rocks for different perspectives. You can even catch fisherman in action. It is the idyllic New England lighthouse with quite a beautiful setting.

Cape Porpoise

cape-porpoise (1).jpg

Q U I E T side of town

It’s part of Kennebunkport, but so much slower paced and quieter than in town or around the beaches. This small fishing village has views of Goat Island Lighthouse and you can catch fisherman in action. It’s a sweet place with some good restaurants and picture perfect scenes that you will want to see. You can read about it in THIS POST.

Beach Days


F A V O R I T E beach

Goose Rocks Beach— It’s funny that this was the first Maine beach we ever visited and it ended up being our favorite in the Kennebunks. There are many beautiful beaches in the area, but this one won us over. The community around it is great and very family friendly. The sand is fine and so powder soft. At low tide, you can walk all the way out to Timber Island and explore. So fun to do. The water is so incredibly clear too and it’s pretty shallow. I don’t have to worry about our youngest swimming here at all.

The week we were there, we got to enjoy 3 beach days and one beach night. The weather was a mix, and we had booked our sail on one of the nicer days. It’s always our boys’ favorite when we get to spend time at GRB.

* The Kennebunk side beaches are great for walking and lounging too.

Until next time,


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