Fun Things to do in the Kennebunks

In the Southern part of Maine you will find the charming coastal town of Kennebunkport. It is the place most commonly known as being the summer home of former president George H. W. Bush. But, there is so much more to Kennebunkport besides ogling Walker’s Point, the location of the Bush compound. It is also a city where you can take your beloved pooch on a foodie tour, kayak on the river and indulge in fresh lobster at every meal.

Kennebunkport also borders the town of Kennebunk, together they are known as the Kennebunks.

Twice the bucket list pleasure.

Kennebunkport Bucket List: 12 Things To Do In Maine’s Coastal Town

Lobster Roll at the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport maine

1. Eat a Lobster Roll

It doesn’t get much more quintessential Maine than eating fresh lobster, and some of the best is at The Clam Shack. Their lobster roll, simply made with fresh lobster meat, mayonnaise, and melted butter, warrants the dozen people deep line that commonly forms in front of their order window. This $17.95 sandwich is stuffed with a whopping one pound of fresh lobster meat and has been mentioned in everything from Gourmet magazine to the New York Times. No surprises there, because it is amazing.

Though The Clam Shack is truly delicious, many of the locals also swear by Port Lobster or Mabel’s to get their lobster roll fix. You may just have to do a lot of research (lobster roll sampling) to find your favorite. Bummer.

The Clam Shack | 2 Western Ave, Kennebunk, Maine | Website | Map
Port Lobster |122 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map
Mabel’s | 124 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map

Read More > Lobster Rolls at The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine
Read More > America’s Best Lobster Rolls

Lobster Tour at Kennebunkport maine

Annette White sailing in Kennebunkport, Maine

2. Take a Lobster Boat Cruise

You have eaten your lobster roll(s), now get a glimpse into the life of a lobster fisherman. The Rugosa Lobster Tour will take you on a one and a half hour scenic tour of the Kennebunk River in a classic New England wooden lobster boat. On this cruise, you can get your hands dirty (if you choose) while assisting in the hauling of the lobster traps. 

If a more relaxing cruise is what you seek, then sail with Schooner Eleanor Sailing Cruises who will take the schooner along the beautiful Kennebunks coastline. This is an experience that will have you feeling like a millionaire yachter on a boat that is a beautiful example of fine (and local) craftsmanship.

Rugosa Lobster Tour | departs Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport | Website | Map
Schooner Eleanor Sail Tour |  43 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map

Read More > 4 Reasons to Take a Scenic Sailing Trip on Schooner Eleanor

Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine

Breakfast at Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine

3. Sleep in a Historic Bed and Breakfast

Historic Bed and Breakfasts are plentiful in the coastal town of Kennebunkport. But, which one will you choose? One of the best, and the one that I called home for a few lovely nights, is Captain Lord Mansion. This authentic shipbuilder’s mansion can be found in a quiet residential neighborhood, just a block from the beach and a few minutes from Dock Square.

Not only does the inn offer a delicious 3-course family style breakfast each morning, but the sheets were the softest EVER. After tearing the bed apart, I found the maker to be Comphy Company. But, you don’t need to go far to get a set for yourself at home, the Captain Lord Mansion sells them in their eclectic store on the bottom floor.

Other Favorite Inns: The White Barn Inn, Captain Jefferds, 1802 House and Maine Stay

Captain Lord Mansion |6 Pleasant St, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map | Booking 

The Whoopie Pie at HB Provisions in Kennebunkport Maine

4. Eat a Whoopie Pie

The Whoopie Pie is a delightful dessert that has two pillowy chocolate cakes (cookies) sandwiched around a sweet frosting filling. An Oreo on steroids. Originally, these treats were made from leftover cake batter, but now their popularity warrants their own recipe and nonstick pan.

Though the origin of the whoopie pie has been a batttle between Pennsylvania and Maine, the latter of the two has claimed it as the official state treat. And what a treat it is.

You can stop into HB Provisions, an inviting general store where the Bush clan have been known to frequent, to test their version that is truly delicious.

HB Provisions | 15 Western Ave, Kennebunk | Website | Map

Read More > Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pie Recipe

dog Kennebunkport Maine

5. Take Your Dog on a Foodie Tour

Kennebunkport is one of the most dog-friendly towns that I have ever traveled to. You can bring your pooch to the beach, buy them designer gear at one of the many shops, sleep with them at a friendly Inn and even take them on a doggie food tour, a perfect addition to your dog bucket list. Maine Foodie Tours will accompany you and your four-legged friend on a walking tour featuring doggie treats and good eats. {photo by patchattack}

If your “best friend” had to skip out on this vacation to the Kennebunks, opt for a human food tour where lobster and whoopie pies are a feature stop.

Maine Foodie Tours | WebsiteBook

6. Spot a Celebrity

Kennebunkport sees its fair share of celebrities, besides the Bush family and other dignitaries. It is a secret getaway to many of the famous. You may see them eating lobster rolls at The Clam Shack, sleeping at the luxurious White Barn, having a cup of coffee at HB Provisions or catching a play at the nearby the Ogunquit Playhouse.

Some of the celebrities rumored to sneak off to the Kennebunks are Taylor Swift, Quentin Tarantino and Billy Joel.

Beer Tasting in Kennebunkport Maine

7. Do a Beer Tasting of the Local Brew

Directly beneath Federal Jacks Restaurant and Brew Pub, you will find their seven barrel brewery, Kennebunport Brewing Company. Not only can you take a tour of the facilities, but you can also choose the sampler where you will be tasting beers with names like Old Thumper and Fuggles. Who could resist?

Federal Jacks |8 Western Ave, Kennebunk, Maine | Website | Map

Annette White taking a cocktail class in Kennebunkport Maine

8. Take a Cocktail Class

Taste, learn and celebrate with a cocktail class at a Table culinary event. Their calendar is stocked with tempting lessons, like an On The Rocks Monday Mixology, that are held at different locations around the Kennebunks. If drinking cocktails is not your thing, opt to learn how to make a Boozy Dessert instead. I took the mixology class held at the Kennebunkport Inn’s bar where I learned how to stir, shake, and sip from a master. 

Blueberry Pie

9. Eat a Blueberry Pie

The whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine, but the blueberry pie is the official state dessert. During the peak season you will see this fruit featured in many restaurant dishes, like blueberry barbecue ribs or blueberry cornbread. But, there’s nothing like a homemade bubbling blueberry pie hot from the oven. Mabel’s is not only a place for a killer lobster roll (see #1), but they also serve a scrumptious blueberry pie a la mode. Another contender is Alisson’s in Dock Square. {photo by Mike Bitzenhofer}

Mabel’s | 124 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map
Alissons |11 Dock Square, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map

Read More > Maine Wild Blueberry Pie Recipe
Read More > The 1 Easy Trick Professional Bakers Use for the Best Blueberry Pies

The Romantic Table at On The Marsh in Kennebunkport Maine

10. Book “Table #16” at On the Marsh

On the Marsh restaurant has been named one of the top 100 most romantic restaurants in America and Table #16 is the most romantic of them all. Tucked away in a hidden corner, it has been the location of over forty marriage proposals. This intimate table, overlooking the gardens can be requested when making a reservation.

On the Marsh | 46 Western Ave, Kennebunk, Maine | Website | Map

Read More >Couples Bucket List: 68 Fun Activities & Romantic Things to Do

Ice Cream at Rococo in Kennebunkport

11. Eat an Exotic Flavored Ice Cream

Each day Rococo Artisan Ice Cream has fourteen delectable flavors in their rotation. You can indulge in a scoop of traditional chocolate, but for this bucket list check you must order a more creative cone. Though the Goat Cheese & Blackberry Chambord Swirl is delightful and the Spicy Rocky Road will give you tongue a divine kick, why not give the Sweet Avocado Cayenne a shot? Or how about the Sunfish Wheat Ale Beer with Candied Ginger & Apricots. Head into their shop and select the most unique flavor they have that day! {photo by Rococo}

Rococo Artisan Ice Cream |6 Spring St, Kennebunkport, Maine | Website | Map

Read More > The Craziest Ice Cream Flavors in America

Kayaking the Kennebunk River in Kennebunkport Maine

12. Kayak the Kennebunk River

Get a different perspective of the Kennebunks by kayaking along the picturesque tidal river. This working river is a major part of the economy and local culture, which you can experience from the water. At Coastal Maine Kayak you can choose to take one of their Kennebunk river tours or opt for a self-guided kayak adventure.

Coastal Maine Kayak | 8 Western Ave, Kennebunkport | Website | Map

Essential Tips for Visiting Kennebunkport, Maine

Getting There: Portland International Jetport is a major hub and most airlines will fly into it. You can easily check for the best fare deals at Skyscanner, which also has the option to choose ‘cheapest month’ as the departure to find the lowest priced dates to fly to your destination. It is a 30 minute drive from the airport to Kennebunkport, so you could book a rental car with, or you could take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

Where to Stay in Kennebunkport: It’s best to stay near the city center, public transportation or the area that you will be spending the most time in. I stayed at Captain Lords, which was perfect, but there are plenty of other options.  The Lodge at Turbat’s Creek (moderate), or Franciscan Guest House (moderate) are great choices in Kennebunkport. For something on the less expensive side, try the Footbridge North Hotel located in Wells. For a hotel with a little more extravagance, book a room at Captain Jefferds Inn (luxury). Or search some great deals on hotels of your choice at If you’re looking for more of a home atmosphere (or are traveling with a group of people), head over to Airbnb that has houses, apartments and even just a room for rent in every price range. 

Getting Around: Renting a car in Kennebunkport is the best way to really experience the area and has some great deals. If you are not renting a car, there are plenty of options. A popular way to get around is with Kennebunkport’s Sightseeing Trolley. Kennebunkport is also surprisingly easy to navigate by foot or bicycle. Taxis, Lyft and Uber are also available all over the city.

Best Tours in Kennebunkport: You can find some of the top tours at Get Your Guide or Viator, and here are some of the top ones:

My trip to the Kennebunks was hosted by the Kennebunk – Kennebunkport – Arundel Tourism Board. All opinions my own.

More About Maine

Portland Maine Bucket List: 15 of the Best Things to Do
5 Winter Activities in Portland, Maine That Will Get You in the Holiday Spirit
Maine’s Pemaquid Point (& Peninsula) Bucket List: 9 Great Things to Do
Rangeley Bucket List: Summer Things to Do in Maine’s Laidback City

5 Things Not to Miss in Portland, Maine This Summer
Great Towns: 8 Best Places to Live in Maine