Most have heard of Kennebunkport Maine. But few have heard of “Cape Porpoise” – an idilyic seaside hideaway just a few miles “downeast” from Kennebunkport’s famous Dock Square, out School Street or along Ocean Ave, you arrive in the quiet seaside village of Cape Porpoise. This was the original settlement in the area back in the 1600’s of Native Americans and later English sailors.
Today Cape Porpoise is a quaint quiet working fishing harbor. Drive out to the Cape Porpoise Pier and you will witness Kennebunkport’s working fisherman, hauling lobster traps, fueling their boats and heading in and out of this pretty tidal harbor to the Atlantic Ocean. Vacationers that discover Cape Porpoise feel like they have found their own little seaside haven.
Cape Porpoise is part of the town of Kennebunkport, yet it has its own Post Office – inside the general store – Bradbury’s Market – which is a classic in and of itself. Much of Cape Porpoise has that old fashioned feel. One of Maine oldest lighthouses, Goat Island Light is stationed here in Cape Porpoise, best viewed from the Pier. The seaside cottages in Cape Porpoise are for the most part still humble and salt weathered – providing the perfect seaside scene that inspires many an artist.
Several galleries in Cape Porpoise are open for browsing, and several lobster pounds and clam shacks serve fresh Maine seafood – very fresh, not very fancy. Cape Porpoise Pier is home to several dining spots, Musette, Pier 77 and The Ramp – same chef/owner, and Cape Pier Chowder House – true Maine with self-serve dockside dining on picnic tables.
In the village of Cape Porpoise you will find Nunan’s serving authentic Maine lobster and local food, again not fancy – but fresh and homey. Earth at Hidden Pond is a chic woodsy retreat while Tides Beach Club offers upscale dining out by Goose Rocks Beach.
Cape Porpoise doesn’t have the beaches like Kennebunk and nearby Goose Rocks do. But for outdoor enthusiasts there is great kayaking around Cape Porpoise Harbor to Turbat’s Creek, and into Stage Harbor – especially if you time the tides right and get an extra push on your trip out and back with the ebb and flood. Bikers love Cape Porpoise too, not as busy as Kennebunkport and Kennebunk- you can find country roads with less car traffic and splendid scenery.
For lodging in Cape Porpoise there are a inns, few motels and cottage rentals, and you are close to Kennebunkport’s hotels and resorts, and to Goose Rocks Beach where there a few resorts and beachfront house rentals.
Be sure to venture out to Cape Porpoise during your visit to Kennebunkport to see a real working fishing harbor, and the way Maine used to be.