Art, Cultural Entertainment, & Museums…
The Kennebunks are the only place in the world so named. Kennebunk is a native term for “long cut bank” referring to the riversides of the Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers.
Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have a rich fishing, seafaring and shipbuilding history dating back to the 1600’s. Kennebunkport became a popular destination for the rich and famous two centuries ago. Historians and trivia lovers will find wonderful stories artifacts and living history at The Brick Store Museum in downtown Kennebunk, and at the White Columns Kennebunkport’s Bush Family Legacy Museum (formerly the Nott House) and the Kennebunkport History Center in Kennebunkport. These museums display their collections and offer guided, narrated tours of some of the famous streets, sites and homes of these early settled seaside towns.
The first vacationers arrived in Kennebunkport for the summer by train, with steamer trunks full of ball gowns and swimsuits. Today, visitor can ride beautifully restored trains and experience the old fashioned way of transportation at the Seashore Trolley Museum where an extensive collection of working and retired trains and railroad cars are on display. Kids will love riding in train cars along the tracks into the Maine woods. You may even want to be a motorman and learn to drive a train firsthand.
The Kennebunks also have a strong tradition of preservation, a visit to Rachel Carson’s Wildlife Refuge and the Laudholm Farm offer nature walks, bird-watching and views of the tidal marsh, salt water estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean.
Brick Store Museum – Ship Models, Historic Displays, Rare Antiques, Paintings, Decorative Arts. 117 Main St, Kennebunk, 985-4802.
Walking Tours of the Kennebunkport – 1 hour Historic walking tours from the Nott House, 967-2513 or 2751
Kennebunkport Historical Society – 135 North St, Kennebunkport, 967-2751
Guided Tours of the Kennebunks. Intown Trolley – 1 Hour Guided Tours of the Kennebunks.
Kennebunkport’s Bush Family Legacy Museum – White Columns – aka The Nott House – Greek Revival House – Open Mid June to Mid-October, $3, Dock Square, Kennebunkport, 967-2513 or 967-2751
Seashore Trolley Museum – Largest collection of trolley cars in the world. Countryside rides on historic rides. Log Cabin Road – Kennebunkport, 967-2800
Ogunquit Museum of American Art – P.O. Box 815, Shore Rd. Ogunquit, ME 03907 Phone: 207 646-4909
Meeting House Museum – Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit. 207-646-4775.
Maine Narrow Gauge RR Co. & Museum – 58 Fore St, Portland 207-828-0814.
Old York Historical Society – 207 York St., York, ME 03909 Phone: 207-363-4974
Children’s Museum of Maine – Fun for all ages. 142 Free Street, Portland, 828-1234.
Children’s Theater of Maine – 25A Forest Ave, Portland, 874-0371.
Portland Concert Association – Dance, opera, musical theater, jazz, & more. 1-800-639-2707.
Portland Symphony Orchestra – Concerts year round. 30 Myrtle St. Portland, 773-8191.
Portland Museum of Art – 7 Congress St, Portland, 775-6148.
Children’s Museum of Portsmouth – 280 Marcy St Portsmouth NH 603-436-3853.
Strawbery Banke Museum – Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH 603-433-1100
Wells National Estuarine Reserve at Laudholm Farm – 1600 scenic acres of research reserve including a 19th century saltwater farm, Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge area, Laudholm Farm Visitors Center, exhibits, and seven miles of spectacular marsh walkways and trails along marshes, fields, and wetlands. Open year round. 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells. 646-1555, 646-4521.
Wedding Cake House – Rt 35, Kennebunk (pictured right)
Southworth Planetarium – Shows for children and adults including laser concerts. University of Southern Maine’s Science Building. Portland 780-4249.