The Kennebunks are small seaside towns, Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and Cape Porpoise. with a population of about 14,000. Even witthe the summer popularity as a resort town, you won’t be stuck in traffic for hours, you can feel safe walking at night, you can see the stars at dusk, and you can take a breath of fresh air. Yet despite being rather small towns, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport can have a fun festive vibrant atmosphere, therer’s always something happpening….
Both Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have a variety of shops, lodging and dining options with brew pubs, historic inns, boutique shops, or art galleries. With Route 1 passing through the heart of Kennebunk, several businesses inhabit historic buildings providing a fun and eclectic downtown center. You know you’ve entered the heart of Kennebunk when you pass the pizza place, nail salon, and Dairy Queen, before the big brick mill, The Lafayetter Center. The main strip in Kennebunk is bustling at noon while people often take casual walks to nearby parks or browse shops during their lunch break. If you have a taste for organic foods, you’ll find plenty of a Farmer’s Market here Saturday in season, and farm stands throughout the area, as well as a natural foods, Natural Mornings, market at the corner of Rt 1 and 9A. Kennebunk even has a bowling alley – Garden Street Bowl with great cuisine at Crotux. Kennebunk Free Library and Brick Store Museum are both lovely historic brick buildings open to the public.
Following Summer Street from Route 1, also called Route 35, you pass the amazing Wedding Cake House, and several magnificent sea captains historic homes, this will eventually take you to the Lower Village in Kennebunk where you have The Inn at English Meadows, art galleries and shops and a great restaurant scene.
Heading down Beach Ave, you must visit the Franciscan Monastery and walk their beautiful riverfront paths. St Anhtony’s is a special place of worship for Lithuainian monks but the groudns are open to the public out of their generoisty.
Next up, there’s the White Barn Inn next door, Maine’s only 5 star restaurant for special occasions dining. Also on Port Road, there’s art galleries and shops, also Pedro’s Mexican, an Oyster bar – Pearl’s, and Old Vines Wine Bar with tapas style food, pub fare, even pizza and Thai at Mekhong Thai, and Mornings in Paris coffee and pastry cafe, and Batson River Tasting Room for a brew or small batch distilled craft cocktail.
Crossing the bridge into Kennebunkport to Dock Square is a foodie’s delight and shopper’s dream. This is the place to park your car and walk around to browse shops and walk into some great restaurants. From Pink Tangerine to Make It KPT, Down East Wines, to Best of Everything, the Clam Shack, Alisson’s, The Emporium, and so many art galleries, clothing and jewelry boutiques.
For a beautiful seashore walk, proceed out Ocean Avenue from Dock Square, passing The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, The Captain Lord Mansion and Ganny’s Garden- in memory of First Lady Barbara Bush. After a half mile, you will pass Nonantum Resort and then Breakwater Inn and Spa near the namesake breakwater that guards the entry to Kennebunkport and the Kennebunk River.
Continue on Parson’s Way, passing the glorious St Ann’s Church, along the Ocean Ave sidewalk path called Parson’s Way, walking by Blowing Cave and Spouting Rock to Walkers Point- the home of the Bush family – yes Presidents #41 and 43.
The best part of touring Kennebunk and Kennebunkport is you get a great scene for shopping and dining, but you’re also not far from amazing natural scenery. Kennebunkport Conservation Trust has miles of fantastic walking and biking trails at their Gravelly Brook headquarters, The Edwin Smith Preserve. From Dock Square, you can take a walk or bike ride to several beaches, Kennebunk Beach – also called Gooch’s, and Colony Beach – there are six beaches to choose from, overall, you’re never short of places to go in the Kennebunks.
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