Welcome to Kennebunk, ME!
When you picture New England, you may not realize it, but you’re imagining Kennebunkport, ME. A tiny enclave known for its celebrity vacationers - everyone from George Bush to Patrick Dempsey - this little dot on the map can be forgotten when discussing where to vacation. But that is a mistake we are here to correct. Whether you’re looking to bike, hike, swim, shop, eat, or explore, there is something here for everyone. Kennebunk & Kennebunkport (two towns that collide together to make one perfect vacation spot) are perfectly poised to provide endless entertainment for adventurers of all kinds. So as you stroll this postcard come to life, get ready to fall just a little bit head over heels for this corner of the world.
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Kennebunk, ME
Welcome to Kennebunk! This little spot in Maine can be overlooked but that would be a huge mistake. Halfway between Portland & Portsmouth, it’s a perfect launch pad to this wonderful part of New England. During the summer, the town’s population swells as visitors from all over the world come to enjoy the sandy beaches with amazing sunrises, chic spas, delicious fresh seafood, diverse shops and galleries, and historic sites like the Seashore Trolley Museum, the 1887 St. Ann’s Church, and the Goat Island Lighthouse. This is a bucket list stop you can’t miss!
Finding Your Way
Located on the southwestern coast of Maine, this sleepy little town is just 90 miles north from Boston and 25 miles south of Portland so getting here is never hard! Once you’ve arrived, getting around town is easy - super drivable with lots of little areas to wander, it’s definitely made for a car. However there are Lyfts and Ubers available if you do want to head to somewhere without having to drive. There is also the Shoreline Explorer (temporarily suspended for 2022 due to labor shortages), which is a great way to get around town when it’s running. You can download shorelineexplorer.com for routes and fare information.
Kennebunkport itself doesn’t have an airport but it’s perfectly located to be able to access it easily. Portland International Jetport (PWM) is only 30 minutes away and your closest option. However it’s a pretty small airport, so most people usually fly into Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). About a 1.5 hour drive, it is one of the busiest airports in the country so most airlines & rental car companies are available! When you land, you’ll find the car rental companies at the RCC, a four-level garage just outside of the terminal. Look for the blue and white shuttle busses that run every 5-6 minutes from the curbside of the lower level of each terminal.
Brought into the cultural zeitgeist as home to the Bush Compound, the cultural impact here can be traced back so much further. “Kennebunk” literally means “long cut bank,” named by Native Americans after the distinctive river that runs from the Atlantic Ocean inland. The area originated as a shipbuilding and fishing village for well over a century before becoming a seaside tourist destination, but it never lost its roots. A significant portion of land in the northeast section of Kennebunk is actually a National Wildlife Refuge named in 1966 after environmentalist and author Rachel Carson who raised awareness of the migratory songbirds and delicate ecosystem of the area! So while still a fishing and shipping hub, today it has so much more to see & explore!
Why Am I Here?
People come to Kennebunk for many reasons. A popular summer haven for the wealthy in the Northeast, its natural beauty causes people of all walks to come here. Time in Kennebunk is about really enjoying the picturesque experience that this corner of the world has to offer. Whether grabbing a beer at a local brewery, eating fresh seafood on a dock, wandering shops dotting small winding streets, biking to the shore, or just unwinding on the beautiful beaches, Kennebunk is just begging for you to explore & make memories that will last a lifetime.
The best time to visit the region is late June to about mid September. The climate has large seasonal temperature differences, with warm and often humid summers having average highs of mid 70s-85º with lows in the 50’s at night. The cold, even severe at times, winters will have average highs in the 30°’s and lows in just the teens! In fact, it can get 59” of snow a year!
Since this is a fishing village, you won’t find fresher seafood anywhere. There’s a lot of debate about who has the best lobster roll, we’ll let you be the judge. Try them all! Be sure to try clams, oysters & anything else that jumps out at you! Maine is also known for their blueberries - the state berry (who knew!), so anything with blueberries is always amazing here!
The best souvenirs from the village are salt water taffy and nautical items. Beach attire and sea glass jewelry are very popular too. If you want something more noteworthy to bring back home, there are many notable galleries offering sought after art pieces.
Casual clothes are perfect for strolling or bike riding around town. Cover ups are preferred when you leave the beach area. Sundresses and linen pants are popular attire for a nice dinner out. Don’t forget your hats, sunglasses, and of course sunscreen is a must for the 200 days of sunshine this area gets!
The layout here and the associated naming conventions can be really confusing. Kennebunkport and neighboring towns Kennebunk and Arundel comprise the area referred to collectively as either Kennebunk or Kennebunkport. What you need to know is Kennebunkport is the part near the water, Arundel is in the middle, & then comes Kennebunk. But no matter which one you’re in, they are all entirely charming. It is consistently rated as one if the best places to live in America and we can’t wait for you to see why!