Kennebunkport + Kennebunk in 48 Hours

These southern Maine towns are perennial summer destinations thanks to their white-sand beaches, local shops, variety of restaurants, and neverending coastal views.

Sunset over the harbor in Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport
Cape Porpoise, where the sea meets the setting sun’s sky.

Historic inn and harbor sunset

If you travel into Kennebunk from Route 35, you’ll pass rows of period houses capped with widow’s walks, including one of the most photographed homes in Maine, the Wedding Cake House. Built in 1825 by shipbuilder George W. Bourne, the yellow and white home features ornate Gothic adornments, including spires that rise above the roofline.

The Wedding Cake House in Kennebunkport
The Wedding Cake House in Kennebunkport, complete with white icing.

Continuing the historic theme check in at the 1802 House Bed and Breakfast Inn, which was converted from a private home into an inn in the 1990s and features six guest rooms with modern amenities, including some with fireplaces and jetted tubs. The Kennebunkport inn’s owners, Carl and Eileen Robley, are originally from England, and most rooms are named after places in both Maine and England, such as Windsor and Berwick.

After settling in, have a relaxed dinner at Ramp Bar and Grill, situated in Cape Porpoise, with Goat Island Light off the coast in the distance. The atmosphere is rustic, the fresh seafood is delectable, and the staff is as welcoming as old friends. Be sure to watch the sunset across the harbor filled with fishing boats.

Exploring and dining in Kennebunkport

Breakfast, including fresh-baked goods and dishes like eggs Benedict, is served every morning to guests at the 1802 House. Afterward, pack your backpack and head out for a day of exploring on scooters from Coastal Maine Scooter Rentals in Kennebunk.

Start your scooter journey by following Ocean Avenue for breathtaking coastal views. You can pull off the road at Blowing Cave Park, where you can see waves crashing on the rocks with the Bush compound at Walker’s Point in the background.

On your way back into Kennebunkport, stop at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, a historic stone church that has served continuously as a summer chapel since 1892. Many of the stained-glass windows in the oceanside church date from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

With the smell of the sea in the air, head to Kennebunkport’s Dock Square for lunch on Hurricane Restaurant’s outside deck along the Kennebunk River. The spicy tuna poke bowl with marinated ahi tuna, sushi rice, and avocado makes for a memorable lunch. Afterward, explore the unique shops and galleries in Kennebunkport’s downtown, including Beach Grass for coastal Maine wares and The Good Earth for ceramics with a unique blend of craftsmanship, artistry, and functionality.

For dinner, try the Boathouse Restaurant on the banks of the Kennebunk River in the heart of Kennebunkport. The only thing surpassed by the view is the food itself. Start with a round of house cocktails and oysters, followed by orders of surf and turf and chicken cavatappi with mushrooms and prosciutto in marsala cream, topped with Parmesan. On your way back to the inn, take in the night sky over the seaside town in preparation for crossing the river to explore Kennebunk on Sunday.

Kennebunk’s village, gardens, and beaches

Travel through the center of Dock Square and over the bridge to Mornings in Paris to jumpstart the day with freshly roasted coffee, an almond croissant, and macarons. Next go to St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery, an active monastery and place of worship established in 1947 by Lithuanian Franciscans. From the lush green landscape, vibrant gardens, and tranquil paths to the grottoes, granite statues, and saintly monuments, the experience is spiritual, uplifting, and serene.

Stop for lunch at Batson River Brewing and Distilling, which boasts an impressive assortment of craft beer and spirits, locally sourced fare, and the most amazing cornbread you’ll ever taste. There’s no better place to feel like you are part of the Kennebunk experience than on the outdoor deck overlooking the harbor and town.

Snug Harbor Farm, a short drive from Kennebunk’s village, is more than a nursery and garden center. From its eclectic assortment of plants, trees, shrubs, and gifts to the feather-footed fantail pigeons and miniature horses walking around the property, Snug Harbor Farm is a place you have to experience yourself to understand. Explore the rustic barns and outbuildings that seem to grow out of the soil as organically as the plants within them.

Aquaholics Surf Shop is an institution for local and vacationing beachgoers, selling surfboards, boogie boards, seaside apparel, and accessories. If you’re lucky, a local might be kind enough to share where the best waves are breaking.

Don’t leave Kennebunk before visiting its famous shoreline. The string of wide beaches—Gooch’s, Middle, and Mother’s Beaches—are connected by sidewalks along Beach Avenue. Spend an afternoon here, or just stop for the smell of salt air, majestic views, and the magic of summer on Maine’s coast to cap off your weekend trip.

Buoys adorn a home in Kennebunkport

Read more 48 hours stories:

Share The Inspiration