In September 2021, Will and I spent the first few days of September in Kennebunkport, Maine. Neither of us had ever visited, and we were unsure about how to visit Kennebunkport, Maine. We received lots of great advice regarding the best restaurants in Kennebunkport, I researched several possible Kennebunkport hotels for our short stay, and we also received great advice about the most fun things to do in Kennebunkport, Maine. Here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect getaway!
How to Visit Kennebunkport, Maine
When Will and I arrived in Maine, we had to laugh a little. We joked that we could practically see Canada from our hotel window. For these Texans, being so far North in September was a dream-come-true! It’s still well over 100 degrees in Texas during this time of year, but in Maine, it’s delightfully cool. And once or twice, I actually felt COLD! Sheer bliss!
How did we decide to visit Maine? Well, were were already in Massachusetts for the Brimfield Antique and Flea Market, and the drive from there to Kennebunkport, Maine is a short 2 1/2 hours, so that was a no-brainer. We decided to base our stay out of Kennebunkport, which is on the coast of Southern Maine.
There’s dozens of wonderful hotels in a wide range of rates to choose from. But you know me. My preference is always to find a fantastic Historic Hotel. We stayed at the charming Colony Hotel for three nights. Originally the sight of the Ocean Bluff Hotel 1872, the current hotel was designed by architect John Calvin Stevens and opened in 1914 as The Breakwater Court. The name was changed to The Colony Hotel and opened for the summer season in 1948.
There are 125 guest rooms located in five separate buildings. The main building has classic New England charm. Separate garden houses; Galland House features rich pine paneled walls and Maine Cottage furniture. There are also two private houses, ideal for families or small groups.
We stayed in Galland House, which at first seemed disappointing because I wanted a view of the ocean (I advise calling the front desk to make your reservation so you know EXACTLY where your room is), but it turned out to be a blessing because these are the only air-conditioned rooms, and this Texan likes it ICE COLD at night, which it’s not in September in Maine. It’s lovely weather, but we were very glad to have air-conditioning! A HUGE buffet breakfast is included with your stay. And the large covered porches at the main building overlooking the water were exactly what I wanted!
Best Restaurants in Kennebunkport
There are so many great places to eat in Kennebunkport! We never had a bad meal, and ate so many Lobster Rolls it was almost embarrassing. Here’s where we ate:
- Mabel’s Lobster Claw is about 100 yards or less from The Colony Hotel. It’s tiny. Maybe 20 tables inside and 6 more outside. The seafood was excellent! Very casual!
- The Little Barn which is one of two restaurants at the White Barn Inn, an Auberge Resort in Kennebunkport. Absolutely fabulous food! And a gorgeous place to stay!
- Chez Rosa is French Fare, and the food here is DIVINE!
Other recommendations: On our way into Kennebunkport, we stopped for lunch at Barnacle Billy’s in Ogunquit, Maine and enjoyed fantastic Lobster Rolls! We also stopped for the BEST ice cream at Scoop Deck, in Wells, Maine. So many flavors to choose from, it was crazy!!!
Fun Things to Do in Kennebunkport
To be honest, our favorite thing to do was sit on the covered porch of The Colony Hotel, enjoying the cool ocean breezes. I had my needlepoint and a glass of wine. Will had his book and a cold Dr. Pepper.
We did a tiny bit of window shopping. There’s LOTS of cute little boutiques and gift shops in Kennebunkport, and The Colony Hotel is a little less than a mile from the main shopping area. Parking can be challenging, so if you don’t mind a short walk, or are staying in the main shopping area, almost everything is fairly walkable.
In addition to walking to eat (justifying our 400th Lobster Roll), we did stretch our legs a bit and walked about 200 yards along the coastline to admire St. Ann’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. The picturesque Stone Chapel has been in continuous use as a summer chapel since it was consecrated on August 24, 1892. It is one of 18 historic summer chapels in the Diocese of Maine. The President Bush Family, and extended relatives, have been involved in preservation and restoration. The Bush Compound is just around the corner from St. Ann’s.
Other diversions include:
- Intown Trolley has been touring the Kennebunks for over 30 years. Intown Trolley continues an early tradition of trolleys in the Kennebunks. The first trolleys ran from early 1900 to 1927, transporting summer guests from the local train station to their vacation destinations. Narrated sightseeing tours provides local narrative, describing a 300 year history, from the native Americans, early settlers, the shipbuilding era, tourist and summer resort & more recently the Presidential summer home.
- If you’d like to admire the Main Coast from the water, check out The Pineapple Ketch for chartered sail boat tours and excursions.
- A major attraction in the area is whale watching, and First Chance Whale Watching come highly recommended for this exciting activity!
I hope this information is helpful for those of your needing tips on how to visit Kennebunkport Maine!
We thoroughly enjoyed our short stay in Kennebunkport, and look forward to escaping the Texas heat and returning there soon!
Tags: Kennebunkport | Maine | New England