Kennebunkport + The Southern Beaches

Things to do in Kennebunkport + The Southern Beaches

A great place for a stroll, this quarter-mile stretch of Atlantic coastline bordering downtown York Beach is one of New England's top summertime destinations. Popular with vacationing families, Short Sands Beach combines scenic coastline views with easy access to York's amusements.

The brainchild of former NYC music industry execs and born-again Mainers Jessica Jenkins and Andy West, this smart three-story shop on Dock Square stocks eclectic gifts, guides, and gear, and souvenirs devoted to travel and the great outdoors.

The land of this 88-acre park was purchased by the federal government in 1872, eventually becoming a defense outpost for the Naval Shipyard in response to the Spanish-American War.

Broadway veteran Walter Hartwig and wife Maude debuted their repertory theatre in 1937, and “America’s foremost summer theatre” continues to endure in southeast Maine.

Home to more than 80 antique cars, this nonprofit museum appeals to auto enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Founded in 1946 by husband-and-wife team Glen and Judith Gould, the museum contains a wide variety of rare vehicles, including a number of vintage motorcycles.

Come sunset, take a two-hour Atlantic excursion on the two-masted Pineapple Ketch, which sails daily from the Nonantum Resort.

Ted Santarelli, John Amlaw, and Gerald Cunningham founded this museum in 1939 to celebrate the region’s rail-riding tradition.

Stop by the honky-tonk arcades and eat fried dough at this community beach.

Located in southeast Maine, minutes from the New Hampshire border and just off the Maine Turnpike (i-95), this roadside stand on the Bluestar Memorial Highway is open from May 1 until the moment they sell out of Christmas trees (usually mid-Decmeber).

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm is a National Estuarine Research Reserve that protects 2,250 acres of surrounding wetlands, marshes, beaches, and woodlands.

Visitors to Ogunquit walk off their lobster roll consumption along the cliffs of Marginal Way, a paved path that wraps around rocky shores, along the margin of the land.

This family-owned bakery and diner is beloved for its doughnuts, which come in unusual flavors like butter crunch, maple crème, and powdered chocolate, in addition to more traditional choices. Baked goods are displayed inside large, wood-paneled cases behind the takeout counter.

Encompassing over 5,000 acres of salt marshes filled with migratory birds, maritime forests, and coastal dunes, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge was named in honor of the birder and naturalist who first brought many environmental issues to the forefront in the 1960s.

This four-sailed schooner offers visitors the chance to take a ride on the wild side — of the Atlantic, that is. Cushioned cabin seating, a teak cockpit, and mahogany accents make for a comfortable sailing experience.