When Kendall and I were mapping out some fall destinations we wanted to travel to, Kennebunkport quickly went to the top of our list. As I’m sure most of you know, Maine is such a special place for my family and I – we summer there every year in the tiniest little coastal town where there’s one grocery store, one cafe, and no stoplights. However, I’ve never been anywhere else in Maine since we always make this our destination – so I was more than excited to explore Kennebunkport!
Kennebunkport is a seriously charming little coastal town with all the Maine vibes. My families place is about 3.5 hours further north, but I immediately sensed some similarities between the two parts even though they’re far apart. Lobster traps in back yards, signage, landmarks/buildings and their character. It had me nostalgic for another Maine summer already..
I’m sharing tons of details in this post on where we stayed, what we did, things we wanted to do (round two?), and some of our favorite things. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll update the post the best I can!
WHERE TO STAY
Kendall and I stayed at the Captain Fairfield Inn, a little bed and breakfast that’s a quick 5-10 minute walk from the center of Kennebunkport. Captain Fairfield Inn is managed by a husband and wife duo (they are the sweetest and their little pup was so eager to meet us too!) who are so passionate about their little B+B. Their enthusiasm and warm welcome made me even more excited for the trip! The CFI only has 9 rooms, all uniquely decorated in a chic and charming way. We couldn’t get over the room decor and the bathroom – serious #goals, you guys! I literally said to Kendall I wanted to box it up and bring it home with me. The sweet innkeeping couple also made dinner reservations for us, gave us countless recommendations, and provided such exceptional service (they even gave us extra cookies for shooting purposes!)
Captain Fairfield Inn is also part of Lark Hotels which is a boutique hotel group with locations all across the northeast and a handful in California. It was my first Lark Hotel experience and safe to say it won’t be my last – everything from their locations, to service, and decor is impeccable!
The Captain Fairfield Inn is actually the old home of Captain Fairfield. It’s been updated but still has the old charm of a 19th century mansion. There’s a delicious breakfast spread offered every morning that the couple makes themselves. Actually quite gourmet if you ask me! Coffee, tea, and other refreshments are available all day long. Salted chocolate chip cookies are put out midday around 4pm for a little pre-dinner snack. They offer a fire pit out back, and we even had a quaint little porch off the back of our room.
Finding parking in town is pretty difficult since the area is small yet bustling with tons of people shopping, eating, and touristing. The Captain Fairfield Inn was in absolute prime location right on the skirt of town and Kendall and I took full advantage of the 5-10 minute walk.. especially after stuffing ourselves every meal!
WHAT TO DO
Kennebunkport has a ton of shops in their little down area. We spent a full afternoon popping in and out of little spots – from art stores, little knick knack places, coffee shops, a dog/pet store (Kendall was in love), and more. It’s easy enough to cover these in one day for sure – pick up a coffee and stock up on some Maine souvenirs!
We walked across the small bridge which separates Kennebunkport from Kennebunk – with more restaurants and shops on the other side. The little harbor area is so quaint, filled with a few gorgeous boats and of course some little lobster dinghy’s. It was the most gorgeous day with the bluest skies I’ve seen in a long time and not a cloud in sight! Perfect for taking in the views.
WHERE TO EAT
There are SO many places to eat in Kennebunkport and it seemed like we couldn’t go wrong – everything sounded so good. You realistically need at least a week and a few pair of sweatpants to hit everything.. ha! We had some seriously good food while in Kennebunkport and I definitely have lots of recommendations. There’s a few places we didn’t get to stop at, but I’m going to include those too – they’re on our list for next time!
Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Pub – We stopped in Federal Jack’s when we got in late Sunday night. We were both starving and craving seafood! We ordered the mussels in classic white wine + garlic sauce – they were amazing! Kendall went with the fish tacos and I got a burger. Major call out: they have a huge gluten free menu that’s separate from the standard restaurant menu. I’ve never seen a gluten free menu as large as this one – usually you’re so limited at restaurants, but this one was huge and so many dishes were ones I could eat or could be modified. Thumbs up, Federal Jack’s!
All Day Breakfast – The couple at Captain Fairfield Inn recommended this to us as the local hotspot in town for breakfast – and yep, you guessed it, all day long! I am a breakfast fanatic, so was so excited about this! We went here our first morning and filled up, quite literally. We both got omelettes which were delish, and Kendall ordered the largest blueberry pancake I’ve ever seen that was definitely not lacking in blueberries! It’s a mile or so from the center of town so I recommend driving.
Cape Pier Chowder House – We continued our seafood trend with lobster rolls for lunch one day. We couldn’t decide which spot to hit since Kennebunkport offers so many but settled on Chowder House which is about a 10 minute drive from down right on the water. My only regret? Not ordering the fried clams which looked AMAZING and were on nearly every table at the spot except ours. #shouldawoulda
This is also a gorgeous spot for sunset since you’re right on the water overlooking the horizon. We ended up coming back down here later on in the day to snap some photos and take in the views. Worth it! Just bundle up because it was quite windy.
Hurricane – This was hands down the best meal of our trip. CFI made this recommendation and reservation for us and it did not disappoint, that’s for sure! We started with the Ahi Tuna Nachos which I admittedly was unsure what to expect at first.. but they were maybe one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Flavor explosion! We paired our glasses of rose with the salmon dish. (I believe this changes seasonally but highly recommend.) Request a table near the windows for a pretty view of the ocean too.
Alisson’s Restaurant – After hunting for nearly an hour, we settled on Alisson’s right in the heart of downtown Kennebunkport for our second day lunch. We split the fried clams (got my clams!) and the lobster roll trio – both delicious! It was the perfect spot to grab a quick lunch and hit the road to our next destination. All of the plates that we saw looked so yummy too.
Moon Rose Epicurean Cafe – This a little quick grab and go cafe with delicious coffee and lots of good lunch options. We only got coffee, but I noticed their food menu and it was very gluten-free friendly!
Spots we didn’t get to try:
Nunan’s Lobster Hut – We didn’t get to try this spot as it didn’t open until 5pm. Definitely on our list for next time!
The Clam Shack – This little spot is right near the bridge and was busy every day, all day long. I guarantee they have some seriously good seafood and you bet I’m getting some next trip.
Earth at Hidden Pond – This was recommended to us by CFI and also a few of you readers. We were dying to go here and originally planned to for lunch on our second day, but were extremely disappointed to arrive and discover they weren’t serving the public that day (only guests staying at the property retreat). This is right at the top of my list for our next trip – it sounds incredible, and I snatched a menu (which may have been a bad idea considering I just salivated reading it!)
Salt & Honey – This is another spot we really wanted to try but was unfortunately closed too. They source all their ingredients locally – it has small cafe vibes, but a major menu.
David’s KPT – We were recommended David’s a few times, especially for a good cocktail or two, and didn’t make it here – if we had another night in KPT, we definitely would have. Must visit for next time!
The Ramp – The Ramp is right next to Cape Pier Chowder House & Pier 77, located right on the water. They have a cozy little spot with the cutest entrance. One of you recommended this to us and said it’s a great happy hour spot – if you look in the photo below you can see the yellow adirondack chair which is situated in a little lit area on the water. Perfect, cozy drink spot! Definitely a must.
*We found that Tuesday is the day a lot of restuarant owners close shop and take the day off in Kennebunkport. We struggled with finding a place on our list that was open on Tuesday afternoon. Do your homework beforehand and make sure that you hit the spots that are closed on Tuesday’s a different day of your trip!
Thank you so much to Captain Fairfield Inn and Lark Hotels for hosting us – we such a fabulous time exploring Kennebunkport and it’s definitely going to be a must visit again for me!