Surrounding Kennebunkport Marina is a town awash in centuries of nautical history; the community also boasts a spot on AOL Travel's list of the 10 Best Beach Towns in America. The marina contributes to its pristine environs with new docks, an outdoor fireplace, and a riverside courtyard where guests can lounge on adirondack chairs. From the docks, which have hookups for water and 30- and 50-amp service, boaters can captain their vessels down the Kennebunk River or travel one-quarter mile to open ocean waters. Year-round storage keeps ships protected during winter or transatlantic spitball wars, and spring engine commissions by certified technicians prep boats for the sailing season.
Those without their own watercraft can join the Kennebunkport Boat Club, which grants members of any skill level access to a quartet of boats that range from 15 to 26 feet. Additionally, the store offers powerboat, canoe, and kayak rentals, and reservations of the Captain's Cottage make lodgers feel more nautical than tying their shoelaces in bowline knots.
When Broadway showman Walter Hartwig and his wife Maude opened the Ogunquit Playhouse in 1933, they likely never realized they were establishing a theatrical legacy. Then again, they might have had an inkling—from the very beginning, the playhouse hosted performances from luminaries including Ethel Barrymore, Bette Davis and Walter Matthau. Even today, it’s not unusual to see famous names and attached talents treading its historic boards, such as Stefanie Powers from Hart to Hart or Charles Shaughnessy from The Nanny. It’s all part of the theater’s mission to provide the best shows possible while promoting the local arts. Along with star-studded Broadway musicals, the stage hosts dance shows, children’s theater, and acting workshops for the next generation of spotlight-stealers.
Wonder Mountain Family Fun Park sternly rebuffs boredom with two mini-golf courses and a challenging human maze. Adventurers can negotiate the twisting turns, dead ends, and elevated checkpoints of the Treasure Trap ($5/person for ages 5+) in less than 10 minutes to enter weekly drawings for cash and T-shirts or to outrun overzealous Pac-Men. Alternatively, opt for a round of mini golf ($10/adult; $8/senior or child ages 5–12) on one of two courses strewn with lush foliage, flowing waterfalls, and muttering streams. Send dimpled balls spinning across the Mountain Mania course, recently rebuilt with five new hole layouts, or test your mettle on the Nautical Nightmare course, whose challenging holes may be better suited for teens and adults than youngsters or those who depend on holes-in-one for life force.
Wahine Kai Surf School's team of paddle-proficient surfers guide adventurers of all types through intimate and relaxing stand-up paddleboard tours. Reserved tours whisk participants away on their choice of three one-hour jaunts and bestow each paddler with a board, a wetsuit, booties, a personal flotation device, and a pet parrot to create an authentic seafaring experience. Expert instructors oversee each paddle cruise of no more than six amateur Leif Ericsons, providing nurturing instruction and educational commentary on local ecosystems. To keep summers endless, persistent paddlers can upgrade to a two-hour tour for an extra fee.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Recommended Age Group: All ages
In his lifetime, William Lord amassed something of a treasure horde, including artwork, furniture, and articles of business. When he died in 1873, he left behind a fortune considered the greatest in Kennebunk, including several pieces of real estate. In 1936, Lord's old general store building came into the possession of his great-granddaughter, Edith Cleaves Barry. She decided to use the building as a museum, exploring the area's history through the lens of her family's story and possessions. The museum quickly grew to occupy other nearby buildings, all dating from between 1810 and 1860, and their architectural elements and antiques became the centerpiece of Brick Store Museum.
Today, the museum houses exhibits in six galleries spread throughout the buildings. Many of the exhibits feature interactive elements, and all tell the story of regional history, whether through photography, artwork, artifacts, or ghosts who can talk.