The best part of kayaking is the exhilaration of exploration, up until you realize the difficulty of paddling through pudding in your bathtub and must face yourself in the mirror. Take to real rivers with today's Groupon: for $15, you get a two-hour single kayak rental at the Kennebunkport Marina (a $30 value).
Situated less than a mile from the ocean and within walking distance of Dock Square, the Kennebunkport Marina outfits ambitious paddlers with the equipment to properly explore Maine’s scenic Kennebunk River coastline. Nestled away from rough waters, strong winds, and inhospitable ocean sirens, the river abounds with wild birds and lush vegetation, ideal subjects for peeping at through binoculars. At midtide, cruise beneath the Route 9 bridge to check out the marsh grasses and picnic on the rock, which boasts a firm foundation to hold impromptu luncheons and very merry unbirthday parties. The year-round marina, also home to the Kennebunkport Boat Club, proffers necessities such as life jackets and paddles for guests. Kayak rental runs on a first-come, first-served basis.
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.