Friday, July 10, 2015

Kennebunkport Maine. Tips for a budget friendly family visit to Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, and Arundel Maine in the summer - from a former local.

Parsons Beach in Kennebunk Maine.

Just back from our last big trip of this summer to Kennebunkport Maine. Not as a tourist though. I grew up there!

Returning with a kid that can run, and my mother, for the first time opened my eyes to the wonderful parts of the area for families.

Here's my inside review of budget-friendly things to do with a family in this very touristy, and thus often expensive and crowded area.

Ivy at the first Maine welcome center rest area off 95 Northbound after Portsmouth, NH.
On the way into Maine on Rt 95 there's a great welcome center rest area with bathrooms, info on attractions, vending, dog run, woods, etc. It's the first one going north after Portsmouth, NH. 

Mother's Beach
Mother's beach, Kennebunk. Shangri La for kids. Seriously. A large new Jungle gym at a safe, small real beach, with a few tide pools. Few parking spots, all need a resident, or purchased day, permit. Go early, go often.

A lobster we pieced back together on Parsons beach.
Parson's Beach.  Kennebunk. Shhhh. A large natural beach and river mouth. No services except a single porta-potty. Limited parking. Go early. Drop off by portapotty and trail head to beach, then park. Permitting might start in 2016.
Kennebunk playground near downtown
The town of Kennebunk, not Kennebunkport, is a more normal town and it's well kept up and suited for walking and families. It's on the way to the beaches and before the worst traffic. Cheries Cafe in Kennebunk is very good with food, wine and coffee. Especially their large breakfast paninis.  Across the street is New Mornings Natural food store, and a Dairy Queen for ice cream. About 1/2 mile away is a great library with kid's section, and a public playground.  There is a bus from Kennebunk to the beaches too.

Rachel Carson trail
Rachel Carson Trail. Very near Parsons beach. Short walk, flat, groomed for strollers and yet in woods and marshes. Good for a walk before a long drive home.

Trolly ride!
Trolly Museam. Rides! And restoring trolly's buses, etc. since 1939.

Children's museum in Portland if it's raining. Small, but it's inside.
Finklepod Farm stand. The stand run by the youngest Wentworth, Noah. The Wentworths farm was the epicenter of the alternative school and its community when I was growing up, and still is!

Mom and I love a storm. This pic is at Cape Porpoise.

Maybe you'll be lucky enough to have a (small) storm roll in. We were! So exciting to go to the coast in a hard rain as the tide comes in, the surfers gather, and the surf roars.

High tide at Kennebunk beach during a heavy rain storm
Surfers at Kennebunk beach during a small storm. Shaw and met ones from Canada and Vermont.
Have a good trip!  

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