Things To Do In Kittery, Maine – Kittery, located in York County, Maine, was previously noted for its shipbuilding. The Piscataqua River, Seavey’s Island, and Badger’s Island were where a newly independent USA built a lot of ships to defend the country from its adversaries.
It is connected by bridges across the Piscataqua River and is located on the boundary between Maine and New Hampshire.
Kittery, now a town of just over 10,000 inhabitants, has a reputation for being a fun shopping destination, with both huge department stores and malls as well as small craft businesses.
Kittery, Maine, was founded in 1623 and is a delightful historic town with plenty to see and do. Kittery Foreside, the downtown section of Kittery, has recently been turned into a hipster’s dream.
Craft coffee shops, stylish boutiques, and chef-driven restaurants abound in this lovely neighborhood. Kittery Foreside is like the Brooklyn of Portsmouth because of its hip, eclectic, and tasteful edge (and the fact that it’s just a short walk across the bridge from Portsmouth).
Kittery is just a few miles south of picturesque York, Maine, and near to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (a tiny extension of the city!).
Kittery, however, is much more than just a shopping destination; numerous activities revolve around the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1647, Kittery became Maine’s first established town. Kittery was first populated and founded as a fishery in 1623, and has a fascinating history. Off the coast of Portsmouth Harbor, Kittery includes Badger Island and the Isle of Shoals.
Things To Do In Kittery, Maine
It’s no surprise that so many visitors return to Kittery year after year. This charming city offers a plethora of exciting activities.
There will never be a dull moment here, whether you choose to see the sites or participate in more action-packed activities.
If you’re considering visiting Kittery, these are some of the 18 best things to do in Kittery, Maine:
1. Kittery Trading Post
Kittery Trading Post features a large selection of things under one roof if you prefer shopping at a single location rather than going in and out of the Premium Outlets. You’ll find all the well-known clothing brands, sports equipment, and unique gifts for friends and family.
If you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing, this is the place for you.
Before you go, make sure to pick up some of the famed Trading Post Fudge; this wonderful sweet treat is irresistible, so stock up!
2. Robert’s Main Grill
The level of activity in a restaurant is a good indicator of its quality. If it’s frequently full with locals, like Robert’s Main Grill, you know it’s a good place. On two levels, there are a bar and food options, with magnificent views of the river and marsh from the dining rooms.
When visiting Maine, you should always take advantage of the fresh seafood. Why not order fried calamari, Maine crab cakes, oysters, or lobster while you’re here? Even better, wash it all down with a couple of local artisan beers. There are plenty of other options if you don’t want to eat anything from the sea.
3. The Dance Hall
One of the hall’s key goals is to give a stage for local artists to perform. The hall, which is run by a non-profit corporation, is a major entertainment center in Kittery and it’s one of the best things to do in Kittery, Maine.
There are events to promote local talent, as well as classes, cultural, and community programs. There is something for everyone, regardless of age. During your visit, look over the program to see if anything piques your interest.
4. Maine Visitor Information Center
Maine places a high value on providing travelers with information, and as a result, there are several helpful information centers. The one at Kittery, which is located to the north of the Piscataqua River Bridge, resembles a ski chalet.
There is enough parking outside, as well as a wealth of information while inside. A free guide will assist you in planning your vacation by giving maps and booklets to aid in your planning. This is a fantastic place to start your tour to Kittery.
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5. Seapoint Beach
When the weather is favorable, you will most likely want to go for a swim at the beach. Seapoint Beach is a beautiful beach that is ideal for a swim or a stroll.
You are welcome to run with your dog, but not during peak visiting hours. Because there is limited parking, you may have to walk a short distance to access the beach during peak hours.
The beach is a short strip of sand with pebbles and algae strewn about. It’s a popular destination because it’s the only public beach in the area. It also has some beautiful scenery.
6. Fort McClary State Park
The park is named after a fort that has guarded the area for 275 years. McClary was a Major who died at Bunker Hill during the American Revolution, and the fort that carries his name is a must-see for anybody visiting Kittery.
Local granite was used in the construction of the encircling wall, and the original fort was modified over time. Despite the fact that the fort was manned during every battle until World War I, it saw very little real action. The gunpowder shop, which was established in 1808, is the oldest building still standing today.
7. Kittery Historical & Naval Museum
In this historic museum, Kittery’s naval traditions are well-preserved. It has been open since the spring and attracts a large number of tourists eager to see the exhibits and hear historical anecdotes.
Over the years, the town has amassed a remarkable collection of exhibitions. Volunteers and donations ensure that this valuable heritage is preserved as you learn about colonial periods, regional challenges, and local shipbuilding.
This little museum at the Traffic Circle is easy to locate and has plenty of parking.
8. Seafari Charters
Maine is a fisherman’s paradise. If you go onshore, you can catch bass or bluefish. You can catch halibut, haddock, pollock, or cod further out in deep water. Seafari Charters’ platform also offers scuba diving, with both facilities and instruction accessible upon request. There are various dive places in the vicinity with interesting marine life to observe.
If you’d rather keep out of the water, take a whale-watching cruise; this charter business has so much to offer that you might want to stay with them for a few days!
9. Take Flight Adventures
If you’re looking for a thrill, check out the adventure courses available. Aerial activities include swinging tires, suspended platforms, swings, and catwalks, among others. The zip line is a lot of fun as well.
Climbing on vines and nets is a great way to put your climbing skills to the test. Before going off on your own, you will receive basic education, safety requirements, and an opportunity to practice.
Everyone is kept safe by expert staff. This is a thrilling experience for both children and adults.
10. Badger’s Island
Maine and New Hampshire are separated by the Piscataqua River. Badger Island, located in the middle of the river, was the site of the construction of several important boats many years ago.
The Ranger, designed by John Paul Jones and finished in 1777, was one of the most noteworthy structures.
The Raleigh’ was built in just 60 days from start to finish, and when it was completed in 1782, it was the heaviest and largest ship ever built in America.
On the island, there is a marina, and a tour of the river is a fun way to spend time in Kittery.
A trip of Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River is the greatest opportunity to explore this southernmost Maine shoreline, which includes Pepperrell Cove, Kittery Point, and the Whaleback Light, which guards the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. From Kittery or Portsmouth, you can take a ferry to see the port.
11. Just Us Chickens Gallery
Locals banded together in 2005 to open this gallery as a platform for local artists to showcase their work. At the time, there were 18 different artists displaying their work, which ranged from painting to jewelry.
The gallery is now run by the artists themselves.
If you’re looking for unusual gifts for friends and family, the gallery has a large selection of ceramics, glassware, nature art, and basketry.
12. Yoga East
This yoga class focuses on authentic Ashtanga Yoga in the Mysore, India, tradition of Sri. K Pattabhi Jois. Yoga has a huge following all around the world.
While you’re in Kittery, there’s no excuse to skip your normal yoga practice. Why not give it a shot while you’re here if you haven’t already?
Each week, there are a variety of classes to choose from, and you should be able to find something that suits your skill level.
13. Chair Massage Now
There are few better ways to unwind at the end of a long day than with a massage. After expert treatment at this haven on the Route One By-Pass, your stress and “knots” in your limbs will go.
Chair massages take up very little space but are incredibly calming and invigorating. The emphasis is on the head, neck, and shoulders, which are all easily accessible from a seated position.
14. Kittery Premium Outlets
This mile-long line of outlet retailers in Kittery is a shopper’s paradise. All of the notable names can be found on this street off Route 95, which has ample parking.
Making it one of the best things to do in Kittery, Maine, some people go there to stock up on gifts for Christmas or Thanksgiving, but you can go any day of the year for some retail therapy. You may make a day of it because food and drink are easily accessible.
15. Tributary Brewing
In this part of the country, craft beer is immensely popular. The Tributary Brewing Company is led by an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience.
IPAs and stouts, as well as German and Belgian beers, are among the beverages on display. They’re available by the glass or by the jug, with the largest jug being 64 oz. Some are rather strong, as you’ll discover if you stop by this thirst-quenching spot on Shapleigh Road.
16. Hampton Beach
At this beachfront village that embodies small-town charm, enjoy freshly caught seafood, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic.
Hampton Beach, in the southeastern tip of New Hampshire, is known for having one of the cleanest beaches in the country. The Atlantic Ocean is at the center of most of the area’s attractions.
Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon at Hampton Beach State Park, which has miles of beachfront. Many guests choose to stay in the park’s RV and campsites, which provide unrivaled waterfront views.
Take a day trip to the open sea and rent a deep-sea fishing boat. Take a cruise to see whales, sharks, and dolphins to continue your aquatic journey.
At Blue Ocean Discovery Center, an oceanographic conservation program that includes interactive education such as touch tanks and field visits, children may get up close and personal with marine life.
Hampton Beach, with its modest gift stores and cafés, has traditional New England charm. There are a variety of lodging alternatives available, ranging from high-end hotels to low-cost motels. At one of the town’s many cafes, order freshly caught fish and pair it with a craft beer while admiring the view from a beachfront tavern.
At the Casino Ballroom, take advantage of Hampton Beach’s nightlife. This ancient edifice, which hosts musical events ranging from the biggest stars to novices, provides a unique backdrop for seeing your favorite musicians.
17. Ogunquit Beach
Collect shells, go bird watching, stroll down Marginal Way, or simply enjoy the seaside vistas along Ogunquit’s most popular length of the beach.
At Ogunquit Beach, inhale the salt air and walk with the sand beneath your feet. Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ogunquit River is the beach. It is located near the town center and is easily accessible on foot. Enjoy the water and surf while exploring the 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) of shoreline.
There are several sections to Ogunquit Beach. The northern end of the beach, known as North or Moody Beach, merges with the town of Wells. Cross the Ogunquit River on the lengthy footbridge at Footbridge Beach. Piping plovers frequently build their nests nearby.
Join fellow beachgoers at Main Beach, which is located at the southernmost extremity of the sandy peninsula. On the riverside of the beach, the sea is calmer and warmer. Explore Little Beach, which only appears when the tide goes out, during low tide.
Continue going south along Marginal Way from Ogunquit Beach to Perkins Cove, a lovely neighborhood. Admire the spectacular coastal vistas along the journey, especially the no longer operational white Marginal Way Lighthouse.
18. Perkins Cove
Discover a lovely fishing community just south of Ogunquit with charming shops, seafood restaurants, and postcard-worthy seaside views.
Visit Perkins Cove if you want to see a real Maine fishing community. Explore an array of shops, restaurants, and picturesque walking pathways in this Ogunquit hamlet, located just south of the town center.
Perkins Cove’s streets are lined with shops. Browse boutiques selling locally crafted goods and one-of-a-kind gifts. In the town’s various art galleries, you may see local talent on show.
Stop for a dinner in one of Perkins Cove’s restaurants for a true taste of Maine. The majority of the eateries serve seafood fished locally. Perkins Cove Candies has some of the town’s famous saltwater taffy.
Take in the variety of vessels in the harbor. Many of these boats are used for lobstering and fishing. Keep an eye out for them as they bring in their catch of the day. Book one of the boats for a one-of-a-kind day on the sea if you want to try your hand at fishing.
Charter the Ugly Anne or Bunny Clark for a deep-sea fishing trip or a party cruise. Cocktail cruises and beautiful trips near York’s Nubble Lighthouse are available from The Finestkind. On the Deborah Ann, you may go whale watching.
Perkins Cove is home to the world-famous hand-operated footbridge. You might be able to draw up the bridge yourself if a tall ship happens to be entering or exiting the cove.
Along Marginal Way, you can explore the coastline of Perkins Cove and beyond. Between Perkins Cove and the entrance to Ogunquit Beach to the north, the pathway continues for more than a mile (2 kilometers). Take a stroll down the paved path and rest on one of the numerous seats to take in the scenery.
For birdwatchers, Perkins Cove and its environs are a popular location. Look for purple sandpipers and bright harlequin ducks. Year-round, other birds such as sparrows and mockingbirds can be seen.
Another fantastic Kittery attraction is Fort Foster Park, which has three tiny beaches, including Whaleback Beach and Rocky Beach. The park is located on Gerrish Island and is easily accessible by car, with views of Whaleback Light, Portsmouth Harbor Light, and Fort Constitution from its proximity to the harbor.
8 Dog-Friendly Activities in Kittery, Maine
1. Wells Beach
Pets are welcome at Wells Beach. Dogs must be leashed and under the direction of a competent person from April 1 to June 15. From June 15 to September 16, dogs are only allowed on the beach between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and they must be leashed and under the direction of a responsible person.
Dog owners are asked to pick up any trash they leave behind so that the beach can remain clean for others.
2. South Mill Pond Dog Park
Dogs of all sizes can play together in a fenced-in, double-gated enclosure at South Mill Pond. There is also an unfenced off-leash area that runs along the west side of the pond.
Spayed or neutered dogs are required at the park. Take Pleasant Street from the city center and turn right into the parking lot. At South Mill Pond, there is a dog park in the heart of the park.
3. Drake’s Island
Drake’s Island welcomes pets. Dogs must be leashed and under the direction of a competent person from April 1 to June 15.
4. Long Sands Beach
This beautiful York beach is a wonderful place to spend a day. From May 20th to September 20th, leashed pets are welcome after 6 p.m. and before sunrise. During the off-season, dogs are allowed to play off-leash between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
5. Longhill Dog Park
The Longhill Dog Park is located in Dover, New Hampshire, at the Longhill Memorial Park. Parking is accessible at the park or at the neighboring Middleton Building Supply parking lot, which has ten overflow spaces.
To play at the park, all dogs must be licensed, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Before entering the dog park, please make sure your dog is leashed. Each handler is only allowed to have two dogs.
6. Salisbury Point Ghost Trail
The Salisbury Point Ghost Trail is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a charity dedicated to creating a statewide network of trails from abandoned rail lines and connecting corridors.
This “rail-trail,” which was once an underused railroad track, is now an excellent area to walk your dog in Salisbury!
7. Plum Island Beach
Pets are welcome at Plum Island Beach. From October 15 to May 15, dogs are permitted to join their owners on the beach without a leash. Puppy dogs are not permitted on the Plum Island Refuge.
The beach’s off-leash area is near the lighthouse and Captain’s Lady. From May 15th to October 15th, dogs are not permitted on the beach.
8. Dover Community Trail
The Dover Community Walk-in Dover, New Hampshire, which is also a 3-mile round trip dog-friendly trail follows an abandoned railroad bed and it allows public access to the protected greenways along the Bellamy and Cochecho Rivers.
The trail’s in-town segment connects downtown, the Dover Middle and High School campuses, and Bellamy Park in a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly manner. Bicycling, hiking, bird watching, and fishing are all possible along with the trail’s rural extensions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kittery, Maine
Is It Worthwhile To Travel To Kittery, Maine?
It is connected by bridges across the Piscataqua River and is located on the boundary between Maine and New Hampshire.
Kittery, which has grown to a population of just over 10,000 people, is known for being a great shopping destination, including both large department stores and malls as well as local craft shops.
Is Kittery, Maine, A Safe Place To Visit?
Kittery has a crime rate of 9 per 1,000 persons, which is comparable to the national average for all cities and towns of all sizes.
What’s It Like To Call Kittery, Maine Home?
Kittery, in York County, is one of Maine’s nicest locations to live. Kittery residents enjoy a minimal suburban vibe, and the majority of homeowners own their homes. Kittery is home to a large number of young professionals and retirees, as well as liberal residents. Kittery’s public schools are highly regarded.
What Is Kittery, Maine known For?
This beach town is perhaps best known for having some of the best outlet shopping in New England. Over 120 Kittery outlets can be found in a one-mile stretch of Route 1, just off I-95.
Kittery is a lively waterfront town that offers a lot more than catches the eye.
If you ever plan to visit, bring this list with you so you don’t miss any of the nearby attractions.
Make a point of stopping in Kittery for the scenic views, avid shopping, coastal dining, and ocean atmosphere, and take in everything this small town has to offer.
Are you familiar with Kittery, Maine? What is your favorite thing to do? Do you have any additional suggestions that we didn’t cover? Please leave a comment and share with us!
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