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Because the southernmost city on Maine’s seacoast, the city of Kittery Maine has lots to supply! Kittery may be greatest recognized for its outlet procuring, nevertheless it additionally has a captivating historical past courting again to 1647, making it Maine’s oldest city.
I’ve spent lots of time in Kittery — sure, like many New Englanders, I went primarily for the retailers, although on a few of my many Portsmouth visits I’ve walked throughout the bridge into Kittery to take pleasure in extra of what this coastal city in Maine has to supply.
Kittery is residence to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which was established in 1800. With among the finest pure deepwater harbors on this planet, it’s the oldest frequently working shipyard in the USA, constructing and repairing submarines for the US Navy.
Historical past and procuring apart, the city has a small-town vibe and has quietly been changing into one of many cooler offbeat cities in Maine, stuffed with artwork galleries, native markets, and connoisseur eateries serving locally-sourced meals.
Notable eating places to take a look at are Warren’s Lobster Home, which serves wonderful seafood with views of the river, and Robert’s Maine Grill, additionally serving nice seafood together with steak and hen.
Being the southernmost city in Maine, part of the state that’s typically deemed “North Massachusetts” (although whether or not or not that’s a praise or an insult relies on who’s saying it!), Kittery makes a superb cease on a Maine highway journey or a straightforward day journey from Boston.
Kittery winks on the world — it has a lot extra to supply than you suppose.
This publish, revealed in November 2023, was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Susan Stephens.
Greatest Issues To Do in Kittery, Maine
Store on the Kittery Premium Retailers
Many guests begin their day in Kittery with a visit to the Kittery Premium Retailers. This shopper’s paradise options greater than 100 shops, from Kate Spade to Banana Republic Manufacturing facility Retailer, Michael Kors to Carter’s, and from Coach to Adidas. The costs listed below are properly definitely worth the go to!
If you end up feeling starvation pangs throughout your procuring spree, you’ll uncover a variety of eating places out there, together with a number of cheeky breweries.
One factor to remember, although, is that Maine has 5.5% gross sales tax, in contrast to next-door neighbor New Hampshire, which has no gross sales tax. (Although in case you actually wish to max up the tax financial savings, you would possibly wish to hit up the retailers in New Hampshire.)
Moreover, clothes is taxed in Maine, in contrast to Massachusetts, the place most clothes below $175 shouldn’t be taxed. Simply preserve this in thoughts earlier than you store so your expectations are stored in verify.
The retailers couldn’t be simpler to get to, situated simply off I-95 on Route 1, and there’s loads of parking.
In the event you haven’t had sufficient retail remedy on the retailers, Kittery Buying and selling Publish is one other nice procuring cease, excellent for snagging your entire outside clothes and equipment.
Fort McClary State Historic Website
Fort McClary is likely one of the greatest locations to immerse your self within the historical past of southern Maine. In-built 1844 and situated at Kittery Level, the fort performed a vital position within the protection of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard through the Warfare of 1812 and the Civil Warfare. Main McClary misplaced his life at Bunker Hill within the Revolutionary Warfare, and this fort safeguarded the area for a powerful 275 years.
The historical past of Kittery is mirrored within the fort’s structure. Utilizing native granite, the encompassing wall stands proud as a testomony to the fort’s sturdiness. Over time, modifications have been made to maintain its unique grandeur. Right now, guests can discover the fort’s grounds, go to the museum, and luxuriate in beautiful views of the Piscataqua River.
The fort is open for excursions from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, from 10:00 AM till sundown, except in any other case posted on the gate. Charges are $3 for Maine residents, $4 for non-residents, and $1 for all seniors, no matter residency.
Take pleasure in Kittery’s Seashores
Kittery is residence to a number of stunning seashores that provide beautiful landscapes and ample alternatives for enjoyable within the solar. You’ve bought a few of Maine’s trademark rocky seashores, together with calmer sandy choices.
Seapoint Seashore is a smaller, extra secluded seashore situated on the outskirts of Kittery. Don’t be fooled by its rocky shores; the swimming is divine. Parking will be restricted, particularly throughout busy occasions, however canine are welcome!
Alternatively, Fort Foster Park is an attractive 45-acre park situated on Gerrish Island in Kittery Level. The park is only a quick drive from downtown, also referred to as Kittery Foreside, providing beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and a pleasant seashore space.
The park is residence to a Civil Warfare-era fort and museum, a playground, picnic areas, and a ship launch. The park additionally provides swimming, fishing, and climbing trails. Know that canine are usually not allowed on this seashore.
Crescent Seashore is a well-liked spot in Kittery recognized for its calm waters and picturesque sandbar. It provides quite a lot of facilities, together with restrooms, showers, and a snack bar. Whereas there’s a massive car parking zone, it does replenish throughout peak occasions, so come early in case you’re visiting through the summer time.
Take Flight Aerial Journey Park
In the event you’re searching for a thrill, you gained’t wish to miss Take Flight Aerial Journey Park! With over 65 actions to select from at this enjoyable spot, you’ll embark on an aerial journey, navigating swinging tires, suspended platforms, swings, catwalks, and even an exciting zip line that may check your nerves!
With programs for all ages and talent ranges, it’s a good way to get your adrenaline pumping and expertise the fantastic thing about the Maine woods from a singular perspective. Don’t fear in case you’re a first-timer; you’ll obtain instruction, security pointers, and the chance to apply earlier than venturing out by yourself. The professional employees at all times prioritizes security so you’ll be able to benefit from the expertise with peace of thoughts.
The park is open weekends from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, April to October. A number of completely different packages can be found starting from $12-84, relying in your stage of curiosity. Select from an aerial problem course, zip line tour, tremendous swing, ski bounce, and fast bounce. Combo packages can be found from $118 per individual.
Kittery Historic and Naval Museum
The preservation of Kittery Maine’s wealthy naval traditions is fantastically showcased on the iconic Kittery Historic & Naval Museum. It homes a powerful assortment of artifacts and displays that spotlight the city’s position in shipbuilding, the Revolutionary Warfare, and the U.S. Navy.
Guests also can discover the museum’s historic buildings, together with the Seventeenth-century Sparhawk Home. Because of the devoted efforts of volunteers and beneficiant donations from far and extensive, this distinctive historical past is preserved for generations to return.
Excursions on the museum are self-guided, and so they’re open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, from Might by way of November. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for youngsters, and $15 for households.
Catch a Efficiency on the Dance Corridor
The Dance Corridor is an excellent neighborhood gathering area in Kittery, Maine, designed to encourage younger and previous with the enjoyment of music and motion. With an incredible mixture of reside performances, patrons can’t assist however benefit from the environment within the historic 1928 constructing. The vibe is classic and the acoustics are spine-tinglingly good!
Must brush up in your dance strikes earlier than you’re taking to the ground? The Dance Corridor provides a choice of dancing classes in its landmark artwork area. The corridor prides itself in selling culturally various programming with its reside occasions, artist residencies, and ongoing neighborhood tasks.
The ticket costs are very inexpensive and the area is managed by a devoted non-profit group. It’s an incredible alternative to immerse your self within the native arts scene, placing cash into the pockets of Mainers dedicated to the humanities. Beer and wine can be found throughout performances. Exhibits begin at $17 per individual. See their web site for the dance lesson costs and scheduling.
Drop Into Simply Us Chickens
Uncover the whimsical creations of Simply Us Chickens artwork gallery. Since 2005, this artist cooperative of 18 native artisans has created a beautiful spot with which to showcase and promote their works.
Whether or not you’re seeking a singular reward, or a private memento, the gallery is the right vacation spot. Right here, you’ll discover a variety of beautiful objects, together with glassware, nature-inspired artwork, ceramics, and fantastically crafted baskets.
What makes Simply Us Chickens even higher is that it’s run by the artists themselves. This not solely lends a private contact but additionally ensures that their work is offered with the utmost care and fervour. As soon as once more — right here’s the place you’ll be able to put funds direct into Maine artists’ pockets.
Go to Kittery’s Breweries
Very like the remainder of the U.S., the cities of Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire are residence to a flourishing craft beer scene.
Tributary Brewing Firm is likely one of the oldest and hottest breweries in Kittery. The brewery was based in 2010 by two mates who’re obsessed with craft beer.
They’re recognized for his or her extensive number of beers, which vary from IPAs and stouts to extra experimental choices like bitter beers and barrel-aged beers. The brewery additionally has a preferred taproom the place you’ll be able to pattern their beers and pair them with an satisfying meal.
One other nice choice in Kittery is Woodland Farms Brewery. This brewery is a bit smaller than Tributary however they’ve an incredible choice of farmhouse ales and lagers. It is usually Maine’s first non-alcoholic brewery (sure, that’s a factor!), with beneficiant choices for non-drinkers, even non-alcoholic IPAs! Woodland Farms Brewery can be recognized for its dedication to sustainability, and it makes use of eco-friendly practices at any time when doable.
In the event you’re prepared to take a brief drive, there are much more breweries to take a look at in close by Portsmouth, NH, and the encompassing Seacoast area.
Get Out within the Water with Seafari Charters
I really feel like all good journeys to Maine require a ship trip in some unspecified time in the future, and one firm provides quite a lot of methods to expertise the good outside of Southern Maine and the New Hampshire Seacoast. With an skilled group of Coast Guard-licensed captains, Seafari Charters gives excursions, fishing journeys, and scuba diving adventures that assist you to create lasting recollections within the water.
Wish to do some whale watching? E-book a tour and get the possibility to watch humpback, fin, and minke whales whereas cruising previous the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire and Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine.
Deep sea journeys with Seafari Charters cater to anglers of all talent ranges, and their skilled captains might help you land quite a lot of species together with cod, pollack, haddock, wolf fish, halibut, and extra.
Diving charters might sound nuts in Maine — the water up right here shouldn’t be precisely Caribbean heat — however scuba diving right here is exclusive. Off the coast of Maine, you’ll be able to discover the varied marine lifetime of the area’s rocky ledges, kelp forests, and shipwrecks, providing a singular view into the underwater world.
Half-day and day journeys can be found, relying on the tour you select. In the event you’re seeking to turn out to be a licensed scuba diver, they’ve packages for newcomers.
Go to Badger’s Island
A cute little island situated between Kittery and Portsmouth, NH, Badger’s Island is the right place to flee the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis life and benefit from the pure great thing about Maine. It’s additionally a pleasant cease when strolling into Portsmouth.
In the event you’re feeling energetic, you’ll be able to loosen up in one in all a number of parks or take a ship trip from the marina. Like Kittery, it’s additionally a historic location the place a number of exceptional boats have been constructed again within the 1700s. You’ll additionally discover three eating places on Badger’s Island: Ore Nell’s BBQ, Badger’s Island Pizza, and Buoy Shack. The latter provides seafood and breathtaking views of the harbor.
Attending to Badger Island is simple. Merely take the Portsmouth-Newmarket Bridge and comply with the indicators. It’s a straightforward stroll in case you’re coming from both Kittery or downtown Portsmouth.
Go to Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is one in all my favourite locations in New England — an inviting coastal city actually throughout the bridge to the south of Kittery. With its wealthy historical past, vibrant tradition, and exquisite surroundings, Portsmouth and Kittery are two sides of the identical coin.
Additionally residence to a variety of historic websites, amongst them, you’ll discover the Strawbery Banke Museum, a residing historical past museum that tells the story of the city’s early settlers. Different notable websites embrace the John Paul Jones Home, the place the well-known Revolutionary Warfare naval hero as soon as lived, and the downtown space right here is likely one of the prettiest in New Hampshire.
You’ll discover a variety of galleries, theaters, and music venues. In the course of the summer time, don’t miss the Prescott Park Arts Competition. A few of the extra well-known Portsmouth eating places to take a look at are The Oar Home, which serves recent seafood with a view of the river, and The Portsmouth Brewery, which provides quite a lot of craft beers and pub fare.
Learn Extra: Greatest Issues to Do in Portsmouth, NH
Go to Ogunquit, Maine
In the event you’re searching for a enjoyable and funky seaside city, simply north of Kittery you’ll discover Ogunquit. This city has all of it — superior seashores, a vibrant queer neighborhood, stunning strolling trails, cute little outlets and galleries, and a bar the place you’ll be able to sing out present tunes.
One of many highlights right here is strolling Marginal Method. This scenic strolling path winds alongside the rocky shoreline, providing unbelievable views of the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s additionally an incredible spot for whale watching. In the event you can tear your self away from the seashore, that’s!
In the event you’re craving a little bit of efficiency artwork, the historic Ogunquit Playhouse has been presenting Broadway musicals and different reside performances for over 80 years. That is the place you’ll wish to be to catch a present and luxuriate in an evening out in town. Alternatively, hit up The Entrance Porch, a enjoyable bar and restaurant, for dinner and present tunes!
However one of many nicest issues about Ogunquit is simply strolling across the downtown space and having fun with an ice cream, or heading over to Perkins Cove to take quintessentially colourful pictures of coastal Maine.
Learn Extra: 17 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Ogunquit, Maine
Go to York, Maine
Situated between Ogunquit and Kittery, York, Maine is an attractive city. It’s recognized for its beautiful seashores, historic landmarks, and traditional New England environment. York is a really family-friendly city, with tons of actions for teenagers, however even adults can have a blast right here.
The seashores listed below are a few of the nicest within the space, together with Brief Sands Seashore and Lengthy Sands Seashore. You’ll discover arcades and sweet shops that really feel nearly frozen in time.
The city is residence to a number of locally-owned outlets and cafes and boasts a vibrant arts scene. It additionally hosts a number of festivals and occasions all year long, such because the York Harvestfest.
And naturally, you’ll be able to’t neglect in regards to the meals! You’ll discover a few of the greatest fine-dining seafood eating places in Maine; all the things from lobster rolls to recent oysters.
Learn Extra: 15 Enjoyable Issues to Do in York, Maine
The place to Keep in Kittery Maine
It’s not a nasty concept to have a look lodging at Portsmouth, NH first — it’s simply throughout the bridge from Kittery and town is residence to a pleasant choice of inns. Nevertheless, listed below are my high picks if you wish to keep proper in Kittery:
Luxurious: Water Avenue Inn, nestled within the historic district, boasts beautiful views of the Piscataqua River. The meticulously restored 1812 mansion provides 8 elegant rooms, every with its distinct character and luxurious facilities. Friends can loosen up on a secluded riverside patio, collect for afternoon tea within the Nice Room, or discover Kittery’s boutique galleries, outlets, and eating places.
Mid-Vary: Hampton Inn & Suites Kittery, located in north Kittery close to Interstate 95, provides a snug keep for vacationers looking for comfort. The lodge’s up to date rooms present trendy facilities and ample area for households and enterprise vacationers. Friends can begin the day with a complimentary breakfast, unwind with a swim within the indoor pool, or work out within the health middle.
Price range: Howard Johnson by Wyndham Portsmouth is a pleasant budget-friendly choice for friends and is simply throughout the river from Kittery. Their comfy visitor rooms are outfitted with facilities similar to a TV, espresso maker, and complimentary Wi-Fi. For added consolation, benefit from their on-site breakfast and health middle.
Greatest Time to Go to Kittery, Maine
No shock, you’ll expertise the perfect climate in Kittery in the summertime, however the reputation of the retailers retains Kittery hopping year-round.
In the event you’re searching for the perfect summer time climate, your greatest bets are July, August, and even early September. June tends to be a bit riskier with rain in New England.
Shoulder season is a stunning time to go to with much less crowds. Traditionally, you’ll expertise higher climate in fall than in spring (although foliage season, which peaks in early to mid-October, will be each stunning and really busy, particularly on Columbus Day weekend).
The winter months are quiet alongside the Maine coast, with most sights closed for the season. That mentioned, a winter journey to Maine is a good way to get to know the locals reside right here year-round!
The right way to Get to Kittery Maine
By far, the easiest way to get right here is by automobile. A lot of small-town New England isn’t accessible by public transportation, and with a automobile, you’ll have loads of freedom to discover the encompassing areas.
In the event you’re flying into Kittery, the closest airport is in Portland, Maine, adopted by Boston, Mass. Logan Airport in Boston is a extra handy choice for worldwide flights.
If coming by prepare, Amtrak’s nearest cease is in Dover, NH on the Downeaster line from Boston to Portland. Native buses come from Portsmouth and cease in Kittery (simply north throughout the river).
Uber does exist in Kittery and Portsmouth, which is a good way to get round in case you don’t have entry to a automobile, or if you wish to hit up the bars and don’t have a chosen driver.
How A lot Time to Spend in Kittery Maine
In the future is sufficient for the primary sights of Kittery. In the event you keep longer than that, you’ll be capable to see all the things that the city has to supply. However in case you’re planning a mixed journey to Kittery and Portsmouth, I feel three days will provide you with time to see quite a bit in these two vibrant coastal cities.
Kittery additionally makes a superb base for exploring Southern Maine and the encompassing area. You possibly can completely use Kittery as a base as you drive up and down the coast, discovering loads of treasures (and eat ALL the lobster rolls!).
Is Kittery Value It?
I completely love the southern coast of Maine — in addition to its sibling, the New Hampshire Seacoast. Whether or not you’re visiting on a day journey from Boston or spending a full two weeks exploring the area in depth, I feel it’s a unbelievable place to discover.
Kittery is only one city amongst many on this area. And whereas I don’t suppose it’s one of many best possible cities — for me, that will be Portsmouth or Ogunquit — Kittery is totally value not less than a half day go to. You gained’t remorse spending a number of hours right here.
I hope you might have the perfect time in Kittery, Maine!
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Have you ever been to Kittery Maine? What’s your favourite factor to do? Share away!