So you’re all checked and settled in, now what!? In reality, no vacation to Kennebunkport, Maine is complete without booking at least one tour that highlights either the iconic coastal Maine scene, the delectable growing food scene, or the historic nature of how this charming coastal town came to be! We have taken a few of our favorite local Kennebunkport tours – from whale watching, to lobster boats, foodie walks, and more – and listed them out below! Many are even open year-round or during the fall and winter travel season.
Lobster Tour – Rugosa Lobster Tours
For a memorable Maine vacation, hop on board the Rugosa! An authentic, hands-on New England experience, the Rugosa Lobster Tours is one of the top-rated boat attractions in the New England region. The only lobster boat tour in Kennebunkport, Maine hosted on a traditional wooden Downeast-style lobster boat, Rugosa’s lobster tours offer the most exclusive, personal, and educational cruise. Starting along the beautiful Kennebunk River waterfront, this 1.25 hour fun-filled trip will have you enjoying a scenic tour of the beautiful coastline, where you will get to watch true Maine lobsterman haul their lobster traps – you’ll even get the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and join in the adventure!
Open: June – Mid October
Water Tour – Schooner Eleanor
Lobster boat tour not for you? You can still get out on Kennebunkport’s waters and capture the coast of Maine by setting sail on the Schooner Eleanor!
Originally built and launched in May 1999 by Captain Rich and a crew of local craftsmen, Schooner Eleanor today offers 1.5 – 2 hour trips out on Kennebunkport Harbor. The Schooner Eleanor begins its journey down the historic Kennebunk River, where once clear of the harbor you will venture underway on the Atlantic Ocean. You will get to soak up the sun and breathe the ocean air all while taking in local points of interest – including views of Kennebunk’s sandy beaches, the rugged shores of Cape Arundel and the islands of Cape Porpoise. If you venture further from the shore, you will often encounter lobstermen at work, sea birds in flight and many unexpected ocean happenings.
Offering morning sails (11 AM), midday sails (2 PM), and evening sunset sails (4:30 PM), all seating on the Eleanor Schooner is cushioned, from the cockpit to the cabin tops. Although not a narrated tour, the captain and crew will point out landmarks, share stories and answer questions about the Eleanor, sailing, and local history. Each trip is a unique adventure.
Open: Late Spring – Early Fall
Foodie Tour – Maine Day Adventures
The culinary scene in the Kennebunkport area has exploded in the last few years – including attracting world renowned chefs, craft brewers, gourmet catering companies, award-winning restaurants, food artisans and more. Maine Day Adventures offers a ‘Tasty Lunchtime Walking Tour’ which takes you on a leisurely half-mile walk from Dock Square across the bridge into the lower village as you taste fresh lobster off the boat, Maine clam or fish “Chowdah”, craft brewers ales, fruit sodas, Maine honey wines, roasted coffees with macaroons, the original Maine whoopie pie and more. Taste what it means to be apart of Maine with Maine Day Adventure’s friendly and knowledgeable guides teach you about Maine’s culinary history and vibrant food scene.
Taking your pup with you this vacation to the pet-friendly Waldo Emerson Inn? Maine Day Adventures also offers a ‘Doggy and Me’ Tour, which lets your pup check out the cuisine that Kennebunkport and Lower Village have to offer – enjoy doggie treats and good eats!
Open: May – October
History Tour – Kennebunkport Historical Society
Travel back in time! The Kennebunkport Historical Society offers a combination of historic tours, including both walking and house tours.
Running once a week every Thursdays at 4 PM through the summer, a reservation on the tour will give visitors the chance to tour The First Families Kennebunkport Museum, at White Columns, a 1853 Greek Revival home. During the tour you will view exhibitions covering two centuries of Kennebunkport history, from sea captains to Presidents, seven rooms of the stately home, in addition to hearing the shared stories on the three generations of the Perkins- Nott family that lived, loved and lost in the magnificent Greek revival mansion. In addition, the tour includes a brief history of Kennebunkport, its shipbuilding and maritime traditions, and the important connection between the house and the family of President H.W. and George W. Bush.
The walking portion of the tour includes a guided tour of Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, which is filled with social, cultural and architectural stories of the people who lived there. Running about 45-minutes to 1-hour, this tour covers about ¾ miles.
Fun Fact: Waldo Emerson Inn is an official member of The Historic Inns of Kennebunkport, a collection of independently owned and operated inns in Kennebunkport, all at least 150 years old. Waldo Emerson knows all about the excitement and significance that comes with sharing the rich history and cherished stories of Kennebunkport. Learn more about the history of Waldo Emerson Inn here.
Open: Combination Walking Tour Available Until End of September. Different Tours and Events Offered Year-Round.
Whale Watching Tour – New England Eco Adventures
A highlight of your Maine trip, New England Eco Adventure’s narrated ‘Whale Watching Tour’ is their most adventurous tour that offers something for everyone from the thrill-seeker, the sightseek and the marine lover.
A 4-hour adventure, New England Eco Adventure’s steers you away from the crowds, putting you up close and personal with the beautiful creatures of the ocean. On a boat that offers 360 degree ocean views, New England Eco Adventures has a 97% sighting rate, so you are likely to witness Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Northern Right Whales, Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin and the Harbor Porpoise. In addition to whale watching, you’ll also see Boon Island Lighthouse and the many seals that call it home, and occasionally Sei Whales, Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and the Long Finned Pilot Whale.
Open: January – October. All Seasons!