Discover Kittery, Maine: Where History, Beauty, and Adventure Meet
Welcome to the charming town of Kittery, Maine, a hidden gem on the picturesque New England coastline. With its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and a vibrant community, Kittery offers a unique blend of culture, outdoor activities, and coastal charm that will captivate visitors and residents alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the heart of Kittery, sharing insights on its history, attractions, dining options, and much more.
Exploring Kittery's History
Kittery's history is deeply intertwined with the early days of American settlement. Established in 1647, it is one of Maine's oldest towns and boasts a fascinating historical heritage.
A Maritime Legacy
Kittery's location along the Piscataqua River made it a crucial maritime center during the 18th and 19th centuries. The town's shipyards played a pivotal role in the construction of famous vessels, including the USS Ranger, the first warship to fly the American flag. You can immerse yourself in this maritime history by visiting the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which partially lies within Kittery's borders. The shipyard, with its rich history dating back to 1800, is still an active naval installation today and offers guided tours for history enthusiasts.
Historic Sites in Kittery, Maine
Kittery is home to several well-preserved historic sites that provide a glimpse into its colonial past. Be sure to visit the John Bray House, built in 1662, which stands as one of the oldest houses in Maine. The Lady Pepperrell House, dating back to 1760, is another architectural gem worth exploring. Both sites offer guided tours and fascinating insights into colonial life in Kittery.
Natural Beauty and Outdoor Adventures in Kittery
Beyond its historical charm, Kittery boasts a wealth of natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Whether you're an avid hiker, a beachcomber, or simply looking to enjoy the great outdoors, Kittery has something for everyone.
The Beaches of Kittery, Maine
Kittery's coastline stretches along the Atlantic Ocean, providing access to beautiful beaches. Fort Foster Park, located on Gerrish Island, offers sandy shores, tide pools, and stunning views of the Isles of Shoals. It's an ideal spot for picnics, swimming, and sunbathing. For a quieter beach experience, head to Seapoint Beach, an often less crowded than other coastal destinations.
Things to do in Kittery, Maine
Kittery is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is home to several parks and trails that cater to hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. The Cutts Island Trail, in particular, offers a scenic hike through wooded areas with breathtaking views of the harbor. Additionally, you can explore the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for birdwatchers and nature photographers.
Boating and Fishing
The Piscataqua River and nearby waters are a paradise for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Whether you prefer kayaking, paddleboarding, or deep-sea fishing, you'll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water. Charter a fishing boat for a memorable day on the ocean or explore the river's calm waters in a rented kayak or paddleboard.
Shopping and Dining
Kittery boasts a vibrant culinary scene and a thriving shopping district. Whether you're in the mood for fresh seafood, international cuisine, or locally crafted goods, Kittery has you covered.
Kittery Premium Outlets
Kittery is famous for its Kittery Outlets, drawing shoppers from near and far. Located just off Interstate 95, the Kittery Outlets feature over 120 stores, offering discounted prices on designer clothing, shoes, home goods, and more. A must-stop is the Kittery Trading Post where any prospective campers can find all sorts of gear for their Vacationland adventure.
Foodies will find plenty to savor in Kittery. The town offers a diverse range of dining options, from seafood shacks serving lobster rolls to upscale restaurants specializing in farm-to-table cuisine. Don't miss When Pig's Fly Pizzeria located just off the Maine turnpike. This brick oven pizzeria has indoor and outdoor dining with over fifteen styles of pizza and dozens of unique toppings, enough to please a car-ful of hungry travellers.
Community and Culture
Kittery's welcoming community and vibrant cultural scene make it a truly special place to live or visit. The town hosts various events and festivals throughout the year that showcase its rich culture and arts.
Festivals and Events
Kittery hosts a variety of annual events, including the Kittery Block Party, a lively celebration featuring local food, live music, and artisan vendors. The Kittery Art Association also organizes exhibitions and art-related activities for both residents and visitors.
The strong sense of community in Kittery is evident through its numerous local organizations and clubs. Whether you're interested in volunteering, joining a sports league, or participating in community initiatives, you'll find opportunities to connect with others who share your passions.
Experience Kittery Today
Kittery, Maine, offers a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, and a warm community spirit. Whether you're seeking a weekend escape or considering making it your home, Kittery invites you to explore its many treasures. From its rich maritime history to its pristine beaches and vibrant culture, Kittery has something to offer everyone. Plan your visit to Kittery today and uncover the hidden gems of this coastal gem in New England.
1. What are the best times to visit Kittery, Maine?
Kittery's beauty shines year-round, but the best times to visit depend on your preferences. Summer offers warm weather and beach activities, while fall provides stunning foliage and ideal hiking conditions. Winter brings a peaceful charm, and spring blooms with new life. Plan your trip based on the experiences you desire.
2. Are there accommodations available in Kittery for tourists?
Kittery offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. Whether you prefer a cozy inn or a waterfront hotel, you'll find options that cater to your needs and budget.
3. What's the quickest way to get to Kittery from major cities like Boston or Portland?
Kittery is conveniently located near major cities. If you're traveling from Boston, take I-95 North for approximately an hour. If you're coming from Portland, follow I-95 South for about an hour. The town's accessibility makes it a perfect day trip or weekend getaway from these urban centers.