So you’ve arrived in Kennebunkport and want to hit the sand, but where do you go? The most popular beaches in the area are Goose Rocks in Kennebunkport and the Kennebunk beaches, Gooch’s, Mother’s, and Middle beaches. All of them are excellent, but each has its own special characteristics.
Gooch’s beach is the largest and longest of the Kennebunk beaches. Narragansett Point, a rocky peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic, separates Gooch’s from Middle Beach. The beauty of Gooch’s Beach is that the sidewalk goes right up to the sand, and parking is available right alongside the wide sidewalk. Yup, that means no schlepping all your beach gear through narrow, hard-to-walk-on paths. This is definitely the place to hit with the kiddies. But be forewarned, at high tide the beach all but disappears and the sea wall becomes prime real estate.
A little further along Beach Avenue is Middle beach, a rocky stretch of coastline that resembles Northern Maine’s signature coastline. Covered in stones smoothed by the sea, it is not ideal for sunbathing or sandcastle building, but it is a spectacular choice for strolling along the ocean (if you don’t want to use the wide sidewalks that stretch between the beaches for nearly two miles). Middle beach is often the least populated and is a great choice if you are looking for some solitude.
The last of the Kennebunk beaches is Mother’s Beach, which is the home of the KBIA, the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association. Here they offer enrichment and recreation programs for children, which means that there is a great playground at the end of the beach. Mother’s beach is the smallest of the three, offering much less parking, but has more sand at high tide. My personal favorite time to visit Mother’s is in the early evening, when the families with children have cleared out for the day, parking is readily available, and I can have a large patch of sand to myself…and a good bit of peace and quiet.
Goose Rock’s Beach is about 8 miles out of town and away from the Maine Stay Inn, but is another
lovely option. The only not-so-lovely part is the $12 per day fee for a parking pass. Here parking is along side streets, making the beach much less accessible, but less polluted with noise from passing cars. At Goose Rock’s, you have to trudge through the dunes and narrow paths to reach the beach, but as a result you will find the area more secluded. The beach winds around the shore, providing lots of walking (no cement here!) and quiet little coves. A favorite of many, I’d skip this one if traveling with children – save the hassles for restaurant dinnertime! But if you are visiting us on a romantic getaway, Goose Rock’s Beach in Kennebunkport is definitely the place to go.
At the Maine Stay Inn and Cottages, your Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast Inn, we recommend guests to all of the local beaches, because each of them is wonderful, but their individual quirks allow us to recommend exactly the right beach to make your vacation perfect.
And remember, at the Maine Stay Inn, we always have “the nicest guests!”