One advantage Kennebunkport has over rival coastal towns is its distinct historic character. Our town hasn’t been strip-malled and homogenized. If anything, it’s evolved to become even more one-of-a-kind. Kennebunkport’s historic attractions are worthwhile places to visit while you’re staying at the Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club. These museums and historic sites tell intriguing tales of life on the coast over storied past centuries.
Step inside a grand, Greek Revival home in the heart of downtown Kennebunkport, and get to know local luminaries—from shipbuilding magnates to presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush—whose achievements have brought wealth and attention to our shores. Operated by the Kennebunkport Historical Society, White Columns is both a historic mansion, cherished by one prominent family for 130 years, and a museum with exhibits devoted to the Bush family’s life in Maine and at another famous, columned mansion: the White House. This historic attraction offers tours from mid-May through mid-October and reopens in December during Kennebunkport’s two-weekend Christmas Prelude.
8 Maine Street, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-2751
Kennebunkport has many claims to fame, and one of them is… surprise!… the world’s oldest and largest electric railway museum. Transportation history is brought to life daily Memorial Day through Columbus Day and weekends in May and October at the Seashore Trolley Museum, which is nearing its 80th anniversary. This historic attraction opened in 1939 with just one open trolley car. Now, the museum’s collection includes more than 250 transit vehicles from around the world. Rail buffs will want to reserve the Be a Motorman experience, which allows participants to “drive” an antique streetcar.
195 Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-2800
It’s a history museum. It’s an art museum. It’s a different place every time you visit. With six galleries that feature changing exhibits year-round, housed inside four historic buildings including an 1825 dry goods store, this multifaceted attraction is your place to discover local culture in its myriad forms. Founded in 1936 and blessed with treasures collected by merchant and ship owner William Lord and his descendants, the museum has 70,000 or so artifacts to rotate into view. Download the museum’s free History Hopper App, and dive even deeper into the Kennebunk region’s fascinating past.
117 Main Street, Kennebunk, Maine, 207-985-4802