Kittery Point Maine is a beautiful little world unto itself, brimming with history and eager to get you out on the water. Down by the ocean's edge, it's sometimes hard to believe that acres of great outlet malls are just a stone's throw away.
Technically, it's part of the town of Kittery, but who likes technical stuff?
Both the approximately 1,200 residents and the U.S. Census Bureau consider Kittery Point Maine as a "populated area that lacks separate municipal government, but which otherwise physically resembles an incorporated place".
And I consider it a place worth visiting and one of my very favorite places to hang out, hike or kayak.
The Piscataqua River meets the Atlantic Ocean in Kittery Point Maine and it's where the Pine Tree state stands on one side and waves hello at New Hampshire across the water. Bordered by ocean all around, this area has been attracting folks for centuries.
Lured by abundant timber and fish, Kittery Point Maine was first settled by Europeans in the early 1620's.
Colonial-era Kittery Point boasted New England's first baronet, William Pepperell Sr., whose 1733 home still stands overlooking the Piscataqua River on Route 103. His widow built the classic Georgian home now known as The Lady Pepperell house in 1760. The 1662 John Bray house in Kittery Point is considered to be one of the oldest surviving homes in Maine.
One of the best drives in the area is from York's Route 1A in York Harbor to Kittery Point Maine along Route 103. It's a rolling vista of tidal inlets, cottages, old New England churches and graveyards, and beautiful colonial homes and gardens -- and the sea.
Have a look at this short video to get a peek of what it looks like in Kittery Point Maine, then check out some my favorite places and activities.
Kittery Point Maine Favorites
Besides eating lobster al fresco or dining in any number of great Kittery restaurants, you can bask in the ocean air or in the ocean itself, watch Maine history come alive around you at a military reenactment, or hike in the salt air to your heart's content.
Located on Gerrish Island in Kittery Point, Fort Foster has three quiet, sandy beaches, loads of trails for hiking along the ocean, restrooms (in season), picnic areas, a pier, and old military fortifications to explore.
For a family or couple who wants to spend the day swimming, picnicking, hiking and exploring, you won’t find a better spot. Leashed dogs are allowed at Fort Foster.
Fort Foster also features great views of the naval traffic at Portsmouth Harbor, Whaleback Lighthouse, Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and Fort Constitution. There is a designated area for scuba diving, windsurfing, and kayaking but trailers aren’t allowed in the park.
Location: Route 103 to Gerrish Island Road to Pocahontas Road, Kittery Point, ME. $10 per carload (in season).
Fort McClary is named after Major Andrew McClary, a New Hampshire man killed at Bunker Hill during the American Revolution.
For more than 275 years, Fort McClary has stood in Kittery Point, Maine, protecting the ocean approach to the Piscataqua River at the southern tip of the state. The site was manned during five wars – The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I. The fort never saw a lot of action, but stood guard nonetheless.
Fort McClary stands today as one of the state's most important historic forts that dramatically preserves evidence of military history and changes in military architecture and technology. The buildings presently on the site represent several different periods of military construction as the fort was upgraded and modified to meet the area's defensive needs.
For information on events at Fort McClary, including military reenactments, please visit fortmcclary.org
Location: Route 103, Kittery Point, ME. $1 donation per person.
Captain & Patty’s River Tours: 80 minute historical tours of the Piscataqua River basin aboard the Sir William Pepperell. Tour starts in Pepperrell Cove at the Kittery Town Dock where the Maine coast actually begins. June 1 through October 15. FMI: 1-207-451-8156.
Harbor Adventures Lobster Luncheon Tour: Paddle the waters of Chauncey Creek and the Kittery Point peninsula with a Registered Maine Guide. Dock your boat and eat lobster on one of the most scenic piers in Maine. During your day on the water you will see lighthouses, islands and old forts. You will even see the oldest working shipyard in America. Lobstermen hauling their traps and bird and marine life are also common sights. FMI: 1-207-363-8466.
Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier: Chauncey began as a working lobster pier and in the early 1950's started selling boiled lobsters and lobster rolls to local patrons. With gradual expansion and word of mouth, Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier has become what it is today--one of the best and most accessible of the countless lobster pounds that dot the coast of Maine.
The pier sits on a large deck perched on the bank above Chauncey Creek offering 42 brightly painted picnic tables, an enclosed area for inclement weather, and a postcard-perfect view across the water to the pines and back down toward Pepperell Cove, sails and spires gleaming in the sun.
Location: Chauncey Creek Road. From York: Take 103 West approximately five miles. Take a left onto Gerrish Island Lane. At intersection, take right. Chauncey Creek on left.