Travel

Kittery: Maine's Oldest Town, And A Modern-Day Seaside Haven

Informally dubbed the 'Gateway to Maine' Kittery is a well-liked tourist town within the York County of Maine along the Atlantic Ocean. This scenic town has over 120 shopping outlets and multiple restaurants. According to the 2022 census data, Kittery includes a population of 10,070 people. Incorporated in 1647, it's even the oldest town in Maine with a rich history dating back 1623 once the English arrived and settled here.

What to do or visit at Kittery Town

For visitors, Kittery Town has plenty of places to explore and recreational activities to indulge in: These include:

Kittery Historical and Naval Museum

Established in 1977 this museum archives historical documents and maritime and military artifacts dating back 1647. Exhibits displayed in the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum include ancient tools, photos, toys, carvings by famed Colonial woodcarver John Haley Bellamy, archeological finds, and household artifacts. Addititionally there is an imposing and robotic-looking yellow diving suit of past years that visitors love posing with. In 2002 the 17th century Andrews/Mitchells Garrison House became area of the museum. During colonial days this fortified house protected residents from raids throughout the colonial days. Annually events for children and adults are hosted and therefore are posted ahead of time around the museum's Facebook page.

Admissions' Cost

  • Adults $7
  • Children $3
  • Families $15
  • Museum Society Members free

Fort Foster Park

The 88-acre, picturesque, Fort Foster Park is on Gerrish Island. It's three sandy beaches, trails for biking and walking, play areas, outdoor functions space, a 565-foot pier, picnic sites, charcoal grills, and old military relics and fortifications. It's suited for families with children and it has restrooms with outside showers. On the Atlantic Ocean waters, visitors can kayak, windsurf, and paddleboard. Fort Foster is another habitat for endangered native plants, trees, and wildlife. From Fort Foster Park visitors get great views from the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, Whaleback Light lighthouse, the Fort Constitution Historic Site, and the Atlantic Ocean. Tickets to Fort Foster Park are purchased online or at the Town Hall, Customer Service Center from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to six pm. Entry fees cost cost based on if your are a Kittery resident or non-resident. Utilisation of the facilities in the park is also charged depending on the number of guests. This is the current fee schedule for 2022 and is open daily from 10 am to eight pm 7 days per week.

Aerial Adventures

Take Flight Aerial Adventure Park hosts Maine's largest aerial adventure course with over 65 climbing activities and elements suited to any age. Since 2012 the park has had over 80,000 visitors. Ziplines, swings, multi-vines, climbing courses, tube nets, fast and zip jumps, and Burma bridges are among the recreational elements at the Take Flight Aerial Adventure Park. Families, individuals, and groups can click on the park to experience the numerous adrenaline-inducing activities there. Team development activities, birthdays, weddings, along with other customized events can be hosted in the Fly Aerial Adventure Park. The park has a master staff that can help visitors navigate aerial adventures without accidents happening. However, visitors do sign waivers to absolve the park of liability before visiting. Charges for that activities vary from $5 to $86 per person but other activities are charged differently. During spring and fall the park opens from 10 am to 3 pm and in summer (from June 20th) to Labor Day it's open every day at the same hours.

Shop

In Kittery, the one-mile Route 1 stretch off interstate 95 is a shoppers' paradise. It's over 120 stores that house brands like Nike, Adidas Polo, Saucony, Levi, Ralph Lauren, and local New England merchandise. The famous Kittery Trading Post has existed since 1938 and stocks outdoor merchandise for skiing, camping, hunting, fishing, kayaking, archery, biking, and snowboarding in addition to sports and footwear. The presence of these stores makes Kittery busy all year long including winter as people flock there to do holiday shopping.

Wine and Dine

Kittery town offers visitors an assorted gastronomic experience. The dining outlets there've a variety of cuisines. Some dining outlets there are:

  • Lils Café: This café serves made on-site pastries, sandwiches, bread, salads, and soups, plus beverages like coffee. Visitors can visit in the morning or lunch. Gluten-free bread can be obtained.
  • Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier: Lobsters and shellfish are the niche delicacies served here but fish, clam, chicken, and shrimp dishes can be found too. Visitors are permitted to bring their own wines and beers.
  • Robert's Maine Grill: Dishes like lobsters, mussels, clams, steaks, burgers, along with other seafood are served only at that grill off Route 1. The dishes are manufactured from locally sourced Maine produce.
  • The Black Birch: This restaurant serves diverse and delicious dishes with ingredients for example fish, duck, scallops, chicken, pork, potatoes, and olive. Beer, wine, and cocktails are also available.
  • Bob's Clam Hut: Since 1956 this laid-back diner has served fried and crispy seafood like clams, lobsters, and fish fresh from the Atlantic Ocean docks. The seafood served here's made with original recipes similar to their famous tartar sauce which has made this diner famous. Beer and wine will also be served.

Boat Tours

At Kittery, you will find companies that offer ferry and boat tours of the expansive 1248 hectare Portsmouth Harbour and also the 12-mile Piscataqua tidal estuary river. Visitors on tour see sights along the Maine shoreline such as the Fort McClary-a historical site, Whaleback Light lighthouse, the scenic Pepperrell Cove harbor, and Kittery Point, and tour the Isle of Shoals islands.

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