I've been coming to Maine at least once a year since I was born. My extended family has a home in Kittery, which is a little seaside town at the southern most tip of the state, and my grandma lives here during the summer. It's my "happy place."
It's been pretty incredible to see Kittery (and the bigger, neighboring town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire) grow and change over my lifetime. I remember a time when there was no cell service, internet or TV at our home (I used to WRITE letters to my friends and boyfriends back in the day!), and grocery and restaurant options were very limited. Nowadays, we have WiFi, and even some spotty cell service down on the beach, and quite a few delicious and healthy spots to eat at.
In this post I'm sharing my favorite things to eat, see and do in Kittery. We don't eat out a TON here, so if you know the town and have additional spots to recommend, please leave them in the comments below!
Also, if you're interested in visiting Kittery, my family's home is available for rent one or two weeks out of the summer, as well as the full winter. You can check out our AirBnB listing here.
- Rising Tide Natural Foods - A small natural foods store with bulk goods, snacks and even some vitamins and supplements. It's small and doesn't offer much in the way of produce, but a great place to grab those specialty items you likely won't find at the regular grocer.
- Golden Harvest Produce Market - This used to be the only spot to get produce in town! While other supermarket's have popped up, I still love shopping at the Golden Harvest for fresh fruits and veggies. They also have pantry staples (granola, chips, fresh ground peanut butter, spices, crackers, etc) and a few specialty items (local milk and cheese, eggs, kombucha, ice cream, etc).
- Sue's Seafood - Where to get fresh lobster, fish and seafood. A true local spot.
- Terra Cotta Pasta Co - Fresh homemade pasta, ravioli, sauces and more. They also have some delicious pre-made meals and specialty items.
- The Maine Squeeze - A fairy new juice and smoothie bar located in downtown Kittery. Pro tip: ask for their Chocoholic smoothie served in a bowl with toppings - it's DA BOMB!
- Lil's Cafe - My go-to work spot in Kittery. Lil's has coffee, tea, matcha, baked goods and light bites, all served in a bright and friendly environment. Free wi-fi and plenty of seating makes it a great spot to get some work done, or spend a lazy morning.
- Beach Pea Baking Co - Homemade baked goods, and the most amazing salads and sandwiches. Seriously, I'm quite particular when it comes to salads and the Beach Pea does them RIGHT. They do have gluten free bread, but only on certain days AND they sell out so call ahead to check first, if that's what you're going for. My gluten-loving friends should try their rosemary Fougasse bread - it's a family favorite of ours.
- Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier - Honestly, I've never eaten here (we always cook our lobsters at home!) BUT if you want to eat lobster with a beautiful view, Chauncey's is your spot. Chauncey's is a BYOB establishment - you can bring your own beer and wine, and any side dishes that they don't sell on site.
- Mrs & Me Homemade Ice Cream - The BEST homemade ice cream. If they have it, get the Blueberry Pie flavor - it's to die for.
- Bob's Clam Hut - No trip to Kittery is complete without a lunch or two at Bob's. Bob's is THE place to go for all your seafood dreams - fried clams, lobster rolls, and (my personal favorite) fresh haddock sandwiches. This is more of a casual spot - if you're looking for a sit down dinner, check out Bob's upscale sister restaurant: Robert's Maine Grill.
- The Bagel Caboose - The spot to go to for bagels and breakfast sandwiches. They even now offer gluten free bagels and vegan cream cheese! Open early.
- The Black Birch - If you're looking for a night out, The Black Birch is a great option with yummy food and drinks and a little bit younger crowd and vibe.
- Anneke Jans - Anneke Jans is likely the fanciest place in Kittery, and it is delicious.
- Beach it! Maine beaches are beautiful, especially in the summer - it's typically a little cooler and breezier than other East Coast beaches. Our beach is called Seapoint Beach and it's one of the more popular ones in town.
- Kayak down Chauncey Creek - Kayaking down Chauncey Creek is a fun adventure and a great way to see some of the beautiful houses that line the creek. You'll want to plan your trip around high tide (the tides vary greatly around here). You can kayak down and around the creek, and even go all the way around Gerrish Island to Fort Foster or land back at Seapoint Beach for a longer trip.
- Hike, bike, or walk around Fort Foster - Fort Foster is a town owned park in Kittery. There are a number of beaches (including a surfing beach) and trails that are great for walking, running or biking. There are also a few spots to picnic, so it's a good place to plan a whole day to visit. Kittery residents can get a season pass to the park, otherwise you'll pay a daily fee (it's worth it!).
- Get your history fix at Fort McClary - For McClary is a former military defensive fortification at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. It's an interesting place to check out - there's some structures you can poke around and sometimes they do historical reenactments.
- Shop at the Kittery Outlets - When I was a kid, we'd do all our back to school shopping at the Kittery Outlets! They're still some of the best on the East Coast and a popular rainy day activity here in Kittery.
- Learn about lobsters - Last year my fam and I went on a boat tour where we learned ALL about lobsters and the lobster fishing industry - it was SUPER interesting, and a nice way to spend a day out on the water. There's a few different options for tours - this is the one we went with.
- Go blueberry picking! You MUST eat blueberries when you are in Maine, and (when possible) we like to pick em ourselves! This is a fun activity for the whole family. Here's the farm we usually go to, but there are quite a few options - call ahead to make sure the berries are ready to be picked.
While we stay in Kittery MOST of the time, there are other cute towns nearby that are worth making a trip to if you're in the area. Here are a few:
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire - My personal favorite and most frequently visited (I go to yoga here and it's home to my favorite health foods store). I'm going to write a seperate post with my full list of recommendations in Portsmouth because there are many!
- York Beach, Maine - York is a super popular beach town just north of Kittery. If you head here, be sure to stop by The Goldenrod for brunch and some salt water taffy.
- Kennebunkport, Maine - Another picaresque, coastal town, made famous by George H. W. Bush (the Bush family summer home is located here).
- Cape Neddick, Maine - Sometimes we head here to check out the Nubble Light lighthouse. It's beautiful and a great spot for that classic Maine lighthouse-in-the-background photo.
- Ogunquit, Maine - Another popular beach town that's great for both a day trip or a full week's stay. Nearby, the Marginal Way is a cliff walk with coastal views and a lighthouse.
Reading back over this post, I feel like I only scratched the surface of all the amazing things to do, see and EAT in Kittery. I hope this post gives you a taste for what it's like to visit this special town, and gives you some ideas for what to check out if you do decide to visit!