Plan A Coastal Couples Trip To This Beautiful East Coast Beach Town

There's something inescapably romantic about a getaway to a small town on the East Coast — or a small town anywhere, for that matter. Whether it's the charmed downtown area dotted with shops and eateries, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it wine bars tucked off the street, or the cozy boutiques decorated with small touches from the hosts, a romantic getaway in one of these gems is never quite long enough. The small seaside town of Kennebunkport in Maine is no exception.


Roughly half an hour down the coast from Portland, the town of Kennebunkport (often shortened to KPT) is one of the oldest European-settled towns in America with history dating back to the 1600s. The community is made up of about 3,500 year-rounders and the population nearly triples in the summer for its buzzing downtown area and "Maine's #1 Best Beach," as named by the U.S. News and World Report. No matter when you decide to visit, the town has all the fix-ins required for a memorable vacation for two: idyllic scenery, refreshing day spas, food and wine tastings, craft beer, and more delicious New England seafood than you know what to do with.

Downtown area and walking tours

Start your trip in lively Dock Square with a cup of Kennebunkport's best coffee at Mornings In Paris, a European-style cafe which doubles as a wine bar after dark. From there, grab your sweetheart's hand and meander through the heart of town, poking around dozens of shops, boutiques, galleries, studios, book stores, antique stores, and beachy gift shops.


Once you've worked up an appetite, stop for lunch at the iconic Kennebunkport Inn, a romantic hotel with Northeastern charm. There's also the nearby Boathouse Restaurant for "classic Maine" staples and a relaxing view of boats on the Kennebunk River. Obviously, a couple's selfie in front of the neon "Love KPT" sign is a must. If you'd rather sample a little bit of everything, book the Walking Foodie Tour ($140) and dig into fresh lobster, clam chowder, whoopie pies (round chocolate cake slices with cream filling), and craft brews, among other delectable treats.

With your curiosity satisfied and bellies full, walk off a hearty lunch with a walking history tour ($42) or a garden stroll through the historic district ($42). Depending on which tour you choose, you can learn about the area's history, view historic homes, and ogle at the impeccably manicured gardens maintained by a volunteer, green-thumbed crew called the Seacoast Garden Club.


Relaxing activities and exploring the waterfront

Beyond Dock Square, there's still plenty of Kennebunkport to explore. About 10 minutes north, you'll find Hidden Pond's Tree Spa, perfect for a couple's massage ($390) and a nature-fueled retreat among the birch trees. After some R&R, head to the nearby Goose Rocks Beach, considered the most scenic shoreline in the area with 3 miles of pristine coast to explore.


Given that you're in Maine, it only makes sense to actually get out on the water. You could spend an afternoon on a wooden lobster boat with Rugosa Lobster Tours ($49) and learn all about the lobster industry. You could rent some water toys from Coastal Maine Kayak + Bike and take a tour to the Cape Porpoise Lighthouse in single or tandem kayaks. Either way, you'll get to glimpse a historic lighthouse and have a picnic on a quiet island. If a sunset cruise is more your style, reserve a ride on The Pineapple Ketch for a fantastic view of the coast at golden hour.

Back on the mainland, wind down with a couple of pints of local beers at Federal Jacks, home of the award-winning Shipyard brews with a spectacular view of the waterfront. Or perhaps, if you've got wine on the mind, cozy up at Wine House on Main, which offers free wine tastings every Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. There's two great things to raise a glass for: you're in love and you're in Maine. Cheers to that!