While Kennebunkport is known as a charming seaside town, it is home to some great museums that should not be missed during your Maine summer vacation. Many don’t imagine that they would be checking out museums on their getaway to the coast, but you’re just a stone’s throw from some truly unique spots. So this year, make sure not to miss the First Families Museum, the Brick Store Museum, and the Seashore Trolley Museum.
You’ll pass by the First Families Museum before you even arrive at the Maine Stay Inn –
it’s just a few houses away! Formerly the Nott House, it is part of the Kennebunkport Historical Society, and a few years ago joined with the Bush Family to pay homage to both the historical roots of Kennebunkport, the pristinely preserved 1853 Greek Revival home, and the Bush Family Presidential legacy. Open Memorial Day to Columbus Day and offering tours on the hour starting at 10 with the last tour a 3pm, there are plenty of opportunities to explore. And it’s also open during Kennebunkport’s Christmas Festival, Christmas Prelude! I am a little ashamed to admit it, but one of my favorite parts of the First Families museum is actually the gift shop – they have an incredible assortment fit for any of the chic boutiques in Dock Square. Then check out the beautiful tidal marsh behind the house – it’s a perfect spot for your Instagram-worthy photo shoot.
The next museum is actually just over the bridge in Kennebunk, but the Brick Store Museum actually chronicles the history of the entire area – and since Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, and Arundel were all one town at some point in history, it makes sense that the museum is located in the middle! It’s just a 7-8 minute drive from the Maine Stay, and you’ll enjoy the drive through a truly stunning historic street, full of mansions from sea captains long ago.
But unique to Kennebunkport is a real treasure – the Seashore Trolley Museum. Just a few miles from the inn, you’ll find the world’s oldest and largest collection of transit vehicles. With functioning vintage trolleys that run on scenic tracks through their wooded property and trains, trolleys and buses from all over the world, you’ll find a spot like nowhere else. And while the gut instinct is often to assume this museum is aimed at children, that’s not the case – but it is fun for visitors of all ages. So hop aboard one of the vintage trains and take a ride through yesteryear!
So this year, check out a part of Kennebunkport that can sometimes be overlooked – the incredible collection of museums this seaside village has to offer.