Travel Destinations

Boating Destination: Kittery, ME

Kittery, ME | Credit Peregrine Photography on Unsplash

Nestled in the southernmost point of Maine, Kittery is just a stone’s throw from Portsmouth, NH, across the Piscataqua River. The oldest town in the state of Maine is rich in history but has managed to keep pace with the times.

Described as a “hipster’s paradise” and the “Brooklyn of Portsmouth,” Kittery has it all. Kittery Foreside, the downtown area, is home to a thriving arts scene and charming local boutiques. Just Us Chickens is an artist co-op and gallery featuring work from more than 30 local artists. The best place for shopping is Wallingford Square. If you’re looking for outdoor gear, stop in at the Kittery Trading Post.

Otherwise, the shops around town provide anything you can imagine from wellness apparel and children’s clothing to a zero-waste store and charming storefronts. Craft coffee shops and a plethora of food trucks provide quick and quirky alternatives to the sit-down, chef-driven restaurant scene.

Even though it’s hard to tear yourself away from this adorable town, Kittery’s surrounding area also has much to offer. Revolutionary War forts McClary and Foster are now recreation spots with miles of hiking or biking trails, along with fishing and campgrounds. Easy and accessible day trips including Portsmouth’s Badger’s Island and Gerrish Island, the home of Fort Foster Park, whose coastlines offer classic Maine beaches, including Rocky, Whaleback and Crescent.

Memorial Bridge connects Kittery to Badger’s Island in the middle of the Piscataqua River and to Portsmouth on the opposite bank. Portsmouth’s Strawbery Banke Museum details what life might have looked like for local inhabitants about 300 years ago. Badger’s Island is walkable, with eateries that provide a view of the river and Kittery’s waterfront. Diving charters for visitors who can brave the cold water offer close-up views of shipwrecks and the chance to experience the unique and ecologically diverse Gulf of Maine, famous for its tides and wildlife.


Whaleback Light | Courtesy of Visit Maine

Safe Harbor Kittery Point


A full-service marina located on Kittery Point, Safe Harbor also provides grills and courtesy bikes. The marina can accommo- date vessels up to 65 feet.

Badger’s Island Marina


On Badger’s Island in the middle of the Piscataqua River, the full-service marina started out as a one-man operation in the 1990s and grown to accommodate boats up to 75 feet.

Piscataqua Marina


Piscataqua Marina is located on the east side of Badger’s Island. The marina provides service year-round and welcomes boats up to 125 feet.


Anju Noodle Bar


In an old government building in Wallingford Square, Anju’s menu hails from East Asia, featuring ramen made with ingredients from the butcher next door. The casual noodle bar is owned by the same family as the Wallingford Dram.

The Black Birch


This casual bistro offers refined comfort food and a large selection of draft beers. The restaurant was an immediate hit upon opening and is still worth the wait.

Lil’s Cafe


One of the most popular coffee spots in Kittery Foreside, the roasted coffee is tasty, but the crullers and other homemade pastries are what the shop is known for around the region.

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