WALKING & BICYCLING AROUND KENNEBUNKPORT
Walker's Point. The summer home of former President George Bush is a sprawling estate situated on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, visible from the Blowing Cave. From here you might catch a glimpse of Bush or any visiting friends or family members - perhaps the president himself. Keep an eye out for the elder Bush;s boat, the Fidelity III, which can be seen zipping around the harbor on nearly every good weather day.
At the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise, you can get a good view of Goat Island Light, a classic and often photographed lighthouse at the entrance to the harbor. Walk around or grab a pole and fish off of Cape Porpoise Pier.
A great way to enjoy the scenery of the Kennebunkport coast is to ride a bicycle along Ocean Avenue and Parsons Way, past where the sidewalk ends at Wandby Beach (just beyond Walker's Point) and continue through the quiet residential area to the Wildes District Fire Station.. From there, you can hook a left and head back to Dock Square for a 4-mile trip or take a right out to Cape Porpoise and the pier and retrace your route for a 10-mile trek.
You have to enjoy a few hours on the coast
"The Maine Coast" conjures up images of an angry sea battering a rocky coast. And, in person, it's a thing of beauty.
If you walk along the coast on a brisk day, pull your sweater up a little tighter, and enjoy the Maine experience. Afterwards, go find yourself a cup of coffee in town and warm your well-chilled nose. : )
Check out the lovely homes on Ocean Drive
Departing Kennebunkport from Dock Square, Ocean Drive winds its way slowly northward along the craggy Maine coast. Along the way and just outside Kennebunkport, you'll find numerous homes and estates exhibiting the coastal charm and character that we all associate with coastal Maine.
Although certainly valuable and large, these homes do not seem pretentious or ostentatious. Rather, they exhibit the grandeur and class of a sea coast gentry lifestyle of days past.
Say hello to George and Barbara.....
As most people know, Kennebunkport is the location of the Bush family estate/compound. Although Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush claim to be Texans, the Bush family has long roots in the state of Maine. George W. Bush's grandfather (H.W.'s dad) was a senator from Maine.
The Bush estate, out on Walker point, is well known to the international media and the American people. It's surprisingly easy to see and photograph for we common tourist types. There is an overlook on Ocean Drive that is only, perhaps 800 yards across a small bay from the Bush home.
The locals say that George and Barbara are regular fixtures on the Kennebunkport local scene from mid-spring until late fall, when they move back to warmer Texas. It's not uncommon to come across the former president at any one of the local pubs or eateries. Federal Jack's is supposedly one of his favorites.
Anyway, when in K'ennebunkport, scouting out and finding the Bush home is something most visitors do.
A must EAT activity....get yourself a Lobster roll
Almost all of the local "joints" feature some form of the ubiquitous lobster roll. And, they're all pretty tasty, especially considering the plethora of fresh quality lobster available in the nearby Atlantic.
The Water Activity at Kennebunkport
From the docks, they do have cruises going out into the ocean. They feature schooner cruises, whale watching, lobster catching, and the like. Some boats dock here, but none so austentatious as to not be able to fit in the harbor. What once was a peaceful and quiet setting for the more elite of the New England coast turned into a tourist mecca, a lot due to George GW Bush having a home here and taking retreats away form DC during his Presidency. Now all want to see where that was.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
The ride through Kennebunk, in my opinion is much nicer than when you get to destination point of Kennebunkport. It is the first town before you get to the point by the other water and inlet. They have elegant old style homes of the 1800's and the town is relatively quiet. The town was settled in 1602 and became known for shipbuilding and commerce. A lot of the old estate type homes are from sea captains living here when trade and piracy were in vogue, and they made a lot of money. Today it has around 10,000 residents
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Bush family home
You can't visit the summer home of former President Bush and current President Bush unless perhaps you are a Head of State or personal friend to the President but you can stop on the coastal road (Ocean Avenue) and take a photograph. You'll know when you come across it, you'll see a bunch of cars, a 15 minute time limit, people taking photographs and three flags flying-the US flag, the Texas flag and the Presidential flag. I suspect if anyone is actually home that security is stepped up quite a bit.
We picked up a Resorts.com map of Wells and Kennebunk and it was actually marked on the map.
Gawk at some mansions along Ocean Road
We were a little pressed for time so we didn't stop in any of the cute little towns that comprise the Kennebunks but we did have a lovely drive starting from the Maine Diner in Wells and going north along Main Street, through the cute town of Kennebunkport and eventually picking up Ocean Avenue which goes along the water and showcases some pretty impressive mansions.
We didn't have time to stop, so no photos, but from Main Street, take Summer Street and there you will see the Wedding Cake House at 104 Summer Street, a confection of a house built by a sea captain who was forced to set sail during his wedding, he built it as a consolation for his wife who didn't get a wedding cake.
Summer Street turns into Port Road, we turned at Western or Dock and then again at Ocean Avenue. The attached map is really easy to use although not exactly to scale.
We hit the shore on Cape Elizabeth and just lucked into the Portland Head Light house at sunset. After some photos on the beach we stopped into a busy beach side lobster shack (I think it was the Lobster Shack on Two Lights Road) for a great dinner at a very good price.
The Portland Head Light House has been in operation since 1791, marking the entrance to Portland Harbor. The 72-foot lighthouse was often visited by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during his formative years. The tower remains today virtually unchanged except for a few 20 to 25 foot raisings and lowerings of its height.
Cape Elizabeth is about 15 miles north of Kennebunkport and only a few miles south of Portland.
Side trip to York Beach
York beach is just a few miles south of Kennebunkport. I stopped here just once during a trip to Kennebunkport and was impressed by the wide, flat, sandy beach, despite the rain that was on and off. Maybe it was because of the rain! During a break in the drizzle, the sun cam out and created a beautiful rainbow over the wet beach.
Bush's Summer Home
Kennebunkport, with it's lobster boats, wild sea roses and summer homes dotting the rocky coastline, was a fixture of the Bush presidency and remains close to the heart of the Bush family. The three-story, stone-and-shingle home overlooking the ocean at Walker's Point has been in the family since the turn of the century. The former president has spent at least part of every summer since childhood here except when he was in the Navy during World War II. Locals have watched George W. and his siblings grow up.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
The President's summer home
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush's summer home is located on Walker Point, just a few miles from town along Ocean Ave. There are two places to pull off the road to take a look at how the better half live!
The house was built in 1903 by President George HW Bush's Grandfather and current President Bush's great grandfather. George HW spent much of his youth here and it remained the summer retreat during the presidency, much as the current Bush often travels to Crawford, TX. Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbechev both visited Kennebunkport while George HW Bush was in office.
The town center of Kennebunkport is located along the Kennebunk River, approximately one mile from the mouth of the river on the ocean. Historically a shipbuilding and fishing village, for well over a century the town has been a popular seaside tourist destination. Kennebunkport has a small district of souvenir shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants, and bed and breakfasts. In summer, you may see former President George H W Bush steering his pleasure boat on the river.
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
Tour the houses along Ocean...
Tour the houses along Ocean Ave.
Of what I saw of the houses in Kennebunkport, they were huge and spectacular. The Bush Compound is located on this street. If only the fog would go away for just a few minutes so I could just see this beautiful place (I have seen pictures of it). No such luck. It is definitely worth seeing.
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