Kennebunkport's Dock SquareKennebunkport’s Dock Square is more than just the picturesque heart of the quintessential Maine coastal town. The historic neighborhood is home to a delightful mix of gift shops, boutiques, galleries, and many highly rated restaurants.

Dock Square is so named because it straddles the Kennebunk River and was once the site of a booming shipbuilding industry. Now the mismatched jumble of fishing shacks and warehouses are home to a popular collection of stores and dining establishments.

Summer may see the most open shops in Dock Square but it also means surfing the largest crowds. The “off season” may offer a better experience for those hoping for a less touristy feel to their visit.

Shopping Dock Square

As we recently mentioned, there are dozens of shops in the Dock Square area that are worth your time. You’ll find everything here from tourist souvenirs to fine, hand-crafted jewelry.

We’ve mentioned Saxony Imports, Beach Grass, and the Daytrip Society previously and they remain worthy of your attention.

You’ll also find Abacus Gallery, Minka fine handmade boutique, Coastal Jewelers, The Copper Candle, Candyman, and Compliments Gallery, to name just a few more.

Be sure to check out some of the shops on the second story, if only for a more expansive view of Dock Square, itself.

Dining in The Square

All that shopping and sight-seeing is going to set your tummy a-grumbling before too long – but worry not! Dock Square offers a variety of dining options along with all its great shops and galleries. The historic neighborhood is the perfect spot to indulge in a little midday snacking.

enjoy a Lobster Roll in Dock SquareThe Clam Shack (open seasonally, May to November) may be the most iconic and quintessential restaurant in the Square. It has been serving fresh, Maine seafood from its location on the bridge over the Kennebunk River since 1968. Every order is takeout, meaning you’ll be enjoying your delicious lobster roll or clam strips while enjoying your surroundings. Perfect!

Alisson’s Restaurant is another popular eatery in the Square. This neighborhood pub serves up casual favorites like burgers, lobster rolls, sandwiches, and pub fare along with serious entrees like sirloin steak and grilled salmon. Alisson’s also features 22 rotating beer taps – and just wait ’til you get a gander at the bird’s-eye view of Dock Square from their second-floor dining area.

Old Vines Wine Bar is also nearby with an extensive selection of fine wines, handcrafted cocktails, and regional craft brews. They also offer exceptional charcuterie, artisan cheeses, homemade flatbread pizzas, fresh salads, and other tapas-style small plates. Live music, a nightly happy hour, wine tastings, and other special events make Old Vines a local favorite.

The Heart of Downtown Kennebunkport

Springtime in Dock Square

photo courtesy Robert A. Dennis

There’s so much to do and see in Dock Square there’s no way to describe it all to any satisfaction in a blog post. You’re really better off coming and experiencing it yourself!

Best of all, Dock Square is just a six minute stroll from our Kennbunkport bed and breakfast, Captain Jefferds Inn. What better way to take in the the natural beauty and picturesque nature of the Kennebunks? Take in the sights and sounds of our Maine coastal village: watching the boats on the river along Ocean Avenue, and all the small-town charm.

We look forward to seeing you soon!