The hope of summer is slowly becoming a reality. The days are long and sun is shining, and with summer comes beaches! Lets face it, the Kennebunks are a beach town. So I thought I’d share a few local choices (both big and small). If you’re interested in other beaches please give me a call or send an email and I’m happy to help.
Kennebunk Beach (Gooch’s and Mother’s Beach.) These two beaches are summer staples for locals and visitors alike. They are also the nearest to the Inn (1.6 miles). Gooch’s Beach is the larger of the two with ample parking, toilets, and lifeguards. The beach is defined by a large jetty to the east and a rocky point to the west. During hightide the sand on the western end tends to disappear, so the eastern side is preferred for sunbathing. It’s a great place to swim during calm days and one of the area’s finer spots to surf during rough sea conditions.
Mother’s beach is just down the road and as the name implies tends to attract families. There is parking right at the beach and along the neighboring side streets. There are toilets, lifeguards and a playground for the kids. There are also a lot of tide pools at low tide for kids (and adults) to explore. Both Gooch’s and Mother’s Beach parking requires a pass. You can get them at the Kennebunk Town Hall, HB Provisions, at the Kennebunk Beach kiosk machines or (for our guests) here at the inn.
A couple miles down route 9 (heading west) you’ll find Parsons Beach. The beach is privately owned but open to the public. It has been in the Parson’s family for generations and is a gem. There is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a sunny day. It is also a great place to fish for striped bass and blue fish (along the beach and in the Mousam River.) There is limited parking at the end of Parsons Beach Road, but you can always park on Brown Street and walk in. There is one portable toilet and no life guards on duty.
Just down Ocean Ave. at the mouth of the Kennebunk River you find the Colony Beach. It’s a small unassuming beach defined by the harbor’s eastern jetty. Parking (even during the busiest season) is usually easy to find. It’s a great place to sit and watch the boats go in and out or drop a line for striped bass, mackerel or flounder. It is also the start of Parsons Way, a nice walk along Ocean Ave. heading towards the Bush estate. Parking is free. There are no lifeguards, bathrooms or other facilities.
Goose Rocks Beach is one of the area’s most beautiful beaches. Lovely soft white sand and plenty of room to roam. Because of the actual” goose rocks” just offshore, the beach is well protected from rough sea conditions, making it very swim friendly. It is also a great place to fish for striped bass during the summer months. The beach is defined by two rivers on each end (The little River and the Batson River.) There are no lifeguards, or toilets and parking is very limited. From June 15th to September 15th you need to get a day parking permit from the Kennebunkport Police Department.
Cleaves Cove is a secret little beach just down the road from the Bush estate. It is not well known or visited and at high tide can have little to no sand. But it is a lovely spot in an area not seen by most visitors. It is a perfect picnic spot and because parking is almost nonexistent I recommend biking in. To get there from town head down Ocean Ave. and when you get past the Bush estate look for Halcyon Way on your right (just after Oakwood Dr.) Halcyon Way takes you right to the ocean and Cleaves is to your right at the bottom of the drive. Needless to say there are no lifeguards, bathrooms or other services.
Turbats Creek is another semi-secret spot, but is a great place to enjoy a warm afternoon. Similar to Cleaves there is little to no beach at high tide so timing is everything. At low tide the cove is a big sand flat/beach with rocky tide pools and a small creek running to the ocean. Vaughn’s Island is just on the other side of the creek and can be reached at low tide. It is a great Island to explore, but keep an eye on the tide. As with Cleaves Cove there are no lifeguards, bathrooms or other services.