KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The town of Kennebunkport received two nods this week from national publications, which locals are saying highlight what they already know.
Kennebunkport was listed No. 10 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “The 12 Best Weekend Getaways” and The Huffington Post named Kennebunkport as one of “The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in America During the Winter.”
“We love to see the local area getting recognition in national press,” said Laura Dolce, executive director of the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce. “It’s no secret to us that this is a beautiful area. We know that, but clearly, the secret is out for the rest of the world and we think that’s great.”
Alongside Kennebunkport on the U.S. News & World Report list are Santa Barbara, California; Miami Beach, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ranking No. 1 on the list is Sedona, Arizona.
While it recognizes Kennebunkport as being the longtime summer home of the Bush family, U.S. News & World Report says, “harboring politicians isn’t even what this southern coastal area of Maine does best, nor is it what the town should be known for.”
“Kennebunkport is simple, sea-centric bliss: a natural beach destination with miles of rugged shoreline dotted with summer homes and sailboats. In town, local fisher- and lobstermen deliver the morning’s catch to the open-air cafes while artists open up shop on the wharves of Dock Square,” the publication states. “Even the beaches are unassuming and quiet, with secret footpaths leading you from the road. Here, you might have literally found the place where you can get away from it all.”
But even when it’s not prime beach season, like this time of year as snowfall blankets the area, the Huffington Post says Kennebunkport is among the “10 Most Beautiful Towns in America During the Winter.”
“Kennebunkport gained notoriety as a haven for the moneyed elite in the late 19th century — the elder President Bush’s got a well-known summertime haunt on Walker’s Point — but this northeastern seaside town takes on a new look once the warm weather crowds retreat,” the Huffington Post reads. “The colorful buildings of Dock Square contrast with the fresh powder that blankets the town each year, and a drive down Ocean Avenue showcases many of the fabulously expensive homes that pepper the coast.”
Dolce said many local businesses have been “getting some love” in the press over the last month, whether it’s through Paint the Town Red — an effort to put the area on the map as the most romantic town in New England — or through the local amenities and many activities in the area.
“We are just thrilled to see that. We are doing our part, too, to make sure that the rest of the world finds out how beautiful the Kennebunks really are and how much we have to offer here,” Dolce said. “While the rest of the world might think Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Arundel are all called Kennebunkport, we know better and regardless of how they find us or what they think of us the fact that we are being recognized for being so beautiful, being so friendly, and being so special is the important part.”