Top Attractions/ See & Do Near Kittery Maine
Below is a map that was drawn up by the hotel that shows where things are in reference to the motel. The small numbers on the map correspond to A for Attractions, B for Beaches, N for Necessities, P for Pubs/Nightlife, and R for Restaurants. Kittery Inn and Suites is located 1.3 miles from Kittery Outlet Shopping, 1.4 miles from Kittery Foreside and the entrance to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, 1.7 Miles from downtown historic Portsmouth, and 6 miles from Fort Foster and the Pier.
Fort Foster State park (A1/ B1)
We consider this one of the best attractions in the Kittery / Portsmouth area. It's quintessential Maine. Bring a camera - you have multiple lighthouses and forts, islands, and interesting shots. You can see Fort Constitution, Fort McClary, Whaleback Light, Portsmouth Harbor Light, The Isle of Shoals, the Old Prison and other houses on islands. There is a long pier that just re-opened, the water is calm and when the tide goes out you can walk pretty far. There are picnic tables (out in the open), trails, a children's playground, and bathrooms. It's $10 per car to get in. It is a scenic ride by bike through Kittery Point. Whenever we go, there are just a handful of other folks also enjoying the solitude. There is a beach but part of it is all small pebbles. Here is a link to the Rules and Regulations including when it's open: Kittery Community Center
Kittery Foreside/ Kittery Point
On the way to Fort Foster you will pass along a neat stretch of road. The first area is called Kittery Foreside, which is at the entrance to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (actually located in Kittery). Here there are a cluster of artsy restaurants, studios, shops and pubs, such as Rudder's Public House (R5), and there is a sense that it is growing into a trendy alternative to Portsmouth. Taking Route 103 out, you cross a bridge and come to Kittery Point. Here there is a State Park called Fort McClary, and a bit further down is Frisbee's Market, the oldest surviving market in the country. In back is a restuarant called the Cajun Lobster, that also has lots of local history as Cap'n Simeon's (R11). Driving further out you feel the history of the area - signs on homes date from the 1700s, like the Bray House, one of the oldest standing homes in Maine, built around 1720. Here you can tell Kittery was Maine's first and oldest town. Following Chauncey Creek, you drive by a neat lobster place called Chauncey Creek Pier (R4). The collection of shacks are on a pier alongside the creek which you walk down to, and you sit at picnic tables and can bring your own alcohol if they don't sell it.
Kittery Trading Post (a8) / Shopping Outlets
There are more true outlets in Kittery than Freeport ME or North Conway NH, and they were one of the first outlets in New England. The anchor of the shopping area is the Kittery Trading Post. It's not just for outside enthusiasts - there are a lot of cool, quality Maine-made items, along with a fair amount of taxidermy like Cabellas and Beans. And there are always lines for Bob's Clam Hut (R3) next door.
Just over the bridge from the hotel is downtown Portsmouth. The best way from the hotel is to take the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, take the first right by the U.S.S. Albacore Museum (A7) - the prototype of all modern submarines, then follow Market Street in, where there is a big inexpensive Parking Garage on Hanover. The city is very walk-able - most meander up to the North Church, then to the Strawbery Banke Outdoor Museum (A6) - which we proudly sponsor. There are several old houses to visit, but if you were to pick one, the John Paul Jones House (A2) has the best bang for your buck (he is the one that said "We have not yet begun to fight"). There is a bevy of nice places to eat or go out - if you want to sit outside, go to Ceres Street where the Tugboats are docked - the no-frills Old Ferry Landing is there (R7), or inside at the Black Trumpet for more upscale dining (R2). As an alternative, a quick walk over the Route 1 bridge and bank a left get's you to the Weathervane (R16) on Badger's Island, with views of the Portsmouth skyline.
There are a couple nice little spots to enjoy just outside of the Portsmouth / Kittery. There is Pierce Island (A3) connected to dowtown Portsmouth which has well-groomed walking trails and some good vantages for pictures. While in Portsmouth you can take a 3-hour guided boat ride out to the Isle of Shoals. Another quaint area known for wedding shots in New Castle is the Great Island Common (B2), which has a small beach we recommend, albeit cold. And of the various breweries, the largest is Red Hook (A5) out by the Newington Mall. If you care to drive 20 minutes there is the Flag Hill Winery that has New England wines, blueberry and maple beverages. The town of New Market next to it is very charming, a good place to grab a bite. And for family fun in the sun, 10 minutes south on Route 1 is Water Country.
The Yorks / Nubble Light
The next exit up I-95 about 20 minutes are the Yorks, and they have the best beaches hands down. Long Sands (B2) is as it sounds, long and sandy. Short Sands is close to Main St with cafe's that serve for example Wicked Joe's Coffee. Near Short Sands there is York's Wild Kingdom to keep the kids busy, and then there is Nubble Light, a picturesque lighthouse that is very popular.