If you hear anyone talking about “41,” chances are they’re speaking about late President George H. W. Bush, and folks are still proud of their most famous summer neighbors. President George H.W. Bush and Barbara hosted presidents, foreign heads of state and celebrities alike over the years at their summer home on Walker’s Point. More importantly, though, it has been a haven for generations of Bush family members, who have enjoyed idyllic summer days away from the pressures of the outside world.
Walker’s Point is not open to the public, but you can drive by or stop briefly at the scenic parking overlook to snap a quick picture. Vehicles may only stop in the designated parking area; stopping on the road is not permitted. To get to Walker’s Point, take Ocean Avenue from Dock Square for approximately two miles. The ride is beautiful in and of itself, with the Atlantic crashing against the rocks along the right side of the road. Just before you reach Walker’s Point you’ll see the special overlook spot (please obey the rules posted on the sign) on the right. Also overlooking the house and on the right is the Anchor to Windward, the town’s special tribute to “41” installed in 2009.
The heart of Kennebunkport, Dock Square is full of the bustle and energy that draws people to the Kennebunks. From here you can take a scenic cruise or trolley ride, browse through dozens of unique family-owned shops and experience the world-class cuisine for which the region has become known. Enjoy live music throughout the summer, experience the festive Christmas Prelude in December or see the area light up during Paint the Town Red in February.
Not far from the Bush compound at Walker’s Point, just along Route 9, you will find Cape Porpoise, an authentic fishing village. Just across from the pier you see Goat Island Light. When you visit, be sure to have your camera ready to capture some of the most picturesque spots in Maine. Cape Porpoise is home to lovely casual eateries, art galleries, shops, and Atlantic Hall where many different community events take place.
A drive down Summer Street is a drive through Kennebunk history. The National Register Historic District, the northern stretch of Summer Street near downtown, contains more than 17 historic sea captains’ homes. Homes there span 200+ years of historical architecture, from Georgian to Federal to Colonial and Greek Revival. Multiple generations of the same family have occupied many of the homes, such as the Lords, and many have prominent connections. The oldest houses in the district date to the 1750s and 1760s, including the William Lord Mansion, Charles Goodnow House, Hugh McCulloch House, Taylor-Barry house, and, most notably, the George W. Bourne House at 104 Summer St., still known today as “the Wedding Cake House” because of its elaborate, wedding-cake-like trim. The Wedding Cake House was built in 1826 for a shipyard owner, and given an elaborate Gothic Revival treatment in the 1850s.