Named after Kittery Court in Devon, England, Kittery was stablished at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in approximately 1647. Maine’s oldest and southernmost town, Kittery is bordered by York and Eliot, includes part of the Isles of Shoals, and is just across the river from historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 1800 the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard opened on Seavey’s Island in the Piscataqua and the very first vessels of the U.S. Navy were here built during the Revolution. On Kittery point Fort McClary was built in 1808, Fort Foster in 1901. To learn more of Kittery’s long, rich history, one can visit the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum.
Today the Shipyard is a major employer for the area, Fort Foster is a park with beaches and trails, and Kittery Point, now a residential area offering distinctive oceanfront and ocean view properties, is the setting for the Children’s Show Dino Squad. This community has more to offer than pop culture, history, and employment: shopping in Kittery is famous, whether it’s national name brand outlets on Route One, or jewelry, art, and weavings by local artisans at Wallingford square in revitalized downtown. Kittery also has a 72-acre forest and two beaches, both of which are backed by marshes and provide excellent bird watching sites.
No description of Kittery would be complete without a nod to the thriving dining scene, especially in the promising Kittery-Foreside neighborhood. Whether the desire is for authentic Indian cuisine at Tulsi, or craft beer and gourmet flatbread pizza at When Pigs Fly, the food shouldn’t be missed. Want to know where the locals go? Try Bob’s Clam Hut, serving the best fried seafood in the area since 1956.