Hike through the 24-acre Marx Preserve (look for the sign off Route 9, opposite a utilities pump station) and explore an ecosystem that’s relatively rare in southern Maine: salt marshes. Bring binoculars to spot birds like great blue herons and goldeneyes among the pines and hemlocks. For more hiking opportunities, follow the adjoining three-mile Bridle Path (access at 71 Sea Road), which goes inland and toward the sea, or check out the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, home to many species including bald eagles and moose.
Get your sea legs at Goose Rocks Beach, one of the most popular places in town for stand-up paddle boarding. The relatively gentle waves are ideal for beginners and the long stretch of white sand, often rippled with tide pools, is a fine place to relax afterwards. You can book a one-hour private lesson with Aquaholics Surf Shop ($75), but if you prefer more traditional paddling, call up Coastal Maine Kayak (half-day rentals from $35), and they’ll deliver a single or tandem boat to you.
Bike a tranquil stretch of the 65-mile, ten-foot-wide Eastern Trail, which runs from South Portland to Kittery. The six-mile section between Kennebunk (access at the Kennebunk Elementary School, 177 Alewive Road) and Biddeford opened to the public in 2010, and has since become one of the area’s most popular biking routes because it’s shady and relatively easy. Take a break at the pond on the way back and spot deer and wild turkeys through the conifer trees.