Kittery is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Piscataqua River just north of the New Hampshire border. Settled in 1632 by the British, it is Maine’s oldest settlement. Many of the state’s oldest homes are located here, and diverse examples of fine architecture abound. The First Congregational Church in Kittery Point, circa 1730, is Maine’s oldest remaining house of worship. Shipbuilding began in Kittery in the 17th century, and the first ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy was launched from here in 1777.
This coastal town has long been a gathering place for summer tourists, and in the 1800s it was the getaway of choice for a number of famous artists and writers. Kittery’s sandy beaches and stunning ocean views still draw visitors by the thousands. Juxtaposed with the cobblestone streets, quaint pubs, and antique shops of old Kittery are the more than 120 stores of the Kittery Outlets, located on coastal Route 1. Shoppers can find everything—from outdoor gear to fine china—on this mile-long strip of brand name shops. Many items are marked 20 - 60 percent below the prices found in regular retail stores.