The charming resort town of Ogunquit is nestled in a pretty harbor on the southern coast of Maine, Maine, offering a quintessential New England getaway with white sandy beaches, spectacular nature trails, elegant old-time summer resort architecture and a brace of chic boutiques and galleries. Once a haven for artists and fishermen, Ogunquit has lured vacationers with its rugged beauty for over a century. Rent a beach cottage, condo or house in this enchanting seaside town and enjoy amenities including air conditioning, pools, cable television, fire places, hot tubs and spectacular views.
The name Ogunquit means “Beautiful Place by the Sea” in the language of the Algonquin Indians, and today the area is known as one of the most beloved seaside escapes on the coast of Maine. Once you’ve browsed the town’s charming shops and galleries, head off to explore the area’s abundant natural beauty. Dotted with plenty of benches for pausing and drinking in the scenery, the Marginal Way is a mile-long seaside trail that winds past pocket beaches, rocky bluffs and tiny inlets. Head out early on sunny days to avoid the crowds. Off this scenic pathway you’ll find pretty Perkins Cove, a cluster of quaint buildings offering everything from art galleries to alfresco restaurants and t-shirt shops. For a fun way to tour the area, hop aboard one of Ogunquit’s trackless trolleys, running from mid-May to Columbus between Perkins Cove and the nearby town of Wells.
The coast of Maine is noted for beautiful beaches, secluded inlets and all manner of meandering shoreline paths ending in sandy inlets. Offering three-and-a-half miles of white sand overlooking the Atlantic, Ogunquit’s main beach has been named one of the top beaches in the U.S. The beach serves as a sort of front porch for visitors and locals alike, with the livelier south end lying near town. For more seclusion, wander northward past dunes and clusters of summer homes. Quieter beaches include Moody Beach and footbridge Beach, and all town beaches have restrooms and changing areas.
Ogunquit’s beaches, river and craggy coastline are perfect for all sorts of outdoor recreation. You’ll find fine golf courses nearby as well as boat rides, whale watches, fishing charters and sunset cruises. Hike, bike, paddleboard or kayak past expansive Atlantic views, pretty ponds and clusters of colorful fishing boats. With nine scenic miles, the Ogunquit River is a favorite with kayakers and tubers.
Although its beaches are a big lure, little Ogunquit has some pretty amazing museums and cultural venues. Founded in 1933, the Ogunquit Playhouse is often referred to as “America’s Foremost Summer Theater”, offering a super schedule of everything from musicals to children’s productions. A renowned art colony since 1890, this beach haven has lured the likes of Walter Kuhn and Elihu Vedder over the years and is still known for its excellent galleries. For a look at more fine American Art, take in the exhibits of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, considered one of the loveliest small art museums in the country. Evenings are lively in town during the summer season, with plenty of live music, dancing and even a popular piano bar.
Most travelers visit Ogunquit in the summer, when temperatures hover in the high 70s and nights are comfortably cool. Spring or fall, though too chilly for the beach, are perfect for hiking, biking, whale-watching and kayaking.
Manchester/Boston Airport is located in Manchester, New Hampshire, about an hour from Ogunquit, and Boston’s Logan Airport is only about 65 miles away. You can also hop on Amtrak’s Down-easter heading out of Boston’s North Station. Drivers will find Ogunquit right of U.S. Route 1, lying midpoint between the towns of York and Wells. You can take either exit 7 or exit 19 off the Maine Turnpike. Parking is a bit tight in high season, but the town is easily navigated on foot or by bike.