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Picturesque rocky shore at Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine

Maine

Ogunquit, Maine: Unique Experiences in a Scenic Coastal Town

By: Christi Womack

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  • States:
    Maine

There is an abundance of ways to enjoy Ogunquit, and you’ll soon see why it lives up to its name, which means “beautiful place by the sea.”

Like other dreamy destinations on the New England coast, the quiet Maine fishing village of Ogunquit swells in the summer, welcoming visitors who want to enjoy the amenities of this art colony and spend all the time they can outdoors. This is a place where you can set sail to learn about local maritime history, stroll among quaint homes and shops or simply kick back on the beach.

Take in the Coastal Beauty

To get acquainted with Ogunquit, ride the open-air trolley for sightseeing in the charming coastal village that was settled in 1640. Soak up the scenery and family-friendly vibe. Spend time on 5.6 kilometers of white, sandy beaches with stately dunes, and see why Ogunquit Beach consistently ranks among the USA’s best beaches. The hard-packed sand is perfect for walking, and the ocean waters are refreshingly chilly. The best time to visit is low tide, when the beach is at its widest.

Stay outdoors on pleasant summer days, and enjoy biking, hiking and golfing. Try kayaking on the Ogunquit River, which stretches nearly 16 kilometers and meets the Atlantic Ocean. Get an amazing view above the river by walking across the bridge at Footbridge Beach.

Sea birds on the soft sands of Ogunquit Beach

Sea birds on the soft sands of Ogunquit Beach
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Sightseeing Cruises

Try even more sightseeing from the water on a variety of classic Maine boat tours, cruises and charters that traverse the shoreline and venture into the Atlantic Ocean. Learn from local experts about the area’s fishing heritage and history on a sailboat, or keep your eyes peeled for whales and seals from a motorboat.

Can’t get enough? Consider an extended stay, and sign up for sailing lessons on longer voyages. On another type of cruise, try your hand at deep-sea fishing with a guide, or board a lobster boat and find out how the crustaceans are caught from the hard-working lobstermen who haul in the traps.

Leisure sailing cruise from Ogunquit Beach

Leisure sailing cruise from Ogunquit Beach
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Touring Marginal Way and Perkins Cove

Back on the beach, make your way to popular Perkins Cove via Marginal Way, a nature trail along the Atlantic Ocean coastline that is popular with walkers, runners and bicyclists. Sit for a spell on one of 40 benches lining the route to fully appreciate the ocean views.

Continue following Marginal Way to Perkins Cove, a rocky, manmade harbor created in the 1800s to protect fishing vessels. Cross the cove via the metal pedestrian bridge that doubles as a drawbridge to let boats in and out to start your self-guided tour of the historic fishing village here.

Take time to absorb all of the sights and sounds and duck into one of the galleries to find a souvenir. Don’t leave without ordering one of the lobster specials at a restaurant; after all, you know how to catch them now.

Wandering through a nature trail in Perkins Cove

Wandering through a nature trail in Perkins Cove
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Getting There

Fly into Maine’s Portland International Jetport (PWM), rent a car and drive about 60 kilometers south on Interstate 95 to reach Ogunquit. Those opting to fly into Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in Massachusetts will drive about 125 kilometers north on I-95 to get there.

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