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36 Hours in Ogunquit
Activities: Beaches, walking, shopping, resorts, museums, art, performing arts, trails. Family-friendly.
Region: The Maine Beaches
Translating to “beautiful place by the sea” in Abenaki Native American, today Ogunquit is that and more, offering expansive sandy beaches, dramatic rocky cliffs and a charming harborside town — in addition to world-class dining and resort experiences. Its beauty inspired a flourishing artist community in the 19th century that is still present today through its galleries, playhouse and art museum. It may be a coastal town, but it’s certainly not reserved for summer — its beauty can be appreciated any time of year.
Explore the Coast
One can’t go to a “beautiful place by the sea” without reveling in the fresh salt air, sand and boat-bobbing harbor.
Take a coastal cliff walk
This leisurely 2.5-mile walk along Marginal Way is a perfect way to start your day. The well-maintained, paved path has plenty of benches for you to pause and appreciate the seaside views. The trail ends in the storybook-like village of Perkins Cove.
This village’s roots as a fishing community still stand firmly today, but it also encompasses the quaint delight of shops, restaurants, galleries and more. Many of these businesses are open seasonally, but it’s still a scenic area to walk even as the temperatures drop, especially if there is a thick blanket of white covering the maritime beauty.
Relax at Ogunquit Beach
Voted a top-25 beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor Travelers in 2021, this beach is a must-visit, no matter the time of year. Walk along miles of clean, smooth sand and take in the crashing waves. The vast beach allows for plenty of space to walk, run or bathe in the sun. If the weather allows, take a refreshing dip or kayak. Rentals are available at World Within Kayak Rentals in nearby Wells.
Take a cruise
From May to October, enjoy Ogunquit from the water on a nature cruise or whale watch with Finest Kind.
Eat and Drink
Whether formal or casual, Ogunquit’s dining experiences are centered on the sea: freshly caught ingredients and, in many cases, amazingly expansive views of the rolling tides.
The perfect place to start your day or have a hearty lunch, this cheerful cafe serves everything from avocado toast, coffee and pastries to lobster rolls and steaming chowder.
In the heart of downtown Ogunquit, this restaurant offers a diverse menu and three areas to sip and savor: the dining room, the bar and lounge, and the popular sing-along piano bar.
This gourmet restaurant offers expansive seaside views in its warmly lit dining room. Complementing its superb dinner menu are an oyster bar and specialty cocktails. Check the website for current hours.
After exploring Ogunquit’s picturesque coastal beauty, learn about its arts, culture and historic side with a visit to a library, theater, museum or even a restaurant. Jonathan’s restaurant is a mainstay in Ogunquit not only for a good meal, but for live concerts and events. Be sure to check Jonathan’s schedule.
Some of the following venues are open seasonally, so plan your trip accordingly.
This 19th-century fieldstone-constructed building may remind you of a castle more than a library. Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of books to cozy up with. Open Tuesday through Saturday starting in October.
The Ogunquit Playhouse (seasonal)
Take part in Maine’s history of summer theater communities with a trip to this historic playhouse. Since 1933, it’s been home to plays that appeal to adults and kids alike, like “Young Frankenstein,” or “Mystic Pizza.” Be sure to make time for one of the backstage tours of this historic theater. The performance season extends into the fall.
Ogunquit Museum of American Art (seasonal)
Located on acres of sculpture-dotted land overlooking the sea, this museum is a perfect location to learn and reflect. Its sleek building showcases a mix of Maine’s past and present through paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs. Open May through October.
The Ogunquit Heritage Museum (seasonal)
Discover Ogunquit’s roots with a trip to this museum that collects and preserves artifacts from Ogunquit’s history. The museum itself is a piece of history, an 18th-century cape that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Open June through October.
For more than 40 years, Ogunquit Performing Arts has offered year-round entertainment with film series and live performances at the S. Judson Dunaway Center.
One of Maine’s oldest art foundations and a gem to visit, the Barn Gallery is where juried members of the Ogunquit Art Association host their exhibitions, gallery talks, demonstrations and workshops.
In downtown Ogunquit, there are plenty of charming shops — though some close their doors when temperatures drop, so it’s always a good idea to call ahead. At the Abacus Gallery, you can peruse and shop for handcrafted items inspired by the state’s beauty and Ogunquit’s artistic flair, including home décor and jewelry. Stop in at Harbor Candy Shop for luscious chocolate treats that add a little luxury to any day.
For more shopping options, head to the nearby Kittery Outlets, where you can find great savings for the whole family on designer brands, like Crate and Barrel, Orvis and Tommy Hilfiger.
The good news is that you don’t have to say goodbye to the coast when you end your day in Ogunquit. Many of Ogunquit’s places to stay feature stunning views of the sea, so you can take in its dazzling beauty sunrise through sunset.
Set on the rocky coast overlooking the swirling Atlantic, the panoramic views from this sleek and modern resort are spectacular. If that’s not enough to wow you, there are premier suites, a spa and wellness center, oceanfront dining and more, all located minutes from Ogunquit’s sandy beach.
Whether you are taking in the breathtaking ocean views in your luxury suite or cozying up with drinks at the Blue Bistro, you’ll feel wrapped in luxury at this resort that has had guests returning for generations.
Gather and relax at this conveniently located hotel — there are indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and fireplaces to encourage optimal R&R and cozy fun.
From Ellsworth: 191 miles
From Bangor: 166 miles
From Augusta: 92 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 68 miles
From Portland: 38 miles