Nestled between the bustling city of Portland, ME and the port town of Portsmouth, NH is the charming seaside village of Ogunquit Maine. Ogunquit (pronounced o-gun-quit) appropriately translates to “beautiful place by the sea“. It is a welcoming community celebrating diverse lifestyles, cultures, and ethnicities.
We spent a full week exploring the town, following a visit to Acadia National Park, and wanted to share with you all that we did to help you plan your visit. Though this tiny town may only be 4-square miles, there is certainly no shortage of things to do in Ogunquit Maine. So, let’s get started!
Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine
The Marginal Way is an absolute MUST. It’s one of the top things to do in Maine and THE top attraction in Ogunquit! This 1.25-mile coastal walk is an easy scenic stroll appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. The walk starts (or ends, depending on which direction you choose to go), near Ogunquit Beach. The path then meanders on a paved path along the rocky coast and terminates in Perkins Cove (our next recommendation for things to do in Ogunquit Maine). If you get tired along the route, there are close to 40 benches where you can rest and look out over the Atlantic.
The Marginal Way Ogunquit is one of New England’s only paved public coastal walks. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it is one of the top things to do in Ogunquit Maine. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the trail, breathing in fresh salty air while admiring breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic. Check out this Marginal Way map for an overview of this beloved coastal route.
WATCH NOW: Things to Do in Ogunquit, ME
So, if you plan to walk the Marginal Way, you’ll either start or end at Perkins Cove. Might as well check it out while you’re near! This turn of the century fishing community now houses art galleries, boutique shops, and several scrumptious places to eat. Some of the best restaurants in Ogunquit can be found here. Local favorites include Barnacle Billy’s and Perkins Cove Lobster Shack, both serving up some of the freshest seafood in the area, practically right off the boat!
Ogunquit consistently gets a nod in many of the Top Beaches in the US lists. Not too many places along New England’s rocky coast can offer over 3 miles of sandy beach. During the summer months, the Ogunquit beaches are packed. Even during spring, fall, and winter, beach-goers stroll along the scenic coastline. Please note, while the beaches are open year-round, they are not open at night. All are welcome from 5 am – 11 pm each day. Also, alcohol and tobacco are not permitted on the beaches in Ogunquit. For more beach information, check out this page.
Ogunquit Beach is the main beach that runs almost the entire length of the peninsula between the Ogunquit River and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a wonderful place for sunbathing and swimming in the summer. Surfing is a popular activity at the rivermouth of the Ogunquit River. And leisurely strolls are enjoyed year-round, though maybe not so much in the snowy winter months!
Foot Bridge Beach
Foot Bridge Beach is the middle section of Ogunquit Beach, which can be accessed by, you guessed it… a footbridge! The bridge spans the Ogunquit River and is a popular location for fishing. Keep your eyes peeled, because you never know when other wildlife might show up. We saw a fox during our visit! Land and shore birds are also common in this area.
Before we move on to discussing more of what to do in Ogunquit outside, we want to make mention of the Ogunquit Trolley. Parking at the beaches can be crowded and very expensive (we’re talking $20-30/day)! From Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend, visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the Ogunquit Trolley. The trolley runs on weekends from Memorial Day through June and daily from July 1 to Columbus Day. It’s an inexpensive way to get between between major hotels and popular spots, including the beaches, in Ogunquit.
Ogunquit Nature Trails
The beaches in Ogunquit aren’t the only spots for enjoying the great outdoors. Check out these nearby nature trails both in and just outside of town!
Beach Plum Farm
Beach Plum Farm is a quiet, simple slice of land (22-acres) at the northern end of town. 50 community garden plots occupy a small portion of the land, while an easy walking path meanders through the field and down to the river. The loop walk is mostly flat and should take no more than a half hour. Down by the salt marsh, discover bayberry, beach plums, and a variety of coastal birds. It’s a peaceful way to spend an hour exploring. The farm is open from dawn to dusk daily. As the name suggests, Beach Plum Farm is also where you can see beach plums, which are now rare in Maine.
Wells Reserve at Laudholm
Just 20 minutes north of Ogunquit is the 2,250-acre Wells Reserve at Laudholm. There’s a great collection of easy trails to discover here, ranging in length and therefore duration. Combo a variety of trails to make a shorter or longer hike as you wish. We started our (1.5-mile) hiking adventure near the historic farm buildings/visitor center and made our way out to the beach. The Knight Trail lead us to the Barrier Beach Trail, which took us through the woods, past a marsh, and down to Laudholm Beach. It was a relaxing way to spend just over an hour one late afternoon.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a popular component of the above mentioned Wells Reserve. The sanctuary, named in honor of the world-renowned marine biologist, author and environmentalist was established in 1966 to protect valuable salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds. Its main attraction is the Carson Trail, a 1-mile loop located at the refuge headquarters in Wells, <1 mile from the intersection of Route 1 and Route 9. Stroll along this fully accessible (wheelchair and stroller friendly) trail through pine woods with expansive views of tidal salt marshes.
If you’re looking for something a little more strenuous, head 15 minutes outside of Ogunquit to the nearby town of York and head up Mount Agamenticus. There is a network of 40-miles of well maintained trails to choose from, ranging in terrain and level of difficulty. Start at the base and hike up to the summit (692-feet) for a moderate challenge. Or simply drive to the top and choose from a variety of hikes located on/near the summit. See if you can spot Mount Washington all the way in New Hampshire’s White Mountains!
Not feeling up for a hike? You can easily drive to the summit and still enjoy some spectacular views!The summit road is open until sunset each day. However, the Learning Lodge at the summit is only open on weekends 11 am – 3 pm from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day.
More Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine
Even though we were in town for a solid week, we admittedly didn’t get to everything in town. So, if you’re looking for what to do in Ogunquit, here are a few more things to put on your list! Ogunquit is renowned for its theatre program at the Ogunquit Playhouse, which is a cornerstone of America’s theatrical heritage. The playhouse offers world-class entertainment during the summer months (May-October). You can check their current season schedule HERE.
If you’re into art, check out the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Maine’s only museum dedicated exclusively to American Art. Admire more than 1,600 works of paintings, photography, and sculpture while enjoying scenic ocean views from the museum’s large picture windows. Be sure to also check out the museum’s colorful and peaceful gardens during your visit.
More into history? Visit the Ogunquit Heritage Museum, located inside the (c. 1780) Captain James Winn House. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits items and documents related to Ogunquit’s heritage. It’s free and open to the public 1 – 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday June through October.
Places to Eat in Ogunquit
All of this hiking and exploring is bound to make you work up quite the appetite. Good thing there are tons of great Ogunquit restaurants to choose from! One of the things we love about Ogunquit is its absence of chain restaurants. You won’t find any McDonald’s or Applebee’s here, just mostly one-off restaurants you won’t find anywhere else. Several local favorites, like Barnacle Billy’s, were already closed for the season during our late October visit. However, there were still some great options for us to sink our teeth into!
Amore Breakfast is one of the most popular breakfast places in Ogunquit. When you specialize in breakfast, you’re bound to be one of the best! Choose from scrumptious omelettes, quiche, Belgian waffles, french toast, pancakes, eggs Benedict, and a number of tempting sides. Of course, these all sound like traditional breakfast offerings, right? So, what makes Amore Breakfast one of the best restaurants in Ogunquit Maine? It’s the creativity in the fresh, local, and unique dishes they serve. Their slogan – “Love is the Maine ingredient” is evident in every dish that comes out of the kitchen.
Try their Lobster Trap Omelette made with local premium lobster meat or their pecan-coated Banana Foster French Toast accompanied with a side of banana rum syrup. I simply couldn’t resist the Belgium Waffles topped with delicious Maine blueberries and whipped cream. Needless to say, I cleared my plate! Check out more of their tempting offerings HERE. (Please note, that Amore Breakfast is closed Wednesdays and Thursdays and is one of several restaurants that closes during the winter months.)
Cornerstone Artisanal Pizza & Craft Beer
While Ogunquit may be most famous for their seafood restaurants, sometimes you just want some hearty pizza and beer! If this describes what you’re craving, check out Cornerstone, located at the corner of Main Street and Beach Street right in the heart of downtown Ogunquit. Cornerstone offers an impressive tap list of (mostly) locally brewed drafts. If you rather fancy a cocktail, they’ve got a full bar as well.
Their true claim to fame, however, is their stone oven baked artisanal pizza. Not only do they offer traditional toppings such as cheese, meats, and veggies, they also offer a wide variety of eclectic topping combinations. Try their Jalapeno Chorizo Pizza or their Sweet Chicken Fig Pizza. Or how about their Cajun Rubbed BBQ Pork & Homemade Slaw Pizza or maybe even their Ratatouille Pizza, Cornerstone’s take on the classic vegetarian pizza. If you or your party can’t decide on just one type of pizza, order more than one or split the pizza toppings right down the middle like we did!
More Ogunquit Restaurants
Admittedly, we didn’t eat out a whole lot during our time in Ogunquit. As full-time travelers, we simply can’t afford to dine out all of the time, so we didn’t get a chance to sample too many of the restaurants in Ogunquit. Additionally, a few of the local favorites we had read about before our trip, like Barnacle Billy’s and Hook’s, had already closed down for the season. Some highly-rated restaurants we’re putting on our list for next time include That Place in Ogunquit, Beach Plum Lobster Farm Lobster and Clam Supplier, The Lobster Shack, and The Greenery Cafe.
Village Food Market
You might find it strange that we’ve lumped a local grocery store in with the restaurants in Ogunquit, but the Village Food Market is so much more than a grocery store! (Plus, it IS the ONLY grocery store in town!) In addition to their extensive range of grocery items, including novelty cheeses and fresh produce, Village Food Market offers freshly baked breads and desserts in their bakery, daily made soups, and an impression selection of fresh cut meats in their butcher section.
What sets this grocery store apart is its massive selection of ready-to-eat meals. Dine in, take away, or even have it delivered, along with your groceries! Check out their website for more information. Don’t forget to pick up some beer, wine, or specialty sodas to accompany your meal… they’ve got a great selection to choose from!
Sweet Treats in Ogunquit
Bread & Roses Bakery
We simply couldn’t resist the sweet smell coming from Bread & Roses Bakery on Main Street in Ogunquit. With so many tempting options, it was hard to decide. Someone in line recommended the blueberry whoopie pie, and I would hug that person if I saw them again today. It was the BEST recommendation they could’ve given. We still dream of this whoopie pie! It’s like two blueberry muffin tops (made with fresh Maine blueberries) loaded with a sweet marshmallow fluff filling.
Not gonna lie… we went back two more times that week to get another taste. As I’m writing this, I started to think, “I wonder if they ship!” Turns out, THEY DO! So, if anyone wants to have some blueberry whoopie pies shipped our way, we certainly wouldn’t decline the offer! In addition to savory and sweet treats, Bread & Roses Bakery also offers great coffee drinks, healthy lunches, wraps, and salads, pizza, and more.
Harbor Candy Shop
Also available to help satisfy your sweet tooth is the Harbor Candy Shop located right next door to the Bread & Roses Bakery. Chocolates, fudge, and candies galore will tempt you so. We dare you to walk by these two shops and not give in!
Towns Near Ogunquit Maine
You would think in a small town that is less than 5 square miles, you’d run out of things to do in Ogunquit Maine. We can almost guarantee that will not be the case. However, if you want to get out and explore some of the other towns near Ogunquit, may we offer a few suggestions. These all make for great day trips from Ogunquit.
The coastal town of Kennebunkport is an easy drive up US-1, just over 10 miles from Ogunquit. Like Ogunquit, Kennebunkport has some nice long sandy beaches, including Goose Rocks Beach and Arundel Beach. There’s also a great downtown area with shops to peruse and restaurants to dine. For something unique, check out the Seashore Trolley Museum where you’ll find a neat collection of old trolley cars. And if you’re interested in local history, head on over to the White Columns. Here you can tour an 1853 Greek Revival home and peruse exhibits and local artifacts spanning over 200 years.
Being the craft beer lovers that we are, we had to make a stop at Federal Jack’s. Fed’s, as its known by the locals, is Maine’s 3rd oldest brew pub and offers some incredible waterfront views. Right beneath Federal Jack’s is Kennebunkport Brewery, the birthplace of Shipyard Ale (creators of the delicious seasonal Pumpkinhead Ale). Take a free tour, have a taste, and take home a growler!
More Things to Do in Kennebunkport
Also while in Kennebunkport, chow down on an award-winning yet non-traditional lobster roll from The Clam Shack. Though when just one lobster roll just isn’t enough, take a trip along the Lobster Roll Trail – a 20 restaurant tour of the town’s best lobster roll locations. And if you’ve got any room left in your belly, indulge in a hand-crafted scoop (or two) of ice cream from Rococo’s.
One of the most popular things to do in Kennebunkport Maine is to take a drive along Ocean Avenue. This scenic route starts in Dock Square and hugs the rocky coastline for several miles. There are a few places to pull over, enjoy the views, and walk around. Enjoy breathtaking coastal views and stop at some of the highlights including the beautiful stone St Ann’s Church, Blowing Cave Park, and views of the (President) Bush Compound at Walker’s Point.
After driving this route, continue on north up to Cape Porpoise, a charmingly authentic and still active fishing village. Across from the Cape Porpoise pier, you can lay eyes upon Goat Island Light and some of the most picturesque views in Maine.
The town of Kennebunk is located a little inland, separated from Kennebunkport by just a few miles and a river. Here you will find a Franciscan Monastery. Its peaceful grounds are open to everyone. Feel free to sit in contemplation or prayer or wander on the tranquil paths.
Also in Kennebunk is the Brick Store Museum, which opened on Main Street in 1936. It was one of only 10 museums in the US to open between the Great Depression and World War II. It houses a collection of over 70,000 artifacts relating to the culture of the Kennebunks. If you’ll be in the area in the year 2020, get ready to celebrate, as Kennebunk will be commemorating its bicentennial year!
Approximately 7 miles south of Ogunquit on US-1 is the charming little town of York Maine. Our visit to York mostly consisted of sampling delicious beers and sweet treats. Our first stop was SoMe (Southern Maine) Brewing Company. They’ve been in operation since 2013 perfecting their craft and continually improving and expanding their operation and distribution. SoMe offers a fun and innovative collection of delicious brews, including their famous Whoopie Pie Stout. We encourage you to get a taster flight to sample a variety.
Not far from SoMe is the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store; this was our second stop in York. Here you will also find a café and an award-winning cooking school. In the massive company store, you are welcome to sample many of Stonewall’s sweet and savory products. Good luck getting out of the store empty handed. The temptation to purchase some of their delicious products is simply too strong! You can pair these two stops along with a hike on Mount Agamenticus, which is also located in York.
Cape Neddick | York
There is, of course, much more to do in York, some of which can be accomplished on your way back to Ogunquit by taking the scenic route. Upon leaving SoMe Brewing Co. and Stonewall Kitchen, which are located a few miles inland, head out to the coast! Along Route 1A (Long Beach Avenue) you’ll pass Long Sands Beach and come upon Cape Neddick where you’ll find the 41-foot Nubble Lighthouse at Sohier Park on the cape’s point. The iconic “Nubble Light” is one of the most photographed lighthouses in all of New England, and quite possibly the world! It’s 1000-watt bulb is visible for 13 miles.
Upon leaving Cape Neddick, stop off near Short Sands Beach and visit the legendary Goldenrod Restaurant. The Goldenrod has been a popular landmark of York serving up homemade ice-cream, salt water taffy, and New England fare since 1896. You can watch the taffy, better known as Goldenrod Kisses, being stretched in the front window. For a timeless treat, order up a classic soda fountain float or sundae at The Goldenrod. Unfortunately they were closed for the season during our visit, so it’s on our list for next time!
The views all along Route 1A leading into Ogunquit are serene and picturesque. From the buoy-covered Cape Neddick Lobster Shack to the colorful homes along the rocky coastline, this is one scenic drive you do not want to miss! Please note, Route 1A has many different names depending on your location along the drive. It’s also known as Long Beach Ave, and then later becomes Main Street, and finally Shore Road as you head into Ogunquit.)
Need to do some shopping? Venture on a little south of York to the town of Kittery, the oldest incorporated town in Maine. Here you can check out the Kittery Premium Outlets and get all of your outdoor gear and supplies at the Kittery Trading Post. For a close look at some local nautical history, pay a visit to the Kittery Historical Naval Museum to learn how the town’s 200-year-old shipyard has impacted the development of the region.
In less than an hour you can be to Portland, Maine’s largest metro area. Complete with a thriving arts community, a fabulous selection of cuisine, and a hopping craft beer scene. Check out some of New England’s most famous lighthouses, including cliff-side Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. Portland’s waterfront is one of the oldest established seaports in the US. Its port welcomes visitors and cruise ship passengers from all over the globe. Take a stroll along Congress Street, Portland’s main thoroughfare, to explore the city’s countless galleries, museums, restaurants, and historical sites.
We regrettably only visited Portland on a quick 2-hour stop as we drove from Acadia National Park to Ogunquit. It was just enough time for us to visit Rising Tide Brewing and Shipyard Brewing Company. We really enjoyed the vibe of Portland during our brief visit and definitely hope to visit again on a return trip to Maine. Because, oh yes, we WILL be returning!
Where to Stay in Ogunquit
There are plenty of places to stay in Ogunquit to match your lodging needs and budget. Looking for luxury? Splurge on a few nights at the Sea Rose Suites or The Norseman Resort. Looking for something more quaint? Try the Puffin Inn or the Hartwell House Inn. No matter if you want a fancy hotel, a quaint B&B, or a self-catering cottage, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in Ogunquit. Check out these options!
InnSeason Resorts – The Falls at Ogunquit
Truth be told, we would have never even known of Ogunquit’s existence had we not stumbled on a great rental deal at the Falls at Ogunquit (by InnSeason Resorts). In the midst of planning a fall trip through New England, Ogunquit popped up as an option. Following some quick research, we excitedly booked a week at the Falls at Ogunquit. The timeshare resort turned out to be just what we needed for the week – comfortable, cozy, well-equipped, and walking distance to downtown.
You don’t necessarily have to own a timeshare to book here. They often have nightly bookings available! Check HERE for prices and availability! InnSeason Resorts offers 1- and 2-bedroom suites with complimentary WiFi, kitchenettes, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs. The resort also boasts an indoor pool, sauna, and fitness center.
Fall in Ogunquit
Fall is the start of the quiet season in Ogunquit. Several businesses are seasonal and close from October-April. We visited in mid/late October and found this to be the case. Some shops and restaurants had already closed for the season and others were in their final days of business for the year. Some businesses only offer weekend hours in winter, while plenty of others stay open year-round!
Even during the quieter months, there is still plenty of things to do in Ogunquit Maine. Fall in Ogunquit was a wonderful experience for us – cool weather, colorful foliage, and festive happenings, like the annual Ogunquitfest celebration!
Ogunquitfest has been a family-friendly tradition for over 15 years now. We felt so fortunate that our visit coincided with the festive event. This multi-day festival includes Halloween themed events and activities (costume parade, ghostly tours, and pumpkin decorating), wagon rides, a massive craft show and classic car show, in addition to the hilariously entertaining high heel dash! The dates vary from year to year, so be sure to check the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce Events Page for the latest details on this year’s festival.
One of the special events held during the year we visited included the opportunity to meet Paddington Bear illustrator R.W. Alley and his wife, children’s author, Zoë B. Alley. We were so happy to have a beloved children’s book signed by the talented illustrator. The annual car show was also a special treat, as I (Toccara) grew up attending classic car shows with my parents. There were some pretty rad automobiles on display!
Finally, the craft show was an impressive display of local talent. From jewelers, to photographers, to craftsmen and chefs, there’s no shortage of creative individuals eager to sell you their products. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and give a gift that is truly unique. Just don’t forget to pick up something for yourself as well!
Well, that’s all we’ve got for you! We hope you have found our Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine write-up helpful! Enjoy your visit to Maine’s Beautiful Place by the Sea!