Whenever I make it up to Maine, I leave feeling like its slogan, “Life the Way it Should Be,” is true. I also fall in love with each new town I visit. This was especially true on my recent visit to Ogunquit. I visited Ogunquit to do something that makes me very happy. I attended my first Gilmore Girls Fan Fest (If you haven’t seen the show, check it out on Netflix). Because this is such a joyous occasion for me, it could be part of why I had such a great visit, but I know I would have loved Ogunquit regardless since I have returned twice.
We spent four early fall days in Ogunquit shopping, eating, and doing Fan Fest activities. I would say we acted as actual tourists for two days, one of which we spent experiencing things to do in Ogunquit and the other day in nearby Kennebunkport.
Asters along the Marginal Way
The native Abenakis named this town, which means “a beautiful place by the sea.” It was then settled as an artists’ colony. Why do I love Ogunquit so much? The town is compact but provides many options for eating and shopping. There is even active nightlife at the piano bar in the Front Porch. Ogunquit contains a lovely beach that slopes gently into the Atlantic, marshes, and the fabulously picturesque cliff walk, The Marginal Way. It has everything that I want in a getaway.
Things to Do in Ogunquit
Start with Breakfast in Ogunquit
The Greenery Cafe
We enjoyed The Greenery Cafe so much that we ate breakfast three times during our four-day visit. This busy breakfast spot has an extensive pastry selection, yummy coffees, and full breakfasts such as Benedicts, pancakes, and scrambles.
The one day we didn’t have breakfast here, we visited Mornings in Paris, which serves coffee, crepes, and pastries. We returned here a few times for their delicious floral tea lattes.
Shop in Ogunquit
Spend some time exploring the unique shops in downtown Ogunquit.
Spend Time at the Beach
We visited in early fall, but it was still a great time to walk down the town’s long white sandy beach, which goes all the way to Wells. There are rocking chairs to sit in and enjoy the views under a covered porch. The beach is on a peninsula, so sand is on both sides, and it is excellent for kids as it is shallow.
Explore the Ogunquit River
On the other side of the bridge is a river for kayaking or floating. I plan to bring my kayaks with me next time I visit in the summer.
Enjoy Lunch on the water at the Ogunquit Beach Lobster House
Walk the Marginal Way
The Marginal Way is a paved walking path that starts at Obed’s Way in Ogunquit and ends in the village of Parson’s Cove. The walk winds 1.25 miles along the area’s rocky coast, a margin between the land and the sea. There are 39 benches along the mainly flat path. Native plants, such as aster and beach roses, line the pathways, and some invasive species, such as bittersweet.
The trail also has a lighthouse, albeit a miniature one not used for navigation. You can take pictures with the Lobster Point Lighthouse halfway along the trail.
We spent a few hours walking along this path, one of my favorite coastal walkways in New England. It is reminiscent of Newport, Rhode Island’s Cliff Walk. At the end is a treat you will enjoy exploring: Perkin’s Cove.
There are parking lots and public restrooms at both ends of the trail. Be sure to bring a windbreaker and water.
Explore Perkin’s Cove
Perkin’s Cove has an adorable harbor filled with boats on one side and the pounding surf of the Atlantic on the other. It has a small street full of shops and a few restaurants.
Since Gilmore Girls refers to Barnacle Billy’s, choosing where to eat dinner was easy. My friend and I had lobster overlooking the harbor and the restaurant’s famous rum punch with its secret ingredient.
Be sure to walk over the Perkins Cove Footbridge to get lovely views from this unique double-leaf draw footbridge. There is a red button to raise and lower the bridge for boats, which is apparently sometimes done by random fishermen.
We then walked home at dusk, enjoying the sunset.
On another trip, we had dinner at That Place; I really loved their seafood stuffing with sherry cream sauce. It is a bit outside town, but they have valet parking.
Have some Dessert
There are many places to get dessert, from candy shops to ice cream spots. Our favorites were the gelato whoopie pies at Cafe Prego and the blueberry pie a la mode at The Village Inn.
How to Get Around Ogunquit, Maine
Traffic and parking can be difficult because it is a small town with just a few streets. I recommend parking at your hotel and walking.
The Ogunquit Trolley Company also operates trolleys in season. You can find the cost and schedule here.
Where to Stay in Ogunquit, Maine
Juniper Hill Inn
We were looking for an inexpensive option within walking distance of everything, and this clean but no-thrills motel was perfect for our needs.
Anchorage by the Sea
If you are up for more of a splurge, consider any hotel on the Marginal Way, such as the Anchorage by the Sea.
Have you visited coastal Maine? What is your favorite town?