Ogunquit is a beautiful and charming little coastal town in Maine that’s a popular beach destination in New England for families, couples, friends’ getaways and solo adventures because of its small size, the most beautiful, sandy beaches in the entire state, and stunning rugged coastline. If you’ve been wondering if Ogunquit, Maine is worth visiting during your next New England trip, I’m sharing the absolute best things to do that showcase how awesome this lovely coastal town is.
Is Ogunquit, Maine Worth Visiting?
Ogunquit is most definitely worth visiting. This little oceanside town offers something to do for everyone, including one of Maine’s largest, sandy beaches that’s perfect for swimming, a beautiful downtown area with unique storefronts and restaurants, lots of outdoor activities including walking paths, surfing and sail boat tours. The charm at every corner, and the stunning coastline quickly stole my heart, and it’s sure to steal yours, too.
How To Get To Ogunquit
The best way to get to Ogunquit is to drive, as public transportation through coastal Maine isn’t the best way to get around.
If you have to fly, the closest airports to Ogunquit are Portsmouth Pease International Airport (25 minutes from Ogunquit), Portland International Jetport (40 minutes from Ogunquit), Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (1 hour from Ogunquit) and Boston Logan International Airport (1 hour and 20 minutes from Ogunquit). I suggest you rent a car directly from the airport, and drive to Ogunquit.
15 Best Things To Do In Ogunquit
1. Ogunquit Beach
Ogunquit Beach is the most popular attraction in Ogunquit, and it’s easy to see why. This 3-mile long stretch of pristine, sandy coastline is absolutely beautiful, and is a bit unique for Maine, since most coastline in this state is typically very rocky. This is an amazing beach to set-up camp for the day, pack a picnic, go for long walks and completely relax. It makes Ogunquit, Maine worth visiting just to see this incredible beach.
One thing to keep in mind when visiting is that even at its warmest in August/September, the water here will still be cold. That’s typical for most New England beaches (we’re not known for warm waters!), but it does tend to be some of the coldest water in New England. The water temperature likely won’t get much warmer than 65 degrees, but it feels amazing on a hot day!
Tip: Ogunquit Beach & Sport offers convenient beach rentals for beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, carts and even boogie boards, as well as beach shuttle services. They also offer delivery to your rental or hotel.
2. Take A Sail Boat Tour
Silver Lining Sailing offers amazing sailing tours out of Perkins Cove along the coast of Maine and will allow you to see Marginal Way and Cape Neddick from an entirely unique perspective. They only allow up to 6 people at a time on their vessel, The Silverlining, making it a more personalized tour, and offer you a chance at the wheel or to sit with the crew and help them sail. It’s also encouraged to bring snacks and drinks aboard to enhance your experience.
Tours are offered late-May through early-October at different times throughout the day, including sunset sails, and you may even be able to spot some minke whales or seals during your trip.
Pricing: Tours are $60-$65 per person, depending on the tour you choose.
3. Walk Marginal Way
My personal favorite thing to do in Ogunquit is walk Marginal Way, which is a 3-mile round-trip, paved pedestrian path along the rocky coastline that provides incredible and dramatic views and overlooks. This path also connects Ogunquit town center with a charming little harbor called Perkins Cove (see more on Perkins Cove next!).
During the walk on Marginal Way, you’ll see inconspicuous staircases leading down to small beaches, and you’ll likely also see surfers riding the waves in the ocean.
To find the start of Marginal Way in town, you’ll want to walk on Shore Rd toward Obeds Ln, and once you reach Obeds Ln, there will be a small pathway and a sign pointing you toward Marginal Way on your left. Follow the path to begin your walk on Marginal Way! The first portion of the walk will be in front of some of the hotels and resorts along the water, and then just past the first section, you’ll get to some of the more dramatic views.
Tip: Marginal Way is an amazing sunrise location – the sun will peek through the horizon right over the water, so be sure to plan which overlook you want to watch it from, and arrive a few minutes before sunrise on a clear day.
4. Visit Perkins Cove
If you walk to the end of Marginal Way for just over a mile, you’ll end up in Perkins Cove, which is a little harbor that’s part of the town of Ogunquit, and has its owns shops, restaurants and a beautiful footbridge that offers views of the cove. Perkins Cove is very small, but it’s one of my favorite things to do while here, and makes Ogunquit, Maine worth visiting.
This little area is very small, but perfectly charming. I suggest walking Marginal Way to Perkins Cove, grabbing lunch at an outdoor table at The Trap, budget about 1-2 hours to walk around the shops and the footbridge and grab an ice cream at Jackie’s Sweetside before walking the mile back to Ogunquit.
Tip: If you didn’t want to walk back from Perkins Cove to Ogunquit, scroll down to No. 6 for an inexpensive and fun ride option!
5. Visit Cape Neddick & Nubble Lighthouse
A quick 15-minute drive from Ogunquit will take you to Cape Neddick and Nubble Lighthouse, one of the most famous lighthouses in Maine. Nubble Lighthouse is not accessible because it’s on its own little island, but there is an overlook area from Nubble Point, which provides a really great view of the lighthouse from across the water. You’d think that it would be far away, but it’s actually closer to thank you think. Seeing this iconic lighthouse will absolutely make Ogunquit, Maine worth visiting.
Nubble Point has a good amount of parking spots available, but on weekends in July and August, it will fill up quickly. Most people don’t spend a lot of time here, and jump out of their car to see the lighthouse for a few minutes, and then move on. So even if you have to wait for a spot, you shouldn’t wait long.
To make the excursion to the lighthouse even more worth it, swing by Cape Neddick Lobster Pound for lunch or dinner after visiting Nubble Point. The buoy-covered exterior is a famous picture location, but the food is also amazing.
6. Hop On The Ogunquit Trolley
While it’s very easy to navigate Ogunquit on foot, it’s equally as fun to explore by trolley. The Ogunquit Trolley operates Memorial Day through Labor Day (sometimes extending service through Columbus Weekend), and has multiple stops through town, including Ogunquit Beach and even Perkins Cove. If you decide to walk Marginal Way from Ogunquit to Perkins Cove, and don’t want to walk back, taking a ride on the trolley back to town is a great option.
Pricing: Adults are $5 per ride, and children are $3 per ride. You’ll need exact cash to board the trolley, as change isn’t made on-board, and credit cards/pre-payments are not accepted.
7. Take A Day Trip To Portland
Portland, Maine is just 45 minutes north of Ogunquit, and makes for a great day trip if you’re looking to balance your beach trip with some city life. Portland is known for its restaurant and brewery scene, as well as the lighthouses in South Portland.
Driving from Ogunquit, I suggest first stopping in South Portland to visit Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine’s most iconic lighthouse, and if you have time, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse and Bug Light. Then make your way to Portland, grab lunch, visit the Old Port district, walk along Commercial Street to visit the wharf and the shops and then stop at Bissel Brothers Brewery on your way back to Ogunquit.
8. Visit The Stonewall Kitchen Flagship Store
You’ve likely seen their products in speciality shops across the country, but you can visit the Stonewall Kitchen flagship store in York, Maine, just 10-15 minutes from Ogunquit. At this location, you’ll find every product Stonewall Kitchen makes, as well as giftable items and a really nice cafe-style eatery that serves everything from breakfast to lobster rolls to baked goods. And the food here is actually really good. There are tables set-up outside, and there’s tons of parking to make your trip here seamless and stress-free, making it one of the reasons Ogunquit, Maine is worth visiting.
Even though I see their products everywhere, I love stopping here when I visit southern Maine because I still feel like I discover something new every time, and the quality of their products is still awesome.
9. Stroll Ogunquit’s Shops
Ogunquit’s town center is full of beautiful storefronts and specialty food stores, and you could easily spend an entire afternoon just visiting them all. A few of my favorites that I recommend you don’t skip are Goods Ogunquit, Abacus, Harbor Candy Shop and H&M Crumpets.
If you plan to visit any of the shops in Perkins Cove, be sure to visit Blue Whale Trading Company, Perkins Cove Pottery Shop and Out Of The Blue. And since so many of the shops in the area offer so many unique, artisan-made items, it makes Ogunquit, Maine worth visiting just to take home a few special pieces.
10. Take In A Show At Ogunquit Playhouse
This renovated garage-turned famed regional off-broadway theater has been putting on shows since 1933, and is now a community staple and one of the biggest reasons Ogunquit, Maine is worth visiting. It’s even been awarded a spot in the National Register of Historic Places. The Playhouse puts on regional and world-premiere shows each season from May through October, ranging from plays to musicals, and partners with industry teams in New York and Los Angeles to bring top talent to the stage. If you’re looking for an exciting and unique theater experience, be sure to book your tickets to the Playhouse during your stay.
Pricing & Information: Tickets for shows range from $47-$97 per person, depending on the performance and seat selection. Children 3 and younger are free, as long as they can sit on a parent’s lap during the performance. There is an on-site bar and concession stand for drinks and snacks (outside food and beverages are not allowed). Visit the Ogunquit Playhouse website to reserve tickets.
11. Visit Art Galleries & The Ogunquit Museum Of American Art
Ogunquit’s history is deeply rooted in the art world, and has been a haven to artists of all mediums since the early 1900s. As a result, Ogunquit is home to countless art galleries where local artists can display their work, and they can be found all over Ogunquit’s town center.
The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is one of the top attractions in Ogunquit, and showcases works dating back as far as the 1800s. They have a rotation of seasonal exhibits, permanent collections of important works, as well as a 3-acre sculpture park that includes 18 gardens – a work of art in and of itself that showcases the coastal beauty of Ogunquit blending with contemporary creations.
Pricing & Visitor Information: Admission to the museum is $12 per adult, $10 per senior, $10 for students, and children under 12 are free. The museum is only open seasonally from May 1-October 31. There is a parking lot at the museum, which is free for guests with paid admission.
12. Go Sea Kayaking Or Paddle Boarding
If you’re looking to paddle the open waters, World Within Kayak Rentals offers kayak and stand up paddle board rentals, as well as private tours. Located on the Ogunquit River, at the Ogunquit River Inn, you can rent equipment and head right out onto the river, and cruise along Ogunquit Beach for an entire different perspective of the coastline. There’s also opportunity to head in the opposite direction toward Wells, and meander through the calmer estuaries.
If you’re a beginner, or new to the area and would prefer a private guide, call World Within directly for information on booking a private tour during your visit.
Pricing & Rental Information: Single and double kayak rentals are available, and will cost between $30-$60, depending on which you choose, and if you want to go for 1 or 2 hours. Stand Up Paddle Board rentals are $35 for 1 hour, and $45 for 2 hours. Rental reservations can be made online, and the rental pick-up area is only open during high tide, and they suggest checking the tide report here to plan accordingly.
13. Relive History At The Ogunquit Heritage Museum
If you’re a history buff and love to learn about the local history of the destinations you visit, the Ogunquit Heritage Museum is right up your alley. The museum is free for all to explore, and is set inside an 18th century Cape Cod-style home that contains original flooring, hardware and paneling. The museum preserves and showcases important items that relate to the town’s maritimes, social, architectural and art history, and you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for Ogunquit and its past.
14. Get Pampered At Cliff House In Cape Neddick
Sitting atop Bald Head Cliff in nearby Cape Neddick, Cliff House is a 70-acre oceanfront luxury resort destination with incredible ocean and cliff views. If you’re staying in Ogunquit, and are looking for a little luxury and pampering, Cliff House has an on-site spa offering an array of treatments from massages and facials to body and nail care. After an afternoon of relaxation, you’re welcome to visit one of the three on-site restaurants for lunch or dinner overlooking the cliffs and ocean.
15. Visit Footbridge Beach
Footbridge Beach is a smaller beach that’s equally as pristine and beautiful as the main Ogunquit Beach, but is often less crowded because it’s not easily walkable from town. There is a small parking lot for beach access, and you’ll cross a scenic bridge to get to the shoreline. Footbridge Bridge is about 2 miles from Ogunquit Beach and town center, so if you’re willing to drive the short distance, or walk along the shore of Ogunquit Beach for just under a mile to get to Footbridge Beach, you’ll be rewarded with a calm and serene beach day experience.
How Much Does It Cost To Park At Footbridge Beach?
Daily parking fees at Footbridge Beach are $4 per hour, or $25 for the day. If you’re staying in Ogunquit near the main beach and are up for a walk to avoid the parking fee, you could walk to Ogunquit Beach, and then turn left once at the beach (facing the ocean) and walk for 8/10 of a mile until you reach Footbridge Beach. Just remember that you’ll have to walk back if you choose this option.
What Is There To Do In Ogunquit At Night?
While Ogunquit is more known for a relaxed, beach atmosphere, it also has a lively nightlife. With plenty of bars and theaters, you’ll find there’s lots to do after the sun goes down. Below are two suggestions for a great nightlife experience.
For dinner and live entertainment, you have to visit The Front Porch. Offering covered outdoor patio, traditional bar and lounge seating, as well as amazing food, everyone is sure to find the atmosphere that works for them here. But the best thing about The Front Porch is their sing-a-long piano lounge. Even from the streets outside, you can hear people joining in on songs, and it’s a really fun way and unique way to enjoy a dinner out in the evenings.
Tip: There is usually a line to get in during peak dinnertime, and wait times can vary drastically. They don’t take reservations, so plan accordingly.
If you’re looking for more of a dance floor vibe, MaineStreet is a gay bar known for awesome drag queen and comedy shows and is home to two dance floors, and three outdoor decks for guests to socialize and grab a drink. They also host a lot of charitable events to give back to the local community, so be sure to check out their website for any events they may be putting on during your visit.
Where Is Ogunquit?
Ogunquit sits along the southern coast of Maine, and is about 45 minutes from Portland, 1 hour and 15 minutes from Boston, and about 3.5 hours from Bar Harbor, Maine.
What Is Ogunquit Maine Known For?
Ogunquit is known for Ogunquit Beach, one of the largest sand beaches in all of Maine that’s widely considered to be the prettiest stretch of beach in the state. Even with its pristine, sandy shoreline, Ogunquit is also known for its stunning rocky coastline that Maine is famous for, which can be found along Marginal Way. Since it offers both sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs for amazing views, Ogunquit, Maine is worth visiting for striking the perfect balance of both worlds.
Where To Park In Ogunquit
It’s good to have a parking plan before arriving in Ogunquit because it can be tough. If you’re staying at a hotel in Ogunquit, chances are your room rate will include free on-site parking. I highly suggest you confirm that your hotel offers free, or even paid, on-site parking to make your trip much easier and stress-free. If that’s the case, you’re all set!
If you’re staying outside of Ogunquit and visiting for the day, or your hotel or accommodation doesn’t offer on-site parking, there are several parking areas to choose from. On weekends, I highly suggest you arrive as early as possible, as the lots can fill up quickly. If you want to park at Main Beach, I suggest you arrive early on any day of the week in July and August. But the good news is, since Ogunquit is pretty small, most of the lots are convenient for getting into town. Here is a quick guide to parking in Ogunquit.
- Free 30-minute parking can be found along Main Street, Beach Street, Main Beach and Shore Road. Be sure to check posted signs before parking to be sure you’re in a free 30-minute spot.
- The Main Beach Lot is where you want to park to visit Ogunquit Beach, but is also a short walk to the center of town. The daily fee ranges from $20-$35 based on day of the week, and season, and is only payable with a credit card (excluding Amex). Fees are collected 8a-6p in season.
- Footbridge and North Beach Lots are also accessible to the town center, and typically used as overflow lots once Main Beach lot is full. You can pay $4/hour, or $25 per day to park at these lots. Credit cards only, no cash, and fees are collected 8a-8p in season.
- Cottage Street, Lower and Obeds Lots are all located on the edge of the main town center area, and not more than a 5-10 minute walk to the center of town. These lots charge $4/hr or $25 per day.
- Upper Lot offers free 1-hour parking.
- Jacobs Lot is also located close to the edge of town, and offers free 30-minute and 2-hour parking.
- Perkins Cove Lot is the furthest from Ogunquit’s town center, but perfect if you want to explore the cove for a few hours. This lot has an area for free 2-hour parking, and an area for paid parking, which is $4/hr, and has a 3-hour limit.
For a detailed guide to parking in Ogunquit, and how to find these parking lots, visit Ogunquit’s Town Parking Website.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Ogunquit?
July and August will offer the best weather, and the warmest water for swimming in Ogunquit. That means that prices will be at their highest for accommodations, and there will be more crowds, but it’s still an amazing time of the year to visit.
While swimming at the main beach is a big draw for many people, I’ve found that Ogunquit, Maine is also worth visiting in May, June and September. The crowds are smaller, and the weather is still beautiful for walking along the beach and Marginal Way, as well still warm enough for all the other amazing outdoor activities that are available.
Is Ogunquit Maine Crowded?
Most destinations along the New England coast may be crowded in July and August, and Ogunquit is no exception. It’s best to be prepared that you will experience crowds here when the weather is nice, and during the months of July and August. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, I suggest visiting on weekdays if you can, as a lot of people will drive in for weekend getaways, and planning a visit in May, June, September or October.
New Englanders live for the summer since our winters are so long and cold, so anywhere you go in July and August in the Northeast will bring some crowds, but that’s definitely not a reason to avoid visiting. I find if you prepare for the crowds before you arrive, you’ll be fine, as there are so many things to see and do in Ogunquit. If you want to get away from the crowds, definitely book a sailboat tour, or a kayak tour, which will offer you some peaceful moments away from the buzz of the town center. Even walking out onto the rocks (safely, please!) along Marginal Way will offer you a serene reprieve from crowds.
Is Ogunquit or Kennebunkport Better To Visit?
I love both towns so much, and have to recommend that you visit both Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. One isn’t better than the other, and they both offer amazing scenery and things to do for a perfect New England vacation.
What I can say is, if you’re really looking for the best, most stunning beach for long walks and swimming, I do think Ogunquit is better for than than Kennebunkport. Kennebunkport does have beautiful, sandy beaches, but I think Ogunquit Beach wins just a bit in that category because of its size.
Both Kennebunkport and Ogunquit have a charming Main Street/downtown area with beautiful shops, quaint harbors and amazing restaurants. Both are also very walkable towns when it comes to exploring the shops and restaurants, but again, Ogunquit will win a slight advantage if you’re looking for easy beach access. Ogunquit beach is easily walkable from Ogunquit’s town center, whereas you’ll have to drive to the best beaches in Kennebunkport.
Both are unique enough that they warrant at least a day of your time, and I can’t imagine you being disappointed with either.
How Far Is Ogunquit From Kennebunkport?
Ogunquit is just a short 20-30 minute drive to Kennebunkport, making it a very easy day trip if staying in Ogunquit. If you plan to be in Ogunquit for more than 3-4 nights, I would even suggest you consider staying two nights in Ogunquit, and two nights in Kennebunkport to really get a feel for both towns. But if easy beach access if what you’re looking for, Ogunquit as a home base, with a day trip to Kennebunkport, will be perfect for you.
How Far Is Ogunquit From Bar Harbor?
Bar Harbor is about 3.5 hours from Ogunquit and I wouldn’t suggest Bar Harbor as a day trip from Ogunquit for this reason. But if you’re looking to do a coastal Maine vacation, and have more than 2-3 days, Bar Harbor and Acadia National are absolutely worth visiting.
How Do You Get Around Ogunquit?
Once you arrive by car, you can get everywhere in Ogunquit and Perkins Cove by foot. The only reason you’ll need a car is to visit Footbridge Beach, Cape Neddick, or take a day trip to a nearby area. The other exception is getting to the Ogunquit Playhouse Theater. It’s less than a mile outside of town center, but the quickest way there is along a main road without sidewalks for most of the journey. You can walk on side streets to get there, but I’d probably recommend driving just to be safe.
Everywhere else in the actual town of Ogunquit, including all the shops, restaurants, beaches, Marginal Way and Perkins Cove are walkable from town center. Perkins Cove is about a 1.25 mile walk one-way along Marginal Way, but if you combine it with your visit to Marginal Way, you should definitely walk there and back to take in the views from both angles.
Where To Stay
It’s important to note that staying right in Ogunquit will not offer a lot of flexibility in pricing. Because the town is right on the ocean, there are no true budget options unless you want to stay outside of town. Staying in Ogunquit will cost you $200 per night minimum during peak season. But, factoring in how beautiful it is, the location and how difficult it can be to park for the day, I suggest booking a hotel right in Ogunquit, rather than commuting in each day. Keep in mind that you can find cheaper prices outside of peak season. These are my picks for the best hotel options in Ogunquit.
Terrace By The Sea will start at $250 per night in season, and offers views of the ocean, a wrap-around covered porch to enjoy breakfast or a glass of wine, and is a very short walk to Ogunquit Beach. It’s also right in town center. Continental breakfast and one parking spot are included in the room rate.
Anchorage By The Sea will cost about $350-$400 per night in season, and is an ocean-front property right on Marginal Way. Amenities include free on-site parking, a large lawn overlooking the ocean with Adirondack chairs for relaxing, fire pits, on-site dining and heated indoor and outdoor pools.
Inn at Shore Road will cost about $280 per night in season, and is located in the heart of town center, with walkability to Ogunquit Beach. This traditional New England-style, cozy inn has free on-site parking, continental breakfast delivered to your room each morning, and select rooms that are pet-friendly, for a very reasonable fee of $10 per dog, per night.
Where To Eat in Ogunquit
Ogunquit is filled with amazing places to eat, and I don’t think you can get a bad meal here. But I know it can be overwhelming trying to plan which restaurants to visit, so below are my top picks for where to eat when visiting Ogunquit.
- The Front Porch for live entertainment and excellent food all-around.
- Footbridge Lobster in Perkins Cove for fresh seafood takeout.
- Ogunquit Beach Lobster House for awesome seafood overlooking the water.
- Brix & Brine for traditional and creative takes on seafood, and a bar with an ocean view.
- The Crooked Pine for classic American comfort food with a New England twist.
- Treehouse Taqueria for awesome Mexican food (get their lobster tacos!) and margaritas.
- Backyard Coffeehouse & Eatery for great baked goods, quick bites/sandwiches and coffee.
- Loveshack Juicery for on-the-go smoothies and acai bowls.
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That’s A Wrap on If Ogunquit, Maine Is Worth Visiting
Hopefully this guide has helped you decide if Ogunquit, Maine is worth visiting for your next coastal New England getaway. Whether it’s relaxing walks on Marginal Way, smelling the salty air, grabbing a lobster roll at Footbridge Lobster while watching the boats in the harbor at Perkins Cove, immersing yourself into the local art community or walking the miles of perfect shoreline at Ogunquit Beach, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time in Ogunquit.