The Best Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine | All About Oqunguit
If you’re looking for the perfect New England getaway, Ogunquit is the perfect spot! With tourist centers, beaches, shopping opportunities, great restaurants, and more, there are so many fun things to do in Ogunquit Maine.
There’s something enchanting about visiting seaside towns. Whether it’s getting lost in the history of the place, finding the perfect local restaurant, going for a swim in the ocean, or simply just exploring, visiting a seaside town like Ogunquit Maine can be a great adventure.
Getting to Know Ogunquit Maine
The name Ogunquit, in the language of the Algonquin Indians, literally means “Beautiful Place by The Sea”, and we couldn’t agree more. This four-square-mile town is truly one of the prettiest places on the Southern Coast of Maine.
Between the miles of sandy beaches, scenic coast, dramatic rocky cliffs, quaint colonial architecture, gorgeous tree-canopied streets, art galleries, and great shopping and dining, Ogunquit consistently ranks as one of the best vacation spots on the Southern Maine Coast.
Though it has a population of fewer than 2,000 people, it has been named one of the best coastal towns in America. Through the years, Ogunquit has evolved from a small fishing village around Perkins Cove into a popular tourist spot with a lot to see and do.
It’s the perfect destination to explore and is known for its thriving art and theater scene, its beautiful sandy beaches, and independently owned dining spots.
Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine
The village of Ogunquit is bustling in the summertime, with shopping in boutiques and gift stores, sampling homemade fudge and chocolate at the candy stores, enjoying ice cream, or dining at one of many local restaurants.
The coastal town of Ogunquit is ideal for active visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors. Walking, running, and biking are all popular in Ogunquit in the village, and along the waterfront of Perkin’s Cove and Marginal Way walkway.
The Ogunquit River flows 9 miles long and is a great kayaking spot. There are local kayak rentals and tours for all levels from beginner to expert.
In season, Ogunquit is a hotspot for lively nightlife and entertainment. Local restaurants and bars offer live music, comedy shows, and other entertainment. On summer evenings, Ogunquit nightlife turns up at places like Jonathan’s, The Front Porch Piano Bar, and Maine Street with live music and dancing.
Here are some of our favorite attractions and activities in Ogunquit Maine…
Meander Along Marginal Way
Ogunquit has been referred to as the most walkable community in Maine, so a car is not a necessity. Aside from the long, flat beaches that are great for strolling along, visitors can also trek along the famous Marginal Way.
This shorefront pedestrian walkway connects Ogunquit village to Perkins Cove. There are promontories and a lighthouse along this stunning cliff walk, and more photo ops than you can count so keep the camera/phone handy. There are many (39!) benches along the path, perfect for stopping to enjoy the cool sea air, reading a book, taking pictures, or even painting the scenery.
How Long is Marginal Way?
Approximately 1.25 miles long, Marginal Way begins on Shore Road (between the Spar Hawk and the Anchorage) and ends at Perkins Cove. It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk Marginal Way – if you don’t make any stops along the way, but we definitely recommend stopping to enjoy the views!
Walking along Marginal Way in Ogunquit has been described as braving a tightrope. But the winding 1.25-mile trail pressed between land and sea isn’t really that difficult and you’ll see stunning views of Ogunquit and the Atlantic Ocean. This easy walk with a gentle slope wraps along the scenic coastline, providing beautiful views of the beaches, ocean, and harbor.
At one end of Marginal Way, you’ll see the three miles of dunes that make up the wondrous Ogunquit Beach. At the other end, you’ll find Perkins Cove, which is home to shops, restaurants, a working fishing dock, and more.
Soak Up the Sun at an Ogunquit Beach
If you’re visiting a coastal town like Ogunquit Maine, you absolutely have to make time to go to the beach. Ogunquit has two long beautiful beaches including its namesake Ogunquit Beach as well as Footbridge Beach.
Lifeguards are on duty in season, and the end of the beach provides ample parking for a small fee, public restrooms, gift shops, a snack bar, and restaurants. At the southern end of Ogunquit Beach, the Ogunquit River flows into the ocean by the beach, this makes for a great freshwater spot to float on an inner tube or raft on a warm summer day.
One of the biggest draws to this vacation town is Ogunquit Beach. Ogunquit Beach is 3.5 miles long, with the Ogunquit River creating a peninsula and the parking area off Beach Street as a social hub of this broad sandy beach.
This Maine beach is ideal for all sorts of fun in the sun. Ogunquit Beach’s soft sand and gentle surf make this beach popular among families, perfect for building sand castles, flying a kite, splashing in the waves, collecting sea shells, or playing catch.
It also ranks as one of the prettiest 3.5 miles of beach in the country and is on the list of Top 25 Beaches in the US on TripAdvisor. When you visit Ogunquit Beach, you’ll understand why it’s considered one of the nation’s best beaches. The sand is white and super soft, which makes it perfect for walking.
The middle section of Ogunquit Beach is known as Footbridge Beach because it is accessed by a footbridge that crosses over the Ogunquit River. Footbridge Beach is a beautiful quieter stretch of sand. Whether you like to stroll, sunbathe, swim, or surf, you will find your beach here.
Stock Up On Beach Supplies at Liquid Dreams
Much of the appeal Ogunquit has for locals and visitors alike is its beautiful beachfront. Sunbathing, swimming, sailboating, and kayaking are just a few of the fun activities people like to do.
At Liquid Dreams, you’ll find all that you need for fun on the water, including paddle boards, kayaks, surfboards, and more, which are all available to rent.
Explore the Wonders of Perkins Cove
Ogunquit is also home to Perkins Cove, a small turn-of-the-century fishing village that draws great crowds every summer. Perkins Cove is about as cute a fishing village as you will find. Complete with a manually operated drawbridge, delightful little seaside shops, restaurants, and ocean views, this is a perfect place to spend the day.
Formerly a small fishing community and colony for artists in older times, today, it’s home to scenic outlooks, restaurants, and private shopping centers. With the Atlantic Ocean and a harbor on the sides, it’s a great spot to spend time by the water.
Perkins Cove is home to a hand-operated footbridge and visitors may have the chance to draw it up if a tall ship is passing by. Stroll the Marginal Way from here, then shop for locally made jewelry and crafts, before catching lunch at one of the waterfront bistros for a bowl of chowder or lobster roll.
Perkins Cove is full of boutique shopping, jewelry and art galleries, and delicious restaurants that serve up locally caught fresh seafood. Don’t forget to stop in the local candy shop, famous for its fresh, locally made salt-water taffy.
If you are looking to explore the sea, Perkins Cove is an ideal locale to do so. Visitors can enjoy awesome views of southern Maine, explore boats, have fun in the surf, and even book fishing and sailing trips. Ocean lovers can board a scenic boat tour from Perkins Cove too.
Many of the boats in the harbor are active fishing and lobstering boats that also offer tours for a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience. Finestkind Scenic Cruises offers scenic lobster, lighthouse, and cocktail cruises that provide unforgettable memories and incredible views for the whole family to enjoy. Other boat tours, like the Ugly Anne and Bunny Clark charter party cruises or deep-sea fishing trips.
Hitch a Ride on the Ogunquit Trolley
Getting around Ogunquit in season is tremendously easy using the efficient Trolley system, an enjoyable way to see the town in style with open-air – let the trolley take you to the beach, the shops, and dinner. This is a great way to see the city in a different way and also a good way to get a breather if you’re headed from one popular spot to the next.
Trolleys have been operating in Ogunquit since the 1980s and this is a great way to get a unique view of the city. The trolley hits popular spots like Marginal Way, Ogunquit Beach, and Perkins Cove and runs in the summer from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days.
The Trolley makes frequent stops in downtown Ogunquit’s best restaurants, art museums, local hotspots, and hotels, for your convenience – just listen for the ring of the trolley bell!
Get Lost in History at the Ogunquit Heritage Museum
Museums are always fun to visit, no matter where you go. The Ogunquit Heritage Museum sits in a historic building that’s part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Admission is free and visitors can find exhibits and artifacts that tell the history of Ogunquit, including documents and art.
Take Time to Relax at Beach Plum Farm
You may not think about visiting a farm when you visit a seaside town, but this 22-acre farm at the north end of Ogunquit is worth a visit. It pops with color during the summer months.
It’s a great spot for taking a stroll with friends and family and the farm has a looping path that passes by more than 50 plots used for community gardens. You can also see lots of coastal birds, including beach plums.
Discover a Great Local Restaurant, Bakery, or Sweet Shop
There are so many fun things to do in Ogunquit Maine, but eventually, you’re going to get hungry. Fortunately, some of the best restaurants on the Southern Maine Coast are located in Ogunquit. The best chefs in New England travel to Maine because of its fresh and delicious local ingredients.
Ogunquit is home to several famous lobster pounds, fun for the whole family if you are looking for a real Maine treat. Locally made ice cream shops line route 1 all the way into town. Fancier restaurants are ideal for couples looking for a romantic atmosphere and unique cuisine.
If you’re looking for a good breakfast to start your day, try the Omelette Factory. It makes its own jams and sauces, which can be enjoyed on breakfast favorites like French Toast.
Enjoy fresh Maine seafood – fresh lobster, oysters, clams, and crab, at classic spots like Barnacle Billy’s and Lobster Shack. Here you’ll find all the Maine favorites, including lobster dinners, lobster rolls, and clam chowder, and it’s all caught in Maine waters.
Restaurants like M.C. Perkins Cove, That Place, Angelinas, Bintliffs, and Five O Shore Road are very popular. Seafood is caught daily, delivered straight to the restaurant, and put on the menu that night.
Taste Ogunquit with craft cocktails at cool bars like That Place and Beachfire.
Bread and Roses Bakery is a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch. It offers quiches, croissants, and coffee among other things for breakfast, and wraps and pizzas among its lunch offerings.
Backyard Coffee House offers hot coffee drinks and a cozy atmosphere. You can pair a freshly brewed cup of joe with a muffin, a bagel, a sandwich, or a salad, depending on when you stop in.
If you’re craving something sweet, stop by Sweet Peas for a refreshing glass of lemonade or an ice cream cone. You can also visit the Harbor Candy Shop, which offers traditional favorites like chocolates and candies, but also unique items like tea-infused chocolate, edible chocolate seashells, and vegan chocolates.
Experience a Piano Bar
The most happening place for nightlife in Ogunquit is The Front Porch. Go here, go upstairs and join in the live music as locals and folks from away gather around the grand piano bar for singalongs with Ogunquit’s best singers and entertainers, it’s a gay old time.
Make Time for Tea at The Tea Room
Located on Main Street in Ogunquit in a Victorian-style building, tea lovers can find all varieties of tea at The Tea Room. The store sells both loose and bagged teas, including herbal tea, English breakfast tea, Matcha, Darjeeling, and more.
Once you’ve picked your favorite tea, stock up on all the tea items you need, including cups, kettles, infusers, and more.
Find the Perfect Souvenir
Whether you’re on vacation or just visiting Ogunquit Maine for the day, the perfect trinket can make that trip all the more memorable.
Shop Ogunquit’s unique boutiques along Main Street in the historic village center. Browsing is both art and amusement in this great town full of fun shops like Sea Glass Jewelry Studio, Abacus, and Whistling Oyster.
If you’re looking for a snack, Spoiled Rotten sells nuts, crackers, sauces, and other locally-made products. If you’re looking for apparel, there are lots of T-shirts and hats to choose from. If you’re looking for other items, it has everything from photos to candles to tableware, and so much more.
Buy Handmade Hygiene Products at H & M Crumpets
This unique local boutique sells personal care products for men, women, and even babies. Customers will find the store’s shelves lined with candles, air fresheners, and soaps. The store also sells unique items such as soap on a rope, beard balm, unique slippers, and even skincare kits.
Discover the Joy of Antiquing
Antique shopping is always a good time and Blacksmiths Mall Antiques has been an Ogunquit institution for a long time. It was established in 1840 by Theodore Hutchins, who sold horseshoes and iron that was used in many locally built boats.
Today, Blacksmiths is an 8,000-square-foot building that has the wares of dozens of antique dealers inside. Visitors can find collectibles, antiques, and so much more, and locals will tell you this is one of the best antique shops in all of Southern Maine.
See a Great Art Collection at Don Gorvett Piscataqua Fine Arts Studio & Gallery
Ogunquit is known for its art scene and this studio and art gallery is one of the best in town. Don Gorvett creates what he calls Black Bear Fine art, which includes woodcut images showing different New England architecture and landscapes and has been featured all over the United States and in Europe.
Discover More Art at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Ogunquit originated as a shipbuilding colony in 1641, and later flourished for its artistic community. The beautiful seaside setting inspires all mediums of art, and you can visit many studios and galleries.
Ogunquit Museum of Art is a small gallery with a fantastic oceanfront setting, founded in 1951, this art collection on Shore Road showcases over 3,000 paintings, ceramics, and sculptures.
Art lovers will rejoice at this museum, which houses more than 3,000 pieces of art as part of its permanent collection. The art includes photography, sculptures, and other media.
The museum is the only one in Maine that focuses solely on American artists, especially contemporary American art. The Maine art museum is open during the spring, summer, and fall, and admission varies for children and young adults.
Catch a Show at the Ogunquit Playhouse
One of the last, original authentic off-Broadway summer theaters. Ogunquit’s Playhouse offers fantastic summer stock entertainment, top-shelf entertainers, Broadway productions, and musical theatre in a delightful 1933 barn.
The famous Ogunquit Playhouse, which started its life as a renovated garage in the town square, is known today as America’s Foremost Summer Theatre, attracting Broadway actors like Sally Struthers, Bette Davis, Carson Kressley, and Andrea McArdle.
The Ogunquit Playhouse is also on the National Register of Places and was established in 1933. You can catch some amazing performances of popular Broadway musicals put on by some of the best local and regional performers.
Past performances have included Fiddler on the Roof, Jersey Boys, Grease, and The Sound of Music. Each year’s performances run from late spring to mid-fall.
It is a great way to enjoy a piece of Maine history while taking in Broadway-caliber productions. There are also children’s matinees and family theatre for the enjoyment of younger visitors that often feature favorite Disney and storybook characters.
Take in the View at Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse
Maine has lots of beautiful lighthouses along its coast and Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse is one worth checking out in Ogunquit. The lighthouse was built in 1879 and has an attached red-roofed house and outbuildings that make for a beautiful, scenic view.
The lighthouse is still in operation to help ships along the coast. The lighthouse and grounds aren’t open to the public, but Sohier Park nearby is a great place to view the lighthouse.
Enjoy Time on the Water With a Scenic Cruise
There are many spots in Ogunquit where you can see beautiful views like something out of a painting. But there are plenty of scenic views to be had on the water too.
You can book a scenic cruise with a local company that will allow you to see the wonders of the Maine shoreline, including lighthouses, harbors, and even the coast itself.
Cruise guides will teach you all about Maine’s lobstering industry and other points of interest and wildlife, including harbor seals. Depending on your interest, you can book one of several tours, including a wooden boat tour and a sunset tour.
Experience the Best Events in Ogunquit Maine
There is something to do in all seasons in Ogunquit…
In the spring, join in on Ogunquit’s famous Patriots Day weekend celebration, named the Best Show of Patriotism by Down East Magazine. This festive weekend includes historical re-enactments, concerts, children’s games and crafts, and local food and wine tastings.
Summer is the best time to stay by the beach, relax in the sun and take in the annual 4th of July Fireworks display.
In the fall, visit for OgunquitFest, a fun-filled weekend with fall-themed events including pumpkin carving, a haunted house, wagon rides, and more!
Winter brings Ogunquit’s annual Christmas by the Sea celebration, with festive holiday activities like tree decorating, ice-skating, a visit from Santa, caroling, and the town tree lighting.
View all of Maine’s annual events.
There are also many great lodging options in Ogunquit, including large hotels, oceanside resorts, charming inns, and bed and breakfasts. However you choose to spend your time in Ogunquit, it is a vacation that will not be forgotten.
Once you visit, you’ll find that it’s no wonder why people come back every year to enjoy all that Ogunquit has to offer!
Dunes on the Waterfront
Ogunquit Beach has routinely been named as one of the top beaches in the United States and for good reasons. The Dunes on the Waterfront are just one of those reasons.
This 12-acre private property offers both cottages and hotel-style guest rooms. The whole area offers privacy and tranquility and is only a few minutes away from the beach.
The Cliff House Resort
This spectacular property is worth a visit for a seaside cocktail, or a spa treatment, a splendid overnight stay of luxury – or more! Perched high on Bald Head Cliff, this incredible resort has fantastic views out to sea towards Boone Island Light and Nubble Light.
The two-story glass-walled lounge is a lovely spot for a drink or hit the heavenly 9,000-square-foot spa for a massage and a dip in the ocean view oversized outdoor hot tub. For luxury lodging, stay at Cliff House in a chic ocean view balcony room.
Ogunquit Maine FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions to help you plan your visit to Ogunquit Maine:
Can you swim at Ogunquit Beach?
Ogunquit Beach is a great place to swim, bodysurf, and sunbathe and there are lifeguards on duty there during the summer and into early fall.
Do I have to pay to park at Ogunquit Beach?
Yes, but there is lots of public parking available. Many of the most popular parking lots charge a flat daily fee or charge by the hour.
What can I do in Ogunquit Maine at night?
There are a lot of fun things to do in Ogunquit Maine at night. You can sit down to a tasty meal at a local restaurant, catch a show at the Ogunquit Playhouse, go for a walk on the beach, and so much more.
How long is the cliff walk in Ogunquit Maine?
The cliff walk is 1.25 miles long and goes from Perkins Cove on one end to Ogunquit Beach on the other end.
Plan Your Trip to Ogunquit Today!
Ogunquit Maine is one of Maine’s truly wondrous beach towns and there are so many fun things to do.
Whether you want to have the freshest New England cuisine, visit an art museum packed with hundreds of wonderful artworks, soak up the sun on Ogunquit Beach, spend the day shopping at local establishments, or take in the seaside view, Ogunquit offers you the chance to do it all.
Plan your trip today and you can see and experience all the great things that Ogunquit has to offer!
I have been vacationing in Maine since 1970, and I love it. Best Beach, great places to eat, great shows at the Playhouse, and fantastic places to stay (I recommend the Cliff House, it is the best). The Frount Porch is the place to be in the evening.
How would one get back to their starting point after walking the Marginal Way besides walking back.
Love Ogunquit! I wish this article would have highlighted that it’s a gay friendly destination as well.