Ogunquit, Maine Winter
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Experience Serenity by the Sea When you Visit Ogunquit in Winter

Ogunquit Maine is a charming town that never quite rises to a rowdy level but brings a special slice of peace in the winter. It’s an art colony where the picturesque landscape has been immortalized in almost every iteration of art.

The town has three main sections — downtown, Perkins Cove, and the beach. On the coastline, it’s bordered by York to the south and Wells to the north, while The Berwicks rest in the west.

During winter in Ogunquit Maine, you’ll find subdued seclusion as many of the main museums, shops, and food shacks close for the season. That doesn’t mean you can’t find things to do, though. Ogunquint’s winter vibe is ideal for those who want “me time,” romantic getaways, or plenty of room to roam without crowds.

winter along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit - one of the best winter hikes in Southern Maine
Marginal Way, Ogunquit | photo via hfitzger / Tripadvisor

Walk Along the Ocean

Ogunquit means “beautiful place by the sea,” and that’s in any season.

The Marginal Way is a cliffside walk that is 2.5 miles long out and back. While you’ll need to prepare for winter conditions with crampons or snow shoes, the path stays open all year. Even if you just make it a short distance, grab a bench and watch the waves roll in.

Ogunquit Beach is over 3 miles long, with the center at Footbridge Beach allowing for more solitude. Enjoy the dusting of snow or post-storm beachcombing as you soak in the beauty of Ogunquit’s sandy shore. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach in winter.

Explore Great Works Regional Land Trust Preserves

Maine’s preserved lands include an elaborate labyrinth of land trusts, including several in Ogunquit. The Great Works Regional Land Trust oversees these sites.

Kimball Farm North sits where Oguinquit meets South Berwick and includes glacial erratics, wetlands, and ephemeral pools during spring. The 3 miles of moderate trails here are part of a larger project that connects Mount Agamenticus to the Sea.

The Beach Plum Farm Preserve is an easy half-mile hike, and you’ll be wandering through the last saltwater farm in the town with views of the river, ocean, and wetlands. Payeur Preserve is another easy, flat hike through the Ogunquit woods. The 1-mile loop is a nice escape into nature.

Clay Hill Farm-York
Clay Hill Farm | photo via gus.zapata

Enjoy Fine Farming & Dining

Where else can you put fine dining and farming into one category? Ogunquit restaurants have that kind of versatility.

Two miles from the stunning shoreline, you’ll find 11 acres of dining magic at Clay Hill Farm. While it’s used as a wedding or special event venue, the winter Igloo Dining is a unique way to enjoy a meal outside without shivering.

The restaurant is housed on a former farm that was built in 1780. The grounds include gardens, walking paths, and a pub with weekly live music. Winter specialty drinks are waiting for you, and don’t miss the award-winning lobster bisque.

TIP: It’s important to know that snagging a spot here in the summer can be challenging with the nearby Ogunquit Playhouse. Enjoy the time and space to explore in a seasonal setting.

Next, we head to Jonathan’s OGT, a brick-and-mortar restaurant with all food locally sourced from Jonathan’s South Berwick farm. It has been sustainable and farm-to-table since long before it was trendy. You’ll also get a wealth of entertainment — from comedians to psychics to live bands.

Go Sledding, Cross Country Skiing, or Tubing

Mainers don’t stay inside when the temperature drops. In fact, several local secret spots open up to a wonderland of winter activities.

You’ll have to drive a short distance to get to the best places near Ogunquit. The closest one is also one of the best views in the region at Mount Agamenticus (Mount A, as the locals call it). Even if the snowpack is low, the views are worth the hike. Don’t want to deal with the cold? Drive to the top!

Powderhouse Hill Ski Area in South Berwick offers one of the only night skiing locations in the state. Also, the town sledding hill is right next door. About 30 minutes away, Harris Farm is a 600-acre, cross-country skiing haven.

Northern Lights - Bar Harbor, Maine
Northern Lights

Set Your Sights on Stargazing

Oguinquit’s quiet nature in the winter allows for some incredible bundled-up opportunities to see the night skies and winter meteor showers. Visit Perkins Cove, the beach, or Marginal Way to get wonderful background views on your celestial showcase.

Winter is a great time for the potential of the northern lights too. Keep an eye on the Space Weather Prediction Center for expected solar storms that create the aurora borealis.

Relax at the Spa

Whether you stay at a place with an in-house spa or go on a spa adventure through different resorts, a relaxing winter day at the spa can rehydrate, revitalize, and reinvigorate from the winter blues. Local and nearby spas are found at the following:

Explore the Shops

The Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce website does a great job of updating what’s open in the winter. This can help you plan ahead. When you consider that many of the treasures to be found in the stores here are unique pieces of handcrafted jewelry or unique artistic finds, you want time to browse and savor the experience.

Without the summer crowds, you’ll feel like a VIP shopper. Traveling with the grandkids, or want to bring something special back for the kids? Village Toy Funatic offers many Maine-focused toys, books, and puzzles. Plus, Panache mixes fine jewelry with an art gallery and plenty of “just browsing” time.

The Spa at Cliff House-Cape Neddick
The Spa at Cliff House | photo via meagdaley

Upgrade Your Lifestyle

Even posh places along the coastline can offer deep discounts or easy upgrades during the winter season. From long to minimum stays — you can snag that oceanside suite for up to 25% less than during the summer season.

Reservations? You don’t need those while dining in winter. Plus, you won’t feel rushed by the crowd of people waiting to get in. You can truly savor the Maine coastline experience in winter. Most Ogunquit hotes and resorts offer fire pits, outdoor heat lamps, and blankets for enjoying the ocean views.

RELATED: Best Ogunquit Maine Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, & Vacation Rentals

Mainers won’t think twice about enjoying the outside weather. Just take a look at Beachfire in Ogunquit — it has a fire going even during “a snow storm in the middle of winter.”

Chat With the Locals

Ogunquit is home to 1,500 year-round residents, and one thing that Mainers love to talk about most is Maine!

These wonderful people are like mini tour guides. They know which place has the best lobster, how to make the perfect clam chowder, and where the sea glass is easy to find on the beaches. If the weather is mild, they might direct you to a fishing charter or scenic cruise that isn’t on the tourism websites.

You’ll hear generational stories of how important this community is while learning about fierce storms that helped reconnect the community time and time again. Without the hustle of summer’s tourist season, you’ll be able to get more insider information and make a few Maine friends along the way.

Read an ENTIRE Book

How many times does the hectic pace of life make us start a book and never pick it up again? Give yourself permission to cozy up in a beachside nook of a local business or resort and read cover to cover.

We recommend “Summer Friends” by Holly Chamberlin to capture the essence of Ogunquit’s coastal magic or “The Stand” by Stephen King. Did you know that Ogunquit is Frannie’s hometown from “The Stand?” That small fact seems to summon King fans in any season. You can walk on the same beach as Jess and Frannie afterward. Just don’t go looking for the long rock pier.

“The Empty Beach” by Jody Clark could be an ironic read as it is set in nearby York, where Clark is from. Finally, you can go through the Nubble Light Series of five books that focus on the stunning lighthouse of nearby Cape Neddick.

Ogunquit, Maine Winter
Ogunquit, Maine I photo credit: Gregory Szymbor / Shutterstock

Take the Scenic Route

Summer traffic on Route 1 can make the scenic route even longer and not so much fun. In winter, you can enjoy the lazy ride that parallels the coastline from Kittery to Fort Kent.

A great day trip from Ogunquit could take you to Freeport, Bath, or Camden. If you head south, take Route 1A through York and right along the beach.

SURF’S UP: York is a perfect location to watch surfers riding seasonal swells. You shouldn’t do this activity unless you’re skilled at surfing, but for those who are, this is an excellent spot to catch the waves, provided you have a wetsuit.

Enjoy the Fun of Winter in Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit is the place to quiet the chaos of life in winter. Sure, a lot of businesses that thrive in the summer are closed, but with more winter visitors coming to Maine, it’s not the “carpet rolled up” atmosphere you might expect. You will have solace, privacy, and serene beach walks.

As they say in Maine, “There’s no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing.” If you’re dressed for the colder temperatures, you’ll be surprised at how active and warm you’ll stay.

As a bonus, we’re not sure there’s anything more magical than watching big fat snowflakes fall on the beach and cover the rocks before the next wave wipes them away. That’s a perfect Maine winter coastline trip. And, several other towns make awesome Maine winter vacation destinations.

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