This small coastal town in Maine is quaint, quiet, and full of outstanding natural beauty. Ogunquit translates to “beautiful place by the sea” in the Abenaki Native American language, which should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect!
Ogunquit is great for families, couples, friends, and solo travelers alike. Although small, the town is a popular tourist destination as there are plenty of fun things to do in Ogunquit! This destination offers its visitors the chance to explore the surrounding area or sit on a quiet beach in the sun and read a book.
In this post, we'll cover:
9. Abacus Gallery
This small artisan shop has arranged its products in a gallery-like display. They have all manner of things, from handcrafted sculptures that are beautifully ornamented to colorful digital prints. Each piece at the Abacus Gallery is unique and peculiar.
The Abacus Gallery is the perfect stop if you’re looking for something to do in between activities. There’s lots to see, so allow some time on your holiday to browse around the shop.
If you want to buy gifts and souvenirs to take home from your trip you can purchase hand-made gifts designed and created by local artists in the town. They have lots of pieces of jewellery and art made from a range of materials.
8. Ogunquit Memorial Library
The town library, the Ogunquit Memorial Library, looks like a small, historic castle from the outside. The establishment was built in 1897 in memory of Mr Conarroe and opened its doors to the public in 1898. To begin with, the town library had just 1,500 books that were donated by Mrs Conarroe.
If you’ve come on holiday with the family and you have young children, you could take them to one of the library’s storytelling hours. You’ll discover that the library hosts lots of different events, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
There’s a variety of talks given by local academics and professionals on history, conservation efforts in the area and much more. You can check their online website to see the events and talks they have that week, or you can pop in and chat to one of the library’s friendly staff.
7. Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Ogunquit’s Art Museum was founded in 1953 by Henry Strater. It has exhibitions of American art dating from the late 1800s until the present day. So, whether you like modern art or art from past periods like Renaissance art, there’s plenty for you to contemplate at the Art Museum.
The Museum displays a range of artistic styles in its exhibitions. They have photography, prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptures. The Museum has lots to see indoors, but there’s also things to see outdoors! The Museum’s expertly landscaped gardens are full of color and brilliantly handcrafted sculptures.
The Museum is an ideal activity no matter the weather. It’s open from May to November each year, every day of the week, and has a small admission fee suited to all budgets.
6. Take a Cruise
Ogunquit’s cruises are a fantastic way to explore the coves, marine wildlife, and rocky shores of Maine. There’s plenty to see, and if you’re lucky you might even spot some seals!
Aside from the beauty and fauna you’ll see onboard, you can find out more about the town’s fishing culture. Like most coastal villages Ogunquit has been significantly influenced by fishing and is particularly known for lobstering. You can take a specialized tour and discover the details of the town’s lobster fishery, visiting scenic points along the way.
There are lots of different cruise companies in the local area. Most of the cruises run early in the morning and last about an hour. Prices start as cheap as $20!
5. Ogunquit Playhouse
The Ogunquit Playhouse is a small local theater made up of a cast of all ages! The theater had humble beginnings, starting out in 1933 in a small, renovated garage where enthusiastic amateur actors and artists gathered to rehearse, write productions, and create stage designs.
The tiny Playhouse really took off after Hollywood and Broadway showman Hartwig and his wife Maude came to the seaside town as part of their “Little Theater Movement” in the 1930s. They attracted famous actors to the Ogunquit Playhouse stage, expanding the theater’s audience and reputation beyond the rocky shores of Ogunquit.
The Ogunquit Playhouse has five to seven live performances each year. If you’re in Ogunquit during one of their productions, it’s definitely worth getting a ticket!
4. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Reserve
Close to the sea and near to deciduous forests, this wildlife refuge has a unique fauna and flora. The Wildlife Reserve was established in 1966 to protect the salt marshes and estuaries around Ogunquit.
The Wildlife Reserve was named in honor of the American marine biologist and environmentalist Rachel Carson, who did a lot of wildlife research along the coast of Maine.
The unique landscapes within the Wildlife Reserve attracts many migratory birds to the Wildlife Reserve, a great spot for bird watching!
There’s lots of fun activities you can participate in at the Wildlife Reserve. The center is open for hunting, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, photography, wildlife watching and also has lots of educational programs for kids and adults! It’s just a short drive from town and offers you an opportunity to get out into Maine’s unique nature on your trip.
3. Perkins Cove
Perkins Cove is a small fishing area on the outskirts of Ogunquit. It’s a popular destination thanks to the mile long cliff walk, full of breath-taking coastal scenery, that ends there.
At the Cove you are met by picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a small harbor full of quaint fishing boats on the other. Whichever way you look, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The area has lots of shops and restaurants, so if you want to buy gifts or have a delicious meal out you can combine it with a gentle stroll and incredible scenery. You can easily walk to Perkins Cove from the town, but there’s plenty of parking options if you want to drive.
2. Ogunquit Beach
The Atlantic waves roll onto sandy shores at the town’s most popular beach, Ogunquit Beach. The golden sand is a nice break from the pebbly and rocky shores scattered along the rest of Ogunquit’s coast.
The beach stretches for miles, the ideal spot for an early morning stroll or a short walk at sunset. Take your shoes off and enjoy the soft sand underfoot, you’re on holiday!
The beach is great for swimming, the waves are usually small and there aren’t big rocks around. So, you can relax as the children build sandcastles and splash around in the water.
There isn’t a better spot in town to spend a slow, sunny afternoon sunbathing and reading a book. If this sounds like the perfect destination to you, you can book accommodation with a sea view just opposite the beach!
1. Marginal Way
This 1 ¼ mile long walk runs a winding path along the coast of Ogunquit. It starts in downtown Ogunquit and ends at Perkins Cove. The path hugs the Atlantic Ocean across its whole length, offering scenic views and the gentle sound of waves crashing on the rocky Maine shores below.
The walk isn’t very long, so it’s suitable for families with young kids too. You shouldn’t miss out on the Marginal Way during your stay in Ogunquit, it really is stunning! Another perk is that the walk finishes at Perkins Cove, another popular tourist destination in Ogunquit. After your walk you can stop for lunch and some shopping beside the town’s picturesque fishing dock.