5 Best Things to Do in Ogunquit, Maine

Only have a day or two? From oceans strolls to seafood-shack feasts, here are five of the very best things to do in Ogunquit, Maine.

By Yankee Staff

Oct 25 2021

Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove, Ogunquit

Photo Credit : Submitted
Situated on the Maine coast 45 minutes south of Portland, Ogunquit is a picturesque village with a cheerful seaside-resort vibe and striking natural features, including dramatic cliff and rock formations. With its spacious expanse of white sand, it’s long been a magnet for beach crowds, but Ogunquit (whose name means “beautiful place by the sea” in the Abenaki language) is a great day-trip option for just about anyone looking to get out into the salt air and do some shopping, dining, and sightseeing. You could easily spend a week or more exploring Ogunquit and its neighboring communities along the southern Maine coast. But if you have just a day or two, here are the five best things to do in Ogunquit, Maine.
The sight of lobster boats greets visitors to Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine.
Photo Credit : Submitted

5 Best Things to Do in Ogunquit, Maine

Marginal Way

The Marginal Way is a seaside path that stretches along the granite coastline of Ogunquit. Entirely paved and mostly flat, it’s hardly a strenuous hike, yet it remains one of the most popular in New England. People flock to the Marginal Way for the view — though only 1¼ miles long, it offers more breathtaking vistas than any other trail you’ll find on the southern Maine coast. Benches along the way invite visitors to linger and enjoy the land, the sea, and the elemental beauty of the place where the two meet. There are a number of access points along the Marginal Way, but if you want to walk it from end to end, we recommend starting from Perkins Cove and strolling north to Shore Road, then jogging onto Wharf Lane and over to Ogunquit Beach.
Benches along the Marginal Way invite stopping and relaxing by the sea in Ogunquit, Maine.
Photo Credit : GrandviewGraphics/iStock

Ogunquit Beach

Dubbed “The Beach That Has It All” in Yankee‘s 2021 summer travel issue, Ogunquit Beach offers more than three miles of gleaming white sand and undulating dunes, ensuring plenty of room for visitors to spread out. Popular with sunbathers, strollers, surfers, and kite-flying aficionados, Ogunquit Beach is also terrific for families: Just steps away from the main beach there’s a slender, sheltered beach on a tidal river where the water is calm and the sand is dotted with little pools — all perfect for sand castle builders. There’s also parking at three separate beach spots, as well as trolley service in the summer.

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Open daily from May 1 to October 31, this stunning seaside facility attracts is the only museum in Maine to devote itself exclusively to the exhibition, preservation, and interpretation of American art. Among its permanent collection of more than 3,o00 works — photography, paintings, sculpture, and more — you’ll find the likes of Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, and Marguerite Zorach; past exhibits have included the works of Jamie Wyeth and Andy Warhol. And the visual splendors don’t stop at the gallery walls: The museum’s large windows offer lovely ocean views, as do its peaceful three acres of sculpture gardens.
At the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, sculpture gardens look out to the horizon in Ogunquit, Maine.
Photo Credit : Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Ogunquit Playhouse

One of New England’s historic summer-stock theaters, the Ogunquit Playhouse in years past welcomed the likes of Helen Hayes, Bette Davis, and Anthony Quinn to its stage. Now this spacious venue, built in 1937, is a showcase for the best musicals around, and even hosts world and North American premieres of new works. (Plus, it’s a blessed retreat for talented Broadway actors who make the shrewd move of leaving Manhattan in the sweltering summer.) Open seasonally — although fans can enjoy a December pick-me-up when the Ogunquit Playhouse takes its show on the road for a traditional holiday production at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The Ogunquit Playhouse beckons Broadway talent to the Maine coast in Ogunquit, Maine.
Photo Credit : Ogunquit Playhouse

Perkins Cove

Most visitors to Ogunquit eventually wind up at this tiny fishing enclave, which boasts one of the most-photographed spots in Maine: a charming historic pedestrian drawbridge. This is also where you’ll find the popular family-owned cruise operator FinestKind Scenic Cruises, which has been ferrying sightseers along the local coast for decades; the schedule runs from May through October and includes a don’t-miss outing to Nubble Light that yields rare on-the-water views of this Maine icon. Among the other attractions in Perkins Cove are art galleries, shops selling local crafts and souvenirs, sweet treats at Perkins Cove Candies, and seafood feasts at the Lobster Shack and Barnacle Billy’s. Have your own list of the very best things to do in Ogunquit, Maine? Leave your picks in the comments below!

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