The town’s name, pronounced oh-gun-kwit, means “a beautiful place by the sea,” and offers up to 90 percent of its shoreline open to the public. It is a predominantly seasonal town, with tourists enjoying all it has to offer in the summer months. Resident population hovers around 900. It has been honored as one of the best little beach towns nationally, and for good reason. Ogunquit and Footbridge Beaches offer a vast amount of beach at low tide, with surrounding rocky coastlines to enjoy. The Marginal Way is a 1.5 mile walk along a portion of the town’s rocky seaside coastline. It ends in Perkins Cove, which is a small offshoot of Ogunquit featuring many quaint shops, lobster houses, and a pedestrian drawbridge that must be manually lifted for boats to enter the Cove. It is increasingly becoming a year round destination, as the Chamber hosts many events surrounding nearly all holidays each year. It also is home to the Ogunquit Playhouse (local theater) and the Ogunquit Museum of Modern Art right along the ocean.

Walking, Biking or Driving


Primarily this is a walking town for tourists staying within the town center. The Ogunquit Trolley runs through the summer months and transports people to various points around town. Biking along the scenic Shore Road takes you on an afternoon excursion through Ogunquit, Cape Neddick and York. Route One is the main thoroughfare through Ogunquit, and can become congested during summer months.

The Scene


There are two scenes divided by the summer and winter seasons. The winter season offers a quiet oasis for its 900 residents, with more and more businesses, inns and restaurants staying open later into the fall and winter, and opening earlier in the spring. The summer season turns the town into a bustling, diverse mix of young and old, with a wide spectrum of entertainment for everyone – there is nightlife with Maine Street and the Front Porch offering live music, or enjoy Ogunquit or Footbridge beaches all day, and end it with a dinner at one of the numerous 3-5 star restaurants in town. Ogunquit’s theater and art scene is a fundamental part of its history, with the Ogunquit Playhouse and Ogunquit Museum of American Art just off Shore Road, and numerous art galleries in Perkins Cove and around town. Lobster is a way of life here, as well as boating, fishing and whale watching trips leaving from Perkins Cove (hop aboard the Finest Kind Cruises!). If considering this for your primary or secondary home, there are stunning oceanfront homes and condos along the Ogunquit/Cape Neddick corridor, and smaller homes and condos that are walking distance into town as well. Ogunquit does not have its own schools, and feeds into the reputable Wells public school system. It offers an eclectic mix of activities, and there is truly something for everyone. Locals love Bread & Roses Bakery, Rococo’s Ice Cream, Northern Union, Barnacle Billy’s, MC Perkins Cove, That Place, Cornerstone, The Greenery Café, Roost, & Loveshack Juicery to name a few. If just passing through, stay at the Meadowmere Resort, Beachmere Inn, The Anchorage by the Sea, the Sparhawak, or Cliff House for excellent service and views!

Backstory


This “beautiful place by the sea” was settled in 1641. Fishing was the primary draw to the area, along the Ogunquit and Josias Rivers. There was a fish cove along the Josias River, but it was largely unnavigable and fisherman had to haul their boats ashore each night. Perkins Cove was created by fishermen who resolved to connect the fish cove to the Josias River. They dug out the entire area that is now Perkins Cove. A manual drawbridge still exists today in Perkins Cove for passersby to raise for boats to pass through the Cove. The peninsula that formed became a popular area for artists and tourists. With breathtaking rocky views, The Marginal Way became a scenic trail along the coast from Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Beach and is still remains one of the main attractions to the area. It is no surprise that Ogunquit was named in the top 10 of America’s Best Coastal Small Towns in USA Today 2016.