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Travel Review: The Magic of Coastal Ogunquit, Maine

This historic little southern Maine village will charm you with the Marginal Way walking path, the quaint Perkins Cove area, and its beaches, dining, shops and lodging
Article by Lina R., Photo (Marginal Way) by Eric H.

Marginal Way photo, Ogunquit, Maine

Whether you are looking for the perfect Sunday drive, or that kick back and relax for a few days type of vacation,

Ogunquit is patiently awaiting your arrival. Located on Route 1, this historic little village along the coast of Maine has much to offer. A leisurely day trip can be a spur of the moment idea that easily fits into your weekend. Call one of your friends and suggest a drive to Ogunquit. Surprise your wife with a mystery ride. Allow her to browse through the many quaint shops before treating her to a seafood dinner at Barnacle Billy's in Perkins Cove.

One of the most popular attractions in Ogunquit is the infamous Marginal Way. Have your camera ready! This scenic footpath, that dips and turns and juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, has an absolutely breathtaking view. Walk along this rustic trail that runs parallel with the main road. Feel a gentle breeze as it ruffles your hair and gently touches your face. Breathe deeply and enjoy the smell of the salty air. When the tide is low, tiptoe gingerly across the lower ledges and rocky masses that have been formed by the forces of nature. Take lots of photographs of the brightly colored flowers, the bittersweet that grows wild,the sprawling lawn of the Anchorage Hotel and the magnificent homes that are set back behind weathered fences.

My favorite area in this picturesque village chock full of great restaurants, charming shops, spectacular scenery, great entertainment and clean beaches, is Perkins Cove. I personally recommend the following places. A visit to The Christmas Dove is always delightful. Open April through December, you will find such collectibles as Department 56 and Annalee Dolls. Mountain Tops is the largest T-shirt store in Ogunquit. The Brass Carousel features a collection of fine jewelry, stained glass, rare gifts, and items made of foreign and domestic brass. A day at Perkins Cove, for me, has to include lunch at The Hurricane. Open year round, this restaurant, noted for its outstanding chowder, is the perfect setting for a romantic meal. My husband and I salvaged a stormy weekend away, by stopping there for lunch. While feasting on scrumptious lobster salads, warm rolls, and sipping a fine Merlot wine, we dined in an elegant setting in front of a wall of glass facing the ocean. The giant whitecaps crashed angrily over jagged rocks, the spray flying high into the air from the gusty wind, and pounded onto the sand. Each wave seemed to grow closer as we sat in awe, witnessing the power of the sea.

A few other great places to dine in Ogunquit include Jackie's Too, The Ogunquit Lobster Pound, Charlie's, and Jonathan's. Maxwell's, located in the center of town, not only has good food, it has nightly entertainment. I love the Karaoke nights there! It is always fun to join in and sing when you can be anonymous. All of these places are within walking distances and are also on or near a trolley stop. The Trolley runs from mid-April through Columbus Day.  Ogunquit has three miles of white sandy beaches for those of you who like to smear on the sun block,carry beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, hats, or a favorite book and spend time at the seashore. I enjoy taking a stroll after the sun goes down and watching the families, who have spent the day there, as they gather their children together and collect the sand pails, shovels and seashells that are scattered around them.

If you are entertaining thoughts of a long weekend or any time during the summer months, you should decide where you would like to stay and book your trip well in advance. Summers are fun and relaxing in this old-world spot by the sea. You will find a wide variety of places to choose from. Whether you like a modest bed and breakfast, a quiet little inn, or a more upscale resort, lodging that suits your taste and budget should not be difficult to find. The Colonial Village, a stone's throw from Wells, is an appealing choice. This attractive resort, within walking distance from the center of town, offers several vacation options, and features an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, and an outdoor pool as well. The Meadowmere, another one of my personal favorites, has indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, and offers package plans that include meals.

Ogunquit is a short drive to Freeport, Portsmouth, and Kennebunkport, if you wish to venture further. I often stop in Kittery to shop the outlets on my way home. There is so much to see and do. I cannot possibly tell you about all of it. However, I can suggest you log on to an informative website I found, From the restaurants and shopping to the beaches and deep-sea fishing, Ogunquit is waiting to welcome you.

For more of Lina's writings, be sure to visit her web site at My Web World.


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