A Guide to Ogunquit

…..Without Ogunquit, our beloved summer town filled with delicious food and some of the country’s best beaches, Liv and I would have never met. This is where our food adventures together began. Whether it’s late nights after work or early mornings, you can always find us eating somewhere in town. Ogunquit offers so much more than food too. In 2016, the soft, sandy beaches ranked 15th in America on TripAdvisor. This town is the perfect place for a family vacation or romantic getaway. It has something for everyone on every budget.

Where to Stay

Every trip needs to start with a place to stay and Ogunquit does not lack in options. Most hotels in the small town are close to the water and decorated with a beach vibes. There is something for every price range and need in Ogunquit.

Hotels:

The Cliff House ($$$$): Located in Cape Neddick about a five-minute drive from the center of Ogunquit, The Cliff House is unlike any other hotel in the area. Recently redone to be a luxury resort, staying here will make you feel like you’re in another world. From the moment you walk into the lobby to check in you will be in awe of the design and precision to detail. Between the sweeping ocean views from the cliff, and the saltwater infinity pool that appears to melt into the Atlantic, your jaw is guaranteed to drop. You will never have to leave your cushioned lounge chair as servers bring you drinks and food all day long. Often times you will wonder if you are on a cruise ship because the water views seem endless. Other amenities include a saltwater family pool, two saltwater hot tubs, an indoor pool, two onsite restaurants, a spa, a gym, a kid’s club, a local art gallery, a shuttle to Ogunquit and so much more.

The Anchorage by the Sea ($$$): Located in the heart of Ogunquit overlooking the ocean, the Anchorage is one of the nicest places to stay in town. You won’t have to leave to go to the beach because of the breathtaking view of the ocean from the lounge chairs on their front lawn. Their onsite restaurant, Surf 360 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner downstairs and has an adults-only bar upstairs. Cocktail service is available outside by the pool and two hot tubs, and on a rainy or cold day, you can relax and spend the day at their indoor pool. The Anchorage offers luxury and location all in one. (If you’re on a budget you can also try booking at their sister hotel across the street, the Towers at the Anchorage, and still use all of the amenities!)

Other great options:

  • The Beachmere ($$$)
  • 2 Village Square Inn ($$)
  • The Admiral’s Inn ($$)
  • The Meadowmere Resort ($$)
  • Bourne Bed and Breakfast ($$)
  • Gorges Grant Hotel ($)
  • Juniper Hill Inn ($)
  • If you’re coming with a large group and looking to save some money you may want to look into renting out a house or cottage on Moody Beach in Wells on Vrbo or Homeaway.

What to Do

Other than laying on the beach all day, the Ogunquit area boasts plenty of activities for vacationers

  • Walk the Marginal Way and explore Perkins Cove: The Marginal Way is a mile long walk along the sea that starts in the center of town right after the Sparhawk hotel and ends in Perkins Cove at the Oarweed Restaurant. Along the way, you can explore the small hidden beaches where surfers and locals love to hangout. Maybe you’ll find a few treasures along the way! When you make it to the cove be sure to walk around and check out the unique shops that showcase local pottery and handmade sea glass jewelry. Don’t forget to stop in at Perkins Cove Candies and try their homemade chocolates, sea salt caramels and saltwater taffy!
  • Hike Mt. Agamenticus: Mt. Aggie is not a huge mountain, but does offer wonderful trails the whole family can accomplish. When you reach the top, you will be able to see gorgeous views of the seacoast as well as inland Maine and New Hampshire.
  • Visit Kennebunkport: Another small coastal town in Maine with a lot of charm, Kport has many different shops that are fun to explore and appeal to everyone in the family. Drive to Walker’s Point to catch a glimpse of the Bush Family Compound or make your way out to the conservation trails for some hiking.
  • Visit Portsmouth: This historic city has a lot to offer whether you are looking to do some shopping, check out the local farmer’s market, or take a boat cruise out of the port there is always something to do here. Prescott Park in Portsmouth offers free concerts throughout the summer months along the Piscataqua River (an $8-10 donation is suggested for entrance to the shows).
  • Catch a show at the Ogunquit Playhouse: The Playhouse is an Ogunquit staple. Many Broadway stars and musicals have gotten their start here at this small-town theater. The shows are always exceptional and the theater is so cozy there are no bad seats in the house!
  • Go on a boat tour or fishing excursion: Walk or trolley down to Perkins Cove and check out all of the boat tours offered. A line of trucks is always parked with someone sitting on the back to tell you about their fishing boat and when the next trip is departing. If fishing isn’t your thing, try one of the Finestkind’s many cruises including the breakfast cruise, the Nubble Lighthouse cruise, the booze cruise and the lobster cruise. (If you go on the Finestkind say hello to our friend Patrick!)
  • Rent scooters from Jack’s Scooters: This new shop rents out electric scooters for the day that will let you zip around town quickly and explore all of Ogunquit’s picturesque and winding roads
  • Visit York: Go one town over from Ogunquit and you will be transported to your vision of a classic American beach town with an arcade, candlepin bowling, endless restaurants and the historic Nubble Lighthouse.

Where to eat:

Easily one of our favorite parts of Ogunquit is choosing where to eat every day. In the past few years, the restaurants have grown in diversity and it has truly become a culinary destination.

Our absolute favorites:

La Orilla (dinner): This is not only our favorite Ogunquit restaurant but one of our all-time favorite places to eat. The food is delicious, fresh and inspired. Run by brother and sister duo Matt and Alex Haight, this al fresco restaurant features a tapas menu and sangria and cocktails that will make your mouth water. Everything coming out of the kitchen is both a work of art and a taste sensation. Many of the ingredients are grown in their garden or locally sourced. Make friends with Chef Matt and he may even send you out a dish once in a while! These are the plates from La Orilla we cannot live without, ther Charcuterie board with chorizo and jamon serrano, tagliatelle pasta, house mozzarella salad, broccolini, seafood paella and stuffed medjool dates.

Loveshack Juicery (breakfast & lunch): Going on vacation is not always a healthy affair. Sometimes we wake up not feeling quite right so when it’s time to refresh our system from all of the rich foods we’ve been eating, we head to Loveshack Juicery. We guarantee it will make your vacation a little healthier and a lot sweeter. There is not a bad option on the menu but our go-to order is the Bali Bowl- pitaya, strawberries, pineapple and banana blended into a soft serve type consistency topped with fresh fruit, coconut, granola and local honey and the Breakfast Bowl- bananas, strawberries, peanut butter and dates blended together also topped with fresh fruit, coconut, granola and local honey. They also offer delicious smoothies, fresh lemonade, local coffee and boosting ginger shots.

So Zap (dinner & late night): You can probably catch Liv and me here around midnight eating way more than we need to, but loving all of it. Every dish coming out of this urban Thai kitchen is bursting with flavor and depth. The complexity of ingredients is what makes these dishes shine and they are definitely a welcome step away from lobsters and clam chowder. Watch out when choosing your spice level, a three is the most we can handle! Our favorites here include Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles and Khao Soi.

Amore Cafe (breakfast): At this point, Amore Cafe is an Ogunquit staple. There are so many great places for breakfast in town, but no trip is complete without a trip to this beloved breakfast restaurant. Recently relocated to the Admiral’s Inn, this classic’s 60s diner vibe is even more authentic than it was in its previous location. When you walk in, you will feel as though you are in your grandparents living room sitting on an old couch watching I Love Lucy and drinking coffee while you wait for your name to be called. Once seated, the new space is bright and decorated with bright, red booths, cherry printed curtains and vintage posters. It is centered around a beautiful new breakfast bar stocked with booze to fulfill your early morning mimosa and bloody mary dreams. Our favorites here include the Irish eggs benedict, the Oscar de la Renta benedict and any of the omelets!

Rococo Ice Cream (dessert): This ice cream shop has made quite the name for itself in the past couple of years. The first location in Kennebunkport has been an overwhelming success gaining national attention and prestige. At its third year in Ogunquit, Rococo is finally becoming a staple for vacationers here and it’s no surprise. The handmade ice cream is made Argentinian style, which means its slowly processed in small batches so the least amount of air is let in. It resembles gelato, but make no mistake, this is ice cream. The flavors created by owner and traveler Lauren Guptil are innovative, but always seem to work whether it is their signature Goat Cheese Blackberry Chambord, Strawberry Basil or Blueberry Chipotle. You will not regret it if you are willing to try these creative and delicious flavors.

Restaurants for…

A classic Maine meal: If you’re looking for fresh lobster and a nautical theme check out these places

  • Barnacle Billy’s: If you tell someone you traveled to Ogunquit, they may ask “did you go to Barnacle Billy’s?” This restaurant has been serving customers its famous rum punches for decades. If you don’t come here for at least one of these strong cocktails, you’re missing out on an Ogunquit experience. While there, order some steamers, chowder and a lobster, and you’ll be as happy as a clam.
  • Footbridge Lobster: Located just a few steps from Barnacle Billy’s, this takeout window is the place to grab one of the best lobster rolls in town. The owner is a lobsterman, so his prices are right and the rolls are overflowing with freshly caught meat. This is a deal you will not find at any other restaurant in town.

Breakfast:

  • Greenery Cafe
  • Omelette Factory
  • Egg & I
  • Cove Cafe

Lunch & Dinner:

  • Brix + Brine
  • Cornerstone
  • That Place (dinner)
  • Northern Union Wine Bar (dinner)
  • Cafe Prego
  • MC Perkins Cove

Dessert:

  • Bread and Roses Bakery
  • Village Food Market
  • Sweet Pea’s Ice Cream

-Meg

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