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Each year my husband and I like to try and take a long weekend trip to the coast for our wedding anniversary. Last October, we celebrated our 3 years exploring Ogunquit, Maine.
Maine is a big summer vacation destination, so we like to travel off season when possible.
The benefit of this is that the rooms are cheaper and easier to get for a short amount of time. During the summer many hotels require you to rent by the week due to demand. We’re not a fan of crowds especially when it comes to relaxing beach time and don’t usually have a year’s notice to book a week that far ahead, so fall works beautifully for us.
I live for the ocean and need a visit at least once a year. Trips like this fuel me until the next one comes around. That’s truly the charm of New England for me. SO much coast line!
Ogunquit is a beautiful little town nestled on the shore of southern Maine.
Where to Stay
It was important to me that we stayed at a hotel that was walking distance to the ocean. We ended up staying at The Dunes on the Waterfront. It fit our budget (cheap), and has this really special feature that no other hotel had. This hotel has a land bridge to the beach during low tide and row boats during high tide.
We didn’t end up using either of those options because of the season. But if you do happen to be making your trip for the summer that could be really fun.
Our room was a small portion of a cottage, with a private entrance. The room was fairly small- that’s the complaint about these basic rooms in the reviews online, but it had all of the essentials so it worked for us! The owners of the hotel had even handwritten us a welcome card with some chocolate printed with the hotel’s logo.
We were a small walk away from a bench that overlooked the dunes and town at sunrise. This made for peaceful mornings listening to nature and looking out at the view.
What To Eat
I have a bad habit of eating at tried and true chain restaurants while on vacation and end up missing out on local gems.
A short walk from our hotel room was a little breakfast nook called The Omelette Factory. Highly recommend! It’s a tight dining room, but the staff was incredibly friendly. There was a table of regulars joking with our waitress much of the time we were there. She even joked with my husband for drinking too much water.
The omelettes that we had were huge, super filling, and really yummy. We didn’t eat much the rest of the day after stopping in here.
The other standout local restaurant that we tried was the Maine Diner. I’m a big fan of a good diner. I’m always on the hunt for one near me, so when we’re out and about and come across one I love trying it. This is the first restaurant I’ve had the chance to eat at that’s been featured on Drive In, Diners, and Dives. We enjoyed our dinners and even had room for a little dessert. I’m not a seafood person, but Maine is known for their lobster. The Maine Diner had a fairly extensive seafood menu for those looking to eat for their location.
What To Do
The Marginal Way
OH my heart. We made 2 trips to walk along the Marginal Way, one in the evening when the sun was setting and one in the morning. Both times were relatively uncrowded, but the evening was the best. From here you get beautiful views out into the ocean and can see much of the town as well. The water crashes on the rocks below you and there are benches along the way that you can just sit and relax taking it all in. What I wouldn’t do to live in one of the houses that gets to overlook that gorgeous view. I believe this is one of the main features this area is known for. I could have spent all day sitting there taking in the ocean.
Even though it was late October, that didn’t stop us from bundling up in our winter coats and heading out to the beach. Ogunquit has a very long strip of beach isolated by the dunes. Each side of the beach has a parking lot and bridge to access. The dunes in between are home to local wildlife. I imagine it is quite nice during the summer, but even though the wind was whipping my hair all over the place I still enjoyed standing at the edge of the water watching a group of little birds running back and forth with the waves searching for food.
A Short Drive Away
Ogunquit is largely situated on one main street. I’m a bit of a weirdo when it comes to parking situations, so this lead us out of town.
We went beach cruising checking out the beaches that Wells has to offer.
With beaches so close together you’d think they’d be similar, but we came across a rockier beach that was a little more crowded than the one down in Ogunquit.
After driving around a bit aimlessly, we ended up in Kennebunkport. We arrived in this bustling little town right around sunset. All of my pictures from the town are tinted a bit orange, which really makes them all the more pretty. We popped in and out of the stores on the main street before heading home. Just spending a little time in this picturesque town was enough for me that day, but this town is definitely on our go back list. I would love to further explore it.
Maine is full of beauty. We hardly explored as much as we could of, but it’s a place I greatly look forward to taking small trips to over the years.