Abenaki Indians gave Ogunquit this name. When the English established Wells in 1641 these lands became a part of their settlement, (remaining so until 1980). Shipbuilding developed along the tidal Ogunquit River and fishing became an important livelihood for many in the early years.
Weather-beaten fishing huts and a beautiful coastline attracted artists in the late 19th century. They established the Ogunquit Art Colony in 1898, living alongside seamen in what became known as Perkins Cove. Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and Maurice Prendergast were among those who lived and worked here.
Tourists followed. To accommodate them several grand seaside hotels and inns were built. With miles of fine white sand, and a dramatic tide this remains a popular seasonal resort. The scene here is a lot less commercial and much more laid-back than that of Provincetown, in Cape Cod to the south, with a similar history. New Yorkers and Bostonians in particular come here to get away from the heat and noise, and it's long been the favorite beach of many from Quebec.
Ogunquit has been a gay destination for a century now, and there's a cluster of LGBT-owned/operated hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and theater -- most in the Village Square area. The gay section of beach is to the north, left as you arrive, past the volleyball nets. Book early as summertime rooms can be hard to find. September and October are good months to visit, with fewer crowds, less congested roads, sunny weather and pleasant water temperatures.
The town is located 66 miles north of Boston, up I-95 for the most part. That's about 90 minutes by car if you time it to avoid the weekend traffic jams.
Portland International Jetport is the closest airport. Seven scheduled airlines offer daily connections to 12 American cities, and Toronto. The airport is about 40 minutes drive from Ogunquit. Your best bet is to rent a car from here.
C&J Trailways has bus service from Boston Logan only as far as Portsmouth NH leaving you to take a taxi for the last 20 minute drive. The Amtrak Downeaster train operates between Boston (North Station) to Wells, which again requires a taxi or car rental -- or if you travel light, the trolley system.
The Ogunquit Trolley Company runs eight Molly Trolleys around town. Service is every 10-15 minutes during the tourist season until Labor Day 8am to 11pm; then until Columbus Day 9am to 8pm. Fares are $1.50 per trip. On some routes the trolleys have bike racks.
They connect with the transit systems of other area towns, comprising the Shoreline Explorer -- with service from Kennebunk and Kennebunkport all the way down to York; also west to Sanford from Wells. Each segment has its own schedule and fare structure.
GayOgunquit.com is the best source for news and information and a full list of arts and performance events in and around Ogunquit.
Five-O (50 Shore Rd) seven-day restaurant, lunch, dinner, weekend breakfast. Popular year-round cocktail bar and lounge with late night food service.
Front Porch (9 Shore Rd) piano bar and lounge, a local institution at town center. Music, comedy shows; restaurant serving lunch and dinner, or at the bar.
Maine Street (195 Main St) something for everyone, Ogunquit Party Central from 5pm daily. Men, women, dancing, comedy, drag, pool tournaments, outdoor deck.
Old Village Inn (250 Main St) cozy popular locals' pub, a gay Ogunquit mainstay. Weekend entertainment, extensive food menu, snacks to full meals.
Oxygen Lounge (237 Main St), website down, phone turned off - longtime gay dance location appears to be out of the game this season.
98 Provence (262 Shore Rd) French Provencal "country" cuisine of game, fish and fowl in rustic candle lit rooms around cosy fire, aperitif bar, divine desserts.
Amore Breakfast (309 Shore Rd) eggs, bacon, sausage, Benedicts, Belgian Waffles, potato pancakes, pecan/cream cheese stuffed French toast with bananas sautéed in rum
Angelina's Ristorante (655 Main St) extensive Italian menu, soups, salads, appetizers, 30 entrees, six nightly specials. Known for risotto, rich in-house deserts.
Arrows (41 Berwick Rd), among America's Best: Gourmet Magazine. Formal elegance, exquisite dining, extensive wine list; fruits, herbs, vegetables from their own gardens.
Beach House Grill (355 Main St) upscale American casual dining, seafood, steaks, large outdoor patio, sports on indoor dining room big screen.
Beachfire Bar & Grille (658 Main St) casual dining, grilled barbecue, seafood, veggie specials, outdoor firepit. Live music entertainment, wine and martini bar.
Bessie's (8 Shore Rd) big breakfasts, lunch, dinner, comfort food at family prices, daily at town center, all year-long, big mixed crowds.
Bintliff's (335 Main St) casual but elegant atmosphere, beef, pork and lamb selections, fresh seafood, lobsters, excellent wines, Sunday brunch.
Bread & Roses Bakery (28A Main St) handcrafted bread, pastries, cookies, tortes, croissants; plus salads, paninis, coffee drinks and smoothies.
Caffe Prego (44 Shore Rd) Italian pastries, pizza, pasta, paninis, soups, salads, espresso, gelato, wine and beer.
Clay Hill Farm (220 Clay Hill Rd) old farmhouse restaurant, tranquil gardens and woodlands, nature trails and birdhouses. Award-winning chowders and lobster bisque, holiday feasts.
Fancy That Cafe (Beach & Main) picnic fixings, made-to-order sandwiches, breakfast bagels, stuffed croissants, quiches; dessert pastries, coffee specialties.
Gypsy Sweethearts (30 Shore Rd) Spanish, Mediterranean, Caribean, Mexican menu; fresh seafood, vegetarian meals, in-house soups and desserts.
Jackie's Too (Perkins Cove), seafood dining, outdoor bar and dining terrace overlooks ocean at Perkins Cove. Lobster boats bring fresh catch to their door.
Jonathan's Ogunquit (92 Bourne Ln) casual dining, lobster specials, live entertainment, gardens, local meats/produce, heavenly mousse & creme brulee.
Julie's Ristorante (369 Main St) Italian chicken or eggplant parmigiana, lobster raviolis, lasagnas, pizzas, paninis, subs, appetizers and vegetarian entrees.
Katie's (261 Shore Rd) seafood to chicken and steak entrees, tasty starters, frequent specials, open nightly with late-night menu until midnight.
La Pizzeria (239 Main St) central restaurant, extras inclued antipasto salads, bruschetti, canneloni specials, roll-ups, Lobster Alfredo. Eat-in, deck, or take-out.
MC Perkins Cove (111 Perkins Cove Rd) ocean views, contemporary American food, award winning chefs, raw bar, lounge, bars; lunch, dinner, bar menu, extensive wine list.
Oarweed (65 Perkins Cove Rd) lobsters, clams, chowders, crab cakes, lunch and dinner specials, great views at oceanside Perkins Cove.
Roberto's (200 Shore Rd) Perkins Cove Italian restaurant in restored farmhouse, relaxed atmosphere, lunch/dinner specials, lobster; full bar, wines, espresso bar.
Wild Blueberry Restaurant (82 Shore Rd), great breakfasts, casually elegant lunch, and dinner, seafood and lobster, near beach and Marginal Way.
Abalonia (268 Main St) downtown B&B, converted 1850s farmhouse, large guest rooms, private baths, hardwood floors, king size beds, cable TV, internet, breakfast, afternoon tea.
Admiral's Inn (95 Main St) old B&B, new hotel, 2 heated pools, hot tubs, day spa, sauna, massage, health club, suites with fireplace, balconies, kitchenettes.
Betty Doon Motor Hotel (13 Beach St) central, affordable relaxed motel. 36 rooms, suites, penthouse apartment, private bath, cable TV, internet; also cottage in Wells.
Black Boar Inn (47 Main St) 6 rooms at center, 1674 building; large, quiet bedrooms, fireplaces, private baths, common rooms, large terrace, garden, gourmet breakfast, weekend afternoon tea.
Bourne B&B (13 Bourne Lane) open year-round Victorian at heart of town, generous country breakfast, porch, 6 rooms with all comforts and conveniences.
Distant Sands (632 Main St), 18th century farmhouse, 5 room B&B by protected 22 acres overlooking Ogunquit River, one trolly stop from center, private baths, cable TV, full breakfast.
Dolphin Den (69 Cottage St) walk to beach or Marginal Way; near Dorothea Grant Common and Ogunquit Heritage Museum, trolly to center, suites with all amenities.
Gazebo Inn (572 Main St) 14 room all-year B&B, 1847 farmhouse/barn near Footbridge Beach; suites, Jacuzzis, walk-in steam rooms, fireplaces, breakfast buffet, cable TV, DVD movie library.
Leisure Inn (73 School St) central B&B, short walk to beach and center, private baths, cable TV, breakfast, free WiFi, porch, living room with fireplace and piano.
Moon Over Maine (22 Berwick Rd) B&B just past town center from beach, big hot tub, buffet breakfast; 8 rooms with bath, fridge, cable TV, some balconies.
Ogunquit Beach Inn (67 School St) comfort and style at reasonable rates, by village center gay nightlife, restaurants, shops. All-amenity rooms, some private entrances and terraces.
Ogunquit Inn (17 Glen Ave) 6 room B&B, 1800's schoolhouse, hot tub, internet, DVD movie library, private entrances from back deck, cable TV, media players, refrigerators.
Old Village Inn (250 Main St) open seven days, year-round at town center. Rooms with views, cozy popular locals' pub, restaurant with traditional Maine dining.
Two Village Square (14 Village Square Lane) central location, walk to beach, shops, restaurants, Marginal Way. Heated pool, hot tub, massage therapy, ocean view balconies.
Yellow Monkey (280 Main St) tried and true gay-favorite guesthouse at central location, living room fireplace, suites, efficiency apartment and cottage, pet friendly.
Shopping & services
Drop Anchor (6 Shore Rd) shirts, sunglasses, beach needs, jewelry, greeting cards and pride rainbow gear at Ogunquit gay central.
FinestKind Scenic Cruises (Perkins Cove) operates four cruises in local waters, as far down the coast as York, with breakfast, cocktail or lobstering cruise options, 50 to 90 minutes duration, beginninng 9am daily in season.
Leavitt Theatre (259 Main St) first-run movies in beautiful old downtown buiding, with cafe.
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Shop (543 Shore Rd) elegant and artistic books, prints, crafts, tiles, gifts, toys, post cards and objets d'art
Perkins & Perkins (478 Main St) small wine and cheese Vine Cafe; also fine wines, candy and food store, with unique, hard to find novelty items from around the world.
Village Food Market (146 Main St) picnic foods, gift baskets, wine, cheese, soups, chowders, stews, home-style foods from Sheppard’s Pie to Thai roast pork. Also cakes, pastries and catering.
Booth Theatre Company (13 Beach St) does summer stock productions at the Black Box Theatre behind the Betty Doon Motel near town center.
Ogunquit Playhouse (10 Main St) fine Broadway quality theater since 1933, part of "Little Theatre Movement." “America’s Foremost Summer Theatre” had every show this season either nominated for, or winner of a Tony Award.
Comment has successfully been submitted.
Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for Guide moderators to take action.
Thank you. This comment has been flagged for moderator attention.