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Food Here's Why Ogunquit, Maine Is The Perfect Portland Alternative

19:52  02 october  2022
19:52  02 october  2022 Source:   thetravel.com

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  Here's Why Ogunquit, Maine Is The Perfect Portland Alternative © Provided by TheTravel

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  • Outdoor Adventures Abound In Coastal Ogunquit
  • A Historic Theater Comes Alive Each Summer
  • Ogunquit Offers A Wide Variety Of Lodgings And Restaurants

Ogunquit is a quintessential Maine beach town less than 40 miles south of Portland. It's the ideal coastal vacation spot for travelers who enjoy the kind of fine dining and culture one finds in Portland but yearn for a more low-key and less-crowded destination. Portland is far larger than Ogunquit, spreading out over 70 square miles, and is home to about 67,000 people, while Ogunquit has just 1,500 year-round residents living within its four square miles.

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Its name is taken from the Algonquin Native American tribe and translates from the Abenaki language to “beautiful place by the sea.” What is now Ogunquit used to be part of the neighboring town of Wells and dates from around 1640, when the first sawmill was established, and the region became known for its shipbuilding industry along the Ogunquit River.

In the 19th century, artists discovered the picturesque destination and founded the Ogunquit Artists Colony in 1888. Its art scene is still vibrant, and visitors to Ogunquit today find many art galleries to browse through. In summer, the iconic Ogunquit Playhouse comes alive with seasonal productions.

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Outdoor Adventures Abound In Coastal Ogunquit

Sailing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and biking are all within easy reach for visitors to Ogunquit. Kayak rentals and tours are offered along a nine-mile stretch of the Ogunquit River, while several fishing charters are available from the town's Perkins Cove harbor area. Ocean anglers look for cod, halibut, and haddock, while the Ogunquit River is known for striped bass and trout.

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Boat tours such as sunset cruises and whale-watching excursions are popular during the warmer months. Hands-on lobster boat tours also are featured, and visitors can help haul in the traps.

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Perkins Cove is a bustling place during summer, thanks to its restaurants, shops, commercial fishing docks, and charter boat businesses. Visitors can walk to the cove along the Marginal Way, a famous cliff walk that hugs the contours of the ocean, offering great sea views and a look at the Marginal Way Lighthouse. The pedestrian-only path is roughly 1.2 miles long, and there are benches along the way where visitors can enjoy the scenery and take a few photos. In the downtown area, tourists can access the 3.5-mile-long Ogunquit Beach by crossing the Ogunquit River via a footbridge.

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Tired of walking? Tourists can hitch a ride on the Ogunquit Trolley, which stops at popular spots, including the Marginal Way, Ogunquit Beach, and Perkins Cove. It runs daily in summer, and adults pay $5 per ride, $3 for children.

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A Historic Theater Comes Alive Each Summer

The Ogunquit Playhouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, began in a renovated garage back in 1933 and moved to a newly built theater four years later. It soon was a regional leader in the summer stock world and quickly earned national recognition. Today it works with creative teams from across the country and operates a 26-week season from May to October, staging musicals.

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According to the theater's historical statement, it was Broadway showman Walter Hartwig and his wife, Maude, who started the theater during the so-called Little Theatre Movement of the early 1930s.

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Other cultural sights in downtown Ogunquit include the sprawling Blacksmiths Mall Antiques, founded in 1840, and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the Ogunquit Heritage Museum.

Ogunquit Offers A Wide Variety Of Lodgings And Restaurants

With its reputation for fresh-off-the-dock seafood, Ogunquit restaurants are a seafood lover's dream. From lobster shacks at Perkins Cove to elegant fine dining downtown, here are several choices:

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  • Venue: Northern Union, 261 Shore Road.
  • Ambiance: Elegant, contemporary American eatery for locally sourced fare, fine wines, and regional beers.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Venue: Jonathan's Ogunquit, 92 Bourne Lane
  • Ambiance: Upmarket seafood restaurant; live entertainment.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Venue: The Maine Catch, 262 Shore Road.
  • Ambiance: Classic New England cuisine and a locally sourced seafood menu; indoor and outdoor dining.
  • Cost: $$$

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  • Venue: Barnacle Billy's Original, 504 Main Street
  • Ambiance: Captures the essence of the town; indoor and sundeck seating.
  • Cost: $$
  • Venue: Food For Thought, 414 Main Street
  • Cost: $$
  • Ambiance: Rustic gastropub serving southern-style cooking; brunch menu.
  • Venue: Lobster Shack, 110 Perkins Cove
  • Ambiance: Homey seafood eatery serving lobster, steamers, chowders, and beers.
  • Cost: $$

Lodging options in Ogunquit run the gamut from small bed-and-breakfast establishments to motels and hotels, many with direct beach access. Most have minimum-stay policies for summer bookings, and prices vary by season.

Rockmere Lodge is an eight-room inn located on the Marginal Way and within walking distance of downtown. Fall rates are in the low $200s per night and include breakfast.

Terrace by the Sea is a colonial-style inn/motel offering kitchenettes and an outdoor heated pool. Fall season rates are around $100.

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Pink Blossoms Resort offers 30 units with full kitchenettes plus indoor and outdoor pools. Nightly fall rates are in the $100 to $200 range.

Anchorage by the Sea offers several rooms with fireplaces, and all guests have use of two pools, hot tubs, a sauna, and a poolside cafe and bar. Nightly rates in the fall are around $150.

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