Ogunquit Beach Vacations
Ogunquit (oh-GUN-kwit) is a small beach spot in Maine. The name of this summer beach resort means “beautiful place by the sea” in the indigenous Abenaki language. Ogunquit and its beach had a population of only 892, according to the 2010 census. This coastal town is located an hour south of Portland.
With a number of LGBT owned and run bars, hotels, restaurants and visitors, Ogunquit has a very similar vibe to the LGBT friendly beach of Ocean Grove in New Jersey. For what it’s worth, the majority of the LGBT-oriented businesses are in the village area of the town.
[pullquote]Ogunquit was named America’s Best Coastal Small Town in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2016[/pullquote]
Ogunquit was cited as a Maine beach vacation destination frequently visited by “trendsetters and gentrifiers”, in a July 2016 article in Bloomberg. Currently, Ogunquit is now as convenient to Portand as the Hamptons are to New York, due to the major airlines flying into Portland.
Where is Ogunquit Beach, Maine? 43°15′N 70°36′W
Ogunquit: An Interesting American Beach Town
Initially, Ogunquit was first a village with Wells, and settled in 1641. Wells is the third-oldest town in Maine and saw its first sawmill built in 1686. Soon thereafter shipbuilding along the tidal Ogunquit River was developed. Schooners, brigs, and dories were built by local shipwrights.
“Wells was the resilient northeastern frontier of English settlement. Except for a few forts and garrisons, early attempts to colonize Maine above Wells were abandoned because of attacks by Native Americans allied with New France, which resented encroachment by New England in territory it considered its own, Acadia. Wells endured three major attacks, most famously the Raid on Wells in 1692. The region became less dangerous, however, after the Battle of Louisburg in 1745.”
Oqunquit split from Well in 1980.
Close to the unnavigable Josias River, at the formerly named FIsh Cove, fishing was a major livelihood. Every night the fishermen hauled their boats ashore as Fish Cove was not protected. Eventually, a channel was dug, across land jointly purchased by the newly formed Fish Cove Harbor Association, connecting Fish Cove to the Josias River. Erosion contributed to widen the passage, creating a tidewater basin called Perkins Cove.
A barrier peninsula with sanddunes and 3½ miles of Atlantic ocean beach now existed. In 1888, it was connected to the mainland across the Ogunquit River by bridge. Artists soon discovered the beach town of Ogunquit. Ten years later, the Ogunquit Art Colony was formed. Around Perkins Cove, it was now common to see the local fisherman and artists both plying their trades.
[pullquote]As word gradually spread of this idyllic beach spot, a number of inns were built for the summer visitors. [/pullquote]
Ogunquit’s Marginal Way, is a scenic mile and a quarter trail with coastal views. It is neatly paved along treacherous cliffs. Marginal Way travels along the coast from Ogunquit Beach to Perkins Cove. Today Perkins Cove is a pleasant outdoor mall of clothing, candle boutiques, and jewelry. Yes, it has been thoroughly gentrified, but is certainly more convenient than most other exotic beach vacations.
Ogunquit is the “beautiful place by the sea”
The beautiful dunes on the beach are intact, thanks to preservation projects started decades ago. Knock wood, Ogunquit Beach and its soft white sand is here for the duration. The National Wildlife Federation has designated the sand dunes in Ogunquit Beach to be a Certified Wildlife Habitat. “The tall grasses and brush protect an unusually wide stretch of sand to enjoy, even at high tide.” The dunes allow a combination of seasonal butterflies, birds and other creatures to thrive.
Part of Stephen King’s The Stand, is set in Ogunquit.
Deep-sea fishing, sailing, whale watching, hiking and beach combing are just a few ideas how to spend your time in this Maine resort town. Ogunquit offers 3.5 miles of sandy beach. Depending upon your style, pick from high end hotels, beach resorts, B&B’s or spas. There a number of entertaining ways to be parted from your money with a wide variety of antique shops, fine dining options, and boutiques etc.
A huge thanks to my cousin Mark for sharing the lovely images. I had the pleasure of seeing him earlier this year for the first in ages. Mark is a true gentleman at heart, yet quite inexplicably, my cousin habitually follows the NY Mets. Fortunately, Mark’s tastes in beach spots is much better than baseball. Thank you.