A Weekend in Ogunquit, Maine
It is definitely feeling like fall, but we couldn’t resist fitting in one more beach weekend! We met up with my in-laws in Ogunquit, Maine for a few days this past week, and it was so great to explore this beautiful town together. We stayed at a rental house about a 10-minute walk from the center of town and maybe 15-minute walk to the beach, and it was such a great location. Most days we left the car parked and walked everywhere we went — so perfect especially in the high season when I imagine there may be a lot of traffic. The beach here is just gorgeous, and was such a highlight, so I definitely think it is worth finding a spot from which it is easily accessible. Such a beautiful place! I could have spent all day here.
I loved seeing Serena spend so much time with her grandparents — they live in Ontario, so it is special to see them enjoy their time together. The house had bedrooms on two floors, so they could sleep downstairs and didn’t hear Serena’s middle-of-the-night and early morning wake ups. Although early mornings do mean sunrises at the beach!
Ogunquit Beach is a long stretch perfect for walking. The tide has quite an effect, and at low tide the beach is much much larger, with fun shallow tide pools that are home to little crabs and other tiny creatures. The waves were big enough to be thrilling, and Serena’s favorite game was to have me run into the water while holding her until we both screamed and then ran out (it was a workout, but so so cute). We went for a swim although it was a bit chilly, and it was so worth it. What is it about a dunk in the sea that feels so therapeutic?!
Serena loved building and destroying sand castles, and also running (always running!) along the beach flapping her arms like a bird. (Favorite phrase around here any random time of day: “Birds fly.”) Of course I was running alongside her a fair bit too, flapping my wings! Being at the beach with a toddler reminds me of how much I loved it as a kid, and still do. The difference is instead of reading a book on the beach, now I am stomping around in chilly tide pools, making castles to be destroyed, and running into the wind pretending I’m a bird! :)
Another absolute highlight was the Marginal Way, a paved walkway that stretches from Ogunquit Beach to the fishing village of Perkins Cove. One morning we walked this path and then stopped in Perkins Cove for fish tacos and lobster rolls before turning around. Because the walkway is completely paved and is quite flat, there were lots of people on there with stroller, wheelchairs, walkers, etc, which was great to see. The views from the path are magnificent!
We were at the tail end of the season for some of these restaurants, and things to do, but even in the fall, Ogunquit was such a lovely place to spend a few days and meet up with family! I would love to go back and explore more, especially with some warmer weather!
A few highlights from our trip:
Where to Eat
The Lobster Shack, Perkins Cove. This spot was awesome, especially since we had my in-laws with us who had never had lobster rolls. It is a casual spot in Perkins Cove where you order at the counter. We had fish tacos and lobster rolls, and Serena really enjoyed her grilled cheese and French fries! They have a selection of beers as well, and a high chair was available.
La Orilla. We went here for our more ‘elegant’ dinner after having our fill of fish shacks and shanties. ;) The food here was delicious. The entire menu is tapas — some of our favorites were the patatas bravas with ras el hanout, mezze plate, baby carrot lentil salad, and homemade mozzarella salad. There were breakable things everywhere, so when Serena got a bit restless and wouldn’t stay in a high chair, my husband and I traded off hanging out outside with her, where they have an awesome seating area and firepit. The server was so sweet, and brought my husband his wine when he was outside! We happened to be there on the last night of the season, but if it is open when you are in the area, I would definitely recommend. I could see this spot being amazing for a relaxed date night, sitting outside with a bottle of wine and chatting for hours.
Cove Cafe, Perkins Cove. This adorable breakfast spot in Perkins Cove had such good omelets, Eggs Benedict, and fruit salad. They were really kid-friendly and the coffee was good too (so key)! The only trick here is the hours — they vary a bit and they close around 11am or noon, so it is a good idea to call before heading over.
Brix and Brine. This restaurant is mainly open for lunch, with dinner in high season on the weekends. There is outside seating only, so we lucked into a warmer afternoon to check it out. I was really excited about this spot, since their fish and chips is made wth rice flour and I have a gluten intolerance. (They are cooked in a shared fryer though, so not suitable for celiacs.) Everything was so good!
Rococo Ice Cream. I had been to the outpost in Kennebunkport, so when I saw that there was a shop in Ogunquit I knew we would have to go. Really creative and delicious flavors!
Ogunquit Village Food Market. Often for house rentals with family we buy a bunch of groceries and do a lot of cooking, but this time we decided to eat out a bit more and skip the big grocery haul. This little market in downtown Ogunquit was perfect for picking up milk, eggs, beer, crackers, guacamole, some nice cheeses, ice cream — all the important things! ;)
What to Do
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, near Perkins Cove. This tiny museum has a nice selection of local art, and a beautiful sculpture garden. (The garden is free to visit, the museum is $10.) I loved the Cabot Lyford exhibition on view!
Van Ward Gallery. We passed this gallery at night, and the look of it was intriguing enough that I made my way back the next day. Situated in an old barn (next to Brix and Brine), the gallery had some beautiful work, much of it from well-known Maine painters. If only I had had a few thousand dollars to spend on art, it would have been easy to find something great here! ;) This gallery definitely inspired me to spend more time painting myself.
I was excited to share smoothies from Loveshack Juicery with Serena, a smoothie connoisseur, however it was closed for the season. Next time!
Cliff House looks like an absolutely gorgeous spot! I wasn’t sure whether it might be a bit formal for a wriggly two year old, but I’d love to check it out sometime.
Image Credit: Laura Chassaigne