Did you know that if you live in Montreal, you are approximately 5 hours by car away from the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. And if you decide to make the trek, I would highly recommend that you visit the town of Ogunquit, It was founded in 1641 by the indigenous Abenaki people and the actual meaning of Ogunquit is beautiful place by the sea. With a population of 892 people, Ogunquit is a tourist town. I have been visiting Ogunquit for the last 25 years and make an annual pilgrimage there at least once per year. You are one hour north of Boston and one hour south of Portland, Maine which is home to over half a million people – one third of Maine’s total population.
The following is my personal top ten things to do and see in Ogunquit and surrounding regions . . .
The beach is spectacular. There are seven miles of sandy beach, however, the water is not exactly warm but the feeling of the waves rushing in, the smell of the ocean and the view that never ends are spectacular. If you’re going to the beach, get there early as it gets very busy as the day goes on and of course the tide rolls in so you may have to move your umbrella closer to the shoreline. There’s a cute restaurant called Splash which gives you a perfect view of the ocean. Parking is expensive, so taking the trolley is recommended.
The walk along Marginal Way is spectacular. It’s approximately a mile long and features beautiful views of the ocean with spots to stop and take pictures. The are many beautiful homes along the way and if you are interested, and have several million dollars, there are some for sale. Josiah Chase Jr donated the original parcel of land to the town of Ogunquit in 1925.
Perkins Cove is a magnificent spot at the end of Marginal Way and features restaurants, shops, art galleries and a beautiful pedestrian drawbridge. I would recommend a cruise with Finestkind – a beautiful one hour trek to see Ogunquit from the ocean and revel at the homes, some of which list for over $ 10,000,000. Also Perkins Cove Restaurant features a fantastic view of the ocean and an opportunity to dine on the water. And of course no visit to Ogunquit would be complete without dining at Barnacle Billy’s and having a bucket of steamed clams and lobster.
As part of your stay, I would highly recommend a drive north to Kennebunkport. It will take approximately 20 minutes but its worth the drive. You will discover a quaint town with shops and restaurants as well as the chance to drive past the home of George H. W. Bush. His compound is recessed from the road and sits on the ocean.
Check out the Maine Diner which has been featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives. You won’t be disappointed; they have a trio of soups that are incredible – home made clam chowder, award winning seafood chowder and she carb soup. The lobster rolls are off the hook and the macaroni and cheese with lobster is to die for.
The best place to stay in Ogunquit is The Dunes on the Waterfront. The Dunes was founded in 1936 by the Perkins family and is still maintained by Aaron Perkins to this day. The Dunes features quaint cottages just steps from the ocean and is along the main road just outside of the town of Ogunquit. The Dunes on the Waterfront has a great team of people including Katie Keene and Cici who will accommodate your every need.
The best restaurant in Ogunquit is the Front Porch. At the intersection of the roads that lead to the beach and Perkins Cove, the Front Porch is a restaurant and lounge that features live music. As a matter of fact, during my recent visit, they had two Italian opera singers that were on America’s Got Talent. The food is amazing and my chicken under a brick was delicious.
Ogunquit. Beautiful Place by the Sea. Only 5 hours by car from Montreal and definitely worth the trip.