48 Hours in Ogunquit

Known for its sandy beaches and oceanside dining and resorts, Ogunquit provides visitors with a classic southern Maine coastal escape.

Room with a view and dessert for two

My husband, David, and I mark our arrival with a stop at one of Ogunquit’s most iconic spots: Footbridge Beach. Rain and an overcast sky provide a rare opportunity to explore the Wyeth-like scenery in solitude.

We receive a warm welcome during check-in at Cliff House, our home for the weekend. In the lobby, sweeping views of waves crashing along the cliffs greet us, making the resort’s namesake clear. There are several cozy areas for conversation or a glass of wine, and it looks especially inviting in front of the fireplace. Once in our room we are blown away by the private balcony and the perspective it provides on the entire length of the rocky coastline. The furnishings are modern with a little nautical flair, which adds to the charm of the space.

We opt to dine in the resort’s on-site restaurant, The Tiller, which serves food just as incredible as the view that can be seen from the floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the entire dining space. We start with crisp buttermilk-fried artichoke hearts served with lemon aioli. The night’s entree special is intriguing, so we both go for the bone-in filet topped with fried local oysters served over a bed of roasted fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

After dinner, we stop by one of our favorite local spots for dessert and after-dinner drinks. Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick is the perfect place to wind down in front of the gorgeous stone fireplace, snuggled into overstuffed couches. We enjoy chocolate lava cake with coffee gelato and an epic slice of key lime pie.

Baked delicacies and coastline trails

We wake up to a little sun peeking through the overcast clouds. Taking advantage of the break in the weather, we pop down to the large cliffside hot tub with our morning coffee and tea. Then we’re off to one of the most popular bakeries in town, Bread and Roses Bakery. The glass cases are chock-full of delicacies, making it very difficult to choose! We opt for flaky croissant breakfast sandwiches, a melt-in-your-mouth raspberry cream cheese pastry, and one of their famous cinnamon puffs.

With tea and coffee to go, we’re ready to explore Marginal Way. This popular walking path winds right along the rugged coastline of Ogunquit. There are 39 numbered benches along the way, and regulars always have a favorite. After trying them all out, we decide bench number 35 is ours.

Exploring the cove

Marginal Way ends in Perkins Cove, a quaint little village that’s home to small local shops, restaurants, and a fleet of lobster boats. We wander into Jackie’s Too for a waterside lunch. David orders a lobster roll, and I get Jackie’s Favorite, a medley of local seafood that is pan-seared to perfection.

We head back to Main Street via Marginal Way. A stop in at Harbor Candy Shop allows us to pick up something sweet. Choosing is difficult, with dozens of handmade chocolates, caramels, truffles, and other sweets.

Prosecco at sunset

We stop by our room to freshen up then head to Northern Union for drinks and appetizers. A quiet corner for two with comfortable armchairs arranged around a beautiful rustic stump table sets the stage for our roasted octopus followed by duck spring rolls. The knowledgeable staff assist us in selecting a beautiful red wine to enjoy alongside the food.

We have sunset dinner reservations at local institution M.C. Perkins Cove. Chef-owners Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier make us feel right at home and seat us at a gorgeous corner table that is situated perfectly to take in the ocean view. Things kick off with tall glasses of prosecco. Throughout the evening, we are served course after course of incredible delicacies, including a creative preparation of oxtail, a radicchio-avocado melt, creamy celery root salad, and impeccable crispy-skinned duck.

We cap off the magical night by enjoying the evening fire out on the central stone patio at Cliff House. They think of every detail—even providing marshmallows for roasting!

Breakfast and a beach walk

We open the doors to the balcony to find a crystal-clear, bluebird sky. Taking advantage of the break in the weather, we head to Bald Head Coffee Co., the coffee shop on-site at Cliff House. After grabbing our cups to go, we head out onto the cliffs in front of the resort to explore and take in the views up close.

After we check out, we fuel up with breakfast sandwiches from Backyard Coffeehouse and Eatery. The sunny day beckons us to Ogunquit Beach. After meandering around the white sand searching for shells and sea glass, we take time to relax under the iconic blue awning in the Adirondack chairs and listen to the waves roll in.

Back to the cove and rum punch

We head back to Perkins Cove to finish up our trip. We wander over to one of the most recognizable landmarks in Ogunquit, the Perkins Cove Drawbridge. It looks especially beautiful against the blue sky with the flags waving in the breeze. Following in the footsteps of former President George H.W. Bush, we stop in at Barnacle Billy’s for their famous lobster rolls and rum punch. In the sunshine with the sea breeze blowing, we sit out on the deck looking out over the cove and the colorful lobster boats dotting the water. It’s a classic Maine experience in both food and atmosphere.

We finish with a post-lunch treat from Corner Cafe: two scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream in a waffle cone to share at our favorite bench on Marginal Way. It’s certainly a perfect ending to a truly memorable weekend in Ogunquit.