Abenaki Indians gave Ogunquit this name. When the English established Wells in 1641 these lands became a part of their settlement, (remaining so until 1980). Shipbuilding developed along the tidal Ogunquit River and fishing became an important livelihood for many in the early years.
Weather-beaten fishing huts and a beautiful coastline attracted artists in the late 19th century. They established the Ogunquit Art Colony in 1898, living alongside seamen in what became known as Perkins Cove. Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and Maurice Prendergast were among those who lived and worked here. The Marginal Way, donated to the town by Josiah Chase of York in 1925, became the paved footpath of today, a very scenic walk of 1.25 miles between Oarweed Cove/ Perkins Cove and Ogunquit Beach.
As tourists began to arrive, several grand seaside hotels and inns were built to accommodate them. With miles of fine white sand, and a dramatic tide this remains a popular seasonal resort. The scene here is a lot less commercial and much more laid-back than that of Provincetown, in Cape Cod to the south, with a similar history. New Yorkers and Bostonians in particular come here to get away from the heat and noise, and it's long been the favorite beach of many from Quebec.
Ogunquit has been a gay destination for a century now, and there's a cluster of LGBT-owned/operated hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and theater -- most in the Village Square area. The gay section of beach is to the north, left as you arrive, past the volleyball nets. Book early as summertime rooms can be hard to find. September and October are good months to visit, with fewer crowds, less congested roads, sunny weather and pleasant water temperatures.
The town is located 66 miles north of Boston, up I-95 for the most part. That's about 90 minutes by car if you time it to avoid the weekend traffic jams.
Portland International Jetport is the closest airport, with five scheduled airlines offering direct connections to 10 of the largest East Coast and Midwest American cities. The airport is about 40 minutes drive from Ogunquit. Your best bet is to rent a car from here.
C&J Trailways has seasonal bus service beginning in May, from Boston Logan to Ogunquit, and direct from NYC to Ogunquit by coach. Out of season the closest destination is Portsmouth NH, leaving you to take a taxi for the last 20 minutes drive.
The Amtrak Downeaster train operates between Boston (North Station) to Brunswick ME, with a stop in Wells, which again requires a taxi or car rental to continue to Ogunquit -- or if you travel light, take the trolley system, in season.
Beach Caddies from Ogunquit Beach n Sport will will pick you up from your hotel, guesthouse or cottage and drive you to your Ogunquit destination, be it the beach, any local restaurant or one of the theaters, for a $5 fare - in season from mid-April to November 1st.
The Ogunquit Trolley Company runs eight Molly Trolleys around town during the summer tourist season, with a fare of $2 per ride.
Ogunquit Trolley is part of Shoreline Explorer, a network of seven independent trolly lines with service from Kennebunk and Kennebunkport all the way down to York, including Ogunquit along the way; also west to Sanford from Wells. Each of the seven segments has its own schedule and fare structure. Four routes have bike racks, not including Ogunquit, but a short ride by bike to the blue or purple lines can extend your range, to explore more distant points with less effort.
Wheels & Waves (365 Post Rd, Wells) has bike rentals for 4 hours ($15), all day ($25), 24 hours ($30), 2 days ($45), and a week ($100), along with other time/rate options. They also offer surfboards, wetsuits, kayaks, paddleboards and bike helmets for rent. Breton’s Bike and Fly Shop (879 Post Rd, Wells) also does bike rentals at similar rates, along with fishing rod rentals starting at $8 for a day, or $15 for a full 24 hours; with rods and bait for sale too. Their fishing charters depart from Wells Harbor.
Media & Resources
GayOgunquit.com is the best source for news and information and a full list of arts and performance events in and around Ogunquit.
Events sponsored by Ogunquit Bears are listed at the Ogunquit Bear Fest facebook page.
See the website of Ogunquit Performing Arts, with productions usually at the Dunaway Center; also the Ogunquit Playhouse, the Booth Theater, and the Leavitt Theatre, for upcoming theater productions, musicals, music concerts, dance performances and classic film screenings.
Need beach gear such as umbrellas, chairs, coolers or boogie boards? Beach n Sport rents these items, and will deliver and pick them up again at no charge.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Ogunquit listings pages.
Going Out - Pubs & Clubs
Five-O (50 Shore Rd), seven-day restaurant, lunch, dinner, weekend breakfast, plus Sunday brunch. Popular year-round cocktail bar and lounge with late night food service and special martini selection.
Front Porch (9 Shore Rd), Friday/Saturday gay piano bar and lounge, a local institution at town center. Music, comedy shows; restaurant serving lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, or at the bar.
Maine Street (195 Main St), something for everyone, Ogunquit Party Central from 5pm daily. Men, women, dancing, comedy, drag, pool tournaments, outdoor deck, bears' events.
Old Village Inn (250 Main St), cozy popular locals' pub, a gay Ogunquit mainstay. Weekend entertainment, extensive food menu, snacks to full meals.
Going Out - Theater & Museum
Booth Theatre Company (13 Beach St) does summer stock productions at the Black Box Theatre behind the Betty Doon Motel, near the town center.
Leavitt Fine Arts Theatre (259 Main St), downtown first-run to art films, classics, silent film, and festival screenings, plays, open mic and comedy performances.
Ogunquit Playhouse (10 Main St), fine Broadway quality Tony Awards theater productions since 1933, May-October season, plus pre-Christmas December show.
Ogunquit Museum of American Art (543 Shore Rd), American Art: paintings, sculptures, photography, graphics; museum shop.
Going Out - Restaurants
Angelina's Ristorante (655 Main St), extensive Italian menu, soups, salads, appetizers, 30 entrees, six nightly specials. Known for risotto, rich in-house deserts.
Barnacle Billy's (50 Perkins Cove Rd), fresh boiled lobster, mussels, clams, chowders, stew, fish, crab and BBQ chicken plates, burgers and hot dogs, beer, wine and rum punch.
Beachfire Bar & Grille (658 Main St), casual dining, grilled barbecue, seafood, veggie specials, outdoor firepit. Live music entertainment, wine and martini bar.
Bessie's (8 Shore Rd), big breakfasts, lunch, dinner, comfort food at family prices, daily at town center, all year-long, big mixed crowds.
Bintliff's (335 Main St), casual but elegant atmosphere, beef, pork and lamb selections, fresh seafood, lobsters, excellent wines, Sunday brunch.
Bread & Roses Bakery (246 Main St), handcrafted bread, pastries, scones, cookies, tortes, croissants; plus breakfast and lunch salads, burritos, pizza, paninis, coffee drinks and smoothies.
Caffe Prego (44 Shore Rd), seasonal Italian pastries, pizza, pasta, paninis, soups, salads, espresso, gelato, wine and beer. The Amore Breakfast crew now serves their big breakfasts here, after closing their Shore Rd location.
Clay Hill Farm (220 Clay Hill Rd), old farmhouse restaurant, tranquil gardens and woodlands, nature trails and birdhouses. Award-winning chowders and lobster bisque, holiday feasts.
Gypsy Sweethearts (30 Shore Rd), seasonal Spanish, Mediterranean, Caribean, Mexican menu; fresh seafood, vegetarian meals, in-house soups and desserts.
Hamburger Harry's (237 Main St), build-your-own burgers, chicken, salmon or portabello sandwiches, soups, salads; beers, cider and wines, frozen rum punch and Margaritas.
Jackie's Too (91 Perkins Cove Rd), seafood dining, outdoor bar and dining terrace overlooks ocean at Perkins Cove. Lobster boats bring fresh catch to their door.
Jonathan's Ogunquit (92 Bourne Ln), casual dining, lobster specials, live entertainment, gardens, local meats/produce, heavenly mousse & creme brulee.
La Pizzeria (239 Main St), central restaurant, extras inclued antipasto salads, bruschetti, canneloni specials, roll-ups, Lobster Alfredo. Eat-in, deck, or take-out.
Lobster Shack (110 Perkins Cove Rd), fresh boiled local lobster, lobster rolls, wraps and BLTs, crab cake sandwiches, steamed clams, New England chowder, fish tacos, chili, salads, burgers, beer and wine.
Lobster Pound (504 Main St), Phantom Gourmet's "best boiled lobster" in New England; steaks and seafood, pasta, soups, salads, burgers, and appetizers, plus full bar.
MC Perkins Cove (111 Perkins Cove Rd), ocean views, Wednesday - Saturday contemporary American lunch and dinner, award winning chefs, raw bar, lounge, bars; bar menu, extensive wine list.
Oarweed (65 Perkins Cove Rd), lobsters, clams, chowders, crab cakes, lunch and dinner specials, great views at oceanside Perkins Cove by Marginal Way.
Roberto's (200 Shore Rd), Perkins Cove Italian restaurant in restored farmhouse, relaxed atmosphere, lunch/dinner specials, lobster; full bar, wines, espresso bar.
Roost Cafe & Bistro (262 Shore Rd), delicious Continental European cuisine, breakfast all day, lunch, dinner and snack menus; Wednesday’s World Wide Food Wonders, homemade gluten-free products.
Wild Blueberry Restaurant (82 Shore Rd), great breakfasts, casually elegant lunch, and dinner, seafood and lobster, near beach and Marginal Way.
See these and more restaurants at our map & listings pages.
CLOSED: Amore Breakfast (309 Shore Rd); Arrows (41 Berwick Rd); Julie's Ristorante (369 Main St); Katie's (261 Shore Rd).
Abalonia (268 Main St; 207-646-4804), downtown B&B, converted 1850s farmhouse, large guest rooms, private baths, hardwood floors, king size beds, cable TV, internet, breakfast, afternoon tea.
Admiral's Inn (95 Main St; 207-646-7093), old B&B, new hotel, 2 heated pools, hot tubs, day spa, sauna, massage, health club, suites with fireplace, balconies, kitchenettes.
Beauport Inn (339 Clay HIll Rd; 207-361-2400), 5-room lesbian-owned B&B on nine acre property; 40-foot lap pool, hot tub, Turkish steam bath, short stroll to the river, full made-to-order breakfast.
Betty Doon Motor Hotel (13 Beach St; 207-646-2469), central, affordable relaxed motel. 36 rooms, suites, penthouse apartment, private bath, cable TV, internet; also cottage in Wells.
Black Boar Inn (47 Main St; 207-646-2112), 6 rooms at center, 1674 building; large, quiet bedrooms, fireplaces, private baths, common rooms, large terrace, garden, gourmet breakfast, weekend afternoon tea.
Bourne B&B (13 Bourne Lane; 207-646-3891), open year-round Victorian at heart of town, generous country breakfast, porch, 6 rooms with all comforts and conveniences.
Dolphin Den (69 Cottage St; 207-646-5639) walk to beach or Marginal Way; Ogunquit Heritage Museum, trolly to center, suites with all amenities. A pet-friendly guesthouse near the Dorothea Grant Common, a good place for walking dogs, as they're not allowed on the beach.
Dragonfly Guest House (254 Shore Rd; 207-216-4848), 6-room, gay-owned B&B between Perkins Cove and Downtown, breakfast, massage therapist, pet-friendly.
Gazebo Inn (572 Main St; 207-646-3733), 14 room all-year B&B, year-round guesthouse, 1847 farmhouse/barn near Footbridge Beach; suites, pool, Jacuzzis, walk-in steam rooms, fireplaces, breakfast buffet, cable TV, DVD movie library.
John's Cute Cozy Condo (80 Cottage St; 617-233-0403), self-catering artist's cottage rental in the Village, full kitchen, cable TV, WiFi, patio/ yard, shared private pool, parking, heat/ AC.
Leisure Inn (73 School St; 207-646-2737), central B&B, short walk to beach and center, private baths, cable TV, breakfast, free WiFi, porch, living room with fireplace and piano.
Moon Over Maine (22 Berwick Rd; 207-646-6666), B&B just past town center from beach, big hot tub, buffet breakfast; 8 rooms with bath, fridge, cable TV, some balconies. Also Sea Rose Condo and Birch Knoll Cottage weekly rentals.
Ogunquit Beach Inn (67 School St; 207-646-1112), comfort and style at reasonable rates, close to village center gay nightlife, restaurants, shops. All-amenity rooms, some private entrances and terraces.
Ogunquit Inn (17 Glen Ave; 207-646-3633), 6-room B&B, 1800's schoolhouse, hot tub, internet, DVD movie library, private entrances from back deck, cable TV, media players, refrigerators.
Old Village Inn (250 Main St; 207-646-7088) open seven days, year-round at town center. Rooms with views, cozy popular locals' pub, restaurant with traditional Maine dining.
Sweet Pea Pied-a-terre (80 Cottage St; 617-233-0403), self-catering artist's cottage rental in the Village, full kitchen, washer/dryer, cable TV, WiFi, pet-friendly, with patio/yard.
Rockmere Lodge (150 Stearns Rd; 207-646-2985), peaceful gay-owned B&B overlooking Marginal Way/ Ocean, 8 rooms, extensive gardens, wrap-around porch, 24-hour refreshments.
Two Village Square (14 Village Square Ln; 207-646-5779), gay-owned, 17-room adult-only B&B overlooking the village; walk to beach, shops, restaurants, Marginal Way. Heated pool, hot tub, ocean view balconies, full breakfast, 3 common rooms, on-site massage.
Yellow Monkey (280 Main St; 207-646-9056), tried and true gay-favorite guesthouse at central location, living room fireplace, suites, efficiency apartment and cottage, pet friendly.
Shopping & services
Drop Anchor (20 Shore Rd) shirts, sunglasses, beach needs, jewelry, greeting cards and pride rainbow gear at Ogunquit gay central.
FinestKind Scenic Cruises (Perkins Cove; 207-646-5227), operates four cruises in local waters, as far down the coast as York, with breakfast, cocktail or lobstering cruise options, 50 to 90 minutes duration, beginninng 9am daily in season.
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Shop (543 Shore Rd), elegant and artistic books, prints, crafts, tiles, gifts, toys, post cards and objets d'art.
Perkins & Perkins (478 Main St), small wine and cheese Vine Cafe; also fine wines, candy and food store, with unique, hard to find novelty items from around the world.
Village Food Market (230 Main St), picnic foods, gift baskets, wine, cheese, soups, chowders, stews, home-style foods from Sheppard’s Pie to Thai roast pork. Also cakes, pastries and catering.