Family Vacations: Ogunquit

Boating, swimming and fishing captivate summer visitors to Ogunquit.

The name Ogunquit means "beautiful place by the sea," and this classic New England fishing village, with three miles of clean, powdery white sand backed by grassy hills, lives up to its name. This quaint and walkable downtown has been a family favorite for more than 100 years.

There are three sections to the beach, and each has something appealing to families. Main Beach, in front of the town itself, is lively and filled with children digging in the soft sand and splashing in the waves. Dune-backed Footbridge Beach, easily accessed by a lovely arched pedestrian bridge, is a bit quieter, while North Beach offers a private, restful area to spend the day.

A trip to Ogunquit would not be complete without a walk along Marginal Way, a 1.25-mile-long oceanside pathway that was once a trail used for herding cattle. It meanders past tide pools, tiny beaches, and windblown bluffs on its way to Perkins Cove. This small harbor has shops, art galleries, restaurants, and an unusual pedestrian drawbridge. As you walk across the cove on the bridge, you can see the lobster fleet while tour and pleasure boats pass beneath you. The bridge can be raised if a tall-masted sailboat travels through.

Ogunquit Visitor Information

Address: Along US Rte. 1/Main St., Qgunquit, ME

Telephone: 207/646-2939

Hours of Operation: Times vary

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Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.