To me, summer is all about road trips. There’s nothing like packing up the car and not having to worry about baggage fees, breaking out the map (paper or electronic), and hitting the road. The anticipation of the journey is always my favorite part.
One of my favorite drives: the 1.5-hour journey from Boston to Ogunquit, Maine.
This route often is interrupted by traffic and construction work during the summer, but it’s totally worth the trip.
And if you do get stuck in traffic, the beauty of Ogunquit is that you don’t have to get back into your car again once you arrive. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to walk or rent a bike to get around, as parking fees around town can be high.
On our most recent visit, my family and I stayed at the quaint Meadowmere Resort. Our double-bed room had a view of the pool, which the kids loved, and the resort’s location was a short walk from the center of town and even a shorter walk to the beach.
The town itself was bustling with energy and happy visitors, even before the peak of the summer season. There are many restaurants around town, and we found that choosing among them was a real challenge, since there are so many delicious options.
We had a delicious breakfast at The Wild Blueberry. Blueberries are everywhere in Maine, as the state is the largest producer of blueberries in the United States (rumors are that Maine produces 99 percent of all the blueberries in the country). The blueberries at this namesake cafe were delicious; I ate the best blueberry pancakes of my life, and they paired very nicely with my blueberry mimosa.
Our favorite lunch experience was at The Beachmere Inn, another lodging option which overlooks the water and has direct access to The Marginal Way Walkway (a must-do when visiting). Here, I treated myself to crabcakes and a lobster roll. I never had eaten a lobster roll until this past visit, and if this dish always is as good as it was at Beachmere, consider me a fan.
Our favorite dinner was at the casual The Lobster Shack, where I indulged in lobster yet again.
Before leaving town, we made a detour to try Congdon’s Doughnuts, a bakery that is renowned around these parts for its delicious treats. It was worth the drive, though I recommend that you arrive early in order to not miss out!
Viewfinder tip: Expect plenty of traffic to the coastal towns of Maine during summer months, and avoid this traffic by escaping early.
We did more in Ogunquit than just eat. In addition to spending a good chunk of our time exploring the Marginal Walkway, we checked out many of the town’s shops and galleries, and took in the sunset during low tide at Ogunquit Beach. There are museums and live theater performance around town, too. In short, there’s plenty to do.
One night, we even went off-land and went on the Lobster Cruise from Finestkind Scenic Cruises. I especially loved this experience for the kids because they got to see firsthand where lobsters come from, and how they are fished. They even got to see a pregnant lobster (which of course was tossed right back into the water)! Lobster fishing is a huge part of the area’s economy, and the cruise was a great way to understand the culture and learn a bit about local history. The views from the water aren’t too shabby either.
Ogunquit is a great escape from central New England, and we fell in love with its laid back, friendly vibe. Weekends during the summer months can be a bit busier than most people would like, though I still wouldn’t recommend against it. Spring and fall also make for lovely experiences. Whenever you decide to go, the city’s hotels usually book fast, so remember to plan ahead.
What is your favorite beach or coastal town and why?