Coastal Maine escape without the crowds
One of my favorite times to travel anywhere has been during those seasons when, depending on the destination, there isn’t too much going on, the weather might not be exactly what most people want, and not too many families are traveling because of school schedules.
These off-peak seasons are of high-peak interest for me. It’s easier to not worry about the kids because we are homeschooling, but even if your family is not, I recommend a little escape every once in a while when most people are home, just to get that feeling of enjoying a fun destination without the crowds.
That was our experience in Ogunquit, ME. This coastal town is bustling for most of the year, but especially during the summer months. Even though we visited when the wind was still a bit chilly, there were moments when we found restaurants busy and the streets heavy with cars.
If you choose to fly, than do so into Boston and expect another 1.5 hour drive from there. We, road trip warriors that we are, got in our car and hit the road, about a 4.5 hour drive. The bonus in traveling during the off-season is that this is a pretty true estimate. During the summer months traffic can add a bit to that time. The great thing is that once you arrive you can just park your car and walk or rent a bike to get around.
We stayed at the lovely Meadowmere Resort, accessible to all the fun the area had to offer with a short walk to the center of town and the beach.
There are tons of great restaurants to choose from. Some highlights include breakfast at The Wild Blueberry. Maine 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 café were delicious; I ate the best blueberry pancakes of my life, and they paired very nicely with my blueberry mimosa.
Blueberry mimosas, anyone?
Our favorite dinner was at the casual Perkins Cove Lobster Shack, where I warmed up with a lobster bisque to help against the cold outside.
Another great lodging option is The Beachmere Inn, where I indulged in some delicious crab cakes.
The inn overlooks the water and has direct access to The Marginal Way Walkway. This coastal walkway, a little over a mile long, is one of the most popular spots in the area but during the off-season it is possible to enjoy a leisurely, uncrowded walk while taking in the spectacular views.
Fun along the coast.
We learned a bit more about the area’s history and even caught a lobster while on the Lobster Cruise with Finestkind Scenic Cruises. Lobster fishing is a huge part of the area’s economy, and the cruise was a great way to understand the culture and admire the land views from the water.
Learning all about lobster fishing.
There are tons of little shops and galleries to explore, as well as museums and live theater performances for the art lover. I especially enjoyed walking on the sand at Ogunquit Beach during low tide as the sun set.
My younger boy and I during low tide.
The detour to Congdon’s Doughnuts, a bakery known for its delicious treats, is worth the extra drive before leaving town. Arrive early so you don’t miss out on their fresh, warm sweets.
When it comes to New England getaways, Ogunquit is a favorite for its laid back, friendly vibe but when it comes to coastal Maine escapes, there are so many wonderful options to choose from and taking an earlier vacation to escape during spring and fall is not a bad idea. Just grab an extra sweater or two and go. You might find the extra chill in the air not to be all that bad.