Ogunquit, Maine, pronounced oh-GUN-kwit, is a beautiful small town located in the southern part of the state, known for its beaches and thriving arts community. The summer resort's name means "beautiful place by the sea" in the Abenaki Indian language. The town is in York County, and had a population of just 892 people as of the 2010 consensus. Ogunquit is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Area.
Thankfully, for visitors, the town is easily accessible via the Portland International Airport. There are many tourists that visit Ogunquit specifically from the Hamptons and other parts of New York each year. In July 2016, there was an article published in Bloomberg that named Ogunquit as one of several “Maine coastal destinations being visited by trendsetters and gentrifiers.” This drew national attention to the small town (and many new tourists).
In terms of Ogunquit’s townspeople, the household medium income for a family was $56,731 in 2010. The per capita income for the town was $34,289, with about 1.2% of families and 4.2% of the population ranking below the poverty line. Additionally, Ogunquit has become a destination for LGBTQ tourists, with numerous LGBTQ-owned and -operated hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters and other businesses.
The town has a total area of just 15.25 square miles and is drained by the Josias and Ogunquit Rivers. The highest elevation in town is just over 160 feet above sea level in several locations and the lowest elevation is sea level along the Atlantic Ocean coastline.
Ogunquit Beach is ideal for families, where tourists are often seen creating sand castles, flying a kite, splashing in the waves, collecting sea shells or playing catch. It also ranks as one of the prettiest 3.5 miles of beach in the country and is on the list of Top 25 Beaches in the US on TripAdvisor. The middle section of Ogunquit Beach is known as Footbridge Beach because it is accessed by a footbridge that crosses over the Ogunquit River.
One of the most popular regions of Ogunquit is Marginal Way. This 1.25-mile trail offers spectacular views of Maine’s coast, is neatly paved, and allows visitors to overlook beautiful cliffs. The path also leads to the town’s shopping area, specifically Perkins Cove, which has an outdoor mall with jewelry, clothing and candle boutiques.
The town works hard to keep its public areas in great condition, and has very strict laws around where dogs are permitted. Specifically, the town states that dogs are not permitted on the Ogunquit Beach area from April 1st to September 8th, or on the Marginal Way from April 1st to September 30th. Fines are around $150 per volition.
Visitors often love Ogunquit's animated Main Street which is lined with ice cream parlors and candy shops, theaters and interesting shops. The town also has a lively bar and club scene as well as an active summer theatre and art scene. Ogunquit has a great number of galleries and museums, considering the small size of the town.
5 Fast Facts About Ogunquit, Maine:
- Ogunquit has been referred to as the most walk-able community in Maine, so a car is not a necessity.
- Visitors don’t want to miss the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, which has been named “the most beautiful small museum in the world.”
- The town has been named a “top beach town” by Yankee, Travel and Leisure, and Coastal Living magazines.
- The Ogunquit Playhouse, which began as a renovated garage in town square, is known today as America's Foremost Summer Theatre, attracting Broadway actors like Sally Struthers, Carson Kressley and Andrea McArdle.
- The summer population swells to an estimated daily average of 75,000 to 80,000 people!