I’ve always loved visiting coastal Maine. This beautiful area of New England features so many things to do with kids and is a short drive from my home west of Boston. In the summer, it’s especially fun with lots of tourists visiting and loads of great activities. Maine is definitely one of the best family summer vacation destinations.
This past summer, as one last getaway before school started for the year, we loaded up the car and headed to Ogunquit Maine, located on the coast. Although I’d visited Ogunquit before on a day trip, I never had the opportunity to spend an overnight there. We were so impressed with all of the things to do in Ogunquit Maine with kids, and absolutely plan to return again for a longer visit. It’s a fantastic tourist town, with great energy and a fun vibe.
Disclosure: We received a complimentary night stay at the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own.
Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine With Kids
Marginal Way Ogunquit
We arrived at Ogunquit around lunchtime before our room was ready. We left our car and bags at the resort, and immediately headed down to Marginal Way. This paved path runs across the Maine shoreline and is approximately a mile long – spanning from Ogunquit Beach to Perkins Cove.
During our first venture on Marginal Way, we were in a bit of a hurry in search of lunch. However, during our trip we were able to take a slower stroll to explore the whole area.
As you walk on Marginal Way, you’ll see a number of scenic vistas, benches, and cliffs. The walkway is wheelchair and stroller accessible, but bikes aren’t allowed. Pets are only allowed in the offseason. This is all because the path gets very busy in the summers and cannot accommodate them.
While Marginal Way is a great way to get from Perkins Cove to the beach, I also recommend just taking a nice walk. Be sure to stop at all of the various vantage points because it really is beautiful.
When I checked into our hotel early, we were in search of a charming place for lunch. The front desk clerk at our hotel sent me on a walk down Marginal Way to Perkins Cove, a small area of town with shops, restaurants, and beautiful views.
Much of this area of town is best accessed by foot, although there is a public parking area. In addition to the shops and cafes, Perkins Cove offers great scenic spots right on the harbor. There’s a pedestrian drawbridge that guests can walk over to get a beautiful vantage point of Perkins Cove.
Even if you don’t want to shop in the area, I’d recommend eating at one of the Perkins Cove restaurants during your stay. It’s such a fun area and the food is delicious.
Many people visit Ogunquit for the beautiful Atlantic Ocean beach and with good reason. It’s absolutely gorgeous. During low tide, the sand area is huge, and there’s a good amount of room during high tide.
If you are visiting the beach, there is some parking available. Just keep in mind that it is likely to fill up early. It’s best to walk or take the trolley if you are staying in town.
You’ll have a few options for beach gear. You can bring your own from home, which is the most economical option. There are some shops near the beach selling items, but they probably won’t be the best prices.
Beach gear rentals are also available from independent companies. These companies will often deliver to you and offer weekly rentals. There’s usually a decent surf, so you may consider bringing boogie boards if your kids have them.
Once you are at the beach, there are lots of amenities nearby. Several restaurants and snack shops are within walking distance. The beach also has outdoor showers and foot washes, as well as indoor restrooms. There are some covered benches and chairs near the entrance of the beach if you’d like to sit off the sand and away from the sun.
In addition to Ogunquit Beach, there’s also another beach in the area – Footbridge Beach. During this visit, we didn’t get the opportunity to travel north to that beach but I definitely want to check it out next time.
Because parking and driving can be such a challenge in Ogunquit, there’s the Ogunquit Trolley. This trolley makes numerous stops across town, making it convenient for families.
The trolley does only take cash for rides, and change is given in trolley tokens. So, if you plan to take the Ogunquit Trolley around town, you’ll probably want to bring lots of one dollar bills for the rides.
The trolley operates seasonally, so you’ll want to check the schedule before waiting for a ride.
The Ogunquit Playhouse, a summer stock theater offering live shows, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Past offerings have included Jersey Boys and Cabaret.
In addition to these summer theater shows, the Ogunquit Playhouse also has a children’s theater program with more kid-appropriate shows. Tickets can be purchased in advance, and you can also book a very reasonably priced backstage theater tour to go along with your show tickets. Just bring along closed-toed shoes as flip flops and sandals aren’t allowed backstage.
Other Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine With Kids
Unfortunately, we only had a short amount of time in Ogunquit, so there were some things that we weren’t able to do. We’ll definitely have to return either this fall or next summer, because there’s so much more that I want to do in Ogunquit. These include:
- The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
- Footbridge Beach
- Finestkind Scenic Cruises
- Cape Neddick
- Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Road Trips From Ogunquit
Ogunquit Maine is so accessible from many other places in the Northern New England/Maine area. If you are staying in Ogunquit and want to explore the local area, you have lots of options:
Kittery, Maine is located about 30 minutes away from Ogunquit. Kittery is most known for their premium outlets, including Under Armor, Lululemon, the Gap, and Crate and Barrel. We always stop in Kittery to shop whenever we visit Maine.
Portland, Maine is about an hour away, and is well worth the drive. This scenic town has a vibrant foodie scene as well as great shops and things to do. We especially love Old Port Maine, the quaint, cobblestoned section of town.
Portsmouth, NH is a scenic waterfront town located right over the border in New Hampshire. It’s about a 50 minute drive from Ogunquit but offers shops, restaurants, and more along the waterfront. There’s also Water Country waterpark, which is located in Portsmouth.
Ogunquit Maine Restaurants
There are so many delicious and fun restaurants in Ogunquit. You’ll want to stay multiple days just to go to as many restaurants as possible. Since we were there for only a short time, we didn’t get to as many places as I would have liked. But we loved every place we went to.
This restaurant, located in Perkins Cove, has two separate, adjacent buildings. One offers counter service, while the other has table service.
On our first day in Ogunquit, we made our way to Perkins Cove and decided to eat at the table service section of Barnacle Billy’s. It was busy, but there was no wait for the outdoor seats, which were a little shady. We had no problem braving the slight wind to enjoy some gorgeous seats by the water.
Barnacle Billy’s offers a full bar menu as well as seafood specialties like fried seafood, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and boiled lobster. There are also some non-seafood items for those members of your family who may not enjoy seafood.
On our second day in Ogunquit, we ate at the Lobster Shack. It’s also located in Perkins Cove, but is not directly on the water. This restaurant is small and has limited seating, so you’ll want to arrive early.
Guests stand outside and wait until the person ahead of them has ordered before entering. This is because the restaurant is so small. Order at the counter, and then your food and beverages will be brought to you.
My husband and I ordered the lobster roll and clam chowder special, and it was absolutely delicious. Again, there were options other than seafood for those in your group that don’t like seafood.
Cornerstone Artisanal Pizza and Craft Beer
We didn’t get the chance to eat at this downtown Ogunquit hotspot, because it was so busy and the wait was too long. But it looked great – with delicious food and lots of outdoor seating.
During our stay, we also ate at Brix and Brine, an outdoor restaurant also located in downtown Ogunquit. It has a great bar, a fantastic oyster menu, and a rotating menu of seasonal dishes. We loved it, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for families with young kids. My teens enjoyed it but I wouldn’t have brought them if they were young.
Ogunquit Maine Hotels
You’ll find lots of lodging options in Ogunquit Maine, including hotels, inns, and vacation rental homes. I’d recommend finding a place where you can park your car and walk to all of the things to do in Ogunquit.
We loved our stay at the Meadowmere Resort, which is located between Perkins Cove and Ogunquit Beach. In addition to the fantastic location, the resort also offered lots of wonderful kid-friendly amenities, including an indoor pool, and outdoor pool, a small movie theater, and an arcade.
We had a family suite at the hotel, which included two separate rooms. It was perfect for our family of four. You can see our review of the Meadowmere Resort here, and other reviews here.
Ogunquit Maine Weather and When to Visit
As you’d expect by the New England location, Ogunquit gets all four seasons. The best months to visit are definitely late June to early September, when you can take advantage of the warmest temperatures.
The fall can have nice temps in the 60s, and some of the restaurants will still be open, depending on when you go. Barnacle Billy’s, for instance, closes late October/early November. Traveling to Ogunquit in the fall can be a great way to avoid the large summer crowds, while still enjoying the restaurants and activities.
Winter temps are cold – typically freezing or lower. You probably won’t want to do much walking in the winter, and many of the shops and restaurants will be closed.
The spring can also be a great time, especially in late April and May when the restaurants start to open and the temps warm up. While you definitely won’t go swimming in the Atlantic, some of the Ogunquit hotels have indoor pools that you can enjoy during your stay.
Getting Around Ogunquit Maine
If you are driving into Ogunquit, there are several public parking lots to leave your car. It’s a good idea to park and then walk everywhere. I definitely don’t recommend driving around the town – especially in the busy summer months, because parking is extremely limited and there are loads of pedestrians.
Passenger golf cart services and the Ogunquit Trolley are both available for a fee. Walking around town is also very easy and is usually your best option. If you are booking a hotel, I’d suggest looking for a location that is within walking distance of the beach, Marginal Way, and Perkins Cove.
For those not driving into town, you can either fly into the Portland Maine airport, or take the Amtrak Downeaster into Wells, Maine. Then you can take a cab or ride share service into your Ogunquit hotel. In season, the Ogunquit Trolley also travels to the train station to pick up guests.
Have you been to Ogunquit? What is your favorite thing to do there?