Rowboats at The Dunes Ogunquit resort

How the Tides in Ogunquit Work

June 27, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, The Dunes Insider, Uncategorized by admin

With its place on the ocean shore, Ogunquit, Maine is known for many things — fishing, beautiful beaches and dunes, and beautiful summer weather among the most notable. However, one thing many new people don’t often consider is a fundamental part of living next to or visiting the ocean: the tides.

Ogunquit Beach and River at low tide

At the end of the Ogunquit River. Credit: Tomwys [Wikimedia Commons. License]

Tides in Ogunquit are a simple phenomenon when you understand them, but many visitors have a hard time getting used to the daily rise and fall of the ocean. But once you understand the principal behind them, you’ll know why people say “as reliable as the tide.”

The source of the daily rise and fall of the tides is twofold: the sun and the moon. Both the sun and the moon exert a gravitational pull on the Earth – but the only part that really moves is the water. As the Earth goes around the sun, and the moon goes around the Earth, they both pull on the waters of the ocean, leading to its daily ebb and flow.

This motion is so regular and predictable, in fact, that the position of the tides can be calculated far into the future – the US Harbors website, for example, has charts of the exact timing and height of each high and low tide for the next year, for every harbor in the United States, including Perkins Cove. Knowing when the Ogunquit tides will change is essential to having a good day at the beach!

There are several good places to observe the tides at work in Ogunquit. The tidal Ogunquit River runs between the mainland and a small peninsula, and twice a day it fills and empties along with the ocean waters. The tide causes the river’s level to rise and fall by several feet, depending on the day and the strength of the tide. This also causes Maine’s famous Ogunquit Beach to sink almost entirely beneath the waves each day, only to reemerge a few hours later, ready to delight beachgoers again.

Rowboats at The Dunes Ogunquit resort

The ever-changing Ogunquit River is a constant part of life at The Dunes. When full, it reflects the memorable sunrises and sunsets, while at other times, beach goers can walk along the sandy riverbed, finding seashells and clams. The river is also our connection to Ogunquit Beach: guests can take out one of our rowboats at high tide or cross on foot at low tide. Wherever you stay — in one of our Ogunquit cottages or a guest room — the river and sandy dunes are always within sight.

Another wonderful place to observe the local tides is nearby Perkins Cove, less than a mile to the south of downtown Ogunquit. Originally, Perkins Cove was well-known for sheltering area fishermen when seas were rough. It’s also known for its manually-operated draw-footbridge that connects the southern peninsula to the mainland, the picturesque boats anchored on the water, and the tourist-friendly shops that sell penny candy and fresh Maine lobster.

Sunrise at The Dunes Ogunquit hotel

Sunrise, seen over the Ogunquit River from The Dunes on the Waterfront

 

Deep sea fishing boat tour

Ogunquit Fishing Boat and Lobster Boat Tours

June 16, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do, Uncategorized by admin

Life in Maine is hard to imagine without including some aspect of its seafaring culture. Along with the classic image of whales breaching off the coast, we picture salt-sprayed fishermen battling the elements to bring home their hard-won catch. If you’re the sort of traveler that enjoys a little adventure on your vacation, you can live that fantasy with an Ogunquit fishing boat or lobster boat tour.

Fishing Boat Tours

Ogunquit has a long history of fishing. The area of Perkins Cove was originally known as Fish Cove, and it was a popular spot for both shallow-water and deep-sea fishermen to harbor and bring in their catch. Today you can re-create that excitement with a fishing boat tour.

One option for fishing tours in Ogunquit is Bunny Clark Deep Sea Fishing, which lets guests catch and keep a variety of deep sea fish from the Maine coast. Fishers aboard the Bunny Clark have caught Atlantic cod, pollock, halibut, haddock and more. Even better, the experienced crew of the ship will help passengers land and gaff the fish, and they can even clean and fillet it for you if you like. The cost of your ticket also includes the use of custom fishing rods, jigging sticks, and other deep sea gear. Bunny Clark offers both newcomers and budding deep-sea fishers a combination of authentic experience and helpful assistance, making it a perfect fishing boat tour for families and enthusiasts alike. Deep sea fishing boat tour

Another nearby fishing tour is Captain’s Catch, which sails out of Wells Harbor. With two boats offering a variety of tours and trips, you’ll find the perfect service for you and yours. With trips ranging from two-hour inshore “discovery” cruises to a full day 10-hour offshore adventure, we’re confident that you’ll find something here to enjoy. Inshore trips are perfect for those looking for smaller, easy-to-land fish like mackerel and stripers; they are a good match for families and less-experienced anglers. Offshore trips run longer and focus on big catches like cod, haddock, and even sharks, giving even seasoned fishermen a challenge. In other words, these Ogunquit fishing trips offer the perfect fun and adventure for everyone.

Lobster Boat Tours

Maine and lobster go together like… well, like lobster and butter. Lobstering is one of our most popular, and most revered, traditions. And while lobster fishermen are generally known for being hardworking and no-nonsense, they’re also glad to share their profession with outsiders. If you’re less of an angler and more of a trapper, you might consider a lobster boat tour for you and your friends or family.

The first option for a lobstering tour is from Finest Kind Cruises in Perkins Cove. Alongside their more relaxing cruises, their lobster boat tour takes guests on an authentic lobster trapping run off the coast of Ogunquit. These tours are good fun for families and children, as they combine the experience of lobster fishing with a guided tour of the region. The boat guide will explain the lobstering process and the fishery, and will also point out other scenery and points of interest along the way. You’ll also get to see the lobster traps, or “pots,” being pulled firsthand, and watch as the lobsters are sorted and banded on the boat.

The Atlantic isn’t the only destination for lobstering — you can also take a lobstering tour up the Kennebunk River with Rugosa Lobster Tours in Kennebunkport, just a short drive from Ogunquit. These tours last between one and two hours and allow guests to either sit back and watch or join in on the lobstering process. You’ll also get a scenic tour of the Kennebuck River coastline, allowing for plenty of photo opportunities and learning.

No matter what you choose to catch, you can enjoy your haul at the end of the day in your cottage at The Dunes on the Waterfront. Many of our beachside cottages have private kitchens, making them perfect for grilling up your cod or having a family lobster boil.

Southern Maine Golf Courses

The Best Southern Maine Golf Courses

May 30, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do by admin

Southern Maine as well known as a destination for beaches, whale watching, fishing, and nature walks, but Maine also excels at greens, fairways and beautiful golf courses. Many of Maine’s golf courses are highly ranked in terms of quality and challenge.  If you’re looking for a great golfing vacation this summer, you could hardly do better than the coastal courses of southern Maine.

To make planning your Maine golf vacation simple, we’ve outlined a few of our favorite nearby golf courses, along with what makes them so special.

1. Cape Neddick Country Club

Cape Neddick Golf course in Southern MaineA semi-private 18-hole course just a few miles from our hotel, Cape Neddick Country Club is a true treasure in the world of golf. The front nine was designed by famed golf course architect Donald Ross in 1919, giving the country club almost a hundred years of continual, quality service. In 1990, the course hired Brian Silva – named the Course Architect of the Year by Golf World Magazine in 1999 – to design a back nine in the style of the original Ross holes, earning renown for its mix of classic style and modern features.

Avid golfers can enjoy a round (or several) at Cape Neddick Country Club during their stay at The Dunes on the Waterfront — our guests assure us it’s worth the trip.

2. The Ledges Golf Club

Just outside of York, The Ledges Golf Club is one of the best public golf courses on the Eastern Seaboard. A par-72 course designed by award-winning architect William Bradley Booth, The Ledges awes golfers with its stunning scenery and sweeping design. Golf Magazine named it the best new course when it opened in 1999, and Golf Digest rates it at 4 ½ stars, one of the highest in the region. Challenging features like quick elevation changes, sharp doglegs and difficult water features make it a memorable course (and no doubt frustrating at times), and its remarkable views quickly recapture the golfer’s admiration.

3. Cape Arundel Golf Club

If you’re a fan of classic, links-style golf, we have the perfect Maine golf course suggestion for you. Cape Arundel, near Kennebunkport, is a shorter, par-69 resort course with an emphasis on shot-making and ball control. Originally designed in the early 1920s by U.S. and British Amateur Champion Walter Travis, Cape Arundel still offers the same kind of early-20th-century charm that it did nearly a hundred years ago. There are a number of hazards, mostly stemming from the Kennebunk River that runs alongside the course. Cape Arundel Golf Club is a perfect place to work on your short game and practice chips and fairway shots before taking a tougher championship courses.

4. Old Marsh Country Club

Old Marsh Golf - Southern Maine golf coursesOf all the Maine golf courses we’ve featured here, Old Marsh Country Club might be the most challenging – and the most rewarding. Also designed by Brian Silva, the course features adaptations of holes designed by legendary golf architect Charles B. Macdonald. Though it opened in 2008, the course evokes classical designs and sensibility with modern touches and challenges. Every hole on this course requires strategy and foresight; reading the course descriptions before teeing off is highly encouraged. Old Marsh is well-regarded by the golfing community, and was ranked one of the Top 10 New Golf Courses in the U.S. by Golf Magazine in 2008. If you’re looking for a great combination of challenge and fun, Old Marsh is the course for you.

Regardless of which course you devote yourself to during the day, The Dunes on the Waterfront is the perfect place to rest up for your next round.

Ogunquit Beach seen from Marginal Way

The Best Walking Trails in Ogunquit, Maine

May 9, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do by admin

If you think paddle boarding is a bit too wet and whale watching is a recipe for motion sickness, don’t worry. One of the best ways to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Maine coast is also one of the simplest – taking a nice, long walk on one of Ogunquit’s many charming walking trails. There are plenty of great places to go walking in Ogunquit, each of them with their own unique character.

Ogunquit Beach seen from Marginal Way

Marginal Way

Ogunquit has plenty of attractions, but the Marginal Way is undoubtedly the best-known and most popular. Originally built in 1925 and fully restored in the 1990s, the Marginal Way is a walking trail that stretches from Perkins Cove in the south to the middle of Shore Road. It may seem short at only 1.25 miles long, but every inch of it offers breathtaking vistas of the Maine coast and the town of Ogunquit. Along its length lie approximately 40 memorial benches positioned at many of the best viewpoints, making it easy to stop and take in the sights. More than 100,000 people walk the Marginal Way each year, and it’s no wonder: the path offers some of the most spectacular views and iconic scenery in southern Maine, if not all of New England.

The Wells Reserve Trail System

Though the Marginal Way offers wonderful views, the trails of the Wells Reserve offer the most educational value to be found in Ogunquit. Along the seven miles of easy to moderate Maine walking trails you’ll explore a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife habitats, from barrier beaches to coastal mudflats to mature Maine forest. The Wells Reserve is the perfect place for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers to take in the flora and fauna of southern Maine. Shellfish, seabirds, and land animals all make the Wells Reserve their home, and visitors can even take guided tours to learn more about the habitats and landscapes they’ll encounter on their hikes.

Ogunquit Beach

Ogunquit Beach is a beautiful place to walk in MaineThough it isn’t a trail per se, one of the best places to walk in Ogunquit is along the famous and beautiful Ogunquit Beach. Condé Nast rated it as one of the top 10 beaches in the United States, and you’ll see why when you walk down its 3.5 miles. White sand, gently rolling dunes and unspoilt views define the beach, and you’ll find plenty of people enjoying the sun and the brisk Atlantic waters during the summer months. Take a swimsuit and catch some rays or just enjoy the sea breeze as you walk up and down this perfect sandy shore. You can even walk right up to your cottage door – Ogunquit Beach is only a short walk away from our hotel!

Maine Tidal River SUP Paddle boarding

Where to Try Paddle Boarding in Maine

March 31, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do by admin

There’s something especially pleasant about taking a self-powered boat out on the water. Canoes and kayaks have a well-earned reputation — they give paddlers access to views and locations they would otherwise never see, and move about without disturbing the wildlife or the tranquility of the water. For those wanting something a little different than the traditional canoe or kayak, we have the perfect suggestion: stand-up paddle boarding.

Maine Tidal River SUP Paddle boardingIf you’re not familiar with stand-up paddle boards (or SUPs, as many of their users call them), the sport might seem more challenging than canoeing or kayaking. In appearance, paddle boards look the most like surfboards; indeed, the sport of stand-up paddle boarding started as a way for surfers to head farther out into the waves than they could by using just their arms. Now however, paddle boards are used just as often as a way to explore quiet lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.

Paddle boarders experience many of the same health and wellness benefits that other paddlers get: a good arm and core workout. Paddle boarders, however, also exercise their legs and balance in a way other boaters don’t. Because a paddle board is inherently less stable than a canoe or a kayak, paddle boarders must use their legs and abs for balance in addition to support. This makes paddle boarding a good full-body workout for water sport-lovers of all abilities and ages.

Where can you go paddle boarding in Maine? There are plenty of places that are popular for SUP in Maine, including the Ogunquit Tidal River. At The Dunes, we’ve partnered with Liquid Dreams Surf Shop to offer SUP lessons right from our dock from June to August. You’ll meet an instructor — and your board, paddle and wetsuit, if requested — and launch an hour before high tide. Classes focus on flatwater instruction, and students are taught the fundamentals of SUP, including how to stand, ocean safety, and most importantly, how to have fun! SUP lessons at the Dunes start at $80 per person; to sign up, just speak to the Front Desk (207-646-2612).

Where to SUP in Maine - Ogunquit Tidal River

If you’d like to explore other waters, it’s easy to get ahold of a board and paddle in Ogunquit. We recommend Liquid Dreams Surf Shop and World Within Kayak Rentals for renting a paddle board; both shops are in a prime location and have a good selection, making them great places for beginners and experienced boarders alike.

After getting your board, you’re ready to go paddling! Depending on the kind of paddle boarding you want to do, you’ll find lots of places to explore. Adventurous and more experienced boarders can try their hand at the challenging Maine coast, while boarders looking for a more relaxing outing might take a look at the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge – a perfect place to see some of the local seabirds and coastal animals – or our own Ogunquit Tidal River, connecting the ocean to nearly ten miles of river and stream that’s perfect for exploration.

We’re partial to paddle boarding on the Tidal RIver, of course — not only is it a great place for beginner paddle boarders to start, it’s convenient to all of our Ogunquit cottages and guest rooms! 

Ogunquit Lobstering Cruises, Finest Kind

Things to Do with Kids in Ogunquit, ME

January 30, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, Family, Things to Do, Uncategorized by admin

One of the best things about the town of Ogunquit is that it’s truly a family destination. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Ogunquit, from fun on the sandy beaches to sea-worthy adventures. Since you’ll need a long and varied list of ways to keep the kids busy, we’ve put together a guide to some of our favorite family-friendly activities at The Dunes, in our town and other places nearby.

Ogunquit Lobstering Cruises, Finest Kind

Finest Kind Cruises

First off, there’s the beautiful Ogunquit Beach and all of the possibility that comes with it. You can build sandcastles, fly kites, or just watch the tides roll in. Ogunquit’s beaches are famous for their beauty, and your whole family will certainly appreciate the soft sand. If you’re in need, Ogunquit Beach ‘n’ Sport has beach equipment such as chairs, coolers, and boogie boards available to rent.

You can also go beyond the beach and take in some of the beautiful sights of Southern Maine. One exciting adventure for kids and adults alike is a lobstering tour, such as those offered by Finest Kind Cruises. You’ll get to go out into Perkins Cove on an authentic lobster boat and help the crew haul in lobster pots while learning about the history and process of lobster fishing. You’ll also get great views of the Maine coast and many nearby points of interest.

If you’re more of a landlubber (or aren’t too sure about your sea legs), you can also make a stop into Wonder Mountain Fun Park, a great family amusement park that includes two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a video game arcade, and New England’s largest man-made human maze! Just don’t get lost inside!

Kids Theater Camp at Ogunquit Playhouse After the sun goes down, there’s still plenty to do with your family in Ogunquit. One of the best family activities in town is a play or musical at the renowned Ogunquit Playhouse. Featuring Broadway classics and fantastic revivals, the Ogunquit Playhouse brings the magic of big-city theatre to the Maine coast. There’s even a Children’s theatre, with shows for the little ones like Peter Pan and Cinderella, as well as a theatre camp that lets your kids take part in the action!

Finally, no family visit to Ogunquit would be complete without a tour of some of our fantastic museums or art galleries. There are a number of great educational museums and historical sites around town, the best of which can be found in our recent blog post on museums in Ogunquit. Or, if you’re up for a short car trip (about half an hour), you can visit the Children’s Museum of Maine in Portland, which has a huge number of kid-friendly exhibits and activities.

Simply put, there are more things to do with your family in Ogunquit than we can list here. But one thing is for sure – no matter what else you do, you and your family will be happy to return to your cottage at Dunes on the Waterfront. With spacious accommodations and all the amenities you could want, we’re in the business of making your Maine vacation great.