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.

Springtime Activities include Ogunquit Beach

Family Activities in Maine for the Spring

January 17, 2014 in Explore Ogunquit, Family, Things to Do by admin

When most people consider a Maine vacation, they’re thinking of coming during the balmy summer months. However, there are lots of things to do outside of that timeframe, and off-season visits can be more relaxed, less crowded and just as enjoyable. If you want to plan a fun spring vacation to Ogunquit with your family, here are a few of our picks for the best family activities in Maine during the early season.

First,  don’t let slightly cooler weather dissuade you from visiting Ogunquit’s famous beaches. You’ll likely have the sand all to yourself during the spring months, making it a perfect place for a spring picnic with your family or for some kite-flying or sandcastle building. At The Dunes, exploring the Tidal River in one of our rowboats is a fun diversion, too. Just remember, even though the weather is typically milder, you can still get sunburn if you’re out on the beach all day, so bring your sunscreen!

Springtime Activities include Ogunquit Beach

Next, take a walk down Marginal Way to view the shoreline scenery without the crowds. As one of the only paved public shoreline paths in New England, Marginal Way offers a unique experience that takes you past some of the most beautiful and iconic Maine scenery you’ll ever find. The trail also takes you right to the heart of Ogunquit, making it easy to stop off for a bite to eat if you’re feeling peckish.

The Village Food Market in downtown OgunquitAnother popular spring activity in Ogunquit is exploring some of the many popular restaurants — and having them nearly to yourselves! The Lobster Shack is a local favorite for the quintessential Maine dish, and the Village Food Market is famous for being a combination of sandwich shop, butcher, bakery, and grocery store. You and your family’s pickiest eaters will find something you’ll love inside.

If you’re in the mood, another great family activity in southern Maine is that old standby, a shopping trip. The Kittery Outlets, just south of Ogunquit, are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, and for good reason. You’ll find tons of brand-name goods at rock-bottom prices, all in one convenient location. You can also visit the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, barely an hour away, where you’ll find outdoor gear, apparel and home goods to take a bit — or more than a bit — of Maine style with you.

Finally, you might want to take advantage of some of the local spring festivals and special activities. Patriot’s Day is a special treat in Ogunquit, with a weekend-long celebration that has been called “The Best Show of Patriotism.” The festival includes concerts, crafts, local foods, and wine tastings, giving the entire family something to look forward to.

We’ve only scratched the surface of all the great spring activities for families in Ogunquit. But no matter what you choose to do, you can certainly count on Dunes on the Waterfront to provide a comfortable place to stay. With both beach-view guest rooms and private cottages, your whole family will be able to rest and relax just feet away from Ogunquit’s beaches. What more could you ask for?

ogunquit museum of american art

Ogunquit Art Museums & Galleries

December 18, 2013 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do, Uncategorized by admin

Ogunquit, Maine is a town with many faces. You have the romance and rugged beauty of the seaside, the quaint charm of the village shops and restaurants, and the culture offered by the Ogunquit’s many history museums and historic sites. Add to that a huge array of artistic attractions right outside your cottage door. To get you started, we’ve put together a short list of our favorite Ogunquit art museums and art galleries. Use it as a resource for your own self-guided art tour, or a checklist of must-visit art stops to complete during future trips to Ogunquit.

ogunquit museum of american art

1. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art

If you’re looking to brush up on your American art history, you couldn’t do much better than the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. Featuring works of painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, and more, the museum contains works from the late 19th century to today. Notably, it is the only museum in all of Maine dedicated to American art history, making it a unique and special attraction. Visitors can also enjoy the landscaped oceanfront gardens, which span three acres outside the museum.

2. The Barn Gallery

Ogunquit’s art scene is not limited to museums, and the Barn Gallery shows what the talented local artists of the Ogunquit Art Association can accomplish. The Barn Gallery has a number of exhibitions each year and includes works of painting, sculpture, and other contemporary art. There is also an art auction that gives fans and connoisseurs the chance to walk away with some unique and beautiful pieces.

3. The Museums of Old York

Just a few miles south of Ogunquit lies York, Maine, a beautiful and historic town – and also the home of the Museums of Old York, a collection of nine historic sites and museums that features works of art, architecture, and New England history. Of particular interest to art lovers is the George Marshall Store gallery, a gallery of contemporary art, and the Remick Gallery, an exhibition space that hosts regular art and history exhibits.

4. The Portland Museum of Art

If you’re in the mood for a bit of a drive, it’s hard to beat the Portland Museum of Art. Maine’s oldest and most prestigious art museum, the Portland Museum of Art contains works by American and foreign artists dating back to the 18th century, and the collection totals more than 17,000 pieces. The museum itself is housed in three historic buildings, the oldest of which, the McLellan House, was built in 1801.

Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in Ogunquit, both artistic and otherwise. And once you’ve reveled in the beautiful works at these Ogunquit art museums and galleries, relax and treat your eyes to the beautiful sight of the sea from your private cottage at The Dunes on the Waterfront. It might even inspire you to do some painting of your own.