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!

Humpback_whale_jumping

A Whale of a Time: Whale Watching in Maine

April 15, 2014 in Things to Do by admin

While we’re partial to a day relaxing on our beautiful sandy beaches, our more adventurous guests may enjoy a trip out into the Atlantic for a chance to see one of Maine’s most spectacular attractions: whales. Whale watching in Maine is a must for many visitors, and a whale sighting could amaze even the most stubborn teenager.  Whales love using Maine’s waters as a summer playground, and some wonderful whale watching cruises in southern Maine.southern Maine whale watching - humpback breach

Maine, like all of New England’s coastal regions, has a long reputation as a fantastic fishery. But people aren’t the only ones trying to catch their dinner in Maine’s waters. During the warmer months many species of whales migrate into the area for a chance to fill their bellies, raise their young and enjoy the warm water. That makes spring and summer the perfect time to go whale watching in Maine, especially in the Ogunquit area.

Some of the more common whales that you can see off the Maine coast include humpback, minke, pilot and the huge finback. Many humpbacks return to the area year after year, making them a kind of local whale celebrities. Occasionally watchers will also spot orcas, right whales and sperm whales moving through the Gulf of Maine.

To see these majestic visitors to the Maine coast, many will arm themselves with binoculars and a bagged lunch, then head out on the seaside trails for a chance to catch a glimpse. Whales often venture close to the shore in an effort to catch fish fleeing to the shallows, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see some if you head to the local land-watching hotspots.

However, for a truly amazing experience with whale watching in Maine, you’ll have to head out to sea. Don’t worry – Moby Dick this is not. Whale watching tours are exhilarating, but they aren’t dangerous (unless you are prone to seasickness, in which case it’s a good idea to plan ahead and bring some Dramamine). And luckily for Ogunquit whale enthusiasts, there are a number of excellent whale watching tours near our Ogunquit family hotel.

In nearby Kennebunkport, you’ll find the Nick’s Chance Whale Watch Tour, managed by First Chance Whalewatch. This 4 ½ hour tour will take you right out into the summer feeding grounds for your best chance to see many of the common whale species. Because the tour is run on of one of the newest vessels in the New England fleet, you’ll have modern amenities and comforts — think snack bar — at your disposal through the whole tour. A “colorful” crew promises to entertain and inform with expert knowledge.Maine Whale_Watching cruises

Another whale watching option lies In Portland, where you can embark aboard the Odyssey Whale Watch. The tour goes 20 miles out into Casco Bay, and seafarers will have you a chance to see whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and any number of seabirds flying over the feeding grounds. You’ll also get some local history and scenery as you float outside of Portland. Once your feet touch land again, you’ll be in prime position to extend your day with a refreshing tour of Portland’s breweries before heading back to Ogunquit and The Dunes.

 

 

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! 

birds to see in Maine

Maine Bird Watching: Fine Feathered Fun!

March 13, 2014 in Things to Do by admin

With a wide range of terrain and climate conditions, Maine is one of the best places in the United States for bird watching. Seabirds, forest birds, and migratory species can all be found in Maine throughout the year, especially in and around Ogunquit. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or you’re just getting your first pair of binoculars, these resources make it easy to find Maine bird watching opportunities that will entertain and educate.maine hawk

One of the best resources for Maine birders is the Maine Audubon, a branch of the national conservation society. The Maine Audubon website gives birders great guides and tips for bird watching in Maine, broken down by region and type of birds encountered. This is a great first stop for any birder in Maine, whether new or seasoned veteran.

Seabirds are among the most common and popular birds to look for in Maine. You’ll find a huge range of species up and down the coast, including puffins, terns, all manner of waterfowl, and even rare skuas. Ogunquit is a great place to start your Maine bird watching trip, as the Marginal Way and nearby nature reserves are great places to look for wintering birds, where you might see rarer sea ducks, loons and more. Further north, the peninsulas and rocky coastal islands provide a perfect shelter for shorebirds, osprey, and even eagles to the far north.

Adventurous birders also won’t want to miss out on the opportunities afforded by inland Maine. Maine’s forests and mountains are known to shelter dozens of species of warblers and songbirds during the warmer months, as well as hawks, ravens, woodpeckers, and many species of marsh birds in the wetlands that punctuate the region. The western mountains are a good place to start, with peaks like Royce Mountain, Baldpate Mountain, and Saddleback Mountain hosting many species.

Maine Bird WatchingAnother great way to start bird watching in Maine — without the leg work of tracking down the best spots on your own — is to explore the Maine Birding Trail. It isn’t so much a trail as a collection of 82 excellent birding sites around the state, and gives birders an excellent chance to see the many species that make the state popular for bird identification. There are also many tours available (from single-day excursions to week-long adventure tours) to guide bird watchers to different hotspots.

Maine birders may also enjoy attending one of the state’s many bird watching festivals throughout the year. One of the most famous is Feathers Over Freeport, an annual festival combining bird walks, bird identification workshops, and even games and fun activities for children. At only an hour away from The Dunes, the Freeport birding festival makes a wonderful day trip in April.

Don’t pack those binoculars away once you’re back at The Dunes on the Waterfront, either — the Tidal River and Ogunquit Beach are good places to watch for sandpipers, piping plovers, herons and more. You might spot these sprightly birds from our lawn, your favorite Adirondack chair or even your cottage!

birds to see in Maine