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.

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.

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.

ogunquit history marginal way ogunquit river

Ogunquit History Museums and Historic Sites

December 13, 2013 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do, Uncategorized by admin

Here at The Dunes, history is near and dear to our hearts. After all, the history of The Dunes on the Waterfront goes back to the summer of 1936, when we welcomed our first guests. And Ogunquit’s history runs even deeper, stretching back to 1641 when it was first settled. Many of our visitors want to experience some of that rich history themselves — so we’ve compiled a list of the best Ogunquit history museums and historical sites for exploring the rich heritage of our town. Whether you’re a New England history buff or simply want something fun to do on the weekend, we know you’ll enjoy these historical museums, houses, and other locations.

1. The Ogunquit Heritage Museum

Located in the Captain James Winn House, a historical home built in 1780 in the traditional Maine Cape style, you’ll find the Ogunquit Heritage Museum. The Museum is broken into four main focuses: the art colony, maritime history, Ogunquit history, and Ogunquit’s architecture. And it’s packed with educational exhibits of Ogunquit history and culture, including pieces on fishing, farming, ship building, and sea travel and command. If you’re interested in learning about the town of Ogunquit and the things that make it so special, good luck finding a better place.

ogunquit history marginal way ogunquit river

2. The Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit

For the truly devoted learner, the Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit is a great resource for information about the region and experiencing its history. The historical society manages a comprehensive research library for scholars, genealogists, and other curious folk, as well as the Meetinghouse Museum, a collection of galleries detailing life and events in Ogunquit and Wells, Maine through pictures, artifacts, and records. A truly remarkable resource for historical education, the historical society should not be missed.

3. The 19th Century Willowbrook Village

A few miles away from Ogunquit, the Willowbrook Village is a historian’s paradise. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time when you tour this restored historic Maine village. With a whole range of period-accurate homes, businesses, and technologies, you’ll learn more in one day about life in the mid-1800′s than you ever knew you could.

4. The Maine Historical Society

The Maine Historical Society, located in the city of Portland, is one of the finest educational destinations anywhere in the state. The society’s museum alone contains more than 15,000 artifacts from the history of the state, encompassing every period from ancient times through the Native American period and up to the present. The society also organizes a number of special events throughout the year such as art walks, speakers, book signings, and walking tours of the city. The Maine Historical Society has enough inside it to keep you occupied for the entire weekend, maybe longer, so make sure you leave lots of time to see it all!

After experiencing so much Ogunquit history, you’ll probably want to take a break and enjoy the present a little, too. Luckily, you can do just that in your private coastal Maine cottage. Contact us today to make your reservation, and make a fabulous Ogunquit vacation a part of your history.

A romantic couples getaway at The Dunes on the Waterfront

Best Activities for Couples in Ogunquit

November 22, 2013 in Explore Ogunquit, Things to Do, Uncategorized by admin

Ogunquit made its reputation as a perfect family getaway, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty for couples to do here. Whether it’s romance, food, art or culture you’re after, when you visit downtown Ogunquit, you’ll find it. Here’s a guide to some of the best activities for couples, including some of our own favorites that we’re sure you and that special someone will love as well.

Wine and a sunset: one of the best activites for couples visiting The Dunes on the Waterfront

1. Have a Romantic Dinner

There are a number of excellent places to eat in Ogunquit, Maine but only a few of them offer the combination of great food and ambiance that makes for a perfect date night. We think a few of the best are The Old Village Inn, which gives a quiet and intimate feel coupled with excellent dining, and The Front Porch, a lounge restaurant and piano bar with a fun and lively atmosphere. You and your date will definitely enjoy either one.

2. Explore the Artistic Side of Town

Museums and art galleries are perfect places for a date – conversation is easy and there’s plenty to talk about and look at. If that sounds like a good date night to you, take a look at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. The museum houses a permanent collection of American paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and other artwork, making it a great place to spend an evening. You can even pick up a gift for your date at the museum shop.

Silverlining Sailing offers cruises and tours out of Perkins Cove in Ogunquit

3. Take to the Seas

With Ogunquit’s position on the Atlantic coast, sailing and boating are a huge part of life in town. You and your date can experience a slice of that life with a private sailing tour, like the ones offered by Silverlining Sailing. Up to six passengers can book a sightseeing cruise off the Maine coast in this 42-foot sailboat originally built in 1939. If you’re feeling up to it, you can even help the crew sail the boat. This is truly an unforgettable experience.

4. Catch a Show

If you’re looking for some pure entertainment, nothing beats a live show. And at the Ogunquit Playhouse, you and your date will be treated to Broadway-caliber productions right here in town. The Playhouse has been an Ogunquit staple for more than 80 years, and was even crowned “America’s Foremost Summer Theater.” Shows like Grease, Billy Elliot, and Mary Poppins fill the theater’s repertoire, so you’re certain to enjoy the show.

5. Book a Private Cottage

After all of this entertainment, you’re sure to want a little bit of rest. At The Dunes on the Waterfront, you can stay in your own private cottage near Ogunquit Beach. Every cottage and cottage suite features a full bath, a full kitchen and a woodburning fireplace. These private accommodations make for a perfect end to a perfect day – and leave you rested enough to do even more tomorrow.