Ogunquit Vacation Planning: 6 Insider Tips From Longtime Dunes Guests

A few families haven’t missed their annual Ogunquit vacation in half a century. They know just when to travel to avoid traffic, where to find a quiet spot on the beach, and they’ve got strong opinions about the best lobster joint in town. But what about folks just driving up Route 1 for the first time? Getting the hang of Ogunquit can be a little intimidating, especially in the bustle of July and August. Newcomers, we’ve gathered the following tips from our veteran visitors to help you plan your perfect Ogunquit vacation with less trial-and-error and more time to relax in the sun.

Ogunquit vacation cottage at The Dunes on the Waterfront

1. Book Your Ogunquit Hotel Room Early (Really Early)

Ogunquit hotel rooms fill up fast. We recommend planning your vacation at least a month or two in advance, and if you have very firm dates or a specific room style in mind, even earlier than that. Here at The Dunes, we usually start taking reservations for the upcoming summer in early December. For a family of four looking to stay a week in the middle of the summer, that’s the time to call.

2. Keep an Eye on Last-Minute Getaways

In spite of the above, if you’re reading this in July and hoping to take a spontaneous Ogunquit vacation next week, you’re not out of luck just yet. Rooms become available every now and then for all kinds of reasons—that’s why we keep our Last Minute Getaways page updated. If you can be flexible in terms of bed configurations and dates, you’ve got a shot at sleeping to the sound of the ocean sooner than you think.

3. Visit Ogunquit Midweek

The benefits of booking your Ogunquit vacation in the Sunday-Thursday night range are trifold: room rates are lower, downtown and the beach are quieter, and you may have more options in terms of room type without committing as far in advance. You’ll come across shorter minimum-stay requirements, if any, and you’ll face less competition for the day’s catch at the Lobster Pound.

4. Match Your Ogunquit Accommodations to Your Needs

Ogunquit waterfront lodging Not surprisingly, cottages at The Dunes tend to sell out first. If you have a smaller group, though, or you’re coming as a couple without kids, a cottage’s full kitchen and living room might actually be more than you need. Cottage Suites and Guest Rooms offer many of the same essential amenities at a great value, especially while you get the lay of the land on a first visit. While cottages usually require a week minimum stay, these other options are better suited to a shorter visit or weekend getaway. Not sure which accommodation type is best for you? Call our front desk and and we’ll help clarify the details.

5. Stay in the Loop

You’ve got a lot to keep track of when it comes to planning your Ogunquit vacation, so why not leave some of the calendar watching to us? We keep our newsletter recipients in the know about special offers, last-minute deals, and important dates like which day next year’s reservations officially open up. We’ll send pretty photos and practical tips like these straight to your inbox no more than twice a month—we get how dreaming about the beach more often than that could be pretty distracting. Sign up here.

6. Book Your Ogunquit Vacation Directly With Your Hotel

After searching long and hard for the best Ogunquit vacation deals, their location might surprise you. Time and again, you’ll find the best rates when you book directly with your Ogunquit hotel instead of some huge travel site. That’s because those sites charge us an arm and a leg for something we know we can do better—helping you plan a top-notch Ogunquit vacation.

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