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Ogunquit, Maine: Beautiful Place by the Sea

Ogunquit, Maine: Beautiful Place by the Sea

New England's other gay resort.

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Ogunquit is the Indian word for "beautiful place by the sea," and it lives up to its name in every way. Three miles of wide, white-sand beach are the lure for visitors, most of whom come from the New England area and the province of Qu?bec, just a few hours north.

Ogunquit is the quintessential seasonal resort -- its permanent population of 1,000 swells to 45,000 visitors per day in summer. The time to visit is during the precious few warm months between Memorial Day and October.

The big draw for visitors is that beautiful beach where you?ll find straight families, gay families and lots of gay men and women frolicking, playing Frisbee and volleyball and even some braving the icy cold water for a bracing swim.

But visitors also indulge in coastal Maine's numerous activities, from hiking and fishing to outlet shopping and antiquing. Ogunquit's other attractions include the Marginal Way, a one-mile-long walking path with breathtaking views of the beach and sea, and Perkins Cove, a touristed but charming area filled with quaint old buildings, unique boutiques of the soap-and-candle variety and several excellent restaurants.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Admiral's Inn, a hotel and B&B, is our top choice in town. It?s both charming and homey yet large enough to offer many of the services travelers demand like wireless Internet, an on-site health club, massage services, two pools and much more. The service is top notch.

Another charming option is Moon Over Maine Bed & Breakfast which is located in the very heart of Ogunquit.

Traditional, yet contemporary, Ogunquit Beach Inn offers comfortable yet stylish accommodations at reasonable rates. It?s also located in the town center, a few minutes? stumble from the local gay nightlife. Another popular choice is the picturesque, gay-owned Gazebo Inn, a restored 1847 farmhouse situated one mile north of the gay-popular resort town of Ogunquit. This is a particular good option for pet owners. Furry guests receive a heaping order of lobster biscuits served in a ceramic dish created for the hotel by a local artist.

DINING
The quaint town of Ogunquit has a veritable bounty of places to indulge in fine dining. Those with an appetite for seafood have come to the right spot. While Maine lobster gets rightful top billing, steamer clams, shrimp, and mussels also merit praise and menu space.

A big-city menu in a quaint seaside setting is the lure of Five-O Bistro. Diners are tempted daily by boat-fresh seafood.

Often very popular with lesbians, Jonathan's serves up American cuisine in a funky setting graced with locally produced art and occasional live entertainment.

Save up a big appetite for the acclaimed Arrows Restaurant in a 1765 colonial farmhouse, and embark upon the 10-course tasting menu.

For your basic steamed, buttered lobster, check out Ogunquit Lobster Pound Restaurant. Eat outside on old-fashioned picnic tables.

The Arrows team has also opened up the fabulous MC Perkins Cove. though the food is top notch, it?s worth it to go just for the view.

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NIGHTLIFE/ENTERTAINMENT
The gay scene begins on the gay section of the beach, then migrates to Front Porch for apr?s-sun drinks. Be sure to head upstairs after 4pm for some rousing piano-bar music.

The crowd then converges on one of Ogunquit's few nightspots. Maine Street -- a large, open dance club-video bar with early-evening shows and entertainment.

the gay-friendly pub at the Old Village Inn is a long-standing favorite of the local gay and lesbian crowd, with entertainment on the weekends.

ACTIVITIES/SHOPPING/CULTURE
Some gay travelers have never heard of Ogunquit, but it?s easy to reach. You can fly to Portland, Maine or Boston, Massachusetts. It?s between these two cities on the coast of Maine It?s less than an hour drive south of Portland and about an hour and a half north of Boston.

Ogunquit?s all about the beach but be sure to explore the many other options available to visitors. All up and down Route 1 you?ll find great antique shops. The Marginal Way is a walking path winding around the dramatic cliffs of coastal Maine and affording great views of the charming town and beaches.

WRAP UP
While all-American Ogunquit offers the perfect gay summer beach getaway, it?s open all year round and many visitors find it a romantic (though sometimes chilly) place to visit whether for antiquing and leaf-peeping in the fall or for a romantic snowy Christmas getaway in winter.

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