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City Guide: Ogunquit

Less commercial and much more laid-back than Provincetown

Ogunquit boasts three miles of white sand beach.  Credit:

Ogunquit, a gay destination for a century now, is  located 66 miles north of Boston, up I-95 for the most part. That’s about 90 minutes by car if you time it to avoid the weekend traffic jams.

Weather-beaten fishing huts and a beautiful coastline attracted artists in the late 19th century. They established the Ogunquit Art Colony in 1898, living alongside seamen in what became known as Perkins Cove. Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and Maurice Prendergast were among those who lived and worked here.

Tourists followed. To accommodate them several grand seaside hotels and inns were built. With miles of fine white sand, and a dramatic tide this remains a popular seasonal resort. Book early as summertime rooms can be hard to find.

Close to the beach (most of the town is close to the beach) and to the village center gay nightlife, the Ogunquit Beach Inn offers comfort and style at reasonable rates; some rooms have private entrances and terraces. The Yellow Monkey is a tried and true gay-favorite guesthouse at central location, with living room fireplace, suites, efficiency apartment and cottage, and it’s pet friendly.

The scene here is a lot less commercial and much more laid-back than that of Provincetown, in Cape Cod to the south, with a similar history. New Yorkers and Bostonians in particular come here to get away from the heat and noise, and it’s long been the favorite beach of many from Quebec.

A cluster of LGBT-owned/operated hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and theater are mostly in the Village Square area. The Front Porch at town center is a local institution, featuring live music, comedy shows and a restaurant serving lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

The gay section of beach is to the north, left as you arrive, past the volleyball nets.

September and October are good months to visit, with fewer crowds, less congested roads, sunny weather and pleasant water temperatures.

Booth Theatre Company does summer stock productions at the Black Box Theatre. The Ogunquit Playhouse, a fine theater operating since 1933 and part of “Little Theatre Movement” offers Broadway quality productions.

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art exhibits paintings, sculptures, photography and graphics.

The Ogunquit Trolley Company runs eight Molly Trolleys around town during the summer tourist season. is the best source for news and information and a full list of arts and performance events in and around Ogunquit.

For info on events sponsored by Ogunquit Bears, see the Southern Maine Bears facebook page.

For the more travel information on gay Ogunquit , see our City GuideListings GuideEvents Guide and Activities Guide