A Feels-Like-Summer Even Though it’s Fall Day Trip to Ogunquit, Maine

This week’s #nofootballSunday Funday was actually on a Monday so I’m two posts in and already deviating from the plan…  but that’s because this Sunday I attended a bridal shower for a close family friend and then did my grocery shopping during the football games. So, although I wish I had taken photos of the super-cute tea party themed bridal shower and delicious scones, tea sandwiches and desserts plus antique tea cups/saucers, I didn’t (too busy eating scones, lemon curd, tiramisu, chocolate cake, ricotta pie…nom nom nom…), and my grocery shopping trip was nothing to write home about.

So, luckily, my 30th birthday was yesterday (Happy Birthday to me!) and to celebrate I had taken the day off from work to treat myself to a day trip to Ogunquit, ME. I’d never been to Ogunquit before but I’ve been intrigued recently as several co-workers have told me about their own trips. It’s also so close, less than 1.5 hours from my house, and no traffic because no one is going North during the week!

I’ve been doing sporadic research about what to do in and on the way to Ogunquit, but organized myself on Sunday night with a loose itinerary of the order in which I wanted to do things based on their proximity to each other (thank you, Google Maps!). Monday morning, I decided to get an early start to the trip so I could beat some of the heat on the drive there  – my car air conditioning is broken and I’m not getting it fixed because I’m driving my car until it dies and then will need a new one so it’s not worth the expense – and so I’d be home in time for a birthday dinner with Mike.

I left the house around 7:30am and by 8:20am or so I had reached York, Maine where I pulled into the parking lot of the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store. This was a must stop location for me because I absolutely love the Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam. Every year for Christmas, my Grandmother gives each of us a jar along with a loaf of homemade English Muffin Bread (seriously, bread that tastes exactly like an English muffin. It’s amazing! I’ll post the recipe at a later date!). I was also experiencing scone withdrawal after the bridal party tea party and elected to have a blueberry scone with blueberry jam for a birthday breakfast treat (complete with Instagram post).

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I then wandered the store for an embarrassingly long time sampling every jam, hot sauce, salsa, mustard and chocolate sauce that I could get my hands on. Pro tip: They have one of almost every flavor open with pretzels and crackers for your sampling pleasure. I also discovered that there is a store closer to home, in Newburyport, MA so will have to visit that location to see if they’re as generous with their sample selection 🙂 Everything was delicious, but I was finally able to narrow down my selection to 2 jams (Bellini and Raspberry Peach Champagne), a hot sauce (Habanero Mango) and since Mike is always on the hunt for a good salsa, picked up a jar of that (Fire Roasted Salsa) as well. The one item I regret leaving without was a Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce. I’d convinced myself I didn’t need it or I would be forced into making deliciously unhealthy desserts. That was definitely the wrong decision and I will for sure be getting it next time I see it (and would have already ordered it on Amazon if it were eligible for Prime free shipping!).

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From there, I continued my drive up the coast and can neither confirm nor deny that I was singing along to classic 90s hits such as “The Sign” and “Show Me Love” during this portion of my drive. Ok, I was, and it was the perfect feel good music, combined with an I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Summer breeze and the smell of the ocean wafting in through my open windows.

After a quick 15 minute jam session.. I mean, drive… I pulled up to the gorgeous Cliff House on the York//Ogunquit border. I found myself a spot in the free self-parking lot and wandered into the hotel, somehow entering through a side entrance of the pool area.  I think I could have spent the day there as a pretend hotel guest but I’m pretty sure you actually needed a key to enter the pool area and I somehow accidentally bypassed this requirement. Anyway, as I looked over the railing down to the ocean I saw a few people walking on the rocks below and set out to join them. Photo Sep 26, 4 55 55 PM.jpgPhoto Sep 26, 4 51 56 PM.jpg

It was a brutally hot ninety degrees out so after a few good photos and a quick stroll through the air conditioned art gallery, I headed back in the car for some more 90s music and to finish the drive to Ogunquit. I found free parking at Jacob’s Lot (off of Shore Rd. I had trouble finding this but luckily got the last free spot in the lot when I arrived. Try putting 186 Main St, Ogunquit, ME 03907 into your GPS to get there with less difficulty than I experienced- that’s the address to a Cumberland Farms but it shares the parking lot with the “free parking” – you’ll see some signs that say 30 minute parking and others that say 2 hour parking). I had no real plans for the rest of the afternoon other than to stroll around town and the beach. The town of Ogunquit is only about 4 square miles so it’s a great walking town. I walked out onto Shore Rd and stopped in a few cute boutiques. I ended up buying myself a really cute cardigan, though I can’t imagine it being cold enough to wear it in the near future. I also walked down The Marginal Way, which is a oceanfront walking path, similar to The Cliff Walk in Newport, RI, if you’ve ever been there. It’s a really beautiful walk past some of the hotels or private homes, a few with beautiful gardens, so of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a few photos. The only down side was the limited shaded areas, so was glad I had worn some sunscreen and packed my S’well bottle. I’ll probably talk about this water bottle every post, I just find it to be so so useful and take it everywhere, at least while the weather is hot!

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The end of The Marginal Way takes you out to Perkins Cove, a cute marina-eque area with some boats and small shops and restaurants. I didn’t capture any photos of the boats but did find a nice plant…

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I perused around the shops for a bit and then walked the approximately mile back to the main downtown area and where I had parked my car, intending to stop for a smoothie/juice before heading back home. Unfortunately my planning didn’t tell me that the smoothie bar had closed earlier in September (I’m not sure if for the season or permanently) so I grabbed a snack at a little deli type place and headed back home.

Overall, I would definitely recommend a day trip to Ogunquit, and if you have the time, you could even continue up the coast to Portland or head back down to the Kittery outlets. I chose to head home for early afternoon to make sure I didn’t hit any traffic and have dinner with my husband, but if he’d been with me we could have definitely stayed until after dinner. I’ve heard a great recommendation for Frank and Johnnie’s for dinner, but didn’t get to try it out myself.. this time!

 

 

PLANNING TIPS: 

Total Drive Time: 2h40min

Time spent on site: 5 hours (but you could spend many more!)

Cost: Free if you can get free parking in Ogunquit and refrain from purchasing yummy jams from Stonewall Kitchen (I couldn’t..)

Good for: Solo, Small groups, couples or families

Pro tip: Stonewall Kitchen has one of almost every flavor open with pretzels and crackers for your sampling pleasure.

 

 

 

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