Legend says the name Ogunquit (pronounced “a-gun-quit”) is translated from the Abenaki Indians to mean “beautiful place by the sea.” For a girl from Virginia who is used to the southern beaches with rolling sand dunes, the rocky, dramatic, and sometimes jagged cliffs of the Ogunquit coastline didn’t disappoint. It was a different kind of beauty than I was used to, but beauty, nonetheless. For my first trip to New England, this little town in Maine had all the fairy tale-like charm I envisioned from a northern, seaside village.
A friend and I stayed at The Cliff House Resort and Spa, which was completely tranquilizing from the food to the room to the spa.
The Tiller Restaurant, located at The Cliff House, features an oceanfront dining room with floor to ceiling windows that frame a 180-degree view of feisty waves playfully crashing on the rugged shore just below. When I had the pleasure of dining here, I ordered the Lobster Chowder – the creamiest, most succulent, flavorful, heavenly Lobster Chowder I have ever tasted. Lobster Chowder most anywhere is amazing, but this was among the best my taste buds ever had the privilege of meeting, in my untrained, culinary opinion.
The spa at The Cliff House was everything it was supposed to be – welcoming, relaxing, and clean. However, their massage therapists had a lot to live up to with this client. My then (and still!) massage therapist, Nicole Puffenbarger of Heart & Soul Massage in Monterey, Virginia, is very thorough and has been treating my body for years. To this day, I haven’t found anyone better. With that said, the massage therapists at The Cliff House were good. They gave a relaxing massage setting the mood for me to enjoy the ocean view while sipping a blissful beverage in my comfy room. Nicole is still #1 in my book though. Sorry, Cliff House…
My digs at The Cliff House Resort & Spa (and many other lodging facilities) are located a short, walking distance from (or right in the town) of Ogunquit, which offers restaurants with gotta-try menus and a variety of fun shops.
Unfortunately, there is no way to experience all the restaurants unless you plan an extended stay. Of note are M.C. Perkins Cove, which USA Today named “Top Ten Places in the World with a View,” so that’s a must. Maine lobster, beef brisket, lamb shank, trout, and duck are just a few of the mouthwatering “Maines” listed on the menu. Click this LINK to see a listing of all Ogunquit eateries.
While strolling through town to get my shop on (with my very modest budget, I might add), I found two little establishments that caught my eyes. One of them was “Celtic on Main” (because of my Scots-Irish heritage) and the second was Harbor Candy Shop.
Celtic on Main (AKA: Celtic by the Sea) features jewelry, apparel, and trinkets that pay tribute to both Celtic history and Ogunquit. I purchased a set of triquetra earrings here, and I am STILL in love with them.
Harbor Candy Shop…. Do I need to say more? I’m a woman. They have chocolate. End of story. And not just any chocolate… Melt in your mouth, eyes-roll-back-in-your-head chocolate. (Just the thought of these sweets makes me salivate like Donald Trump picking out bricks for his wall…) The chocolates in their displays are made daily and include truffles, chocolate bars, turtles, and more. They even have vegan selections! There are a variety of different options to purchase in a range of prices. Even though these chocolates tend to be a little pricey, there are samplers and packages you can purchase that will satisfy your sweet tooth at a comfortable price. (I got the truffles! O…. M…. G……)
There are a ton more shops throughout the town of Ogunquit. Visitors could even break the shopping into two afternoons. Of course, if you and your girlfriends are taking a weekend trip and are shop-aholics, hit the town with your plastic in-hand ready to spend. You will certainly find multiple treasures!
For more information on Ogunquit, visit the website for the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce at chamber.ogunquit.org. (No “www.” in front.) Additional info on the Ogunquit Chamber website includes cultural events, art and antique galleries, live entertainment and theaters, museums, outdoor recreation, salons, and relaxation and wellness activities. Go find out how you can make Ogunquit YOUR beautiful place by the sea. I can tell you from experience – it’s not hard. (P.S. Lovely website, Ogunquit. A standing-O to your designer!)