By Andrea Timpano, Taking the Kids correspondent
OGUNQUIT, Maine (Day 2 of 3) — With no traffic to contend with, our drive south to Ogunquit from Old Orchard Beach takes a mere 30 minutes. We pull up to the Beachmere Inn, the hotel where we’ll be spending the next two nights. We are staying in the section of the inn known as Beachmere West which features roomy suites with stunning ocean views.
For us, one of the best parts of staying here is the inn’s direct access to the Marginal Way, a 1.25 mile walkway along the cliffs overlooking Ogunquit Beach. Every step of this walkway is breathtaking, and we find ourselves stopping repeatedly to take photos. We follow the path all the way from the Beachmere to Perkin’s Cove, a quaint fishing village with fun shops and restaurants.
While there, we take a 55-minute lobstering trip with Finestkind Scenic Cruises, which offers everything from lighthouse tours to breakfast and sailing cruises. Aboard the small boat, the captain offers interesting trivia about lobster fishing while Grant, a seasoned fisherman, operates the traps. We see the lobsters up close as they are caught, and even get to pass around a live sea urchin. This trip also turns out to be a great opportunity to admire the historical coastline.
After a couple hours back on dry land, we drive a few miles over to York for an afternoon of kayaking with Harbor Adventures. Now in its 18th season, the company offers a variety of customizable, family-friendly kayaking tours which are led by a licensed guide. Harbor Adventures also provides child-specific equipment, and can accommodate kayakers of all ages and abilities. Because I am an inexperienced kayaker, Jim and Julie Ann—our guides for the afternoon—suggest we stick to the river. After a quick paddling lesson, we climb into double kayaks and head out. The water is peaceful, and Julie Ann points out sights along the shore as we pass them. She recommends exploring Fisherman’s Walk, a mile-long footpath with great views of the working harbor.
Later that evening, we return to Perkin’s Cove for dinner at MC Perkins Cove, one of the village’s nicer restaurants. We snag a table right by the window, allowing us to enjoy the ocean view while we eat. With pricier entrees and no kids menu, this would be a perfect choice for couples traveling alone or for those who can manage a night away from the kids. For an inexpensive, more family-friendly option, check out Barnacle Billy’s where you’ll choose from Maine staples like Lobster rolls and clam chowder or burgers and hot dogs for non-fish eaters.