Easily reached from the Colonial Inn—most memorably via the Marginal Way footpath—Perkins Cove is a lively, postcard-perfect fishing village on the south end of Ogunquit. From glimpses of the town’s maritime past to bustling shops and restaurants, this fetching hamlet—one of the most photographed corners of this seacoast—is definitely a must-visit during your stay at the Inn!
A Bit of Perkins Cove History
Today one of Ogunquit’s main tourist hubs, Perkins Cove nonetheless proudly preserves the fishing heritage that defined this little community from the start. In its early days, the Cove—a partly human-modified inlet where the Josias River empties into Atlantic saltwater—offered safe and convenient harbor for Ogunquit’s dory fishermen plying their trade (and testing their courage) out on the Gulf of Maine. The Ogunquit Heritage Museum often moors its replica of a 19th-century Ogunquit Dory—the tried-and-true local variation of the well-known Banks Dory—in Perkins Cove, rubbing shoulders with the modern fishing boats that still crowd these calm waters.
It may have been born a hardscrabble fishing hamlet, but Perkins Cove has also long been associated with Ogunquit’s nationally recognized artistic scene. Legendary painter Hamilton Easter Field established his Summer School of Graphic Arts in Perkins Cove in the early 20th century. (You can see some of the works connected to that art school—including Field’s depictions of early Perkins Cove—at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, set near the south shore of the Cove.)
Besides simply soaking up the sheer picturesqueness of Perkins Cove, you’ve got plenty to do in this vibrant coastal nook. Given Perkins Cove’s art-spangled backstory, it’s no surprise there are plenty of galleries to browse through here. Some fantastic jewelry and gift boutiques, including Sea Glass Jewelry Studio (with treasures rendered from actual sea glass) and the Whistling Oyster(situated in a revamped vintage lobster-trap shed), await you.
And if the sight of those lobster boats and fishing wharves sparks an briny appetite, bring it to any of a number of local eateries, including M.C. Perkins Cove with its sumptuous seafood menu!
Or take a scenic boat ride out of the Cove with Finestkind Cruises; among the company’s offerings is a genuine Lobstering Trip, which offers a firsthand look at one of the quintessential industries on the Maine seacoast.
Then there’s the Marginal Way itself, that paved, mile-plus pathway that connects Perkins Cove with Ogunquit Beach to the north. Strolling from the Colonial Inn to the Cove via this seafront lane—scattered with numerous benches and offering beach and tidepool access for the whole family—makes an unforgettable and utterly classic Ogunquit outing.
And hey: Once you’re back at the Colonial Inn, there’s no better way to cap off a happy trek to Perkins Cove than with a dip in our outdoor heated pool—or a soak in the Jacuzzi!