“Murder She Wrote’s” Jessica Fletcher would feel right at home any time of the year in beautiful Ogunquit, Maine. You will too if you like laid-back and charming towns for a getaway from the daily grind, especially those that are way gay friendly.
Visitors have been coming here for centuries; it all started with Native Americans who were the first seasonal travelers to this breathtaking place by the sea. The tradition continues today with a welcoming local population and discerning visitors from around the world – gay and straight, and everything in between. All are welcome, according to the local folks.
We always settle in at John Matta’s B&B Moon Over Maine a block from the heart of town. This handsome and comfortable inn is as popular with gay men as it is with gay women. We don’t have space here to list all the incredible features and amenities to be found here, so go virtual. John won’t be open through the entire winter, but his outstanding Web site is an up-to-date, year-round visitors’ guide. It has all the detailed info that you’ll need to find accommodations for a delightful fall or winter frolic in this gorgeous village.
The three gay bars/clubs/entertainment centers in the heart of town are Main Street Video Bar, Oxygen bar and the Front Porch. And two of the best gay-friendly bars in restaurants are the Five-O and the Village Inn’s pub. These two mix-and-mingle bars are always très gay. But, then, most travel-related businesses in Ogunquit are gay-friendly.
Right from its start twenty years ago, The Front Porch has always been first-rate in food, drinks, entertainment, service and ambience and fun, fun, fun. The current owner Wayne Wescott is hands-on and nothing is too good for his customers. He’s handsome and charming too, but without conceit because he treats everyone as a friend.
We had one night in town and made a bee line to Wayne’s stand-out white and yellow building on Oqunquit Square. We love the chef’s creations and enjoyed the food more than ever along with one of the many great wines-by-the-glass. And we loved all the beautifully new renovations and décor in both the downstairs, bar, lounge and spacious dining room. Matt and Tracy, along with Tony are “up front” to meet and greet customers downstairs, while from Thursday through Sunday the upstairs piano bar is jumping.
The winter menu might be scaled back a bit, and dinner might only be served in the popular downstairs (clubby and intimate) bar area on weeknights, but you’ll always have fun chatting with the locals at this long-time favorite of ours and thousands of others from around the world.
This town is always jumpin’ and it can also be as quiet and romantic as you want any time of year. And this isn’t just a ‘boy’s town.’ For instance, there was a Women’s T Dance at Maine Street Video Bar October 17, 3-9pm - $7 with DJ Jodi. She says on her Web site, “It’s a blackout party! Dress in all black! We’ll be passing out!” Head online for more scheduled T dances.
The sensational Suede is in concert at Jonathan’s Restaurant, 8 p.m., October 11. Other favorite out entertainers include headliners such as Suzanne Westenhoefer. And New Year’s Eve dinner is always a gala event.
OgunquitFest is on October 23 – 25. The Front Porch on Oqunquit Square in the heart of town will provide more than its share of events for this fun celebration.
Christmas By The Sea Weekend December 11-13 always proves to be a festive time to visit Ogunquit.
While plans are still being formed by the bars, clubs and restaurants for First Night festivities on New Year’s Eve and Day, there will be plenty of entertainment, dancing and pub fun throughout the fall and winter.
If shopping is one of your favorite things, the 120 Kittery (discount) Outlets – the world’s top brands – is twelve miles from Ogunquit. For more discount coupons and special sales than you can shake your credit card head to their Web site for details and directions. Get a head start on holiday shopping there and the terrific shops in and around Ogunquit. For those jams, jellies and other goodies, - with some profits going to AIDS research – the Stonewall Kitchen’s outlet store is right on Route 1 in nearby York.
This well-established gay destination is less than a tank of gas away from most places in New England. And you’ll be taken good care of by traveler-friendly people in this lively and welcoming “beautiful place by the sea.”
© Copyright 1999 – 2009. OUT & Travelin’. All rights reserved.