Celebrate The Winter Holidays Seaside At This Charming East Coast Town

Deciding on where to spend the holidays is something to look forward to. You have so many options that range from vibrant, bustling cities to hot, tropical destinations and sleepy, snowy towns. If you have a preference for the latter and enjoy the holiday spirit, then the small town of Ogunquit, Maine, could be perfect for you.

The coastal town only has about 1,600 people living there, and while it may be relatively tiny, they go crazy for the holidays. You'll find decorations and Christmas lights all over the town, making it easy to be merry and bright. For a weekend in early December, they have Christmas by the Sea, a series of festive community events that serve as a wonderful way to mingle with residents and tourists alike, support local businesses, enjoy live shows, and have a jolly time in general. The tradition started back in the 1980s and has been thriving ever since, drawing in more and more people each year. You can be one of the many visitors for the holidays. Plan your next Christmas trip to this town for a delightful time.

Highlights of Christmas by the Sea

Some highlights of the beloved Christmas by the Sea include the Ogunquit Christmas Parade, the beach bonfire, and the arts and crafts fair. The afternoon parade features local bands and a series of festive floats. The beach bonfire takes place, as the name tells, on the beach, and serves as the perfect place to watch fireworks and their reflection on the ocean. The arts and crafts fair takes place in two locations, the town fire station and the Ogunquit Baptist Church. You can search through the works of local artists and find sweet and meaningful gifts for those you love.

You can also watch the town be adorned in Christmas lights. Visit the town footbridge and watch it light up with lights, or venture into town for one of the tree lighting ceremonies. If you enjoy live music, musicals, and plays, then you're in luck. You can choose between a musical and a play in the evenings, this year (2023) it's "The Sound of Music" and "Dinner with Dickens at Clay Hill Farm," as well as a couple of concerts.

Where to stay

Your holiday spirit doesn't have to dwindle when the day is done and you return to your hotel. It can continue with a lobby full of decorations and smiling faces. The Gorges Grant Hotel is a great place to stay during Christmas by the Sea. One nice perk about this hotel are the heated pools available for guests. The Meadowmere Resort is another option and has a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Google. It has a spa that's known for its massages — so after a day outside, you can spend some time unwinding in the most luxurious of ways. The Anchorage by the Sea is another great option that has gorgeous ocean views and a 4.5 rating out of 5 on TripAdvisor.

As the holidays roll in and you're thinking about where to spend them, consider the magical Christmas town of Ogunquit, Maine, to truly indulge in the holiday spirit. Bring your family, go as a couple, or even venture out on your own. The cheerful town is a splendid place to be over the holidays, so check out Christmas by the Sea for yourself and make some memories.