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1. Northern Union

This heritage home serves dinner in interconnected rooms as holiday lights twinkle in the front yard. The kitchen is chef Romann Dumorne’s window on the world: Share plates of curried beef empanadas, tempura mushrooms and exquisitely pink local duck. The wine list is savvy (ask about half-bottle pours) as are cocktails like the Fall & Oats “Bananaeater,” a blend of house banana rum, oat milk, sherry and egg white.

2. Marginal Way

Take a walk along this scenic footpath to see why the raw stretch of the Atlantic coast has long attracted artists (realist painter Edward Hopper) and writers (you’re deep in Stephen King territory here: It’s the setting for scenes in The Stand). Hit the trail at Ogunquit Beach, passing hardy cold-water surfers, a portly lighthouse and fishing shacks turned boutiques at Perkins Cove, while letting the chilled salt air get under your skin. Now, it’s spa time.

Cliff House

3. Cliff House

This sprawling 70-acre property has presided over the rocky oceanfront of southern Maine since 1872, when it catered to rail travellers from the northeastern seaboard. Striking a balance between craggy and cozy, the all-season resort’s new suites feature wraparound balconies that put the windswept horizon at eye level. To combat the chill, pull on a plaid bathrobe, snuggle up in comforters from local company Cuddledown or gather in front of the fireplace in the festive lower lobby with its towering Christmas tree. After tucking into the Tiller’s excellent lobster rolls, smoked salmon and mussels, the steaming outdoor hot tub is the perfect place to contemplate the starry winter sky.

4. The Ogunquit Playhouse at the Music Hall

For the winter season, the professional theatre company relocates from its charming (and uninsulated) playhouse to a wonderfully ornate 1878 venue in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a 20-minute drive away. This year’s holiday production of Elf The Musical will have the whole family rooting for Buddy on his quest to make Santa Claus believers out of New Yorkers – all on the former vaudeville stage.

Through December 16

5. The Greenery Cafe

Duck past the rainbow Pride flag on the porch, exchange a friendly greeting at the door and settle in for the neighbourhood’s favourite breakfasts, like the decadent lobster eggs Benedict. In the baked-goods case, look for rounds of chocolate cake sandwiching a thick layer of frosting: an oversize version of the whoopee pie, which in 2011 was adopted as Maine’s official state treat. (Or its official breakfast dessert – you decide.)

369 Main St., 207-360-0211

Maine souvenirs

3 made-in-Maine gifts to cross off your list

Get a Maine Guide wool cap with earflaps at outdoor retailer L.L. Bean’s flagship store, with a giant duck boot outside and endless flannel within.


Created by an oyster farmer in the Portland area, Nonesuch Skincare uses local kelp and oar weed in products like the ultra-soothing Sea + Sport body lotion.


Stonewall Kitchen has favourite state provisions like maple pumpkin butter, Bellini jam (peaches and sparkling white) and wild Maine blueberry preserves.