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Introducing Ogunquit & Wells

Known to the Abenaki tribe as the 'beautiful place by the sea,' Ogunquit (population 1300) is justly famous for its 3-mile sandy beach. Wide stretches of pounding surf front the Atlantic, while warm back-cove waters make an idyllic setting for a swim. In summer, the beach draws hordes of visitors from near and far, increasing the town's population exponentially.

Prior to its resort status, Ogunquit was a shipbuilding center in the 17th century. Later it became an important arts center, when the Ogunquit art colony was founded in 1898. Today, Ogunquit is the northeasternmost gay and lesbian mecca in the US, adding a touch of open San Francisco culture to the more conservative Maine one. For more information, visit www.gayogunquit.com.

Neighboring Wells (population 9900) to the northeast is little more than an eastward continuation of Ogunquit Beach, with a long stretch of busy commercial development. Wells has good beaches, though, and many relatively inexpensive motels and campgrounds.