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Ogunquit is a bustling beachside town that has attracted vacationers and artists for more than a century. Though certainly notable for its abundant and elegant summer-resort architecture, Ogunquit is most famous for its 3 1/2-mile white-sand beach, backed by grassy dunes. This beach serves as the town's front porch, and most everyone drifts over there at least once a day when the sun is shining.

Ogunquit's fame as an art colony dates to around 1890, when Charles H. Woodbury arrived and declared the place an "artist's paradise." He was followed by artists Walt Kuhn, Elihu Vedder, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Rudolph Dirks (author of the "Katzenjammer Kids" comic strip). During the latter part of the 19th century, the town found another sort of fame as a quiet destination for gay travelers; many local enterprises here are still run by gay entrepreneurs.

Despite its architectural gentility and overall civility, the town can become overrun with tourists (and cars) during peak summer season, especially on Saturday and Sunday. If you don't like crowds, try to visit in the off season.