Friday, 10 February 2012

Contributed - Ogunquit: Vacationland’s Glorious Little Gay Getaway

Contributor article: by Jon Fairbanks.

For gay and lesbian travelers around the world, Provincetown is paradise found.  This small stretch of Cape Cod is the most famous gay getaway destination in the region, but it’s certainly not the only one.  Drive just four hours north and you’ll find the crown jewel of LGBT Maine, Ogunquit.
The town has a year-round population of less than two thousand residents, but it’s in the summer and early fall that this quaint, charming beach community comes alive, catering to gay and lesbian travelers.  Ogunquit differs from other resort towns in Maine in that most of the restaurants, galleries, hotels and dance clubs … that’s right … dance clubs, are gay-owned and operated. 
The beginning of the beach is where the heteros station themselves, but if you walk less than a half mile beyond that you’ll find family.  Bare in mind, this is New England and the weather can go from sunny and gorgeous to rainy and miserable at any given moment.  So if you do have to make a quick exit from the beach, don’t fret, there’s a variety of other ways to occupy yourself.
If you’re a sucker for art, there are incredible galleries featuring the work of local artists, including The Barn Gallery and Art & Soul Gallery, both located on Shore Road.  The great thing about Ogunquit is that most of the shops, museums, hotels and restaurants are located within walking distance to the beach.  Trust me, this is a blessing because parking can be a nightmare and if you time your entrance or escape out of town at the wrong time, it could take the better part of an hour to get back to the highway. 
A cloudy day is also the perfect time to check out John Lane’s Ogunquit Playhouse.  Located just a few miles outside of the center of the action heading back to the highway, this is a great venue to enjoy popular shows like Avenue Q, The Music Man or Chicago. 
Ogunquit may be a small town, but don’t be fooled by Ogunquit’s size, the clubs are incredibly fun and get packed.  Front Porch is a great place to start your evening.  It’s a piano bar filled with locals, Bostonians and visitors from points beyond. The staple of gay and lesbian Ogunquit, MaineStreet.  Dance music, drag shows, pool and sexy bartenders, all the prerequisites are here.  Oxygen is close to MaineStreet.  It’s that gay bar in town that’s been in business for years but constantly changes ownership. 
Remember ladies and gents, Maine isn’t just lobster and lighthouses!  If you’re that gay or lesbian traveler who wants a change from Provincetown, Key West, Fire Island and the other typical LGBT summer haunts, Ogunquit is a refreshing option.  It offers all of the trappings of most other gay resort towns with smaller crowds and lower prices.