Linda

Our beach escape began with a picnic at Laudholm Farm, in Wells, a federal reserve with 7 miles of trails, one of which takes you to a lovely beach. Then it was on to The Meadowmere resort, in Ogunquit, a town that wins awards as a tourist destination.

The inn offers amenities that keep people coming back year after year. At the outside hot tub, we met three related couples from various states who have gathered here twice each year for more than 20 years. They raved about the inn and Jonathan’s restaurant next door, making us glad we had a reservation for dinner there that night.

What would you like for your special getaway? An indoor pool and hot tub? An outdoor pool and hot tub? A sauna and spa? Fitness room? Game room? BBQ pits? How about movies every night, at 5 and 8 p.m.? Well, Meadowmere offers all of this and more. They even have a pub that’s open on weekends.

Shortly after we settled into our comfortable room, we decided to take advantage of the outdoor hot tub. On a beautiful day, it felt decadent to be relaxing in a hot tub while basking in the sun. Ah, I thought, summer has arrived. We found this a great spot for reading, relaxing and visiting with other guests.

You’re just a five-minute walk from Marginal Way, Ogunquit’s famous 1.5-mile paved walkway along the ocean. George and I enjoyed that walk after a wonderful breakfast and sat for a long time at one of the benches along the walkway, enjoying the stunning ocean view. Ogunquit’s 7 miles of sandy beach are also within walking distance, along with the Ogunquit Village. And if you don’t want to walk, there’s a trolley to take you there.

Rooms are comfortably large here, with flat-screen TVs, a beautiful wood armoire, plenty of drawers, a refrigerator and a nice sitting area. There was also seating out on a private balcony that overlooked a beautiful crabapple tree in full bloom.

George

Linda and I love the southern Maine coast in spring and fall, outside the busy tourist seasons. Meadowmere is well located for your Ogunquit getaway, and it offers special deals for stays at the resort and dinners next door at Jonathan’s, an award-winning restaurant that just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Owner Jonathan West, who grew up in Ogunquit and worked in various inns and restaurants there, opened Jonathan’s when he was 26 years old.

The restaurant has expanded to meet demand and now seats 220 diners in rooms looking out over the wonderful gardens and grounds. It’s also become well-known for its intimate concert seating upstairs, where they draw top talent — including the Indigo Girls and Judy Collins.

The manager, Larry, greeted us and gave us a tour. He’s an engaging guy who told us some great stories about the restaurant and concerts.

But we were there to eat, and what a meal we had.

My appetizer of baked Boursin-stuffed mushrooms ($11) was to die for, six button mushrooms stuffed with Boursin cheese. Our server, Drew, a young man who grew up in Ogunquit, was friendly and helpful, and confirmed my research that their Atlantic haddock ($27) is a favorite dish. Now I know why.

The haddock was cooked perfectly, nice and moist, with a delicious sauce. But it was the stuffing on top that made this a memorable dish — scallops and shrimp with garlic and white wine. Oh my. Probably the best haddock I’ve ever had. The menu also features lots of great steak dishes, including filet mignon. My dessert of rich Belgian chocolate mousse ($8), one of Jonathan’s own recipes, has won awards and, boy, was it chocolatey and yummy.

Linda

Our dining room had lots of contemporary charm. Full-length French doors lend lots of natural light and a view of beautiful perennial gardens. Quiet jazz was piped in, soft enough to allow conversation at your table. We started off with their daily house-made rosemary breadsticks and rolls, then a small soup sample from the chef. This is a custom here, and that day’s soup was kale and potato — a creamy concoction that was nicely seasoned.

I ordered the baked artichoke hearts appetizer. Marinated artichokes were topped with a bit of Vermont cheddar cheese and sour cream. This came with crunchy crostini and was unusual and delicious.

I stayed with a vegetarian theme when I chose the eggplant Napoleon entree. I was not disappointed, as a plate of three cutlets was presented atop gnocchi and marinara, then topped with York Hill goat cheese, fresh spinach and roasted red and yellow peppers. The peppers and marinara added enough sweetness to balance the goat cheese well. It was a great meal, but it looked as though I had barely touched it. I did not feel guilty, as it was wonderful as leftovers.

I also needed to save room to try their creme brulee, a creamy custard topped with a thick layer of caramelized sugar. It was a spectacular end to a spectacular meal.

Now we know why folks love Ogunquit. And we’ve joined that list.

Visit George’s website — georgesmithmaine.com — for book reviews, outdoor news and all Travelin’ Maine(rs) columns, found listed by town in the “Best of Maine” section.

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