It took me years to figure out that the Marginal Way and the Cliff Walk were not the same coastal walk.  People talked about these scenic strolls in New England, but it never occurred to me that they were different paths.

Oh, but they are vastly different and very worthwhile.

The Marginal Way in the lovely town of Ogunquit, Maine, is a 1.25 mile stroll along the coast, sometimes a little rocky, but overall an easy walk from one end of Ogunquit down to Perkins Cove, past bucolic inns with overloaded and lovely hydrangeas,

Perkins Cove has the smallest drawbridge in the world, and the cove is one of the most beautiful places on the coast.  You can learn all about lobstering on a one-hour cruise out of Perkins Cove, and get some great seafood there too.

What you will absolutely stumble upon is gorgeous backdrops for photos, and a mix of shops, including a sea glass shop with stunning jewelry, a lobster shack, and pottery, art and other nick-knacks.

The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, is equally stunning, but longer.  The 3.5-mile walk is mostly paved, but not always, making it more rugged than the Marginal Way.  Some of the paths are narrow, and it's considered a moderate hike, with some parts not accessible for all abilities.

You will find breathtaking Newport mansions along the path, often while walking along the properties.  You can stop and take tours, then hop back on the Cliff Walk.  There are sweeping views of the ocean, and a Japanese Tea Garden along the way too.

The walk connects Easton Beach to Bailey's Beach along Narragansett Bay. Tripadvisor says the southern part of the walk is the most difficult, so if you don't want to continue the entire hike, you can hop off at any time.

The town of Newport is another beautiful example of a New England town which should be on everyone's bucket list.

You won't be disappointed in either walk, nor either town, so try it in the off-season and avoid the summer crowds.

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