Old Orchard Beach is a popular seaside vacation destination in Maine. Its clean shoreline and refreshing waters are filled with families during summer. Pack a picnic basket, get to the beach early and spend a day by the water.
Rent a kayak from vendors along the sand and see the town from the water. Accommodation options line the 7-mile (11-kilometer) beach. Some of the bed-and-breakfasts were housese once owned by the rich and famous.
For a fun family day out, take the kids to an amusement park. There’s Palace Playland, which covers 4 acres (1.6 hectares) right near the beach in town. Ride roller coasters, carousels and a Ferris wheel with views across the ocean. Enjoy the water slides at Funtown Splashtown, which is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Old Orchard Beach.
As the sun sets, walk across the sand to the Old Orchard Beach pier. This was a high society destination in the early 19th century and featured a massive ballroom that hovered over the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors to the pier today can enjoy souvenir shops, restaurants and bars.
No Maine vacation is complete without one, or many, seafood feasts. Dine in restaurants overlooking the water. Try lobster rolls, a signature local dish most popular in summer.
Old Orchard Beach’s central location makes it ideal for day trips. Rent a car and drive half an hour north to explore the artistic city of Portland where you can spend an afternoon wandering through shops and galleries. A perfect photo opportunity awaits you at nearby Portland Head Light. This is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the country, and with the dramatic backdrop and historic architecture, you’ll soon see why.
Old Orchard Beach is easily accessible by car. The Amtrak runs from Boston to Old Orchard Beach during summer months. Once in town, it’s easy to reach most of the sights on foot.