Why Plan a Trip to Old Orchard Beach, ME
If you’re looking to spend your summer vacation on the coast of Southern Maine, look no further than Old Orchard Beach. This iconic summer haven has attracted flocks of sun-starved visitors since 1837! And today it’s no different – thousands of people are still walking the iconic Pier with some Original Pier French Fries in hand or exploring the stunning 7-mile beach by foot.
But why should Old Orchard Beach be your next holiday destination? Let’s take a deep dive into the blue waters of OOB and see what makes this bustling town tick.
Here are 6 reasons that we think make OOB unique among Maine’s most popular tourist destinations:
“OOB is FUN FuN fun! Bustling with locals and vacationers. Beach, shops, food vendors, restaurants, arcade, amusement park with rides, games and a BOARDWALK!. Great place to spend a full day. Family friendly. Fun for everyone!” – Jill Chandler, Boston MA
That’s right, you’re never far from the beach when you’re staying at OOB – though this might be because the majority of tourist attractions are centered around the 7-mile beach. You’ll want to spend some time walking the Pier, stopping at the Sunset Deck or Patio Pub for a bite to eat, and enjoying the live performances from local acts. And if you’re traveling with the family, you’re little ones will be clamoring to get to the WipeOut, Electra Wheel, and every other ride at the Palace Playground, otherwise known as “New England’s only beachfront amusement park!”
There are tons of reasons to keep you near the coast, and if you’re booking accommodations, you’ll probably be staying near the beach too. You’re never far from an opportunity to swim, surf, or sunbathe! If you’re partial to whale watching, you may be spending much of your time on the water as well.
OOB has to be one of the most kid-friendly vacation spots in Maine. Even if they’re too young to understand the charm of the creaking Pier, or get bored during long walks through the nearby sand dunes and woods, it’s an easy fix to find something that will grab their attention. After all, OOB is home to Palace Playland, a beachfront amusement park, the Aquaboggan Waterpark, and Funtown, Splashtown, USA – an amusement park and waterpark in one! Not to mention you can spend a fun few hours at the Pirate’s Cove mini-golf course, or catch a flick at the Saco Drive-In movie theatre.
Sometimes you need a change of scenery, but you don’t want to drive for an hour to get it. And you can find that with ease at OOB. If you’re tired of vying for a sunbathing spot near the Pier, and just want to escape the crowds for a few hours, you can do that. Simply take a walk (or a short drive) down either end of the beach and you’ll find yourself in a very different environment.
After all, there are nine beaches in this area of Saco Bay. OOB might be the most popular, but there are plenty of other nice spots to enjoy. Try Pine Point at the end north end of the bay, where there are sparse crowds even at the height of summer, or Camp Ellis at the southern end.
Camping is always a popular option at OOB. Though the main roads are lined with hotels, motels, inns, and Airbnb’s, there are plenty of campgrounds on offer for those of us who want a more rustic way to see the area. Pitch your tents and park your RV at the N’ere Beach Family Campground, the nearest campsite to OOB and the Pier, or try the Paradise Park Resort Campground. You can also check out the Wild Acres RV Resort & Campground if you’re choosing to camp on wheels.
If you’re staying in OOB, you have the perfect home base for taking interesting day trip excursions if you want to explore the rest of the region. Want to see snow and hike to the summit of Mount Washington? Eager to get your Christmas and birthday shopping done in Freeport? Want to taste some of the nightlife in downtown Portland? All of these places are an easy drive from OOB. Choosing a vacation here gets you several vacations all in one package!
OOB might be a tourist haven, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an authentic Maine town. If you’re new to the state, it’s a great way to experience what Mainers are all about. Whether that’s joining a charter fishing trip or lobster boat trip, camping in the local woods, or visiting the rugged coastlines and iconic lighthouses that the state is known for. Heck, even something as simple as sunbathing by the Pier is a classic local activity.
And don’t forget to pick up a classic Maine lobster roll, slathered in butter and absolutely delicious, at Big Daddy’s Bar & Grill or Mainely Lobster Cafe, just two amongst dozens of great options for a classic OOB lunch or dinner.